[Singaporean Literature]

Lee Kuan Yew: A Chronology, 1923-1965

September 16, 1923 Lee Kuan Yew born in Singapore.
1936-1939 Student at Raffles Institituion.
1940 Comes in first in Singapore and Malaysia in Senior Cambridge exams, winning Anderson Scholarship to Raffles College.
1940-1942 Student at Raffles College.
15 February, 1942 Japanese occupation of Singapore begins.
February 18-22, 1942 Japanese massacre between 50,000 and 100,000 Chinese Singaporeans. LKY experiences and observes brutality of Japanese army.
May 1942 The English-educated Lee begins to study both Chinese and Japanese.
1943-1944 Works as English-language editor for Japanese "information or propaganda department called the Hobudu," learning that Allies are winning war (63).
1944 Black market commodities broker; manufactures adhesives.
1946 Student at London School of Economics; encounters Harold Laski's socialism.
January 1947-1949 Student at Fitzwilliam House, Cambridge University.
December 1947 Secretly marries Kwa Geok Choo, who is in UK studying law at Girton College, Cambridge.
May-June 1949 LKY and Kwa Geok Choo both awarded first-class honours degrees in law.
February 1950 Assists campaign of David Widdicombe, a Cambridge friend, running as a Labour candidate for Parliament from Totnes, Devon.
May 1950 LKY and Kwa Geok Choo pass bar exams; both called to the Bar at the Middle Temple on June 21: "Life was about to enter a new phase" (126).
August 1950 Returns to Singapore.
September 1950 Marries Kwa Geok Choo again in Singapore.
1950-1959 Practices law; wins first trial as a barrister and becomes convinced of weakness of jury system; advisor for trade unions.
November 1954 People's Action Party (PAP) founded.
April 1955 Elected to Legislative Assembly first time.
May 1956 Member first All-Party Constitutional Mission to London.
March 1957 Member second All-Party Constitutional Mission to London.
August 31, 1957 Federation of Malaysia achieves independence.
May 1958 Member third All-Party Constitutional Mission to London.
June 5, 1959 Sworn in, at age 35, as Prime Minister of Singapore.
February 1960 Housing and Development Board (HDB) established, which begins massive public-housing campaign.
July 1960 Formed People's Association to mobilize grassroots support against communists.
September 1961 Lee's radio talks urge merger with Malaysia.
September 1962 Singapore referendum approves merger with Malaysia.
August 31, 1963 Singapore declares independence, ahead of formation of Malaysia.
September 16, 1963 Malaysia, which includes Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, and Sabah, formed.
21 July 1964 Ja'afar Albar's "racist agitation" causes riots in Singapore.
September 1964 Second outbreak of "communal violence."
May 1965 PAP promotes a Malaysian -- ie, not simply Malay -- Malaysia.
August 9, 1965 Singapore separates from Malaysia.

Note: This chronology is largely based upon Lee Kuan Yew. The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew. Singapore: Times, 1998.

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Last modified 18 January 2006;
Thanks to Murie Chow for pointing out an error.