Friday, January 29, 2010

Singapore Island(新加坡,now Republic of Singapore)

Singapore was part of Malaysia in 1963 but left in 1965. In ancient time Singapore was also part of Srivijaya Empire(known as Temasek), Majapahit, Malacca, & Johor Empire. Singapore is also part of Strait Settlement of Singapore, Penang,and Malacca. Study of Malaysian history, without knowing Singapore is like missing part of the history.

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Singapore- the city state
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore(新加坡共和国), is an island city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator, south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of Indonesia's Riau Islands. At 710.2 km2 (274.2 sq mi), Singapore is a microstate and the smallest nation in Southeast Asia. It is substantially larger than Monaco and Vatican City, the only other surviving sovereign city-states.

Before European settlement, the island now known as Singapore(新加坡) was the site of a Malay fishing village at the mouth of the Singapore River. Several hundred indigenous Orang Laut people also lived along the nearby coast, rivers and on smaller islands. In 1819, the British East India Company, led by Sir Stamford Raffles, established a trading post on the island, which was used as a port along the spice route. Singapore became one of the most important commercial and military centres of the British Empire, and the hub of British power in Southeast Asia.

During the Second World War, the British colony was occupied by the Japanese after the Battle of Singapore, which Winston Churchill called "Britain's greatest defeat". Singapore reverted to British rule in 1945, immediately after the war. Eighteen years later, in 1963, the city, having achieved independence from Britain, merged with Malaya, Sabah, and Sarawak to form Malaysia. However, Singapore's merger proved unsuccessful, and, less than two years later, it seceded from the federation and became an independent republic within the Commonwealth of Nations on 9 August 1965. Singapore was admitted to the United Nations on 21 September of that year.

Early History
The early history of Singapore refers to the history of Singapore before 1819, when the British established a trading settlement on the island and set in motion the history of 'modern Singapore'. Prior to 1819, Singapore was known by several names in written records dating back as early as the 2nd century, which identified the island as a trade port of some importance. The island was controlled by different kingdoms in Southeast Asia including the Siamese, Javanese, and Sultanate of Malacca from the 14th century and the Sultanate of Johor from the 16th century.

The first records of settlement in Singapore are from the 2nd century AD. The island was an outpost of the Sumatran Srivijaya empire and originally had the Javanese name Temasek ('sea town'). Temasek (Tumasek) rapidly became a significant trading settlement, but declined in the late 14th century. There are few remnants of old Temasek in Singapore, but archaeologists in Singapore have uncovered artifacts of that and other settlements.

The Greek astronomer, Claudius Ptolemaeus, located a place called Sabana in the area where Singapore lies and identified it as a nominon emporion or designated foreign trading port, as part of a chain of similar trading centres that linked Southeast Asia with India and the Mediterranean. A 3rd century Chinese written record described the island of Pu Luo Chung (蒲羅中), probably a transliteration of the Malay Pulau Ujong, "island at the end" (of the Malay peninsula)

There is record that in 1320, the Mongol sent a mission to obtain elephants from a place called Long Ya Men (龍牙門 or Dragon's Tooth Strait), which is believed to be Keppel Harbour. The Chinese traveller Wang Dayuan, visiting the island around 1330, described a small Malay settlement called Dan Ma Xi (淡馬錫, from Malay Tamasik) containing a number of Chinese residents. The island was apparently a haven for pirates preying on passing ships. The Nagarakretagama, a Javanese epic poem written in 1365, also referred to a settlement on the island, which it called Temasek (Sea Town).

Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Singapore island was part of the Sultanate of Johor. During the Malay-Portugal wars in 1613, the settlement was set ablaze by Portuguese troops. The Portuguese subsequently held control in that century and the Dutch in the 18th, but throughout most of this time the island's population consisted mainly of fishermen

The quasi-mythological Sejarah Melayu (Malay Annals) contains a tale of a prince of Srivijaya, Sri Tri Buana (also known as Sang Nila Utama), who landed on the island after surviving a shipwreck sometime during the 13th century. On the island, the prince saw a strange creature, which he was told was a lion. Believing this to be an auspicious sign, he decided to found a settlement called Singapura, which means "Lion City" in Sanskrit. However, it is unlikely there ever were lions in Singapore, though tigers continued to roam the island until the early 20th century

Recent excavations in Fort Canning provide evidence that Singapore was a port of some importance in the 14th century, used for transactions between the Malays and Chinese.

