SINGAPORE: CURRENT SITUATION

Created: 5/30/1959

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Document No.

OCIopy No. 5

SINGAPORE: CURRENT SITUATION

On9 tbe Communist-infiltrated People's Action party (PAP) won aningapore's new all-elected legislativeewproclaimedune, brought into being theself-governing State of Singapore. The British havecontrol of foreign affairs and defense and continue totrong voice in internal security matters.

Singapore is faced with serious economic and political problems which appear nearly impossible of solution by any action taken exclusively within thequare-mile island. The most obvious and possibly the only feasible long-range solution to Singapore's multiple problems, is merger with the Federation of Malaya. At least for thehowever, merger is politically impossible because of Malay fears of being overwhelmed if Singapore's million-plus Chinese are added to Malaya's already large Chineseof the total population.

Singaporeajor unemployment problem which stems mainly from its phenomenal population growth and its growing economic isolation from the Federation of Malaya. In the pastears the population has jumpedo wellnd continues to grow in excess of four percent perof the highest rates in the world. (Over half of the population isears of age or under.) There is little prospect of creating new Industry to absorb the rapidlylabor force because of the relatively high cost of labor and business' distrust of the new left-wing government. At the same time the traditional mainstay of the economy, the entrepot trade, is unlikely to expand significantly in the face of growing Indonesian and Malayan efforts to bypassand expand their own direct trade.

Economic difficulties as well as the racial make-up of the population create ready-made opportunities for widespread Communist influence in Singapore. More thanercent of the population arearge portion of whom areand emotionally oriented toward mainland China.

za

To date the so-called moderate wing of the People's Action party, led by Prime Minister Lee luan Yew, has maintainedof the party and governmental machinery. Pro-Communists, however, remain deeply entrenched in the party's local organi-ations, awaiting an opportunity to move against the party

APPROVED FOR RELEASE

aug 9

leadership. 7 party extremists were successful Inover the PAP's central committee. The moderates wereto regain control until the government arrested fiveof the committeeharge of subversion. The PAP leaders now may find lt difficult to use Singapore's stringent anti-subversion laws against extremist members of their own party or to control their activities effectively if theyout of Jail.

Since taking over the government the PAP has embarked on an ambitious program apparently designed tolt tight controlide range of political, economic, and cultural activities. The program will make It extremely difficult for tbe already weak moderate and conservative groups to develop any type of effective opposition.

PAP government plans include legislation to develop alabor movement which It can control. Xn the youth anci recreation fields the government has ousted the leaders of many community centers and apparently plans to bring them undergovernment supervision. Control of patronage was achieved onuly when the entire Public Service Commission resigned, apparentlyesult of government pressure. Othermoves to consolidate its positionroposal toational cultural organization, which presumably will be used to pressure private cultural groups to support PAP objectives, and pressure on newspapers torogovernment line.

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA