Part Vlll of the retrospective on Singapore's road to independence
By June 1965, it had become clear that Singapore's Merger with Malaysia was about to collapse. In a last ditch attempt to shore up relations, PM Lee Kuan Yew proposed the possibilty of "partitioning" where States who had wanted a Malaysian Malaysia can run a system different from the Central Government's. It provoked an outcry in Malaysia's Parliament. Two and a half decades later, Chinese Premier Deng Xiapeng decreed the One Country Two Systems policy for China and Hong Kong. Lee was among the first to heap effusive praise for Deng's formula.
STRAITS TIMES, JUNE 1 1965
The People's Action Party has been spreading "fairy tales" about Malaysia overseas, the Minister for Home Affairs, Dato (Dr) Ismail bin dato Abdul Rahman, told the House of Representatives today.
He was countering PAP accusations in the House that the Central Government had failed to work towards a Malaysian Malaysia.
He told the House that in PAP "fairy tales" which foreign correspondents believed, Singapore's Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, had "twisted facts and arguments" to blacken and smear political opponents.
STRAITS TIMES, JUNE 1 1965
Singapore's Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, last night spoke of the possibility of partitioning as an "alternative arrangement" should unconstitutional methods be used to prevent a Malaysian Malaysia.
Those States which wanted a Malyasian Malaysia could get together.
He could think of three - Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak. Malacca and Penang were possibilities.
He said the present internal and international situation favoured an immediate decision on whether there was going to be a Malaysian Malaysia.
"Another resaon why it is necessary to decide now, not later on, is because it is easier for us, if they do not want a Malaysian Malaysia, to make alternative arrangements some other way," he said.
"The agreement in the Constitution must lead to a Malaysian Malaysia, and if they want to stop it they must use unconstitutional methods to stop it.
"So I say if they want to do that, do it now. It will be easier for us to make other alternative arrangements.
If Malays were daily exhorted to unite on the basis of race and not nation, in five years' time it would be very difficult to change the thinking on the ground.
Mr Lee said he did not want to talk too much about alternative constitutional arrangements.
He declared that Singapore had never agreed to Malay rule when it joined Malaysia. What it agreed to was Malaysian rule.
Talk that the people of Singapore were not accustomed to Malay rule, unlike the people of Kelantan and Trengganu, "was all bunkum."
STRAITS TIMES, JUNE 1 1965
The PAP was resurrecting the communal angle, Dato Ismail said, because the party was aware that this was an "effective weapon."
The Alliance had buried this question and was concentrating on building inter-racial harmony.
He described as untrue PAP claim that special privilges for the Malays only benefited capitalist Malays.
"Even if the Malays try hard to become millionaires, I do not think they will succeed. The odds are gainst them. They are not endowed as other Malaysians are in the ingenuity to acquire and accumulate wealth.
"The ratio in Government service benefits all sections of Malays who are qualified."
Referring to Mr Lee's charges that the allaince was creating a Malay Malaysia, dato Ismail said: "We Malay Malaysians, as the honourable Member from Singapore would like to call us, is not afraid of the truth."
He referred Mr Lee to the comparitively small number of Malays in commerce and industry, and the small number of Malays in the University of Malaya, and said:
"If Mr Lee adds up the strength and weakness of Malaysia, he cannot accuse the Malays of dominating Malaysia.
"With Indonesian confrontaion, the Malays cannot afford to dominate Malaysia without ruining this country."
Dato Ismail added: 'Like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the two images of the PAP cannot remain separate for long. The two must come together. The time for merging must come.
"The PAP is a party that shouts 'fire, fire' but commits arson."
He then paraphrased Abraham Lincoln: "You can fool some of the Malaysians all the time, all the Malaysians some of the time, but not all Malaysians all the time."
Saying that the Alliance had won independence for Malaya and helped Singapore gain independence, he added: "Surely, we can win the battle against the PAP."
In the battle to win the hearts and minds of the people, the Allaince would abide by democratic principles as long as the Opposition did likewsie."
MR CHIA THYE POH (Barisan Socialis - Singapore) took the PAP to task for "burying democracy" in Singapore by what he called "calculated steps."
He said Malaysia had not brought independence in the true sense of the term. Foreign troops were still in the land and more were coming in.
But apart from this, the PAP was the party which sought the friendship of the Allaince to fight and oppose one section of the Alliance during the last elections.
"Now the same PAP is fighting the Alliance in the open for its own ends.
"In the past, the PAP made friends and made use of the workers and students to gain power. Once they came into power they discarded them.
"In the past, they also made use of political opponents for their own ends. They now oppose all of them. What is the reason behind this whole plot?" he asked.
Mr Chia said there was no political democracy in Singapore because the PAP had banned all public rallies by the Barisan Socialis.
"The PAP, the devil, is now posing as an angel to this House. I ask that this be taken with a pinch of salt," he added.