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The Chinese Cultural Revolution and the Decline of the Left in Singapore 1

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Abstract Represented by the Barisan party and mainly participated in by ethnic Chinese, the leftist movement in Singapore was the thrust behind the island’s independence (1965) and the major political opposition to the ruling PAP (People’s Action Party). But within several years after independence, the movement disappeared as the PAP’s one-party regime grew in strength. Based on the leftist publications of that period, this article argues that Maoist China’s influence, the Cultural Revolution in particular, significantly contributed to the decline of the movement. The radicalization and dissolution of Singapore’s leftist movement was one example of the destructive impact of Maoism and the Cultural Revolution on overseas Chinese politics in the 1960s.


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