Let the story flow…• The story starts in January 1819. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles’ expedition to find and start a new British trading port in the Straits of Melaka arrived in Singapore’s waters.• Upon an inspection of the island, Raffles decided that such an island would be the perfect choice upon which the British could start a settlement.• Thus started a campaign to bring the then unimportant fishing village of Singapore into the embrace of the British…
A Prequel.• The Dutch had monopolised trade in the Straits of Melaka, jeopardising the lucrative British trade with China.• The British had themselves two ports in the region, namely Bencoolen and Penang.• These two were not of much help as: Bencoolen was positioned way off the trading route on the other side of Sumatra• Penang was located too far up north in the Straits and so was not very convenient for ships to stop at.
A Prequel.• As early as in the year 1818, Raffles had already the idea of a British settlement which can provide for a port in the trading route between China and India. Raffles said ,”The Dutch possess the only routes through The Dutch possess the only routes through• In a letter he wrote to the British East India Company, which ships must sail into the Malay Archipelago, the which ships must sail into the Malay Archipelago, the Straits of Sunda and Melaka; and the British have now not Straits of Sunda and Melaka; and the British have now not an inch of ground to stand upon between India and China, an inch of ground to stand upon between India and China, nor a friendly port at which they obtain water and obtain nor a friendly port at which they obtain water and obtain refreshment.” refreshment.”• And so he sets sail, bringing us to our story again…
What happened next…• Raffles was convinced that Singapore should be made a British settlement.• Raffles learnt from the local Malay Temenggong that Singapore was under the rule of a Sultan from whom permission was to be sought before a settlement could be established.• However, the Sultan, Tengku Abdul Rahman, was under control of the Dutch.• This proved problematic as the Dutch was a chief rival to the British.
What happened next…• Raffles decided to instead recognise Tengku Hussein, the elder brother of Tengku Abdul Rahman, as the rightful Sultan.• This was supported by the Temenggong.• A treaty was therefore signed on 6 February, 1819. Tengku Hussein gave Raffles permission to set up a British settlement in Singapore.
So much… But why? The map of Southeast Asia. Singapore is situated to overlook the mouth of the Straits of Melaka.
So much… But why?Raffles thought Singapore was the ideal choice as:• It had an excellent harbour and a sufficient fresh water supply to keep ships going.• It was located in an excellent strategic position.• It was not occupied by the Dutch.Singapore had a commanding position in the mouth of the Straits of Melaka, taking from the Dutch Fort of Melaka all its previous advantages.
Well,• The Dutch objected strongly to the setting up of a British settlement in Singapore.• They argued that Singapore indirectly belonged to them.• Upon the effort of Raffles and several others, negotiations were made and finally concluded with the signing of the Anglo-Dutch treaty, in which the entire Strait of Melaka was handed over to the British in exchange for Bencoolen.
Problem solved.• Major William Farquhar was left in charge of the management of Singapore while Raffles went off to settle matters in Bencoolen.• He quickly imported food for the people and business to attract settlers.• A small police force was also set up to maintain law and order.• Farquhar also put the pest population under control.• Singapore soon grew from a tiny, quiet fishing village into a busy bustling town.
• Singapore officially became a British colony in 1824 when Dr John Crawford signed a treaty with the sultan to hand over the entire island inreturn for larger sums of money than hepreviously received.• As a summary, CLICK HERE. The end. Thank you.
With credits to:• Tze Jit, for the video• Ian, for the narration• Everyone else, for random stuff that they might or might not have contributed• Mr. Lim, for the lesson• Marshall Cavendish Education, for publishing the textbook• Wikipedia, for being so ever-helpful in the times of need• And myself, for the Powerpoint Presentation