LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY GENERAL ELECTION 1959
This was the first GE for a fully elected legislature after negotiations between the British and Singapore lawmakers to allow Singapore self-government concluded successfully. Constituencies were further carved into 51 and names that disappeared were Geylang, Katong, Punggol-Tampines, Seletar, Serangoon and Ulu Bedok. Lim Yew Hock, who succeeded David Marshall as Chief Minister after Marshall's resignation in 1957, used tough measures to quell the pro-communists, causing the ground to turn against him. His government was also mired in the controversy over the transfer of Christmas Island to Australia. By the end of LF's term, its credibility was in tatters. To face the polls with a fresh image, elected LF Assembly Members abandoned the party to form SPA, leaving it in the hands of the two nominated LF legislators, Minister Francis Thomas and Richard Lim. Shortly after, Thomas quit politics and and Lim joined MCA. CM Lim's problems did not end there, as Minister Chew Swee Kee was implicated in a corruption scandal and resigned his seat. SPA received a boost from four out of five LSP AMs who defected to it. The last LSP AM joined the the independent benches along with Minister Mak Pak Shee who quit SPA. Ahmad Ibrahim and Seah Peng Chuan joined PAP and CP respectively, while independent AM Lee Choon Eng, who had joined his former LF colleagues in SPA, resigned with Mak to become independent again. On nomination day, PAP pulled a surprise by fielding candidates in all the seats. MIC and MU candidates adopted independent symbols although MIC was allied to UMNO-MCA. For the first time, voting was compulsory. In the only GE that saw up to seven-corner contests, PAP won a landslide victory and opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew became the first Prime Minister of Singapore. The outgoing CM Lim, who was to run his last election, crossed over to head the opposition benches.
Old Assembly dissolution: 31 March 1959 [Tue]
Election deposit: $500