Following the decline of Srivijayan power, Temasek was alternately claimed by the Majapahit and the Siamese. Its fortifications apparently allowed it to withstand at least one attempted Siamese invasion. Historians believe that during the 1390s, Parameswara, the last Srivijayan prince, fled to Temasek from Palembang after being deposed by the Majapahit Empire. While these are parallels between the mythical Sang Nila Utama and historical Parameswara, these should be seen as distinct. Notwithstanding Sejarah Melayu legend, the "Singapura" name possibly dates to this period. Parameswara held the island for a number of years, until further attacks from either the Majapahit or the Ayutthaya kingdom in Siam forced him to move on to Melaka where he founded the Sultanate of Malacca. Singapore became part of the Malacca empire, and once served as the fiefdom of the legendary laksamana (or admiral) Hang Tuah.

During the 16th and early 17th century, it briefly regained some importance as a trading centre of the Sultanate of Johor. In 1613, Portuguese raiders burnt down the settlement at the mouth of Singapore River and the island sank into obscurity. It was not until 1819, when the Englishman Stamford Raffles established a British trading post on the island, that modern Singapore was founded.

Modern History

British Rule(1819-1963)

In 1812 the Yang Dipertuan Besar of Johore – Riau kingdom, Sultan Muhmud Shah died in Lingga, the throne was succeed by his younger son Tengku Abdul Rahman and not the eldest son Tengku Hussien (Tengku Long). During that time the Riau and the southern part up to Sumatera was under the influence of Dutch East India Company, while the British East India Company which have already have influence in Penang (Pulau Pinang), the northern part of Malay Peninsula and now plan to set up new trading base in the southern part, which is Singapore. On 29 January 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles landed on the main island. Spotting its potential as a strategic trading post for Southeast Asia,

1819 Singapore sultanate
During that time Singapore was ruled by Temenggong Abdul Rahman, a minister of the Johore – Riau kingdom, whom by himself alone cannot grant the British to set up trading base in Singapore as only the Sultan have that particular power. Since the British know that Sultan Abdul Rahman of Riau will definitely will not granted them such permission because of Dutch influence over them, so the British decided to declare and recognize Tengku Hussien as the Sultan of Singapore with the support and help from the Temenggong Abdul Rahman. After the ceremony that took place in Singapore in 1819, the new Sultan of Singapore, Sultan Hussien Shah together with Temenggong Abdul Rahman signed an agreement with Sir Stamford Raffles to permit the British East India Company to set up their trading base in Singapore.

Raffles signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah on behalf of the British East India Company on 6 February 1819 to develop the southern part of Singapore as a British trading post and settlement.

List of Malay rulers in early Singapore

Malay Kings of Singapore (1299 -1396 AD)

* Sri Tri Buana (Sang Nila Utama) (1299 -1347)

* Raja Kecil Besar (Paduka Seri Pikrama Wira) (13xx -13xx)

* Raja Muda (Rakna Pikrama) (13xx-13xx)

* Paduka Seri Maharaja (Damia Raja) (13xx-13xx)

* Raja Iskandar Shah (Parameswara) (1388 or 1390 (?) -1396)

Part of Malacca Sultanate, ruled by Malacca (list not available)

Part of Johor Empire:

Malay Kings of Singapore (1699 -1835 AD)

* Bendahara Sultan Abdul Jalil Riayat Shah IV (Sultan of Riau-Lingga-Pahang) (1699-1718)

* Abdul Jalil Rahmat Shah (Raja Kecil) (Sultan of Riau-Lingga-Pahang) (1718-1722)

* Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Al-Alam Shah (Sultan of Johore-Riau-Lingga-Pahang) (1722-1760)

* Sultan Mahmud Riayat Shah III (Sultan of Johore-Pahang) (1761-1812)

* Sultan Abdul Rahman (Sultan of Lingga) (1812 –1832) (Placed on the throne instead of his older brother Hussein, supported by Bugis, ruled Johor-Riau-Lingga Kingdom or Johor Empire)

* Sultan Hussein Shah (Sultan of Johor) (1819 –1835) (Recognized by the British as the rightful Sultan of Johor, not recognized by the Malay, ruled from Singapore)

1824 - British colony
Until 1824, Singapore was still a territory controlled by a Malay Sultan. It officially became a British colony on 2 August 1824 when John Crawfurd, the second resident of Singapore, officially made the whole island a British possession by signing a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah in which the Sultan and the Temmenggong handed it over to the British East India Company, marking the start of the island's modern era.

