Week 48: 25 Nov to 01 Dec

25 November


Singapore merger with Malaysia was fraught with difficulties from the onset. This was due to a series of fundamental clashes between the PAP government in Singapore and the Alliance leaders in Kuala Lumpur over issues ranging from extremist politicking to contentious economic and financial arrangements. One of these disagreements was over the 39.8 percent share of the new taxes that Singapore was required to contribute even though Singapore’s population was just 17 percent of the total population of Malaysia. These new taxes were announced by the federal government on 25 November 1964 in a bid to raise $147 million to address the federal deficit of $543 million.

The FMS Hostel, the predecessor of King Edward Hall, was first opened in 1916 to provide accommodation for 72 students. In 1955, the FMS hostel was demolished, and a new building – King Edward VII Hall at Sepoy Lines, was erected. While King Edward VII Hall celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1982, its era at Sepoy Lines came to an end when the hostel was moved to Kent Ridge. The King Edward VII Hall at Kent Ridge was officially opened by President Wee Kim Wee on 25 November 1988.

A three-room flat in Toa Payoh is the site of one of the most horrific murders in Singapore's history. In 1981, medium Adrian Lim, 39, conducted rituals involving blood, drugs and sex in this flat, killing a nine-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy with the help of his wife and his mistress. The trio were said to have also drunk the blood of their victims. The trio were found guilty of the murders and hanged on 25 November 1988.


26 November

Taman Jurong CC, previously known as Jurong Town CC, official opening date was on 26 November 1977. It is currently located at 1 Yung Sheng Road, Singapore 618495 and was officially opened by Mr Lee Kuan Yew, then Prime Minister. The current building was reconstruced and completed on 28 March 2005.

Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore) - Home for the aged sick, was established in 1979 for the residential and institutional care for the elderly destitutes. Officially declared open by Dr Tony Tan, Deputy Prime Minister and minister for Defense (then Minister for Education) on 26 November 1994. Funded by the Ministry of Health, National Council of Social Services and Community Chest. Sree Narayan Mission is named after the great saint-philosoher and social reformer, Sree Narayana Guru.

On 26 November 2011, Clementi residents will be able to switch between bus and train in comfort and enjoy better connectivity when its new air-conditioned bus interchange opens. This new 8,100 square metres facility at Clementi is the sixth Integrated Transport Hub (ITH) where the bus interchanges and MRT stations are seamlessly linked with adjoining commercial developments.


27 November

The idea for some kind of body that could look into the welfare, religious guidance and problems faced by new converts to Islam was conceived in the early ‘70s. In 1973, “Kumpulan Saudara Baru” or “The New Brothers Group” was formed with the objective of having a place where the new Muslim converts could get together and develop the fraternal, religious and social relationships among themselves. The group operated out of a modest waqaf (to give in the line of Islam and its propagation) house at 24, Pheng Geck Avenue, which was administered and rented out by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore or MUIS. The house was named “Rumah Saudara Baru” or the “Muslim Converts’ Home” and was officially opened by the then President of MUIS, Hj. Buang Siraj on 27 November 1977. In 1979, under the leadership of Bro. Ridzuan Wu, the group decided to apply for the official registration of the Association with the Registry of Societies. This led to the official formation of “Muslim Converts’ Association of Singapore” (MCAS). On 2 June 1997, The Galaxy – the building of the Muslim Converts’ Association of Singapore; the “House of Arqam” – was officially opened by Guest-of-Honour, Mr Sidek Saniff, then Singapore’s Minister of State for Environment.

More than a decade later, however, when the disputes with Malaysia over the railway land used by KTM escalated, it came to the fore that one of the criteria the Malaysian authorities had listed before they would consider shifting the existing railway station away from Tanjong Pagar was for the MRT system to be introduced to Woodlands. On 16 October 2003, in response to a question fielded in parliament, Professor S. Jayakumar, then Minister for Foreign Affairs, mentioned, that the Points of Agreement concluded between the two sides on 27 November 1990 included a clause stating that KTM will shift the station to a site adjacent or close to the Woodlands within five years from the day the MRT to Woodlands is opened, something the KTM only accomplished in 2011.

