On 1 January 1972, the Post Office Savings Bank (POSB) was turned into a statutory corporation by the government. When Singapore stepped up its industrialisation programme after 1965, then Minister for Finance Goh Keng Swee identified domestic savings as one of the ways to promote the growth of industries. Such savings could provide the government with a non-inflationary source of funds for national development. To promote domestic savings through POSB, the trend of decreasing deposits with the bank had to be reversed. The bank, which was established by the British colonial government in 1877, had been experiencing declining deposits since 1957. As a statutory board, the bank would have more management flexibility and financial freedom to improve its bank operations.
In September 1970, then Minister for Communications Yong Nyuk Lin announced at the first live televised broadcast of the POSB Lucky Draw that the POSB would become a statutory board. The Post Office Savings Bank Bill was subsequently introduced in parliament on 30 July 1971, and the Post Office Savings Bank of Singapore Act, 1971, came into effect on 1 January 1972. Following the enactment of the act, the POSB ceased to be a branch of the Postal Services Department. As an independent statutory corporation, POSB was run by a board of directors which was appointed by the Minister for Communications. Tan Chok Kian was named as the first chairman and head of its board, which included seven other directors.
In July 1998, the government announced that the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) would acquire POSB and its various subsidiaries for S$1.6 billion. Then Minister for Finance Richard Hu explained to Parliament that the merger would enable POSB to compete better with full-fledged commercial banks as well as better serve more sophisticated customers. The sale was officially sanctioned by parliament with the passing of the Post Office Savings Bank of Singapore (Transfer of Undertakings and Dissolution) Bill on 12 October 1998. Today, POSB still maintains its distinct identity though it operates as part of the DBS group.
The Singapore Sporting Club was formalised on 4 October 1842 and subsequently given a grant by then Governor Samuel George Bonham to set up a racecourse a mile away from town.
Prior to the construction of the racecourse, gharry pony races were known to be held at the Esplanade as early as 1834 during the first New Year Land Sports. In the 1840s, William Henry McLeod Read, co-founder of the Singapore Sporting Club, began advocating for races to be held regularly in Singapore. Along with merchant Charles Spottiswoode and lawyer William Napier, Read initiated early horse racing in Singapore, and he supported racing for more than four decades.
The racecourse was built at the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Serangoon Road, where Farrer Park is today. It covered 50 acres (20 hectares), reaching as far as Buffalo Road. The swampy land had to be drained, trees felled and tall grass cleared to make the course usable for racing. The course stretched for 1,722 m, and on its inner side was a special training course. Later, the grandstand with a second-class platform and separate seats for native spectators was built on the northwestern side of the course. Stables were built on the side nearer to Kampong Java Road, as well as a training paddock and a bandstand. Drainage laid out for the course would later become Rochor Canal.