Political History of Singapore 1945–1965

About Project

This was one of the earliest oral history projects undertaken by the then Oral History Unit after it was established. The aim was to interview political leaders on the rise of politics in the period after World War II until the culmination of independence.

Key events covered include the Japanese Occupation and the British Military Administration, the riots and social unrest of the 1950s and 1960s, and the merger and separation of Singapore with and from Malaysia. Views from across the political spectrum are explored, providing multiple perspectives to this tumultuous period of Singapore’s political history.

Interviewees comprise Thomas Abraham, who was a diplomat under the Indian Foreign Service and later returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Deputy Secretary for Europe, E. W. Barker, the Minister of Law from 1964 to 1988, and Othman Wok, who was involved in Malay politics and the trade union movement, and later served as a People’s Action Party (PAP) Member of Parliament.

Names of Interviewees in Political History of Singapore 1945–1965