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Sunday, April 22, 2007

History of Singapore

Ask any Singaporean about the history of Singapore.

Chances are that they don't know about the history of Singapore, or know partially about it.

I was doing a duty on Sat morning. Its a heritage trail organised to mostly senior citizens. Venue is at Istana Kampong Glam. Went in into the museum for a free and easy tour of the Malay heritage.

Met an New Zealander (staying in Singapore) there. SQ and me had a nice friendly chat with him. Started when he recognise our 8 pointed stars, and mentioned that SJAB is a good organisation.

The topic went to the history of Singapore.

Amazingly, he knew the orgins of Singapore... Even before Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore!!! How the British went for a alternate way to get "control" of Singapore, by recognizing the Sultan's brother as the rightful Sultan of Singapura (Singapore), signing a treaty with him and change the name of the island to Singapore.

Istana Kampung Glam is the residence of the Sultan of Singapore, located along Sultan Gate.

After signing the treaty, Sir Raffles left Singapore and let Mr William Farquhar to do the administration of the island. (Sad to say, Sir Stamford Raffles is so well-known in Singapore, but not William Farquhar and Dr John Crawford, who replaced Mr William Farquhar.)

Imagine a New Zealander knows about the history of Singapore, and we, Singaporeans does not know!!! (Luckily, i still can recall my secondary school history lessons, or i would have embarrass myself and the all the Singaporeans.)

Interestingly, there's a controversy over who is the founder of Singapore. You can read about the debate over here.

Frankly speaking, I am not very familiar about Singapore history before the British came. I am more well-versed (not an expert) on the happenings after the British came. How they develop the island, how they surrender Singapore to the Japanese after only 10 days of fighting on Singapore soil on Feb 1942, how the Japanese surrender to the Allied forces on Sept 1945, how the MPAJA (Malayan People Anti-Japanese Army) changed to MPABA (Malayan People Anti-British Army).

Not forgetting about the riots, the Mac donald house bombing, how Singapore gain internal independance, how Singapore become part of Malaysia, and how Singapore gain independence on the 9th Augest 1965.

It's all about history of the soil you call your home.

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