CITY COUNCIL BY-ELECTION 1958

This only by-election in the City Council, which was also the last local election before the institution's abolishment, was called after the resignation of WP City Councillor Chang Yuen Thong from his seat and the party. WP held five seats after Bukit Merah independent Councillor G. G. Samy joined the party earlier in the year but was back to four. On 18 April 1959, all 14 PAP representatives in the Council, including Mayor Ong Eng Guan, resigned their seats to contest the impending General Election. One, Sze Yih Hwa, was eventually not fielded. The en masse departure was followed by Mrs Felice Leon-Soh and Lee Bah Chee for the same reason. Both were elected under LSP but Lee had turned independent. Of those who remained, several had left their parties to either join SPA, giving it nine seats, or sit as independent, making it four, leaving LSP, UMNO and WP with one each. As they were divided on the next person to assume the Mayor post, Tang Peng Yeu of SPA and independent S. M. Vasagar took turns to act as Chairman for subsequent sittings. After PAP came into power, the Council was phased out in stages. First, most of its functions and related organs were transferred to the National Development Ministry headed by its new Minister Ong. Next, the Council morphed into a government agency overseeing utilities management that directly reported to the Prime Minister. Meanwhile, local polls were suspended while the 16 Councillors, who had been operating without a majority, were automatically retired and the decisions passed during their brief tenure rescinded. Later, the Public Utilities Board, a new statutory body, was established on 1 May 1963 and acquired the leftover functions and assets of the Council and the Rural Board, putting an end to their existence. On 25 September that year, after Singapore joined Malaysia, PM Lee Kuan Yew revealed to the Federal government the identity of Fong Chong Pik whom he had dubbed "the Plen" (short for plenipotentiary), a leader of Communist Party of Malaya in Singapore and brother of former PAP and Barisan lawmaker Fung Yin Ching. Apparently, Lee challenged Fong to prove his credentials when they met before the local by-election and the latter did so by arranging for the exit of Chang, unravelling him as part of the communist sanctum and demystifying the reason for his abrupt departure.

Nomination day: 30 June 1958 [Mon]
Polling day: 26 July 1958 [Sat]

Eligible voters: 14,308
Voter turnout: 8,331 (58.2%)

Election deposit: $250

RESULTS
Kallang


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