Rajendra Chola I , ruler of the southern Indian Chola kingdom, attacked the island in , and there was another Chola raid in In the Javanese king Kertanagara probably attacked Temasek when he raided Pahang on the east coast of the peninsula.
According to a Chinese traveler, Wang Dayuan, just before about 70 Tai Siamese war boats besieged Temasek for a month but had to withdraw. At the end of the 14th century, Temasek fell into decay and was supplanted by Malacca now Melaka. Yet in it was still a port of call from which St. Merlion sculptureA sculpture of the Merlion, a symbol of Singapore; it has the head of a lion and the body of a fish.
He found only a few Chinese planters, some aborigines, and a few Malays and was told by the hereditary chief, the temenggong direct ancestor of the sultans of present-day Johor , Malaysia , that the company could purchase land.
The temenggong, however, was a subordinate of his cousin Abdul Rahman, sultan of Riau-Johor, who was under Dutch surveillance. Furthermore, Abdul Rahman was a younger son and not a sultan de jure. Thomas Stamford Raffles, detail of an oil painting by G. Joseph, ; in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Two years later Singapore, Penang , and Malacca Melaka were combined as the Straits Settlements to form an outlying residency of India.
In they were reduced to a residency under Bengal , and two years later Singapore became their capital. When the East India Company lost its monopoly of the China trade , it also lost its interest in Malaya. The settlements were transferred to the direct control of the governor-general of India in In they were made a crown colony under the Colonial Office in London. With the opening of the Suez Canal in and the advent of steamships, however, an era of prosperity began that led eventually to the construction of 3 miles 5 km of wharves at Tanjong Pagar and finally, in , a naval base.
The economic growth of the Malay states after they became British protectorates enlarged transit trade. Richard Olof Winstedt The demand of the industrial West for tin and rubber was what made Singapore one of the greatest ports in the world. After World War I , steps were taken to modernize Malayan defenses and, with the lapsing of the Anglo-Japanese alliance, to build a large naval base in Singapore.
They quickly gained air and naval superiority in the region, and by the end of January they had overrun the peninsula and were opposite Singapore Island. The Japanese crossed the Johor Strait on February 8, , and the British command surrendered the island and city one week later.
Singapore remained in Japanese hands until September As a separate crown colony from , Singapore made constitutional progress despite the communist insurrection in Malaya. Elected ministers and a Legislative Assembly with an elected majority assumed government responsibility in , except for matters of defense and foreign policy. In the official and nominated elements were eliminated, and Singapore became self-governing, although Britain still retained control of defense and foreign policy.
First decades of self-government Singapore joined the Federation of Malaysia on its formation in September Those leaders opposed the concept of Malaysia and broke away from the PAP to form the Socialist Front Barisan Sosialis , which was accused of being a communist front organization.
The PAP faced fresh dangers of subversion when Indonesian opposition to Malaysia took the form of military and economic confrontation That conflict had ethnic overtones and continued to affect relations between Singapore and Malaysia until the mids, when relations became more cordial. In January the British government had announced that all British defense forces would be withdrawn from East and Southeast Asia except Hong Kong by the end of The ruling PAP termed its sweep of all parliamentary seats a mandate for its plans for reducing the economic effects of the British military withdrawal.
At the end of October , British military presence in Singapore came to an end. The Anglo-Malayan treaty concluded in , which had committed Britain to the defense of the region, was terminated, and in its place a five-power defense arrangement—involving Britain, Australia , New Zealand , Malaysia, and Singapore as equal partners—came into force. Beginning in the s Singapore pursued an aggressive policy of economic growth based primarily on export manufacturing and trade.
Gradually, it also took a more active role in regional diplomacy. The PAP continued to dominate Singaporean politics after Lee stepped down as prime minister in , and between and opposition parties gradually increased their number of seats in Parliament from one to four. Annajane Kennard Thomas R. The PAP maintained firm control of Parliament through a succession of elections. After opposition candidates won four seats in the legislative contest, their numbers in the , , and polls dropped to two each time.
Opposition parties were granted a small but increasing number of constitutionally mandated appointed seats, but the PAP continued to enjoy an overwhelming legislative mandate. Growth resumed in the early s, however, buoyed by a strong manufacturing sector.
The general understanding was that the younger Lee was being groomed to eventually succeed Goh. Lee Hsien Loong with world leaders From left to right: Two years later, however, Singapore was caught in the global recession of —09, from which it began to recover only in Important to that recovery was the growth of the services sector, notably tourism, which benefited greatly after two large resort complexes that included newly legalized gambling casinos opened in However, like his father had done before him, he continued to bring libel and antidefamation lawsuits against detractors and political opponents, which earned him disapproval internationally and stirred discontent at home.
He and the PAP were therefore surprised by the relatively strong showing by opposition parties in the parliamentary elections, which won six seats outright. Later that year, Tony Tan, the PAP-backed candidate for the largely ceremonial office of president, barely won election over his three opponents. Helping to pave the way for a change in outlook were the resignations from the cabinet in of both Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, a tacit admission by the government that their presence there was hampering new approaches and styles of governance.
Reforms were subsequently explored that were intended to make health care, public housing , and education more affordable for lower-class Singaporeans. One of those measures, a compulsory national health care plan, was to go into effect at the end of Singaporeans witnessed two milestone events in In March Lee Kuan Yew died at the age of 91, and his passing elicited widespread mourning in the country. In August the country observed the 50th anniversary of its secession from the Federation of Malaysia with a gala celebration throughout Singapore.
At the end of that month President Tan dissolved Parliament and called for early elections, which were held in early September. The PAP again won overwhelmingly, garnering 83 of the 89 contested seats. Agreements were reached with Malaysia on territorial disputes and on concerns over water supplies and transportation access, although some issues regarding water remained unresolved. Singapore and Indonesia concluded a pact in that established special economic zones on islands off the Indonesian coast, and in an agreement went into effect between China and six ASEAN countries including Singapore that established a largely tariff-free trade zone in the region.