Singapore In Pre War Times


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Singapore In Pre War Times

  1. 1. 1.1Temasek to Singapura<br />Town believed to be founded by Sang Utama, ruler in Sumatra that he renamed Temasek to be Singapore, Lion City<br />He and his decendants ruled Singapore wisely<br />Grew into a thriving trading centre and became properous<br />A source of envy to the neighbouring Majapaht empire in Java which caused the ruler Batara ordered war-chiefs to make a fleet and attack Singapura<br />Singapura rulers built a fort to protect the town from the attacks and succeeded in driving Javanese away<br />1.2Eyewitness Wang Dayuan<br />Well known Chinese traveller in 14th century who wrote Dao Yi Zhi Lue<br />Bustling trading centre for Chinese to sell their goods of fine and moderate quality<br />Some Chinese lived on the island and dressed like local people which supports description that Singapore was prosperous<br />1.3Archeological Evidence<br />Fragments of porcelian from Yuan and Ming dynasty and Thai and Vietnamese porcelian<br />Gold ornaments of Majapahit empire and Compass, Wine cups and Coins from Sri Lanka and China<br />Shards like green glazed and stoneware from Fort Canning<br />1.4Invasion and New Ruler<br />Parameswara was a Malay chief from Sumatra who came to Singapore<br />Murdered the local ruler and made himself the new ruler, but was driven out of Singapura to Maur by Javanese or Siamese<br />Fled to Melaka to found a port city<br />Burnt down a Malay outpost at the mouth of the Singapore River which lost its importance as a trading port, taking away most of Singapura’s trade<br />Little was known of Singapore since then.<br />2.1British and Dutch<br />European trading companies competed fiercely for profit and monopoly of trade routes.<br />Britain had developed commerce with China, India and the Malay Archipelago.<br />The Dutch controlled a large portion of the Malay Archipelago, including Java and Melaka, being the main European power in the region.<br />The British and other Europeans were restricted by the Dutch to trade only at Batavia in Java. The British were charged with high taxes on goods sold and bought.<br />Other traders, especially the Asians, had to carry a Dutch flag and carry a Dutch permit pass. They were only allowed to trade at Dutch-controlled ports.<br />The Dutch enjoyed a trade monopoly and became the biggest rival of the British in Southeast Asia.<br />2.2Need for a new British Trading Settlement<br />Britain’s trade with China became more lucrative later. They had two trading settlements at Penang and Bencoolen for their ships to replenish supplies with travelling between India and China.<br />However, the settlements were far away from the main trading area in the Malay Archipelago. Bencoolen was a trading centre on the wrong side of Sumatra, facing the Indian Ocean. Penang was located far north of the Straits of Melaka, which occupied a better position.<br />Dutch controlled the Straits of Melaka from Melaka and controlled the Sunda Straits from Java, cutting off valuable trade between Penang and trading centres in the Archipelago.<br />2.3Searching for a Trading Settlement<br />Raffles was concerned about the Dutch extending their monopoly of trade between Penang and trading centres in the Archipelago.<br />He wrote a letter to the British East India Company that the Dutch possess the only routes the ships must sail into the Archipelago. The British do not have any ground between India and China nor a friendly port to obtain water.<br />The British searched for a new trading settlement at the south of Dutch Melaka to protect British shipping and trade along Straits of Melaka.<br />Raffles started searching for an ideal place for an ideal place for the new trading settlement. He thought that Singapore was suitable as it had an excellent harbour and supply of water.<br />It occupies a central position in the Straits of Melaka, a commanding and safe position which good facilities to protect trading ships.<br />2.4Starting the Settlement in Singapore<br />Sir Stamford Raffles saw a narrow strip of beach on the South of Singapore, the rest covered with jungle and mangrove trees.<br />He heard from Orang Lauts who went near the ships that the Dutch were not on the island. He went together with William Farquhar in a small boat to the mouth of Singapore River again the next morning.<br />There was a Malay village on one side of the river. Of the village huts and wooden houses, the largest belonged to Temenggong Abdul Rahman. They went to the Temenggong’s house.<br />Raffles told him that the British wanted to establish a trading settlement on the island. However, the Temenggong was Tengku Abdul instead. Only the Sultan, Abdul Rahman, can start such a settlement. Furthermore, he was in control of the Dutch.<br />After hearing the story, Raffles chose to recognize Tengku Hussien as the Sultan and get his permission to start the trading settlement.<br />The Temmegong sent his men to the Riau Island to invite Tengku Hussien to Singapore. Tengku Hussien then came into Singapore secretly and agreed to be recognized as the Sultan.<br />They signed a treaty that gave the British East India Company the rights to establish a trading settlement in Singapore, allowing the British to do so.<br />2.5Anglo-Dutch Treaty<br />The Dutch protested against the British trading settlement in Singapore and claimed that it indirectly belonged to them.<br />This made the British government and EIC directors displeased for Raffles stirring trouble between the Dutch and British.<br />However, both powers did not want to declare war with each other.<br />Holland could be used as a strong buffer state against powerful European countries. France could use Holland to launch a military attack on Britain.<br />Holland did not want to anger Britain as another war will cripple its economy.<br />The British decided to create a friendly and strong buffer state out of Holland.<br />Both sides had nothing to gain from war and had to make efforts to negotiate a peace settlement. The Dutch and British government signed the Anglo-Dutch Treaty in 1824 that allowed the British to keep Singapore.<br />Singapore will be within British influence while the Dutch East Indies will be under Dutch influence. The Dutch would give their port in Melaka in exchange for their port in Bencoolen of Sumatra. The British now had three ports.<br />2.6British control of a new colony<br />The treaty only gave Singapore the rights to start a trading settlement in Singapore. It did not enable the British to gain control of the island yet.