Raffles' deputy, William Farquhar, oversaw a period of growth and ethnic migration, largely spurred by a no-restriction immigration policy. The British India office governed the island from 1858, but it was made a British crown colony in 1867, answerable directly to the Crown. By 1869, 100,000 people lived on the island.

The early onset of town planning in colonial Singapore came largely through a "divide and rule" framework where the different ethnic groups were settled in different parts of the South of the island. The Singapore River was largely a commercial area dominated by traders and bankers of various ethnic groups with mostly Chinese and Indian coolies working to load and unload goods from barge boats known as "bumboats".

The Malays, consisting of the local "Orang Lauts" who worked mostly as fishermen and seafarers, and Arab traders and scholars were mostly found in the Southeast part of the river mouth, where Kampong Glam stands today. The European settlers, who were few then, settled around Fort Canning Hill and farther upstream from the Singapore River.

Like the Europeans, the early Indian migrants also settled more inland of the Singapore River, where Little India stands today. Little is known about the rural private settlements in those times (known as kampongs), other than the major move by the post-independent Singapore government to re-settle these residents in the late 1960s.

WW2 (1941-1945)- Japanese Occupation
During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Malaya, culminating in the Battle of Singapore. The British were defeated in six days, and surrendered the supposedly impregnable fortress to General Tomoyuki Yamashita on 15 February 1942. The surrender was described by the British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, as, "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history." The British naval base (see above) was destroyed before the Japanese could take over the base and make use of it. Widespread indiscriminate killing of the Chinese population occurred (see Sook Ching massacre).

The Japanese renamed Singapore Shōnantō (昭南島?), from Japanese "Shōwa no jidai ni eta minami no shima" ("昭和の時代に得た南の島"?), or "southern island obtained in the age of Shōwa", and occupied it until the British repossessed the island on 12 September 1945, a month after the Japanese surrender.[28] The name Shōnantō was, at the time, romanised as "Syonan-to" or "Syonan", which means "Light of the South".

Post war era

Following the war, the British government allowed Singapore to hold its first general election, in 1955, which was won by a pro-independence candidate, David Marshall, who thus became Chief Minister.

Demanding complete self-rule, Marshall led a delegation to London, but was refused by the British. He resigned upon return, and was replaced by Lim Yew Hock, whose policies then convinced the British. Singapore was granted full internal self-government with its own prime minister and Cabinet overseeing all matters of government except defence and foreign affairs.

Elections were then held on 30 May 1959 with the People's Action Party winning a landslide victory. Singapore eventually became a self-governing state within the British Empire on 3 June 1959 and Lee Kuan Yew was sworn in as the first prime minister of Singapore two days later.[29] Then Governor of Singapore, Sir William Allmond Codrington Goode, served as the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara from 3 June 1959 until 3 December 1959. He was succeeded by Yusof bin Ishak, who would later become the first President of Singapore.

Independence 1963
Singapore declared independence from Britain unilaterally in August 1963, before joining the Federation of Malaysia in September along with Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak as the result of the 1962 Merger Referendum of Singapore. Singapore left the federation two years after heated ideological conflict between the state's PAP government and the federal government in Kuala Lumpur. Singapore officially gained sovereignty on 9 August 1965. Yusof bin Ishak was sworn in as President, and Lee Kuan Yew became the first prime minister of the Republic of Singapore.

List of Rulers

Residents and Commandants
6 Feb 1819 - 26 Apr 1823 William Farquhar (b. 1770 - d. 1839)
27 May 1823 - 15 Aug 1826 John Crawfurd (b. 1783 - d. 1868)

Resident Councillors
15 Aug 1826 - 18 Nov 1827 John Prince
29 Nov 1827 - Dec 1833 Kenneth Murchison (b. 1794 - d. 1854)
Dec 1833 - 18 Nov 1836 Samuel George Bonham (b. 1803 - d. 1863)
4 Mar 1837 - 1856 Thomas Church (b. c.1789 - d. 1860)
22 Sep 1856 - 1859 Henry Somerset MacKenzie (b. 1826 - d. 1904)
1860 - 1867 Ronald Macpherson (b. 1817 - d. 1869)

