Week 22: 27 May to 02 Jun

27 May

Singapore courts ceased to function when the Japanese invaded Singapore in 1942, during the Japanese Occupation, and established a Military Court of Justice to administer Military Ordinances and the laws of the Japanese army. The courts were re-opened by a Proclamation dated 27 May 1942, which stated that the courts were to follow the former system of laws insofar as they did not interfere with the Military Administration.

Tunku Abdul Rahman, who was then the prime minister of Malaya, first broached merger plans  on 27 May 1961 at a meeting of foreign correspondents held in Singapore where  he proposed the concept of a  “Mighty Malaysia"  consisting  of  Malaya, Singapore, Borneo, Brunei  and  Sarawak. The proposal was a surprise turnaround for Singapore leaders as they had been wooing an unreceptive Tunku for merger as early as 1955. The reversal in decision delighted then Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and led to a joint communiqué being issued by both leaders in August 1961 stating their commitment to the merger. The merger came a step closer to being realised with the release of a White Paper in November 1961 presenting the points of agreement on merger between Singapore and Malaya. This was followed by a memorandum containing recommendations for the formation of Malaysia that was signed in February 1962 by the leaders of the proposed five constituent territories – Singapore, Malaya, Brunei, North Borneo and Sarawak. Brunei subsequently pulled out from the planned union.

The Singapore Calligraphy Centre, refurbished and renovated at a cost of $1.31 million, was inaugurated by Mr. Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the People’s Association, on 27 May 1996.

Land Transport Authority (LTA), Traffic Police (TP) and the Tampines Grassroots Organisations (GROs) will be conducting a study in the Tampines Town to assess the feasibility of allowing cycling on footways with effect from 27 May 2007. The study will last for one year and end on 30 May 2008. The official launch of this trial will be on 27 May 2007, in conjunction with the Tampines Town Day. Prior to 27 May 2007, under Rule 28 of the Road Traffic Rules, enacted in 1981, cycling on footways is prohibited. Like any other vehicles, bicycles are to be ridden on the roads and cyclists are required to abide by all relevant traffic rules and regulations.

The Bukit Timah Railway Station, at Blackmore Drive, has been officially gazetted as a conserved building as of 27 May 2011. This station will cease to operate as KTMB railway facilities by 1 July 2011.


28 May

Aljunied Road, was named after an Arab Syed Ali bin Mohamed Al-Junid, by Muslim Community leader, Dr Munshi, on 28 May 1926. In 1819, Syed Sharif Omar Aljunied, a young prince and descendant of Prophet Mohammed, uprooted his family from Palembang to Temasek (Singapore) when he heard that the island was to be a centre for free trade. In 1857, his son Syed Ali bin Mohamed Al-Junid presented 5 acres of land, and the rent collected went to Tan Tock Seng Hospital. This area known as "Syed Ali's land" was situated in Victoria, Queen and Arab Streets.

On 28 May 1938, the Salvation Army established their headquarters in the House of Tan Yeok Nee. The house remained the Salvation Army's centre of operations for over 50 years, with the exception of the war years, during which the Japanese controlled it.

The second series of circulation coins bearing the ‘Flora’ theme features local plants and flowers, was to enhance Singapore’s image as a garden city. Four denominations, namely 5-cent, 10-cent, 20-cent and 50-cent coins, were the first to make their appearance on 2 December 1985, followed by the 1-cent and 1-dollar coins on 28 September 1987. Since 28 May 1990, the 50-cent coin has had a plain edge with the inscription ‘REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE’ and a lion symbol.

The Marine Parade Community Library, opened in 1978, was the third full-time library built by the National Library. It was the first Branch Library to be designed for full airconditioning. It also had an Auditorium with a stage and dressing rooms, besides a multi-purpose Lecture Hall. Located at 6 Marine Parade Central, Singapore 449411. It was a stand alone two-storey building with its frontage facing directly opposite the NTUC Supermarket and has its own fenced staff car park. The Marine Parade Branch Library was renamed the Marine Parade Community Library when the National Library became a Statutory Board in September 1995. It shifted to 278 Marine Parade Road in 28 May 2000 to occupy a portion of the Marine Parade Community Complex.

Circle Line Stage 3 opened on 28 May 2009, the new Circle Line stations are Marymount (CC16), Bishan (NS17/CC15), Lorong Chuan (CC14), Serangoon (NE12/CC13) and Bartley (CC12).


