Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura (PKMS) or also known as Singapore Malay National Organisation (SMNO) was originally formed with the sole purpose of championing and protecting the rights of the Malays in Singapore. Its genesis could be trace back to its early formative years back in the year 1926 with the leadership of Mr Mohamed Eunos bin Abdullah (b. 1876, Singapore – d. 12 December 1933, Singapore) who set up the Kesatuan Melayu Singapura (Singapore Malay Union). Inspired by KMS activities , similar malay pressure group were later formed in other states on the Malayan Peninsula. Significantly such collective activism gave birth to United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) in 1946.
Right after the World War II, the British returned to Malaya. The Malayan Union was formed shortly but this was met with much dismay by the Malays due to its constitutional framework, which allegedly threatened Malay sovereignty over Malaya.
This had led to the Malays, who are the indigenous people of Malaya to protest against this directive. Forty (40) Malay organizations throughout Malaya assembled at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kuala Lumpur to congregate its first Malay Congress and to initiate the course for uniting the Malays and their objectives. No longer shall Malaya be under colonial rule as the Malays of Malaya yearned for Independence. Singapore was then represented by Kesatuan Melayu Singapura [KMS]. Thereafter, they congregated at Johor Bahru for its third Malay Congress and it was there, UMNO was established on May 11, 1946. Datuk Onn Jaafar was chosen as its leader.
UMNO Singapore was officially registered on 20th February 1961. Prior to its registration UMNO Singapore first was a branch under the division of UMNO Johor Bahru. As its strength grew, it spread over and became the Singapore division of UMNO in the year 1954.
On the 31st August 1957, Malaya achieved independence from the British and the Alliance Party which consisted of UMNO – MCA – MIC became the government of Malaya.
From the year 1955 to the year 1959, the Alliance Party as mentioned, tasted its fruits of success in Singapore during the elections of the electoral constituencies of the Southern Islands, Ulu Bedok, Tanglin, Telok Blangah, Geylang Serai and Kampong Kembangan.
It was during this time where UMNO Singapore broke into prominence. Our then first Chairman of UMNO Singapore Mr Abdul Hamid Jumat managed to secure a seat in the 1955 General Election at Ulu Bedok. He won with an overwhelming 61.04% vote against two other candidates, Mr Toh Seng Sit from Democratic Party and Mr A. Hamid Rahmat from Progressive Party.
He went on to became the first Malay Minister in Singapore as the Minister for Local Government, Deputy Chief Minister and at one time Acting Chief of Minister between 1955 and 1959.In the City Council Election of 1957, saw for the first time a joint effort and coalition between UMNO Singapore and that of the People Action Party(PAP).This relationship was built since the last General Election of 1955. UMNO Singapore secured two seats, at Telok Blangah and Tanglin.
In 1959 General Election, Mr Abdul Hamid Jumat once again secured a seat but this time at Geylang Serai with another convincing victory of 63.09% votes against that of three other candidates including Mr Roshan Bin Hassan from People Action Party.
The General Election of 1959 also bear fruits for UMNO Singapore as two other of our representatives managed to secure seats at Kampong Kembangan and Southern Islands.
Singapore became self-governing in the year 1959.
On 16th September 1963, Singapore achieved her independence from Britain through merger with Malaya and became part of what is currently known as Malaysia.
UMNO Singapore assumed a high political profile in the Malay community when it struggle for the socio – economic progress of the Malays in the late 1950s and early 1960s when Singapore back then was part of Malaysia.
On 9th August 1965, Singapore was separated from Malaysia. UMNO Singapore having to be an independent entity hence severing its connections with UMNO Malaysia.
On 5th May 1967, UMNO Singapore assumed a new name – Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Singapura [PKMS] or Singapore Malay National Organization[SMNO].
During the tenure as a Minister of Local Government, Mr Abdul Hamid created a Malay Settlement such as Kampong Melayu, Kaki Bukit, Sembawang etc. As the land is under Temporary Occupation Licence the PAP government took it back with minimum compensation.