That awkward moment when you unwillingly gain independence from another country
Today’s Singapore is known for its small size (it is a city-state), its role as a major east Asian port, its high quality education, and its restrictions on certain freedoms. In the 1960s, however, Singaporean leaders did not want to be independent at all; what they wanted was to be part of Malaysia.
In 1963, Singapore merged with Malaysia shortly after declaring independence from Britain. However, distrust and major differences in ideology between the two governments reigned supreme from the start. By 1964, race riots broke out between Singaporean Chinese and Malays. The Malaysian government blamed Indonesians and Communists for provoking the riots. The Singaporean government blamed Malay nationalists. The riots were also likely caused in part by the Singaporean People’s Action Party challenging the Malaysian government in the federal election.
Nonetheless, by 1965, Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, seeking to avoid any more bloodshed, advised Parliament to expel Singapore from the union, which they voted unanimously in favor of. Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew soon announced, with tears in his eyes, their independence.
Thus Singapore, despite its best efforts, unwillingly gained independence from Malaysia.