History of Singapore

Ancient Singapore

The history of Singapore says that in the 13th century a Prince from Palembang (the capital of Srivijaya), who landed on the island. When he saw a lion, he took as a good sign and founded a settlement called Singapura, which means "Lion City" in Sanskrit.

In the 14th century then the last king ‘Sultan Iskandar Shah’ ruling Singapura for many years. It was invaded by Majapahit, then it came under Malacca Sultanate. Singapura became an important trading port of the Malacca Sultanate and later the Sultanate of Johor before by Portuguese then rapidly becoming a major port city.

The Raffles Modern Singapore

The man behind the modern Singapore was Sir ‘Thomas Stamford Raffles’. He was appointed as the Lieutenant Governor of the British colony at Bencoolen to occupy the colonial powers of Dutch-controlled ports for trading. The Singapore port is a major for trade route between china and British India mainly opium, Dutch didn’t leave British for fare trade and imposed high tariff. Then Raffles changelled the Dutch by establish a new port along the Straits of Malacca, with the help of ‘Lord Hastings’, the Governor-General of India and his superior at the British East India Company to provide fund to expand the British rule and also to build a new port.

Raffles achieved it and found a small Malay settlement, with a population of about a thousand, at the mouth of the Singapore River, headed by Temenggong Abdu'r Rahman. A formal treaty was signed on 6 February 1819 and modern Singapore was born.

Japanese invasion

At the times of World War II, Japan attacked east coast of Malaya, in the year 1941 Japanese forces landed at Kota Bharu in northern Malaya, defeating the strong British forces. This is the worst British naval defeat of World War II. Lieutenant-General Arthur Percival surrendered the Allied forces in Singapore to General Tomoyuki Yamashita of the Imperial Japanese Army on Chinese New Year, 15 February 1942.

Japanese renamed Singapore as ‘Syonan-to’, which means “Light of the South Island”, occupied by them from 1942-1945. During the Japanese rule many local troops including Indian, Australian and British became prisoners of war.

However japan surrendered Singapore in August 1945, and British re-occupied Singapore.

Way to independence

After British re-occupied Singapore local populaces raised anti-colonial saying “Merdeka” in Malay which means ‘Independence’. Meanwhile the Britishers had made up their mind for Self-governance.

In 1946, The Straits Settlements was dissolved and Singapore became separated and first Legislative Council election was held in 1951, the newly formed Singapore Progressive Party (SPP), was won 3 seats, again in 1959 Elections for the new Legislative Assembly were held in that ,The People's Action Party (PAP) won the polls, winning forty-three of the fifty-one seats lead by Lee Kuan Yew. Self-government was granted in 1959. Lee Kuan Yew became prime minister.

But again due to economically backward and lack of natural resource for development, Singapore merged with Malaysia. But again the union was short lived, Singapore left in 1965 and became completely independent.