Proclamation of the Republic of Singapore, Singapore, 9 August 1965

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Proclamation of the Republic of Singapore, Singapore, 9 August 1965.

Collection of the National Archives of Singapore.

Proclamation of the Republic of Singapore, Singapore, 9 August 1965

This landmark document proclaims Singapore’s separation from Malaysia and its beginnings as an independent and sovereign republic. It was drafted by Minister for Law Edmund Barker and signed by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. It announced the constitutional change set in motion by the separation agreement and eventually effected through legislation passed in both the Malaysian and Singapore parliaments.

The secrecy and hurried nature of the separation is reflected in the plain presentation of the Proclamation of Singapore. Rust stains show that the document had been stapled together, and the holes punched on the side show that the paper had been filed in a way similar to other working documents.

Proclamation of the Republic of Singapore, Singapore, 9 August 1965

The following excerpt proclaims Singapore’s independence:

"[...] by a Proclamation dated the ninth day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and sixty-five the Prime Minister of Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman Outra Al-Haj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah did proclaim and declare that Singapore shall on the ninth day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and sixty-five cease to be a State of Malaysia and shall become an independent and sovereign state and nation separate from and independent of Malaysia and recognised as such by the Government of Malaysia.

Now I LEE KUAN YEW Prime Minister of Singapore, DO HEREBY PROCLAIM AND DECLARE on behalf of the people and the Government of Singapore that as from today the ninth day of August in the year one thousand nine hundred and sixty-five Singapore shall forever be a sovereign democratic and independent nation, founded upon the principles of justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of her people in a more just and equal society."


This is an extract from "The Singapore Story through 60 objects" written by Kennie Ting, Director, Asian Civilisations Museum and Peranakan Museum & Group Director of Museums, National Heritage Board. This article was first published in Cultural Connections Volume IV 2019 by Culture Academy Singapore.