Week 49: 02 Dec to 08 Dec

2 December

The Clean Air Act was passed by Parliament on 2 December 1971. The Act conferred the government the power to control air pollution caused by industrial and trade premises. Under the Act, a director for Air Pollution Control was appointed. The Act also required the occupier of any industrial or trade premise to maintain and operate the equipment on his premises in line with prescribed regulations such as those concerning the types of equipment and fuel to be used or the rate of emission of air impurities. The director and authorised officials have the power to conduct checks on such premises and penalise them when necessary, should they be found guilty of an offence under the Act. If found guilty, the occupier could be fined S$500 per day for each subsequent day if the offence continues to be performed, not exceeding the amount of S$10,000.

Monsoon rains brought on Singapore's worst floods on 2 December 1978 causing seven deaths and hundreds to be evacuated. Seven people died during the floods (six were drowned and one was electrocuted by a 'live' lamp post). More than 1,000 people were evacuated from their homes by army and police boats from five submerged areas, namely, Kampung San Teng, Potong Pasir, Lorong Buang Kok, Lorong Kudang, Lorong Kinchir and Lorong Chuan.

The College of Medicine Building was subsequently gazetted as a national monument on 2 December 2002.


3 December

The National Flag of Singapore together with the Singapore's State Crest was unveiled on 3 December 1959. It was created by a committee led by the then Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Toh Chin Chye, and replaced the Union Jack, which had flown over Singapore for 140 years (1819-1959). Our National Anthem, "Majulah Singapura" or "Onward Singapore", was composed by Encik Zubir Said and was also launched on 3 December 1959. The anthem was written in the wake of nationalism from 1956-57.

The Singapore Kennel Club (SKC) was registered with the Registrar of Companies and the Certificate of Incorporation was issued on 16 September 1972. However, our history goes back to 17 August 1925 when we were part of the Malayan Kennel Association (MKA). The first SKC Championship Show was held on 3 December 1972 at the PSA Recreation Club under Mr Joe Cartledge (UK) and the Best in Show winner was a Boxer, My-R’s Penny Ante, owned by Mrs. Ursula Oehlers.

TradeNet was first mentioned by then Acting Minister for Trade and Industry and Second Minister for Defence (Services) Brigadier-General (Res.) Lee Hsien Loong at the opening of the Singapore Informatics exhibition at the World Trade Centre on 3 December 1986. TradeNet is an electronic data interchange system that links traders, hauliers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, airlines and handling agents with government agencies like the Trade Development Board (TDB; now known as International Enterprise Singapore), Singapore Customs, and the air and sea port authorities.


4 December

The first airplane to land in Singapore (apart from earlier exhibition flights) was flown by Captain Ross Smith with three crew members, landing on 4 December 1919 on the pioneer flight linking England to Australia.

On 4 December 1971, the Mail and Registration Branch from General Post Office moved to rented premises at a Port of Singapore Authority warehouse at Nelson Road. This was used as a temporary handling centre pending the completion and the establishment of a permanent postal complex in a new location.

The Nicoll Highway collapse was a construction accident that occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. Singapore Time on 20 April 2004 in Singapore when a tunnel being constructed for use by MRT trains collapsed. The highway re-opened on 4 December 2004 after reconstruction efforts.


5 December

On 5 December 1964 saw the first post colonial archery club in Singapore called ‘Singapore Bowmen’. They had their archery practice at the Singapore Gun Club. The Singapore Bowmen was subsequently renamed Singapore Company of Archers, and finally ‘Archery Club of Singapore’.

The last day of operation of Singapore Traction Company’s buses was 5 December 1971.

The Inaugural Official Singapore Marathon was first established as a Biennial event in 1982. The open event (open to all runners) race had only one category, the (Full) Marathon 42.195KM was held on 5 December 1982, with a flag-off time of 07:00 AM.


6 December

When Sir Stamford Raffles was on his third and final visit to Singapore, he sought able men to help him build his town. Dissatisfied with the way in which Colonel Farquhar had haphazardly developed the Settlement, Raffles appointed Philip Jackson to remodel and rebuild Singapore according to Raffles' own plan. Raffles formed a Town Committee with Jackson assigned to assist this Committee. Jackson spent five years in Singapore as senior officer, executive engineer and Surveyor of Public Lands, helping to plan the infant town. A draft lining out the streets was ready on 6 December 1822, and by February 1823, with the plan in definite shape covering proposals for Singapore's future progress, the reconstruction programme went full swing.

Sungei Buloh Nature Park was officially opened to the public on 6 December 1993. In 2002, it was renamed Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, and in 2003, the Wetland Reserve became Singapore's first ASEAN Heritage Park. Sungei means River, Buloh means Bamboo, in Malay.

Underwater World Singapore launched three new attractions on 6 December 2006 — an interactive stingray feeding pool, a display of small marine reef species, and 'Fish Reflexology', Singapore's first fish reflexology spa, where two species of doctor fish gently nibble away at the dead skin on visitors' feet.


7 December

House painter Gaston Dutronquoy placed the earliest known advertisement of photographic services in Singapore on 7 December 1843, making him Singapore’s first commercial photographer. This marked the beginning of commercial photography in Singapore.

Following its formation, the Singapore Philharmonic Society held regular concerts for its members. Dubbed “Musical Evening”, the first was held on 25 May 1891 at the Tanglin Club. The society also organised concerts for the general public, with the first conducted on 7 December 1891 at the old Town Hall.

The construction of the formal National Stadium took about six years from 7 December 1966 to June 1972.

The National Museum of Singapore is the oldest museum in Singapore. Its history dates back to 1849, when it was started as a section of a library at Singapore Institution and called the Raffles Library and Museum. After several relocations, in 1887 it moved to its permanent site at Stamford Road. The National Museum building was closed for a period of three and a half years and museum operation was temporarily located at Riverside Point. The building underwent a S$132.6 million revamp with a new annexe block behind the building on the site, which was formerly the demolished Drama Centre. The temporary museum at Riverside closed its operation on 6 March 2006. The revamped National Museum was officially opened by former President of Singapore S R Nathan and Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts Lee Boon Yang on 7 December 2006.

On 7 December 2015, the National Heritage Board (NHB) gazettes the former Fullerton Building (today known as The Fullerton Hotel) as Singapore's 71st National Monumnet. This grand Neoclassical building situated at the mouth of the Singapore River was once Singapore's General Post Office, and housed several government departments, where some of Singapore's pioneer leaders began their careers.


8 December

The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, usually referred to as the Church of the Nativity, is a Catholic church located at 1259 Upper Serangoon Road. Opened in 1853 to cater to the Teochew Catholic community comprising mainly farmers living in the Serangoon and Punggol areas, it now serves a multi-racial community primarily in the Hougang housing estate. The church was blessed and opened by Bishop Fée on 8 December 1901, the feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The first air raid on Singapore happened during WWII. On Monday, 8 December 1941, at about 4:00 am, the first bombs were dropped on Singapore, killing 61 people and injuring more than 700. In the evening, Admiral Phillips sailed the H. M. S. Prince of Wales from Singapore to execute a surprise attack on Japanese ships sighted in the Gulf of Siam. However, the fleet departed without any fighter aircraft protection. She was sank by the Japanese in the South China Sea on 10 Decemeber 1941.

By 8 December 1974, Cecil Street became a one-way street to help ease traffic congestion.

A riot broke out in Little India on 8 December 2013 after a fatal accident between a private bus and a foreign worker. Some 300 rioters were involved, 62 were injured, while 29 vehicles were damaged. The riot was later quelled and the perpetrators were caught and charged. Increased police presence and alcohol restrictions were implemented.