NATIONAL REFERENDUM 1962
This first and only referendum in Singapore's history was to decide on the island's position within the Federation of Malaysia after merger. The Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak would also join the Federation. Singapore's major political parties campaigned for the different conditions. PAP stood for Alternative A, where Singapore would retain powers over certain areas. SA, which took a pro-UMNO Malaysia stand, encouraged Alternative C where Singapore's status would be no different from other states. BS called upon voters to cast blank votes and reject merger, as it did not agree to the inclusion of the Borneo territories. Alternative A received a strong endorsement, signifing a victory for the PAP government. After the referendum, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew responded to BS accusations of non-democracy by tabling a bill to decide on placing the blank and rejected votes with one of the alternatives. PAP and SA legislators abstained from voting but BS legislators also did not vote and staged a walk-out.
Polling day: 1 September 1962 [Sat]
ALTERNATIVE A wins by margin of 253,549 (45.3%)
Valid votes: 559,036 (99.6%)
Rejected votes: 2,523 (0.4%)