Yesterday (30 May 2019) marked the 60th anniversary of the ruling People’s Action Party’s (PAP) very first electoral victory. Over the past 60 years, the PAP has held on to power and has had a vastly dominant rule over the nation.
In 1958, the Constitution of Singapore was revised, granting Singapore self-government and the ability for its own population to fully elect its Legislative Assembly.
The subsequent election that took place on 30 May 1959 was the first election that was called after the British granted Singapore full internal self-government. Singapore had become a recognised state, but was yet to gain full independence since the British still controlled external affairs such as the military and foreign relations.
In contrast to previous elections where the British authorities would appoint certain members without the need to be elected, the 1959 General Elections that was held under the new constitution was the very first election in which all 51 seats in the Legislative Assembly were elected.
The PAP achieved its very first electoral victory in the election, with a landslide win of 43 seats. The party has continued to remain in power and continues to dominate Singapore politics, 60 years later.
Highlighting the 60th anniversary of the PAP’s first electoral victory, noted journalist Bhavan Jaipragas pointed out on Twitter that the PAP “is currently the third longest ruling political party in Asia (uninterrupted), after the communist parties of China and North Korea.”
"The verdict of the people is a terrifying thing."#Singapore's @PAPSingapore swept to power 60 years ago today. It is currently the third longest ruling political party in Asia (uninterrupted), after the communist parties of China and NKorea. pic.twitter.com/vLJinqpm9A
— Bhavan Jaipragas 八万 (@jbhavan) May 30, 2019