The National Archives of Singapore (NAS) will be launching an exhibition titled Law of the Land: Highlights of Singapore’s Constitutional Documents at the National Gallery Singapore on 18 October 2016. This exhibition will trace key moments in Singapore’s seldom-explored constitutional history and outline Singapore’s evolution from a British settlement in 1819 to an independent nation in 1965.
This is a rare chance for members of the public to see a curated selection of actual Singapore key constitutional documents that will be displayed for the first time. The exhibition will provide unique insight into the origins and evolution of modern Singapore’s constitution through four main themes: Constituting a Colony, Towards Autonomy and Statehood, Merger and Separation, as well as the Sovereign State of Singapore.
Some of the highlights of the exhibition include:
- Raffles’ local laws and regulation of 1823 which formed the earliest administrative and legal code in British Singapore although it was strictly illegal as Raffles did not have the power to enact laws;
- The State of Singapore Constitution in 1958 which was a constitutional milestone for Singapore as it ceased being a British colony and became a self-governing state within the British Commonwealth;
- The ‘Points of Merger’, Ritz Hotel Envelope dated 7 July 1963 – the unique envelope which contained then PM Lee Kuan Yew’s handwritten notes on points of agreement following late-night discussions on the merger with Federation PM Tunku Abdul Rahman;
- Tunku Abdul Rahman’s personal letter to a reluctant Dr Toh Chin Chye, dated 7 Aug 1965, on decision to separate Singapore and Malaysia.
Venue: National Gallery Singapore (Entrance via Coleman Street), 1 St Andrew’s Road, Singapore 178957
When: 18 Oct 2016 - 31 Dec 2020,