Before its own independence in 1965, Singapore had officially ceased to be a British colony when it decided to merge with its northern neighbour. On September 16, 1963, the new nation of Malaysia was born, comprising of Federation of Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah and Singapore. This was how the Straits Times reported the event.
STRAITS TIMES, SEPT 16, 1963
Intermittent cracker firing at midnight last night ushered in Malaysia. Hundreds of thousands of people jammed the gaily-decorated streets in all the 14 States till late in the night to greet the birth of the new nation.
The Prime Minister, Tengku Abdul Rahman, spent the evening quietly in the residency.
In all States colourful parades will be held this morning when the new Malaysia flag with 14 stars will be ceremoniously unfurled.
Singapore's big moment will come when the proclamation is read on the City Hall steps at 5 p.m.
STRAITS TIMES, SEPT 17, 1963
Malaysia was born today. At ceremonies held throughout the new nation the new flag was raised for the first time to the accompaniment of pomp and pageantry.
Tonight, despite rain in some areas, the territories of Malaysia were a feast of light and colour and sound as 10 million celebrated.
More than 30,000 people Kuala Lumpur jammed the Merdeka Stadium in the early hours of the morning to witness the history-making Malaysia inaugural ceremony.
In Singapore, the moment of history was when the Prime Minister slowly intoned: "Now I, Lee Kuan Yew, the Prime Minister of Singapore, do hereby proclaimed and declare, on behalf of the people of Singapore, that as from today, the 16th day of September 1963, Singapore shall forever be a part of the sovereign and independent State of Malaysia, founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of her people in a more just and more equal society." Then to the strains of "Negara Ku", the Malaysian flag was raised.
STRAITS TIMES, SEPT 17, 1963
The Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, makes his Malaysia proclamation from the City Hall Steps against a backdrop of a Malaysian multitude marching forward hand-in-hand.
This was Mr. Lee's proudest moment, and as read out the proclamation his voice shook with emotion and tears welled up in his eyes.
Independence through merger was the aim of the Premier and his People's Action Party which swept to power in 1959. This was his day of "fulfilment."
DR. LEE : WE OPPOSE MALAYSIA
One hour after the official proclamation of Malaysia in Singapore, the chairman of the Barisan Socialis, Dr. Lee Siew Choh, told a mass rally that his party would continue to oppose the new federation.
Dr. Lee, speaking at Tiong Bahru, added that his party would also continue to support the "demand of the people of Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah for self-determination and independence."
Dr. Lee, who was outlining the Barisan view on the "constitutional future" of Singapore, said:
"Since neo-colonialist Malaysia seeks to frustrate and deny the people their legitimate hopes and aspirations and to prolong colonial domination in South-east Asia, we must continue to oppose neo-colonialist Malaysia.
"We continue our struggle against colonialism and imperialism in all their forms."
"In respect of Singapore and the Federation we will continue to struggle for genuine reunification and for an independent democratic socialist Malaya (Singapore and the Federation) free of foreign troops and free of foreign control.
"Genuine reunification must be achieved on the basis of self-determination, equality, mutual benefit and mutual respect to both the Federation and Singapore.
"Therefore we continue our struggle for equality, for genuine common citizenship, for a common political life for the people of the Federation and Singapore; and we continue to safeguard and protect the economic interests of the people of Singapore.
"Self-determination must of course include the immediate and unconditional release of all political detainees (especially those detained because of their anti-Malaysia activities) and the normalisation of all political life and activities in the country.
"Self-determination must include the restoration of all the fundamental rights of the people, including the freedom of travel, speech and publication, association and assembly.
"Self-determination must include the right to pursue an independent foreign policy of neutralism, and to oppose colonialist or neo-colonialist blocs, whether functioning under Malaysia or Seato.