29 May

Singapore had a Japanese Chief Justice, one Mr Ono, who was appointed in May 1942. The Syonan Koto-Hoin (Supreme Court) was opened on 29 May 1942. A court of appeal was also created, but it never sat.

Singapore Sindhi Association’s first property was in 30 Enggor Street. Enggor Street property was then sold on 29 May 1951 for $55,000.

Along one length of Cecil Street are key buildings such as the Capital Tower, GB Building, Cecil House, Tung Ann Association Building, Aviva Building, LKN Building, Keck Seng Tower, The Octagon and Tong Eng Building. On the other side are the historical site of the Gan Eng Seng School, the Bangkok Bank building, The Spazio, Far Eastern Bank Building, Wing On Life Building, PIL Building and Cecil Court. The Bangkok Bank building opened on 29 May 1978 at a cost of $17 million.

(Construction of new bus terminal at Shenton Way - 2016)

Established as an autonomous body on 27 October 1954, the Singapore Polytechnic was set up to train manpower needed for Singapore’s industries. From 1957 to 1958, classes in navigation, town planning, surveying and commerce were temporarily held at various school premises. After two years of construction, the polytechnic was officially opened on 24 February 1959 by Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. The building’s distinguishing feature was its rectangular foyer façade with a striking mosaic pattern (picture). In the early 1970s, the polytechnic spread to an annex building across the road at Shenton Way. Two feeder campuses were also set up at Ayer Rajah and the former Princess Mary barracks at Dover Road. On 29 May 1978, the beginning of a new term brought all the polytechnic’s students together on a new 37-ha campus at 500 Dover Road. The polytechnic has remained there to this day.

On 29 May 1996, the Singapore Cricket Club passed several landmark resolutions – to embark on a $60-million Clubhouse redevelopment that will involve building two storeys underground, create a new class of transferable membership and give women full membership for the first time in history of the Club (offered in November 1997).

Launched on 29 May 2004, The Pinnacle@Duxton is the tallest public-housing project in Singapore and also one of the priciest.

The Night Safari is the world's first nocturnal zoo and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore. The Night Safari received its 11 millionth visitor on 29 May 2007.


30 May

May 1959 was a time when Singapore was still a British Crown Colony, but agreement had been reached in 1957 for Singapore to enjoy internal self-government, with the British responsible for external affairs, internal security and defence. A new constitution would come into effect with internal self-governance, under which the Legislative Assembly would comprise 51 elected members, and only elected members. In this respect, it would differ from previous Legislative Assemblies that had always included members appointed by the Governor. Singapore had our first fully democratic election on 30 May 1959, Saturday. All 51 members of the legislative assembly were elected by the people of Singapore. 92.9% of those eligible voted, or 527,919 out of a total 586,098 voters. Singapore became a self-governing nation with Mr Lee Kuan Yew as the first Prime Minister of Singapore.

The new National Cadet Corps (NCC) Campus at Amoy Quee Camp was officially opened by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Dr Tony Tan, on 30 May 2001. The new NCC campus brings together the old NCC Headquarters and Land District Headquarters under one roof. With the administrative headquarters and land districts located together, the new campus will be able to optimise land resources, promote unit cohesion and improve management of the corps. The longstanding relationship between the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the NCC made it logical for the NCC Campus to be located in an SAF camp complex.

In February 2003, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) spread to Singapore. 238 people were infected, of whom 33 died. The outbreak was contained due to strong coordination efforts by all. Singapore was declared free of SARS by the World Health Organization on 30 May 2003.


31 May

Maybank was incorporated on 31 May 1960 and commenced operations on 12 September 1960. On 17 February 1962, Maybank was listed on the then Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (today Bursa Malaysia). The Maybank Group is the country’s leading financial services group with an international network of over 1,700 branches and offices in 14 countries namely, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, People’s Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, United Kingdom and United States of America.

In March 1982, Singapore Shuttle Bus (Pte) Ltd was granted a licence to operate the second bus company. Hence, Trans-Island Bus Services Ltd was incorporated on 31 May 1982. This was to provide some measure of competition to SBS and ultimately, improve the level of service provided by bus operators. Tibs started operations on 3 April 1983. In accordance with restructuring at parent company SMRT Corporation, TIBS was renamed "SMRT Buses" on 10 May 2004 along with the subsequent merger of City Shuttle Service.

