People's Action Party
Parti Tindakan Rakyat
Founded: 21 November 1954
Registered: 18 February 1961
Symbol: Lightning & circle
Undoubtedly the most prominent political party in Singapore's history, it had its beginnings as a congregation of two left-wing factions. They were the socialists led by Lee Kuan Yew and pro-communist sympathisers by Lim Chin Siong. In 1961, the latter group broke away to form BS. Since winning the 1959 General Election to form the government, it has dominated Singapore's political arena and remains the ruling party today, albeit shifting away from the socialism ideology. Lee was Singapore's first Prime Minister for 32 years and, except a short time in 1957, PAP's secretary-general for nearly 40 years. He was succeeded by Goh Chok Tong as PM on 28 November 1990 and secretary-general on 15 November 1992. Goh handed the reins to Lee's eldest son, Lee Hsien Loong, who became Singapore's third PM on 12 August 2004 and assumed the party's key post in December 2004. To date, two out of three Singapore elected Presidents have served as PAP's chairman.
(Note: PAP has never changed its symbol but has refined its shape over the years. An older and a newer version will be used to distinguish between the pre-independence before 1965 and post-independence periods.)