Yamamoto Otokichi, also known as "John Matthew Ottoson", was born in Onoura Village at Chita District of Owari (now Mihama Town of Aichi Prefecture) in 1818. He later became a successful trader. In 1862, Otokichi moved from Shanghai and stayed in Singapore with his Malay wife to become the first Japanese resident here. He died at the age of 49 in 1867. In February 2004, Leong Foke Meng of the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), with the help of the National Environment Agency (NEA), helped to uncover facts confirming Otokichi's remains at the Choa Chu Kang Government Cemeteries. On 27 November 2004, Leong, together with Mihama Town and the Japanese Association, initiated the exhumation of Otokichi's remains at the Choa Chu Kang Christian Cemetery. The remains were later cremated and ashes stored at the columbarium of the Japanese Cemetery. On 17 February 2005, a delegation of about 100 residents from Mihama Town visited Singapore and brought back to Japan a portion of Otokichi's ashes, realising the home-coming of Otokichi's remains after 173 years.


28 November

In December 1955, Marshall led a delegation to London to pave the way for an all-party constitutional conference. The Singapore mission was well-received and talks proceeded smoothly. Setting 23 April 1956 as the date for the constitutional conference, Marshall returned jubilant, declaring that Singapore would obtain dominion status by April 1957. It signalled the beginning of his expanded ambitions to achieve something more than the removal of colony status for Singapore to something more than self government and something less than full independence. On 14 April 1956, a delegation of 13 members left for London. Talks got off to an ominous beginning, with the British clearly reiterating their stand that the Singapore government must be prepared to accept joint control over to internal security while Marshall pressed strongly for self-government. This became the key point of contention and was the core factor that resulted in the breakdown of the talks. A stalemate developed and cracks developed within the Singapore delegation. Some members felt that Marshall was an inadequate negotiator and could have settled for a compromise. He received the backing of only two others Lee Kuan Yew and Lim Chin Siong. A communiqué was issued on 15 May 1956 to announce the breakdown of the talks. Marshall was greatly despaired and compared the Britishs offer of self-government with the preservation of British imperial power as a Christmas pudding with arsenic sauce. In a last-ditch effort, Marshall attempted to restart the talks but incurred the wrath of his delegation members who felt that it was a humiliation to do so. On his return to Singapore, Marshall worked behind the scenes for the possibility of restarting talks with the new Singapore government. But he was met with rejection, and officially stepped down as the Chief Minister on 7 June 1956. Lim Yew Hock was asked to helm the next government, apart from Marshall, other members of the previous Cabinet remained onboard. In the March of 1957, he led a delegation to London which accepted a constitution that was nearly similar to the one that Marshall rejected. On 28 November 1958, the Singapore (Constitution) Order in Council for the creation of self-governing state finally came into being.

Goh Chok Tong becomes the second Prime Minister of Singapore on 28 November 1990 to 11 August 2004 when he took over the office from Lee Kuan Yew who resigned after having been Prime Minster since 1959.

Singapore’s first full-length English language film, Medium Rare, premiered in local theatres on 28 November 1991. The 100-minute movie was filmed locally and produced by veteran beauty pageant organiser, Errol Pang, executive producer of Derrol Stepenny Productions. The film was sent to Adelaide in Australia for post-production. It cost $1.7 million to produce, of which $1.2 million was personally funded by Pang.


29 November

Masjid Al-Abrar was gazetted as a national monument on 29 November 1974.

Wildlife Reserves Singapore has announced on 29 October 2012 that the River Safari's Giant Panda Forest will open on 29 November 2012, public can get to see giant pandas Kai Kai and Jia Jia.

A Jubilee Walk which will cover 25 historic and iconic sites in and around the Republic's Civic District will be launched on 29 November 2015. The walk is essentially a 8km-long trail that will take participants to historical places such as the Padang, where the people of Singapore gathered to mark the end of the Japanese Occupation on Sept 12, 1945; the National Museum of Singapore, the country's first purpose-built museum; and the colourful Old Hill Street Police Station -the largest Government building when it was first built in 1934. The aim is to provide a commemorative trail that connects the past, present and future elements of the Singapore story during the country's golden jubilee. The trail will be launched together with the 5km SG50 Jubilee Big Walk, an event jointly presented by The New Paper and the People's Association.


