Why Singapore Was Kicked Out of Malaysia

Singapore itself is a part of the Malay Peninsula. This landmass, as its name implies, is dominated geographically by Malaysia. But way down to the south of it, we also have Singapore.

That may be common knowledge to some. But what many people probably don’t know is that for a brief sliver of time Singapore was actually, in a political sense, part of Malaysia. Or stated differently, Singapore was once counted as one of Malaysia’s states. But again this relationship did not last long, only from 1963 to 1965.

Malaysia actually sacked Singapore from its political union. And why this transpired was because, simply put, the two entities were not getting along. In other words, they were commonly at each other throats.

Laws that favored Malaysians

At the heart of this conflict were regular disputes between the actual government of Singapore and that of Malaysia. And one of their major conflicts centered on the reality that Malaysia’s laws tended to favor her own people. Or stated differently, Singaporeans had an inferior status to Malays even within Singapore itself. And in regards to the civilian populace, the associated racial tensions between the two groups did in fact at times result in deadly riots.

Economic Feud

Moreover there was economic beef of different varieties. Singapore was an emerging power economically, and Malaysia was intimidated by it in that regard. This manifested in certain unfair restrictions being put on the Singaporean economy. Also there were other states who were members of the Federation of Malaya (i.e. Malaysia), like Sarawak and Sabah. And with Singapore dealing with the aforementioned restrictions, in retaliation they basically reneged on loans they promised to said states. And such activities reached a point where tensions between Malaysia and Singapore would inevitably result in the type of bloodshed that nobody wanted to see.


So to prevent such from transpiring, Malaysia gave Singapore the boot in August of 1965.  It was one of those situations in which the former had the upper hand, and upon taking this decision, the people of Singapore were cast into considerable hardship. Indeed at the time Lee Kuan Yaw (1923-2015), the Prime Minister of Singapore, publicly lamented his nation’s expulsion from the Federation. In fact it has been noted that even as of the year 2020, some 60 years after all of this transpired, Singapore is the only country in modern history that was granted its independence against its own will.

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3 Responses

  1. September 21, 2020

    […] was the year when the country we know as Malaysia adopted its current name. And at the time it included Singapore amongst its states. So for all intents and purposes, according to history Singapore was actually a […]

  2. November 8, 2020

    […] what makes the story of Singapore’s independence so unique is that it was actually kicked out of the Federation of Malaya. During its time as part of the Federation, the city-state had considerable beef with Malaysia […]

  3. November 17, 2020

    […] being freed from British rule in 1963, Singapore was actually a part of Malaysia. However, due a variety of reasons, the two nations did not get along. So in 1965, Malaysia gave Singapore the boot. The Singaporean […]

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