LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY GENERAL ELECTION 1955
This first LA election was held under the new Rendel Constitution after recommendations by a committee headed by Sir George Rendel, to grant local citizens more autonomy, were passed. Locals would share executive power with the British colonial authorities. Elected seats were increased again, this time to form a majority of the legislature. The constituencies were significantly redrawn, with the five names of Bukit Timah, Changi, Katong, Seletar and Tanglin retained but carved out from their old boundaries into new smaller wards. Non-elected seats were reduced to seven, making up the total of 32 seats. The Governor and Colonial Secretary roles were replaced with a Chief Secretary who was vested with the power to appoint four nominated Assembly Members. Along with the Attorney-General and Financial Secretary, the CS would be part of a Council of Ministers formed by a Chief Minister elected by and from among the legislators. The City Council President was henceforth excluded and the five formerly "official" and three commerce chamber seats were scrapped. For the first time, political parties were permitted to adopt a standard party symbol for all their candidates and independents could select theirs instead of balloting for them. PP, representing the English-speaking bourgeois and DP, the Mandarin-speaking, fielded the most candidates. SMU joined the UMNO-MCA alliance after leaving the three-party LF, which had converged into a single party. LP was a spent force, with one AM joining LF and another going independent. A seat had been vacated after the death of PP's popular Dr C. J. P. Paglar from a stroke. To the chagrin of the British, who had anticipated a PP victory and leader C. C. Tan to emerge as CM, it was the socialist LF that garnered the most seats and its chairman, David Marshall, became Singapore's first CM. Short of a majority, LF formed a coalition with the UMNO-MCA-SMU alliance. CS William Goode further appointed two LF members among the four nominated seats. Former legislator R. Jumabhoy, previously nominated through the Indian Chamber of Commerce, also won a seat. In its debut election, PAP, led by lawyer and former PP election agent Lee Kuan Yew, fielded only a handful of candidates in protest against the Rendel Constitution. In the aftermath, bus union leaders launched strikes all over the island to protest against poor working conditions and low salaries under the LF government, which turned violent and cumulated into full-scale riot known today as the Hock Lee Bus Riots.
Council dissolution: 5 February 1955 [Sat]
Election deposit: $500