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Lim Yew Hock is appointed the second Chief Minister 8th Jun 1956

Lim Yew Hock replaced David Marshall as chief minister of Singapore on 8 June 1956 after the latter had resigned over his failure to achieve internal self-government for Singapore.[1] Prior to his appointment as chief minister, Lim was Minister for Labour and Welfare in the Labour Front-Alliance coalition government formed in April 1955 under Marshall.[2] A prominent leader in the labour movement, Lim was instrumental in the founding of the Singapore Trades Union Congress (1951) and the Singapore Labour Front (1954), which was a political party.[3]

During his term as chief minister, Lim pursued a policy of cooperation with the British authorities, and firmly dealt with the threat of communist subversion in an effort to secure further constitutional advances.[4] The government cracked down on leftist radicalism and suspected communist elements in the student and labour movements that took place between September and November 1956, and in August 1957.[5]

Lim led the second all-party mission to London to renew discussions on self-government with the British government, which lasted from 11 March to 11 April 1957.[6] The first round of constitutional negotiations led by Marshall in April 1956 had ended in a stalemate.[7] This time, Lim's delegation returned with a constitution that, following further amendments in the third and final round of talks held in May the following year, established the basis for full internal self-government and the formation of Singapore's first fully elected government in 1959.[8]

1. Same team – game goes on. (1956, June 9). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Marshall names his men. (1955, April 7). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Yeo, K. W. (1973). Political development in Singapore, 1945–55 (pp. 233, 113–114). Singapore: Singapore University Press. Call no.: RSING 320.95957 YEO.
4. Chew, E., & Lee, E. (Eds.). (1991). A history of Singapore (p. 136). Singapore: Oxford University Press. Call no.: RSING 959.57 HIS.
5. Clutterbuck, R. (1973). Riot and revolution in Singapore and Malaya, 1945–1963. (pp. 116–133). London: Faber. Call no: RSING 959.57024 CLU-[HIS]; Lee, T. H. (1996). The open united front: The communist struggle in Singapore, 1954–1966. (pp. 126–131, 138–140). Singapore: South Seas Society. Call no.: RSING 959.5703 LEE-[HIS]
6. Chew & Lee, 1991, p. 137.
7. The talks fail. (1956, May 16). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Chew & Lee, 1991, p. 137.


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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