LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL GENERAL ELECTION 1948
History of elections for national governance in Singapore began with six Legislative Councillors elected by suffrage in four wards, with two using bloc voting for the only time in a legislative poll. The three commercial organisations would internally vote for their representatives. These nine would constitute part of the Unofficial bench along with four nominated by the British-appointed Governor, Sir Franklin Charles Gimson. The remaining nine seats forming the Official bench comprised of the four Ex-officio posts of the Colonial Secretary, Financial Secretary, Attorney-General, Municipal Commission President and five civil servants nominated by the Governor, making up a total of 22 seats. Candidates vying for a seat under the same political party were not permitted to adopt a standard symbol but each had to ballot for a unique one from the elections office. Voting was not compulsory and privileged only to those classified as "British subjects" who had resided in Singapore for at least a year, making up about 2% of Singapore's population of over 940,000 residents. PP was the only party contesting national seats while Malayan Democratic Union, the first party formed in Singapore on 21 December 1945, boycotted. MDU was part of a Pan-Malayan Council of Joint Action that opposed the replacement of the Malayan Union, established on 1 April 1946, with the Federation of Malaya, which eventually came into force in February 1948. On the other hand, Malaya's UMNO and Singapore's KM, which had opposed the Malayan Union, welcomed the Federation. A contest for the Indian Chamber of Commerce seat dissipated when one of the two candidates, Balwant Singh, withdrew on 16 March 1948. All contenders in the six open seats retained their deposits as they had attained the minimum of one-eighth or 12.5% of the votes for rural wards and half of this threshold for double-seat wards. MDU dissolved itself on 24 June 1948 after failing to achieve its goals and also following an emergency declaration to quell an uprising instigated by the Communist Party of Malaya. Prominent Malay politician Sardon Jubir, who was sitting Municipal Commissioner and president of KM, returned to the Peninsular after serving one term. Also a supreme council member of UMNO Malaya, he eventually rose to became a Malaysian cabinet minister and deputy president of UMNO Malaysia before being appointed Penang governor. One of the four nominated Unofficial Councillors was Lim Yew Hock, a man who would become Chief Minister of Singapore eight years later. A PP member at the time of his appointment, he defected to LP in 1949.
Nomination day: 16 February 1948 [Mon]
Registered voters: 22,334
Election deposit: $500