Governors of Straits Settlements

27 Nov 1826 - 12 Nov 1830 Robert Fullerton (b. 1773 - d. 1831)
12 Nov 1830 - 6 Dec 1833 Robert Ibbetson (b. 1789 - d. 1860)
7 Dec 1833 - 17 Nov 1836 Kenneth Murchison (b. 1794 - d. 1854)
18 Nov 1836 - Jan 1843 Samuel George Bonham (b. 1803 - d. 1863)
Aug 1843 - 21 Mar 1855 William John Butterworth (b. 1801 - d. 1856)
21 Mar 1855 - 6 Aug 1859 Edmund Augustus Blundell (b. 1804 - d. 1868)
6 Aug 1859 - 16 Mar 1867 Orfeur Cavenagh (b. 1821 - d. 1891)
17 Mar 1867 - 3 Nov 1873 Harry St. George Ord (b. 1819 - d. 1885)
4 Nov 1873 - 7 May 1875 Andrew Clarke (b. 1825 - d. 1902)
8 May 1875 - 3 Apr 1877 Sir William Francis Jervois (b. 1821 - d. 1897)
3 Apr 1877 - 29 Oct 1877 Edward Archibald Harbord Anson (b. 1826 - d. 1925)
(1st time) (acting)
29 Oct 1877 - 10 Feb 1879 William Cleaver Francis Robinson (b. 1834 - d. 1897)
10 Feb 1879 - 6 May 1880 Edward Archibald Harbord Anson (s.a.)
(2nd time) (acting)
6 May 1880 - 17 Oct 1887 Sir Frederic Aloysius Weld (b. 1823 - d. 1891)
17 Oct 1887 - 30 Aug 1893 Cecil Clementi Smith (b. 1840 - d. 1916)
30 Aug 1893 - 1 Feb 1894 William Edward Maxwell (acting) (b. 1846 - d. 1897)
1 Feb 1894 - 7 Dec 1899 Sir Charles Bullen Hugh Mitchell (b. 1836 - d. 1899)
7 Dec 1899 - 5 Nov 1901 James Alexander Swettenham (b. 1846 - d. 1933)
5 Nov 1901 - 12 Oct 1903 Sir Frank Athelstone Swettenham (b. 1850 - d. 1946)
15 Apr 1904 - 9 Apr 1911 Sir John Anderson (b. 1858 - d. 1918)
9 Sep 1911 - 24 Aug 1919 Sir Arthur Henderson Young (b. 1854 - d. 1938)
3 Feb 1920 - 5 May 1927 Sir Laurence Nunns Guillemard (b. 1862 - d. 1951)
3 Jun 1927 - 20 Oct 1929 Sir Hugh Charles Clifford (b. 1866 - d. 1941)
5 Feb 1930 - 16 Feb 1934 Sir Cecil Clementi (b. 1875 - d. 1947)
9 Nov 1934 - 15 Feb 1942 Sir Shenton Whitelegge Thomas (b. 1879 - d. 1962)
(1st time)
(Japanese prisoner 15 Feb 1942 - 15 Aug 1945)
15 Feb 1942 - 12 Sep 1945 Japanese occupation
12 Sep 1945 - 1 Apr 1946 Sir Shenton Whitelegge Thomas (s.a.)
(2nd time)

Military Administrators
15 Feb 1942 - 1943 Tomoyuki Yamashita (b. 1888 - d. 1946)
1943 - 1944 Hisaichi Terauchi (b. 1879 - d. 1946)
1944 - 1945 Doihara Kenji (b. 1883 - d. 1948)
1945 - 12 Sep 1945 Seishiro Itagaki (b. 1885 - d. 1948)

Japanese Mayors of Syonan (presidents of the special municipality)
Mar 1942 - Jun 1943 Shigeo Odate
19 Jul 1943 - 12 Sep 1945 Kanichi Naito

Military Administrator
12 Sep 1945 - 31 Mar 1946 Louis Francis Mountbatten, (b. 1900 - d. 1979)
Duke of Mountbatten
1 Apr 1946 - 15 Nov 1952 Sir Franklin Charles Gimson (b. 1890 - d. 1975)
15 Nov 1952 - 22 Dec 1954 John Fearns Nicoll (b. 1899 - d. 1981)
(from 24 Jun 1952, Sir John Fearns Nicoll)
22 Dec 1954 - 9 Dec 1957 Robert Brown Black (b. 1906 - d. 1999)
(from Dec 1955, Sir Robert Brown Black)
9 Dec 1957 - 2 Jun 1959 Sir William Allmond Codrington (b. 1907 - d. 1986)

