Republic of Singapore 1965 Provisional Passport

This is a Republic of Singapore 1965 Provisional Passport which was the very first passport type after gaining independence in Aug 1965. Nowadays these 1st type is rare to find but I was lucky to find one at a flea market in Singapore.

On August 9, 1965, Singapore was separated from the federation to become an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations. On December 22 of that year, the Constitution was amended to make the country a republic, and change the title to President with retroactive effect from the date of independence.[1]

You will notice the “greeting message” on the inner cover page of the Yang di-Pertuan Negara.

In 1959, following revisions to the Constitution which granted Singapore internal self-government, the ceremonial post of Yang di-Pertuan Negara replaced the British colonial Governor of Singapore as the representative of the British monarch in Singapore. Although the title had the literal meaning of head of state, the Yang di-Pertuan Negara was constitutionally only a de facto head of state, acting as a vice-regal representative in lieu of the typical Governor-General.[2]

Yang di-Pertuan Negara, translated from Malay as “(he) who is Lord”.

This travel document was issued on 21 October 1965, just about 10 weeks after independence. The bearer was a Seaman. At these times the validity of the passport was only two years. The passport number 5173 is still a low number. We can assume that since Aug 9 only 5173 passports of the newly founded Republic of Singapore were issued. The was no wording Republic of Singapore yet! We can again assume that the new wording and design was not finalised, hence the “provisional” wording.

This was the last type issued with Yang di-Pertuan Negara. The next types are clearly stating “The President of the Republic of Singapore…”

This Provisional Passport was issued only a very short time, about one year only!

President of the Republic of Singapore was then Yusof Ishak (9 Aug 1965 – 23 Nov 1970). S.R. Nathan was Singapore’s longest serving president till today, he served for 12 years.


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