LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY GENERAL ELECTION 1963
This GE, held in the midst of Singapore's impending merger with Malaysia, is remembered as PAP's most hard-fought election ever in history. With 39 seats after two by-election defeats and two defections to UPP, PAP expelled 13 of its Assembly Members from the party a week after they mutinied in a no-confidence motion on 20 July 1961 and was left hanging onto a slim one-seat majority of 26 to the opposition's 25. The dissidents formed a new party, BS, which PAP alleged was a communist front. On 3 July 1962, while the National Referendum debate was in procession, PAP's Hoe Puay Choo resigned, leaving it one seat short against opposition. She joined BS on 11 August 1962 but five days later, UPP's S. V. Lingam returned to PAP's fold and it regained its one-seat advantage. Another five days later, PAP Minister Ahmad Ibrahim passed away from liver cancer, leaving a 25 to 25 stand-off in the legislature. BS planned to field its iconic leader, Lim Chin Siong, in the vacated seat but Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew decided against holding a by-election, choosing instead to call a GE to court a fresh mandate and if did not win, the Malaysia Federal authorities could deal with a new pro-communist ruling party in Singapore. Before that, the PAP government launched Operation Coldstore on 2 February 1963 and detained several BS leaders, including Lim. Sole WP AM David Marshall resigned from the party he founded and became independent. Once again, PAP fielded a full slate and was challenged by three components also with enough candidates to run for power. BS and its partner PR covered all except two, UPP with a surprisingly large number and SA, a formalised umbrella of SPA, UMNO, MCA and MIC endorsed by Malaysia's ruling Alliance Party coalition - with SPA providing two-thirds of its candidates - but several leaders including former Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock sat out. In the end, PAP managed to eke out an election victory with a two-thirds majority. All except in three constituencies saw a record of 92 candidates forfeit their deposits. Also, the presence of independent legislators came to an end. To discourage rampant defections in future, the PAP government passed a law stipulating that legislators will lose their seats if they resign or are expelled from their parties. The following year in 1964, PAP officially registered itself in Malaysia and contested the general election in the Federation, escalating its differences with the Alliance Party. In that same year, former AM and defeated SA candidate, A. P. Rajah, was brought back into the legislature as Speaker and served for two years until 1966.
Old Assembly dissolution: 3 September 1963 [Tue]
Total voters: 617,650
Election deposit: $500