Home        About Singapore          Sources          Contact  
Singapore 5 stars emblem
Singapore is a small country located at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula, slightly above (137 kilometers) the equator as seen on this map. . It boasts an all-year round tropical climate. A modern and developed country, its cultural diversity allows tourists to explore the ‘true Asia’ with the ease of travelling in a First World country.

Where did the name Singapore come from?
Majestic Lion
Even though lions never did exist in Singapore, our founder Sang Nila Utama, mistakenly believed that he saw a lion on arriving on this small island. Thus the name Singapore, means Lion City deriving the name from two words: Singa, meaning lion in Malay or Bahasa Indonesia and Pura which means City in Sanskrit (Singapura is the original name of Singapore- the anglicized version given by the British).

Watch Video on Hannah M.'s experience in Singapore!
Singapore Interview

Quick History?

To truly appreciate Singapore’s diversity and development, you should know a little bit about our history. But to not bore you too much, this is a short description of it.

First settlement
Singapore Island
The first records of settlement in Singapore are from the 2nd century AD. It originally had the Javanese name Temasek ('sea town'). Temasek (Tumasek) rapidly became a significant trading settlement, but declined in the late 14th century. 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 17th.

Turning point
Stamford Raffles
On 29 January 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles landed on the main island of Singapore. Noticing its potential as a strategic geographical trading post in Southeast Asia, Raffles with the British East India Company signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah 6 February 1819 to develop the southern part of Singapore as a British trading post and settlement. 5 years later, Singapore became a British colony in August 1824 when the British extended control over the whole island. The British India office governed the island from 1858, but Singapore was made a British crown colony in 1867, answerable directly to the Crown.

World War 2
Japanese war in Singapore
In order to protect its SouthEast Asian territories, the British set a naval base on the Northern end of Singapore. However, due to the war with Germany, all warship and war equipment was brought over to Europe leaving Singapore stranded and open to Japanese forces. During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Malaya and took over Singapore on 15 February 1942.

Singapore Emblem
After the fall of the Japanese, Singapore, having been left stranded by the British, strove to be independent. Singapore became a self-governing state within the British Empire in 1959 with Yusof bin Ishak as its first president, and Lee Kuan Yew as its first Prime Minister. It 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 due to a ideological conflict between the state's PAP government and the federal Kuala Lumpur government. Singapore officially gained sovereignty on 9 August 1965. Yusof bin Ishak was sworn in as the first President of Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew remained prime minister.