Sandrasegaran Woodhull

  (Redirected from Sydney Woodhull)

Sandrasegaran "Sidney" Woodhull (1932 – 26 November 2003) was a Singaporean lawyer, former politician and political prisoner. He was a founding member of the University of Malaya's University Socialist Club, and the Singapore's political parties, People's Action Party and the Barisan Sosialis.

Sandrasegaran Woodhull
Vice-Chairman of the Barisan Sosialis
In office
Preceded byPost created
Succeeded bySee Cheng Kiong
Personal details
Born1932 (1932)
British Ceylon
DiedNovember 26, 2003(2003-11-26) (aged 70–71)
Resting placeKuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Political partyPeople's Action Party (1954–1961)
Barisan Sosialis (1961–1963)
Peng Tsu Ping (m. 1962⁠–⁠2003)
  • Anashuya Woodhull (daughter)
  • Anuita Woodhull (daughter)
  • Anshumann Woodhull (son)
ResidenceKuala Lumpur
Alma materUniversity of Malaya
Occupationlawyer, former politician
Other namesSandra Woodhull
Sydney Woodhull
Sidney Woodhull


Born in British Ceylon in 1932, Sandrasegaran Woodhull, sometimes referred as "Sandra", "Sydney" or "Sidney" in the press, entered the University of Malaya in 1951 as a Sultan Ibrahim scholar from Johor. He was a founding member of the University Socialist Club in 1953, serving as Financial Secretary in the first Central Working Committee. He was also involved in the Fajar controversy because of his contribution to the Fajar magazine and occasional attendance at group meetings although he was not the member of the Fajar editorial board.[1]

Woodhull eventually became a prominent union advisor and leader of the Singapore Naval Base Labour Union.[2][3] Together with other trade unionists, Woodhull was officially recruited into the People's Action Party in 21 November 1954.[4] He was detained by the police after the Chinese middle school riots in 1956.[5] Following his release after the PAP gained power in 1959, Woodhull was appointed as the Political Secretary to the Ministry of Health.[6]

Woodhull was one of the thirteen PAP left-wingers who were expelled from the PAP in 20 July 1961, he later joined the Barisan Sosialis in 29 July 1961 as was made its Vice Chairman. In 26 October 1962, Woodhull married Peng Tsu Ping, who was also a graduate of University of Malaya and a librarian at the University of Singapore at the Singapore Registry witnessed by Secretary-General of Barisan Sosialis Lim Chin Siong and Dr Gopal Baratham.[7]

Woodhull was against the PAP proposal for merger with Malaysian Federation, calling it a political "strait jacket".[8] He was arrested and detained without trial under Operation Coldstore in February 1963.[9] He was released afterward and exiled to Kuala Lumpur in November. He later went to London to study law.[10] Woodhull returned to Kuala Lumpur where he was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1967.[11] He was a partner with law firm of Shearn Delamore & Co. He was allowed to return to Singapore in 1990.

He retired from law practice in December 2000.[12]


Woodhull died in 26 November 2003 at the age of 71 at a Singapore Hospital after heart surgery. His wake was held at the Mount Vernon Columbarium at night in 28 November and his cremated remains was later brought back to Kuala Lumpur.

He is survived by his wife Peng, his daughters Anashuya and Anuita, his son Anshumann, and a granddaughter Lara Sayana Bell. [13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Poh, Soo K; Tan, Jing Quee; Koh, Kay Yew (2010). The Fajar Generation: The University Socialist Club and the Politics of Postwar Malaya and Singapore. Petaling Jaya: SIRD. p. 36. ISBN 9789833782864.
  2. ^ "Union accepts a Progressive challenge". The Straits Times. 16 February 1955.
  3. ^ "Woodhull on 'emotion'". The Straits Times. 20 August 1962.
  4. ^ "ACTION PARTY MEN FOR BANDOENG". The Straits Times. 16 April 1955.
  5. ^ "8 PAP men go free". The Straits Times. 3 June 1959.
  6. ^ "Woodhull: No rift in the PAP". The Straits Times. 20 December 1959.
  7. ^ "Woodhull weds a librarian". Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  8. ^ "WOODHULL: IMPOSED MERGER WILL NOT WORK". The Straits Times. 30 April 1962.
  9. ^ "107 held in Singapore dawn drive". The Straits Times. 3 February 1963.
  10. ^ "Umno may move towards the left: Woodhull". The Straits Times. 16 June 1966.
  11. ^ "Ex-PAP leader Woodhull dies at 71". The Star.
  12. ^ Loh, Kah S (2012). The University Socialist Club and the Contest for Malaya: Tangled Strands of Modernity. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. pp. 278–279. ISBN 9089644091.
  13. ^ "Ex-PAP leader Woodhull dies at 71 - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 2018-11-16.