Happy 58th Birthday Workers’ Party!

Today is the 58th anniversary of the inauguration of the Worker’s Party (WP). The WP was inaugurated on 3 November 1957 with the founding principles of merdeka (independence), parliamentary democracy, and socialism.

Let’s celebrate this joyous occasion by reflecting on these words of wisdom by the party’s first chaiman, Singapore’s former Chief Minister, the late David Marshall:

“In order to protect the welfare of the workers, the workers themselves must create a political party whose membership is exclusively trade unionists only. You must be conscious of the need for real sacrifice to protect the rights of the worker.” – David Marshall, on the need for a political party for trade unionists, reported in The Straits Times, 24 June 1957.

“Everything about the party is constitutional and democratic. But some of you are afraid and I don’t blame you. I have a power of attorney ready and signed to hand over to my secretary in case the Government decides to give me a holiday in Changi.” – David Marshall, message to unionists who did not want to join the party for fear that the Government might take action against them, reported in The Straits Times,  4 November 1957.

“The right to vote is a solemn privilege and responsibility. It is important that all should take the trouble to vote and vote wisely.” – David Marshall, on the right to vote, reported in The Straits Times, 21 December 1957.

“To the voters of Anson and my fellow workers, I say: Thank you for the opportunity to serve Singapore honestly and fearlessly. I will strive to be equal to your trust.” – David Marshall, victory speech for the 1961 Anson by-election, reported in The Straits Times, 16 July 1961.