Before 1950s

1924 Straits Settlements Co-operative Societies Ordinance was passed.
7 October 1925 The first Thrift & Loan Society was formed (Singapore Government Servants’ Co-operative Thrift & Loan Society Ltd).
16 November 1933 Singapore Urban Co-operative Ltd was formed. It served as a coordinating body for a number of primary co-operatives and was later renamed Singapore Co-operative Union Ltd.
1942 The war forced all co-operatives to cease operations.
23 August 1946 img0029

The Singapore Co-operative Stores Society Ltd was registered to help ease initial post-war food shortage and escalating prices. Setup by the Urban Co-operative Union with 1,700 members and a paid-up share capital  of $36,665. It was located at 331 North Bridge Road and shared premises with the popular Liberty Cabaret (MDU). The building was later demolished in 1951 to make way for the Odeon Cinema.


Subsequently, other co-op stores were setup at various heartlands, such as the Singapore Public Service Housing Co-op at 17 Rochdale Road. The road was named after the first ever co-operative in the world.

December 1947 Co-operatives in Singapore were informed that they were granted exemption from taxation (Income Tax was introduced in Singapore w.e.f. 1 January 1948).

(c) Registry of Co-operative Societies Collection, courtesy of National Archives of Singapore and The Singapore Co-operative Story: 1925 – 2015, Commemorative Book.