The formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963 led to a short-lived merger between Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak, and the Federation of Malaya.
What followed was nearly two years of political strife between Singapore and the federal government.
On 9 August 1965, Singapore separated from the rest of Malaysia and became a sovereign, democratic and independent nation, led by the leader of the ruling People’s Action Party and Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.
Independent Singapore was admitted to the United Nations on 21 September 1965, and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations on 15 October 1965. On 22 December 1965, it became a republic, with Yusof bin Ishak as Singapore's first President.
Over the years, Singapore has grown and prospered from its strategic location and the favourable world economy. A sense of national identity forged among its diverse populations of immigrants has also given the country a common vision – to build a nation.
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