Thursday, 8 December 2011

Reminisce of the History and Formation of PKMS / SMNO

Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura (PKMS) or also known as Singapore Malay National Organisation (SMNO) was originally formed with the sole purpose of championing and protecting the rights of the Malays in Singapore. Its genesis could be trace back to its early formative years back in the year 1926 with the leadership of Mr Mohamed Eunos bin Abdullah (b. 1876, Singapore – d. 12 December 1933, Singapore) who set up the Kesatuan Melayu Singapura (Singapore Malay Union).

Inspired by KMS activities and strive, similar Malay Pressure Group were later formed in other states in the Malayan Penisula. Significantly its such collective activism of these group that gave birth to United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) in 1946.

Right after the infamous World War II, the British return to Malaya. The Malayan Union was formed shortly but this was met with much dismay by the Malays due to its constitutional framework, which allegedly threatened Malay sovereignty over Malaya.

This had led to the Malays, who are the indigenous people of Malaya to protest against this directive. Forty (40) Malay Organizations throughout Malaya assembled at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kuala Lumpur to congregate its first Malay Congress and to initiate the course for uniting the Malays and their objectives. No longer shall Malaya be under colonial rule as the Malays of Malaya yearn for Independence. Singapore was then represented by Kesatuan Melayu Singapura [KMS]. Thereafter, they congregated at Johor Bahru at its third Malay Congress and it was there, UMNO (United Malays National Organization) was established on May 11, 1946. Datuk Onn Jaafar was chosen as its leader.

UMNO Singapore was officially registered on 20th February 1961. Prior to its registration UMNO Singapore first was a branch under the division of UMNO Johor Bahru. As its strength grew it spreaded over and became the Singapore division of UMNO in the year 1954.

On the 31st August 1957, Malaya achieved her Independence from the British and the Alliance Party which consisted of UMNO – MCA – MIC became the Government of Malaya.

From the year 1955 to the year 1959, the Alliance Party as mentioned, tasted its fruits of success in Singapore during the elections of the electoral Constituencies of the Southern islands, Ulu Bedok, Tanglin, Telok Blangah, Geylang Serai and Kampong Kembangan.

It was during this time where UMNO Singapore broke into prominence. Our then first Chairman of UMNO Singapore Mr Abdul Hamid Jumat managed to secure a seat in the General Election of 1955 at Ulu Bedok. He won with an overwhelming 61.04% vote against two other candidates Mr Toh Seng Sit from Democratic Party and Mr A.Hamid Rahmat from Progressive Party.
2nd June 1958. On the left the young Mr Lee Kuan Yew and on the right Mr Abdul Hamid Jumat the first Chairman of UMNO Singapore from 1951 till 1965.

 He went on to became the first Malay Minister in Singapore as the Minister for Local Government, Deputy Chief Minister and at one time Acting Chief of Minister between 1955 and 1959.

 In the City Council Election of 1957, saw for the first time a joint effort and coalition between UMNO Singapore and that of the People Action Party(PAP).This relationship was built since the last General Election of 1955.  UMNO Singapore secured two seats, at Telok Blangah and Tanglin.

Telok Blangah seat was secured by Mr Syed Ali Redha Alsagoff in which he won against Liberal Socialist Party's (LSP) Mr Chua Bock Kwee.

The seat in Tanglin was won by Mr Mohamed Shariff Bin Dollah. He managed to oust Mr Syed Omar Bin Abdul Rahman of the LSP.

 In 1959 General Election Mr Abdul Hamid Jumat once again secured a seat but this time round at Gelyang Serai with another convincing victory of 63.09% votes against that of three other candidates including Mr Roshan Bin Hassan from People Action Party. 
The General Election of 1959 also bear fruits for UMNO Singapore as two other of our representative manage to secure seats at Kampong Kembangan and Southern Islands.

The heroic Mr Mohd Ali Bin Alwi (a chief clerk) managed to secure victory for the seat in Kampong Kembangan against 5 other candidates including that of Mr Othman Bin Wok (a news editor) from People Action Party.

Another seat secured was by Mr Ahmad Jabri Bin M.Akib (a civil servant) at the Southern Islands against two other candidates including that of Mr Kum Teng Hock from People Action Party.    

Singapore became self-governing in the year 1959.

On the 16th September 1963, Singapore achieved her independence from Great Britain through merger with Malaya and became part of what is currently known as Malaysia.
UMNO Singapore assumed a high political profile in the Malay Community when it agitated for the socio – economic progress of the Malays in the late 1950s and early 1960s when Singapore back then was part of Malaysia.

On 9th August 1965, Singapore was separated from Malaysia.

After separation, UMNO Singapore had to adjust to the changes in the political landscape. This lead to UMNO Singapore having to be an independent entity hence severing its connections with UMNO Malaysia.

On 5th May 1967, UMNO Singapore assumed a new name – Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura [PKMS] or Singapore Malays National Organization[SMNO].

With the separation of Singapore from Malaysia, PKMS had to make diplomatic compromises to remain influential on its own and as a political party. The odds are strongly against us as the perception of being viewed as a racial party was a tag that stuck till this very day. Besides remembering its roots and the reasons it was formed in the first place, PKMS also has to maintain its relevance in the multiracial nature of Singapore politics. Bearing in mind the Malays in Singapore just make up of 13.4% as of 2010 [Source via Singapore Department of Statistics]  This has not dampen nor waiver us in our continual struggle to instill our Foundations and Objectives which are as follows:

1. To safeguard and work for the full implementation of the special rights of the Malays in Singapore as enunciated in the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore.

2. To foster and to promote goodwill and harmony among the citizens of various races in Singapore and to promote the growth of a strong and united nation.

3. To take such steps as may be necessary for the welfare and advancement of its members and the citizens of Singapore generally.

4. To take whatever steps as may be necessary for the advancement of the Malay language and culture in accordance with Islam.

5. To safeguard and to promote the advancement of Islam without interfering in the affairs of other religions.

6. To uphold and safeguard the principles of parliamentary and democratic form of government.

7. To work against any form of colonialism.

To be continued..........................................

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