During a broadcast of the historic “Battle for Merger” Series at Radio Singapore. Click Here to listen to the radio talks
A case for merger
Disagreement over the terms of merger caused a split in the PAP. The pro-communist faction was expelled from the party and formed the Barisan Socialis (Socialist Front). Mr Lee tabled a motion of confidence in the government on 20 July 1961. The PAP won the vote narrowly with only 26 out of 51 votes.
To win the hearts and minds of the people, Mr Lee broadcast a total of 36 radio talks between 13 September and 9 October 1961. Speaking in English, Mandarin and Malay, he recorded as many as nine talks a week.
Titled “Battle For Merger”, the talks attracted tens of thousands of listeners and helped turn the tide in the battle against the communists and pro-communists.