Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Random Thoughts: What if Singapore Was Never Expelled From Malaysia.

Disclaimer: Everything you are about to read is purely the thoughts of the writer. If you have any problems with the content of this article, do take it up with me before posting any bullshit online. Regardless, we are all entitled to our own opinions and freedom of speech. Do respect mine before stirring any crap against me. And yes, I'm a Singaporean and I love my country. Proceed with an open mind and at your own risk.

Edited on 10th August 2016
This article published on a later date at on Wake Up Singapore has similar elements and content from my article. Do you think they copied me? You be the judge...

What if Singapore Was Never Expelled From Malaysia.

Fake Wikipedia infopedia of the what
could have been the State of Singapore

As we have very much learnt in our history textbooks, Singapore was once a part of Malaysia. But due to various reasons, we're expelled from the Federation and left to be on our own with very high economic success. However, I shall not elaborate further on the reasons why we're expelled, but rather, "what if" Singapore is still part of Malaysia? How does the our policy differ and what may or may not happen if we are still a part of the Federation?

Okay. So considering that this is an alternate universe, taking inspiration from comics and the concept of the TV series, "Fringe" where the characters traveled in between dimensions, where an alternate reality exists and the choices we make define both realities. Singapore may still be a part of Malaysia in some alternate universe/dimension. This is my take and a preview on what if Singapore stays as a state of Malaysia.

As the late Lee Kuan Yew once said, he has believed in the merger, a people connected by geography, economics, ties of kinship. Many Singaporean and Malaysian families alike have connections across each other's border. It would certainly make much sense at that time for Singapore to be a state of Malaysia.

A video artpiece from the 2013 Singapore Binnacle featuring "Happy and Free". Hypothetically showcasing Singapore in the present as a state of Malaysia.

Malay Language would play a major role.

The 14 states of Malaysia
Although the national language of Singapore is Malay, it is currently playing a ceremonial role, being featured on the state crest, national anthem, medal names and command drills. It has fallen out of use unlike during the 60s where Malay played a major role even after Singapore became independent. Even the older generation of Chinese people know how to speak it. Over the years, many institutions have dropped the use of Malay in favor of English. 
Road signs featured in the State of Singapore
As with any Malaysian state, regardless of race, "Bahasa Malaysia" would have be taught in primary schools. Chinese and Indians especially would be multilingual, as they are taught Malay and English on top of their native tongue and dialect. 

Directional road signs and street names would feature Malay words and road names. In the 70's, Malaysia changed many of its colonial street names to Malay. For example the former "Davidson Road" in KL was changed to "Jalan Hang Jebat". Fancy seeing "Mountbatten Road" as "Jalan Othman Wok" anyone? Government intuitions and statutory board logos would also have to be addressed in Malay, for example, the "Public Utilities Board" would be addressed as "Lembaga Kemudahan Awam".
A re-imagining rendition of state organization logos of the State of Singapore

Malaysian state symbols would be used and holidays will be in line with the Federation.

The Singapore and Malaysia flags side by side during the 2015 Sea Games closing ceremony. As "Negaraku" was being played, for awhile, it did look like Singapore was a state of Malaysia. 
A behind-the-scenes photo from the film "1965". Decorations showing the state's allegiance with Malaysia.
The Singapore state flag would precede and be hung alongside Malaysia's "Jalur Gemilang" (Malay for "Stripes of Glory"). President would probably still be addressed as "Yang di-Pertua Negeri". "Negaraku" would be the national anthem while "Majulah Singapura" would be reduced to become the state anthem. And the state itself would commonly be refereed to as "Singapura" rather than "Singapore". 9th of August would simply be a normal day, instead, we would be celebrating two national holidays, Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) on August 31st and Malaysia Day on September 16th. Not to forget... The Malaysian Ringgit would be the currency of the state. Sorry, no more SGD$1.00 to RM3.00.

Kampongs would probably still be around.

Typical Kampong in the state of Singapore. Photo credits:

In Malaysia, there is a local property law, where if you own land, it's yours forever and the government won't have the power to take it away from you by force. And as a Malaysian, you own the land and whatever lies below it, till the very core of the earth. That's right, the government cannot build a tunnel under your land and they'll have to buy the tunneling rights to from you. With this in mind, kampongs, farmlands, and private housing would be of abundance in Singapore. However, my thoughts is that the state would prevent people from building private houses and may limit individual land ownership due to space constraints. But they may not have any rights to disturb already established kampongs or private housing due to the federal government policy. HDB would probably exist, but Singaporeans are given a choice to stay in kampongs.

