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Singapore Citizenship Ordinance is passed Oct 1957

With the passing of the Citizenship Ordinance in 1957, all residents born in Singapore or the Federation of Malaya and British citizens who had been residents for two years were eligible for Singapore citizenship.[1] Citizenship by naturalisation was offered to those who had resided in Singapore for ten years and were prepared to swear loyalty to Singapore.[2] The minimum period of residence was later reduced to eight years in alignment with citizenship regulations in the Federation.[3] The Ordinance was described as a "watershed"[4] as it granted Singapore citizenship to a large proportion of the 220,000 foreign-born Chinese residents and gave them the right to vote in the general election held in 1959.[5] Registration for Singapore citizenship commenced on 1 November 1957.[6]

1. Turnbull, C. M. (2009). A history of modern Singapore, 1819–2005 (p. 268). Singapore: NUS Press. Call no.: RSING 959.57 TUR-[HIS].
2. Turnbull, 2009, p. 262.
3. Big changes in citizenship bill: Residential qualification to be eight years now. (1957, October 9). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
4. Kong, L., & Yeoh, B. (2003). Nation, ethnicity, and identity: Singapore and the dynamics and discourses of Chinese migration. In Ma, L. & Cartier, C. (Eds.). The Chinese diaspora: Space, place, mobility, and identity (p. 197). Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield. Call no.: RSEA 909.04951 CHI.
5. Hill, M. & Lian, K. F. (1995). The politics of nation building and citizenship in Singapore (p. 55). London: Routledge. Call no.: RSING 306.095957 HIL.
6. Campaign to make 250,000 aliens voters from Nov. 1. (1957, October 16). The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.


The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

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