Heads of state (title yang di-pertuan negara)
3 Jun 1959 - 1 Dec 1959 Sir William Allmond Codrington (s.a.) Non-party
1 Dec 1959 - 22 Dec 1965 Yusuf bin Ishak (b. 1910 - d. 1970) PAP

22 Dec 1965 - 23 Nov 1970 Yusuf bin Ishak (s.a.) PAP
23 Nov 1970 - 2 Jan 1971 Yeoh Ghim Seng (1st time) (acting) (b. 1918 - d. 1993) PAP
2 Jan 1971 - 12 May 1981 Benjamin Henry Sheares (b. 1907 - d. 1981) PAP
12 May 1981 - 24 Oct 1981 Yeoh Ghim Seng (2nd time) (acting) (s.a.) PAP
24 Oct 1981 - 27 Mar 1985 Chengara Veetil Devan Nair (b. 1923 - d. 2005) PAP
27 Mar 1985 - 29 Mar 1985 Wee Chong Jin (acting) (b. 1917 - d. 2005) PAP
29 Mar 1985 - 3 Sep 1985 Yeoh Ghim Seng (3rd time) (acting) (s.a.) PAP
3 Sep 1985 - 1 Sep 1993 Wee Kim Wee (b. 1915 - d. 2005) PAP
1 Sep 1993 - 1 Sep 1999 Ong Teng Cheong (b. 1936 - d. 2002) PAP
1 Sep 1999 - Sellapan Ramanathan (S.R.) Nathan (b. 1924) PAP

Chief ministers
6 Apr 1955 - 8 Jun 1956 David Saul Marshall (b. 1908 - d. 1995) LF
8 Jun 1956 - 5 Jun 1959 Tun Lim Yew Hock (b. 1914 - d. 1984) LF
Prime ministers
5 Jun 1959 - 28 Nov 1990 Lee Kuan Yew (b. 1923) PAP
28 Nov 1990 - 12 Aug 2004 Goh Chok Tong (b. 1941) PAP
12 Aug 2004 - Lee Hsien Loong (b. 1952) PAP

Istana Kampong Glam, Singapore

85 Sultan Gate
Singapore 198501
6391 0450

Istana Kampong Glam (Malay for "Kampong Glam Palace"; Chinese: 甘榜格南皇宫), also Istana Kampong Gelam, is a former Malay palace in Singapore. It is located near Masjid Sultan in Kampong Glam. The palace and compounds were refurbished into the Malay Heritage Centre in 2004.

The original Istana Kampong Glam was built by Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor in 1819 on land of about 23 hectares (57 acres) in Kampong Glam that had been given to him by the British East India Company. It is believed to have been a wooden structure in the area to the east of Beach Road. When it was completed, it occupied an area twice the size of the present compound, which was reduced in 1824 for the construction of North Bridge Road. The Sultan lived there till shortly before his death in Malacca in 1835.

In 1896, there was a succession dispute in Sultan Hussein's family over rights to the Kampong Glam estate, and the matter went to court. In 1897, the court ruled that no one could rightfully claim to be the successor of the Sultan and that the estate belonged to the Crown. (The estate became state land when Singapore gained independence.

(extract from wikipedia)

"Gedung Kuning" - the Bendahara's house

On the left of the main entrance just outside of the Istana compund, stands this large grand house. Because traditionally, it has always been painted with the royal colour - yellow, the locals called it "Gedung Kuning" (the yellow mansion). It was once occupied by descendants of Sultan Hussain Shah up to Tengku Mahmud, the grandson of the Sultan but was sold upon the latter's death. Subsequently, it was purchased by a local Javanese businessman, Haji Yusof Bin Haji Mohammad Noor - who was known locally as "Haji Yusof Talipinggang" (Haji Yusof the belt merchant). Today "Genung Kuning" has been converted into a restaurant serving Malay cuisine.

(extract from

Related articles:

1. About Kampong Glam, with picture of the Malay village, now urban business center)
2. Singapore/Bugis,
3. Kampong Glam,
4. Singapore,
5. Uniquely Singapore, site of Singapore Tourism Board. If you are interested to visit Singapore,more tourist info can be obtained in this website)

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