Uniformed services, statutory boards and most government functions would be provided and under purview of the Federal Government.

Former Chief Minister the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his son, Mr Lee Hsien Loong being escorted by Royal Malaysia Police.  
Police Force, Fire Services, Armed Forces, statutory boards and other government organizations may be centralized and provided by the federal government. Singapore Police Force, Singapore Civil Defence Force may merge with their Malaysian counterparts. Functions of Singaporean Members or Parliaments will probably be reduced to serving the needs of residents of their respective constituencies rather than holding onto portfolios under the Legislative Assembly. Singaporeans may also hold appointments and jobs in government organizations and may serve in other states within Malaysia.

PAP's influence would have spilled across the causeway.

Yang Di-Pertua Negeri, Dr Tony Tan inspecting the Guard of Honor during 2015 Merdeka Day.
Singapore Chief Minister, Lee Hsien Loong and
Prime Minister Najib Razak in Malaysia Parliament.
Photo Credit: Today
In 1964, the People's Action Party ran for the Malaysian general elections, with the PAP winning one seat. The PAP at that time was seen as a threat and an intrusion into Malaysian politics, which was also one of the reasons we are expelled from the federation. PAP's ideology would have spread in Malaysian politics, and the results could have seen less or none of the bumiputera benefits as the party championed for a "Malaysian Malaysia". Many of the current Malaysian policies may also differ if the PAP had a presence in Malaysian parliament. Singapore policies may also differ as the Federal Government creates the laws for Singapore and its people.

Singapore will no longer be the center of everything.

Dewan Bandaraya Negeri Singapura, Jalan St Andrews
Economical success would be shifted away from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. Which would have resulted in a more laid back and less competitive environment. Sure Singapore would still have an economy but it may be concentrated only on the CBD area rather than the rest of the island. And given that the harbors was the result of Singapore's economic success, the state will continue to be competitive in the port services rather than the finance sector, benefiting not only the state, but Malaysia as well. Infrastructure would probably be less crowded and less foreigners or people for that matter would have flooded the places. And given the free access to housing, jobs and basically everything of the other states of Peninsular Malaysia, some Singaporeans would have found better jobs and opportunities in the capital or other parts of Malaysia.

The bumiputera policy would be extended to the state

MyKad Identity Card featuring a Singapore Address
Finally, the most controversial point of all. This is also one of the reasons why Singapore was expelled for the federation in the first place. However, given that Singapore was given a higher anatomy over it's people (Same goes for Sabah and Sarawak at that time) unlike the other states, this policy may not apply or be reduced to a certain extend. Also with PAP's presence in Malaysian Parliament, this policy may be reduced or not even exist by today. 7% discount for HDB for bumiputera anyone?


State of Singapore's 2015 Hari Merdeka poster.
Once again, these are my personal thoughts. Despite some favors favoring the Malays, I do not think that a merger with Malaysia will suit us in the current times given our status as a global city and that both territories have been apart for so long. Both countries no longer share the same political agenda, thinking, mindset, culture, and many other miscellaneous differences. If for whatever reason, a merger were to happen, many issues will arise. 

Malaysia will need to accommodate and adjust to Singapore's demands and Singapore to do just the same. There will be people who oppose the merger and incidents may arise to stop it from happening as history has proven from the Konfrontasi conflict. Another is that Singaporeans tend to be arrogant, thinking that the world revolves around Singapore revolves and we are better and well off as compared to our ASEAN neighbors, this sort of attitude will not go down well for us if a merger were to happen.

By now many readers are probably questioning, does the writer want a merger with Malaysia? Well, honestly, it is just a thought and opinion. Once again, this perspective is based in regard to a "what if" and alternate universes. In this case, a direct answer would be no. Without elaborating further, Malaysia right now is going through a crisis and I'm actually glad we're not a part of it.

Well, if you're planning an alternate universe TV series or a movie with Singapore being a Malaysian state as a backdrop, you're welcome to use my article for inspiration. =)

Photo credits: Google, Today, Travelfish

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