<br />The Sultan only gave the British a piece of land to build the settlement. It was still controlled by a Malay ruler.<br />Singapore became a British colony when a treaty was signed between Sultan Hussein and John Crawfurd on 2 August 1824.<br />This treaty enabled the Sultan and Temenggong to hand over the island to the British East India Company in exchange for larger sums of money.<br />2.7New settlement comes to life<br />After signing the treaty, Raffles left for Bencoolen to be appointed as Lieutenant Governor. He left Farquhar in charge of Singapore.<br />Farquhar served as Resident or local ruler of the settlement and the commander of the troops with him on the island.<br />Farquhar faced many problems in starting the settlement.<br />Farquhar had to clear the land on the northern bank of the Singapore River of trees to be able to build attap huts for themselves.<br />Gun positions and mounted big guns were to be built facing the sea for defense purposes.<br />People had to be invited to trade and live in Singapore. A British official was stationed on St John’s Island to invite passing ships to stop at Singapore.<br />Food had to be sufficient to keep new settlers in Singapore. People in Melaka heard about Singapore and sailed down in boats loaded with foodstuff.<br />Violence and disorder had to be controlled as offences took place often. Farquhar started a small police force, but they were insufficient to keep law and order.<br />Pests were a common sight in Singapore due to unclean environments. Farquhar offered money for every pest killed.<br />3.1The Immigrants<br />News spread after a few years after Singapore’s founding<br />Thousands from Asia and other parts of the world came to Singapore<br />Many came from Europe, China, Arabia, India, Ceylon, Melaka, Penang.<br />Many were finding bright job oppurtunies and business prospects<br />Trade prospered as the population grew rapidly <br />Other immigrants cam because of unfavourable conditions in their homeland<br />Push factors refer to repelling factors & pull factors refer to attracting factors<br />3.2Intentions of Immigrants<br />Most immigrants were men who did not intend to stay permanently <br />They hoped to make enough money to be sent home regularly<br />They planned to return home after gaining some wealth<br />Some of them then decided to make Singapore their home<br />They brought their family to Singapore or married local women<br />The women were mostly Malays and Chinese from Penang and Melaka<br />3.3Settling Down<br />The immigrants settled in large amounts near the mouth of the Singapore River.<br />Raffles appointed Lieutenant Philip Jackson as Assistant Engineer to draw up a plan in 1822.<br />The different races were separated and a chief was assigned to take care of the internal affairs of each community.<br />The Chinese race were further separated into their dialect groups.<br />When Raffles left Singapore in 1823, The town plan continued under the new Resident John Crawfurd.<br />The development of the settlement was restricted to the southern part of the island. Roads were laid out and offices and shophouses were put up.<br />The roads later widened and the streets were lighted using coconut oil lamps. Land at the seafront was reclaimed and more public and government buildings were built.<br />3.4Singapore 1822 Town Plan<br />Chinese settlers had Chinatown set aside for them. It was divided into separate areas for different dialect groups with a kapitan each.<br />The Malays and Muslims were assigned to Kampong Glam. An area was set for the Sultan and his relatives and followers.<br />The Indians lived in Chulia Kampong before being moved to Serangoon Street.<br />The Europeans and rich Asians lived in European Town. Big houses and tree-lined roads were built.<br />Commercial Square was the centre of commerce in Singapore where European and Asian traders traded.<br />Jungles outside the town area were cleared for plantations. By the 1840s, the plantations were ready, some of which were gambier and rubber owned by Chinese immigrants.<br />3.5Contributions by the Immigrants<br />Traders all over the world came to Singapore soon after its founding due to the absence of taxes and duties.<br />Europeans who came set up big trading companies that linked to Europeans.<br />Goods like cotton cloth, opium, tea, silk, coffee and pepper from different parts of the world were brought in bulk to Singapore before being repackaged into smaller quantities then exported to places like Europe, India, China and the Malay Archipelago.<br />The people who traded with each other could speak enough English, Malay and local dialects to communicate with their clients.<br />Coolie-agents helped the traders look for workers from India and China who provided much-needed labour.<br />Trade prospered and more workers were brought into Singapore.<br />This leaded to an increase in population. Transportation and provision of daily necessities had to be provided to the immigrants.<br />The Chinese had provision shops, rickshaw pullers, street hawkers and barbers.<br />Coolies came in as unskilled Chinese labourers who carried goods to and from boats and warehouses along the Singapore River.<br />The Indians were successful in banking and transportation and had monopoly of it until the 1860s.<br />The Malays provided basic necessities like firewood and food while others were shipbuilders, gardeners, huntsmen and hawkers.<br />3.6Impact of Immigrants on the society<br />Singapore grew faster than it could handle that the government spent nothing on schools and had a hard time dealing with crime, disease and poverty of the immigrants. <br />Many were lying on the roads and there were even dead bodies on the roads. Some Europeans found it a disgrace to see beggars in a European-ruled country.<br />The more successful businessmen were motivated to help their fortunate countrymen by becoming philanthropists. They spent large sums of money on medical facilities and amenities for the community and proper burials for poor people.<br />The Paupers’ Hospital on Pearl’s Hill and Thong Chai Medical Institution were some examples. Their efforts made their life less miserable.<br />Christian missionaries from Europe and America also contributed by setting up schools in Singapore.<br />St. Margaret’s School was an example. An English missionary started a home for Chinese girls before they could be sold off as slaves.<br />The early immigrants helped build a wealth with hard work, effort and suffering, making life bearable for us today.<br />