LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY GENERAL ELECTION 1959
This was the first GE for a fully-elected legislature under self-government after negotiations between the British and Singapore lawmakers concluded successfully. Appointed seats were abolished. Constituencies were further divided and new ones carved out. In the process, names that disappeared were Geylang, Katong, Punggol-Tampines, Seletar, Serangoon and Ulu Bedok. Lim Yew Hock, who succeeded David Marshall as Chief Minister after the latter resigned 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. They were Minister Francis Thomas who resigned his post shortly after and Richard Lim who later 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, with the last joining 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 joined his erstwhile 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 SMU candidates adopted independent symbols, although the former allied with 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 current 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