Episode 42: Hobson’s Choice
Dr. Thum Ping Tjin, University of Oxford
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Needing to negotiate a form and structure for merger that satisfied both the Federation government and the people of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew ended up producing a compromise that gave away Singaporean sovereignty and politically quarantined Singaporeans in Singapore in exchange for autonomy in commerce, education, and labour policy. But he still had to win popular approval via a National Referendum. In this episode, PJ Thum describes the raging controversy over Lee’s proposed form of merger and how Lee won the National Referendum via his “Hobson’s Choice”.
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