The many meanings of Merdeka for Singapore and Malaysia

Now used to describe a generation, Merdeka has been a rallying cry for independence

In his recent National Day Rally speech, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about the Merdeka Generation.

While applying the term to a generation is quite novel, in fact there is a whole history behind the use of the term "Merdeka". Delving into this can yield insights into Singapore's history, and into the brief period when Singapore's destiny was intertwined with that of Malaysia.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2018, with the headline 'The many meanings of Merdeka for S'pore and Malaysia'. Print Edition | Subscribe