The Customs Corporate HQ has being relocated several times. The Department was housed in Guthrie's Building before 1 Jan 1910. Between 1 Jan 1910 - 5 Jun 1932, the Customs HQ was located at Cecil Street next to the former Straits Times Building. Built at a cost of $313,000 in 1932 by PWD, the Customs House at Maxwell Road also housed the Film Censor's Office and Maxwell Road Post Office from 6 Jun 1932 - 13 Aug 1989. The Department HQ was relocated to the World Trade Centre on 14 Aug 1989 and remained there until 31 May 1996. The present Customs Corporate HQ operated from its current premises at the Revenue House on 1 Jun 1996 until present.


1 June

Trams were one of the earliest modes of public transport in Singapore but were phased out by end of 1927. Both steam and electric trams plied the island, carrying passengers and cargoes. In 1882, a group of British men formed the British East India Syndicate and applied to the Municipal Commissioners to construct and work street tramways. The syndicate as promoters of the tramways launched the Prospectus of the Singapore Tramways Company on 8 December 1883. The first rails were laid out on 7 April 1885, leading to the start of the first regular service over Tanjong Pagar to Johnston's Pier from 3 May 1886. For the opening of the service, 14 steam tram engines were ordered in 1885 and two more in 1887. Within three years of operations, the Directors of the Singapore Tramways Company approached the Tanjong Pagar Docks Company to sell the system but were turned down. After struggling for another year, they turned to the auctioneers to get the best price possible. The tramway was auctioned off for a mere $186 000 to the Tanjong Pagar Docks Company which must had been less than scrap value. Modifications were done to the tramcars to economise costs but closure of the steam trams eventually came, on 1 June 1894.

A trishaw (also known as a cycle-rickshaw or pedicab) is a bicycle with a sidecar, powered entirely by the cyclist. The trishaw was a popular mode of public transportation in the immediate years following the end of the Japanese Occupation (1942 to 1945) in Singapore, but started to suffer a decline in popularity from the mid-1950s onwards. When the British returned to Malaya after the surrender of the Japanese in 1945, their first priority was to restore social order. To this end, colonial authorities sought to control petty trading and clean up the streets. Regulations were reintroduced to control the proliferation of street hawkers and trishaw riders as their numbers had swelled during the Japanese Occupation. The first postwar attempt by the authorities to regulate the trishaw industry took place in December 1946 when mandatory registration and licensing of trishaw riders were established. A deadline of 1 June 1947 was set for trishaw riders to register themselves. All prospective and current riders also had to take a licensing test by 31 August 1947 and those who passed were required to wear an arm badge. By the late 1970s, trishaw riders were regarded as a dying breed with most of them primarily involved in the tourism trade.

The Jurong Town Corporation (JTC) was formed on 1 June 1968 to take over the work of developing and managing Singapore's industrial estates and their related facilities from the Economic Development Board (EDB). One of its first tasks was to expand the Jurong industrial estate through the reclamation of swamplands for the construction of industrial facilities and factories.

Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM) launched its first Marriage Records System on 1 June 1983 called the Marriage Registration System, and became the first department in the then Ministry of Social Affair to do so.


2 June

Marriage records in Singapore dated back to 1875. However, it was not until 15 September 1961 that Civil Marriages became legislated, under the provisions of the Women's Charter. 15 September 1961 and 1 June 1967 was the window period where Customary Marriages alone were recognized as legal. It was only on 2 June 1967 that Civil Marriages became fully legislated.

Pearl's Hill School began in 1876 at Cross Street as the Singapore Chinese Branch School. The school was among the pioneer batch of government English schools set up by the colonial government. It served as a feeder school to Raffles Institution and other government-aided English secondary schools. In 1883, the school was renamed Cross Street School. It shifted to Upper Cross Street in 1889. The school moved to Peral's Hill Road in 1914, next to the Police Quarters, and was renamed Pearl's Hill School. It was later relocated to a 12-storey building at Chin Swee Road in 1971. It became known as the tallest school in Singapore. The school was officially declared open by the then Minister for Finance and Member of Parliament for Havelock Constituency, Mr Hon Sui Sen, on 2 June 1972. The shcool nurtured many prominent old boys including a President (Dr Wee Kim Wee) and a Cabinet Minister (Dr Yeo Ning Hong). The school ceased operations on 31 December 2001.

Yishun Sports Hall, located at 101 Yishun Ave 1 (769130), opened to the public on 2 June 1992. There are 4 Badminton courts with seating capacity of 800.

From 2 June 2008, full-day bus lanes will be extended to 11 new locations in the CBD, with the aim of ensuring that buses will be able to give commuters a faster and smoother journey with less interruption on the road.