Let our site be more useful to you each time you visit by enabling your cookies so we can remember details like your preferred language and more for a smoother browsing experience. Okay

A long, long time ago…

The old Keppel Harbour in Singapore A long time ago, Singapore was once known as Sea Town.

While the earliest known historical records of Singapore are shrouded in time, a third century Chinese account describes it as "Pu-luo-chung", or the "island at the end of a peninsula". Later, the city was known as Temasek ("Sea Town"), when the first settlements were established from AD 1298-1299.

During the 14th century, this small but strategically-located island earned a new name. According to legend, Sang Nila Utama, a Prince from Palembang (the capital of Srivijaya), was out on a hunting trip when he caught sight of an animal he had never seen before. Taking it to be a good sign, he founded a city where the animal had been spotted, naming it “The Lion City” or Singapura, from the Sanskrit words “simha” (lion) and “pura” (city).

The city was then ruled by the five kings of ancient Singapura. Located at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, the natural meeting point of sea routes, the city flourished as a trading post for vessels such as Chinese junks, Arab dhows, Portuguese battleships, and Buginese schooners.

Related Stories

The Raffles Effect

Boats at the old trading port along Singapore River The city's strategic location made it an ideal trading hub.

Modern Singapore was founded in the 19th century, thanks to politics, trade and a man known as Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.

During this time, the British empire was eyeing a port of call in this region to base its merchant fleet, and to forestall any advance made by the Dutch. Singapore, already an up-and-coming trading post along the Malacca Straits, seemed ideal.

Raffles, then the Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen (now Bengkulu) in Sumatra, landed in Singapore on 29 January 1819. Recognising the immense potential of the swamp-covered island, he helped negotiate a treaty with the local rulers and established Singapore as a trading station. The city quickly grew as an entrepot trade hub, attracting immigrants from China, India, the Malay Archipelago and beyond.

In 1822, Raffles implemented the Raffles Town Plan, also known as the Jackson Plan, to address the issue of growing disorderliness in the colony. Ethnic residential areas were segregated into four areas. The European Town had residents made up of European traders, Eurasians and rich Asians, while the ethnic Chinese were located in present-day Chinatown and south-east of the Singapore River. Ethnic Indians resided at Chulia Kampong north of Chinatown, and Kampong Glam consisted of Muslims, ethnic Malays and Arabs who had migrated to Singapore. Singapore continued to develop as a trading post, with the establishment of several key banks, commercial associations and Chambers of Commerce. In 1924, a causeway opened linking the northern part of Singapore to Johor Bahru.

Did you know?

Singapore’s first architect George D. Coleman arrived in Singapore in 1822, and his earliest project was the Residency House for Sir Stamford Raffles. He also created many Palladian-style houses.

War and Peace

British soldiers signing the document to surrender Singapore over to the Japanese on 15 February 1942 Allied forces surrendering in 1942.

Singapore’s prosperity suffered a major blow during World War II, when it was attacked by the Japanese on 8 December 1941. The invaders arrived from the north, confounding the British military commanders who had expected an attack by sea from the south. Despite their superior numbers, the Allied forces surrendered to the Japanese on Chinese New Year, 15 February 1942. It was the largest surrender of British-led forces in history. The island, once feted as an “impregnable fortress”, was renamed Syonan-to (or “Light of the South Island” in Japanese).

When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, the island was handed over to the British Military Administration, which remained in power until the dissolution of the Straits Settlement comprising Penang, Melaka and Singapore. In April 1946, Singapore became a British Crown Colony.

The Road to Independence

A group of soldiers marching in celebration of Singapore's Independence Day on 9 August 1965 Singapore has come a long way to become what it is today.

In 1959, the growth of nationalism led to self-government, and the country’s first general election. The People’s Action Party (PAP) won a majority of 43 seats and Lee Kuan Yew became the first prime minister of Singapore.

In 1963, Malaysia was formed, comprising of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak and North Borneo (now Sabah). The move was meant to foster closer ties. However, Singapore’s merger proved unsuccessful, and less than two years later on 9 August 1965, it left Malaysia to become an independent and sovereign democratic nation.

Today, many slices of Singapore’s multi-cultural, colonial and wartime past are preserved in and around the city. You can visit monuments, museums and memorials, or for a real trip through time, take a walk along a heritage trail.

Also

Check Out

  • 娱乐 —频道 春城壹网 七彩云南 一网天下 2019-02-21
  • 广图:神“摄”手初养成计划:摄影师爸爸成长篇 2019-02-21
  • 湖北黄石法院凭什么跨三省去撤销佛山海关已生效的行政案?(原创首发) 2019-02-20
  • 比利时并不轻松地击败巴拿马 2019-02-20
  • 陕西国防工业职业技术学院百名大学生志愿者敬老院慰问孤寡老人陕西国防工业职业技术学院百名大学生志愿者敬老院慰问-陕西教育新闻 2019-02-20
  • 【学习时刻】清华大学周绍杰:坚定不移地贯彻落实新发展理念 2019-02-19
  • 人民日报评论员:和世界共发展 与世界同分享 2019-02-19
  • 尽管管理层一任一任地换,但是以每年IPO数量的多少作为反映政绩的主要标志,而对于股市下跌、市值(包括国有股)损失、经济晴雨表失真、投资者利益巨亏等等,则不在考核 2019-02-18
  • 国家人社部“支持鄱阳湖生态经济区建设专家服务上饶行”活动启动 雷平出席活动并致辞 2019-02-18
  • “一周注射一次” 有效改善血糖达标 2019-02-17
  • 海外版望海楼:“五大观念”的时代价值 2019-02-17
  • A股市场具有较强估值支撑 机构看好政策受益板块 2019-02-16
  • 调理心脑血管要注意饮食吗?心脑血管病如何饮食 2019-02-16
  • 社交短视频:“抖”起来 沉下去 2019-02-16
  • 联播快讯:尘暴席卷火星  “机遇”号休眠失联 2019-02-15
  • 288| 796| 931| 785| 696| 857| 209| 303| 465| 473|