30 November

The Singapore State Arms and Flag and National Anthem Ordinance 1959 was passed on 30 November 1959.

On 30 November 1967, Parliament met for the first-ever election of a President of the Republic. The meeting was a purely formal affair of about 20 minutes and Yusof Ishak was elected to continue his term of office as the President.

Following numerous incidents of commuters falling on the tracks and unauthorised intrusions, the Land Transport Authority made the decision in 2008 to install half-height platform screen doors for all above-ground stations in phases. Installation began from 17 September 2011 and began operation from 30 November 2011.


1 December

Pulau Satumu island, about 23 km south-west of Singapore, marks the south channel for the sea passage into Singapore. Raffles lighthouse is located on this island. It is out-of-bounds except for the Raffles Lighthouse staff and visitors with special permission. The foundation stone of the Raffles Lighthouse was laid on 24 May 1854 by Col. W. J. Butterworth, C.B., the Governor of the Straits Settlements. The light which is a fixed bright dioptric light of the third order, was lit from 1 December 1855.

Mount Emily swimming pool was the first public pool in Singapore. It was also the first pool in Singapore that used fresh water instead of seawater. It was located along Upper Wilkie Road, where Mount Emily Park is today. Converted from a municipal reservoir, the pool was declared open on 10 January 1931. It was an extremely popular venue, with the number of bathers hitting a record of 8,000 a month in the mid-1930s. There were scheduled daily bathing periods of varying durations to ensure access to all members of the public. It used chlorination, and later filtration as well, to keep the pool water clean and clear. On 1 August 1946, charge of the pool was again given over to the Municipal Commissioners, which closed the pool promptly for maintenance and repairs. It was reopened on 1 December 1949, to a long queue of bathers eager for a dip.

In 1950, the site at 50, Lorong 34, Geylang, was acquired. On 21 January 1951, Rev. Yin Poon laid the foundation stone and construction work started for the Maha Bodhi School building. In July 1951, the pupils moved from the shophouse into the new building. The new school was officially declared open by the then British High Commissioner, Mr Malcolm MacDonald, on 1 December 1951.

Before 1 December 1960, lands in Singapore under private ownership were held under the 'old' system of registration. The 'old' system is not satisfactory as registration of land transactions is not compulsory and therefore the records in the Register of Deeds may not show all the relevant transactions affecting the lands. On 1 December 1960, the Land Titles Act came into operation with the aim of simplifying the transfer of lands as well as other dealings affecting lands. Since then, lands under the 'old' system were gradually brought under the 'new' system. Under the 'new' system, a certificate of title is issued to replace the old deed as the legal document evidencing ownership of the land.

The Naval Diving Unit (NDU) was officially formed on 1 December 1971. Based in the former British Terror Camp in Sembawang, the unit used to be known as the Far East Clearance Diving Center. When the Singapore Armed Forces took over Terror Camp from the British, the Far East Clearance Diving Center was renamed the SAF Diving Center. On 1 December 1971, the name was changed to the NDU. The present camp is on the same site as the old camp and was officially opened on 30 May 97.

DBS opened its first full-service branch at Jurong on 1 December 1972.

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), a statutory board of the Singapore Government, was formed on 1 December 1999 when the government merged the National Computer Board (NCB) and Telecommunication Authority of Singapore (TAS), as a result of a growing convergence of information technology and telephony. IDA aims to grow Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub and to leverage infocomm for Singapore's economic and social development. (Source: https://www.ida.gov.sg/About-Us/What-We-Do/History)

VivoCity was built on the site of the exhibition halls of the former World Trade Centre, now the HarbourFront Centre, the construction had begun on June 2003. It has 1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2) of gross floor area and 1,040,000 square feet (97,000 m2) of retail space, larger than Suntec City and Ngee Ann City (the former of which was the largest before VivoCity's opening). The shopping mall opened officially on 1 December 2006.