Timeline Singapore


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Historical Events:

  • 1819, founded by Sir Stamford Raffles.
  • Fall to the Japanese in Feb 1942 – Aug 1945.
  • Became a Nation State in 1959 with LKY as first PM.
  • Expelled from Malaysia in Aug 9, 1965.
  • British forces pulled out in 1971.
  • First F1 Night Race was held on 28 September 2008.

Before 1819:

3rd century – Early Chinese account of Singapore describes the island of “Pu Luo Chung” or island at the end of a peninsula.

13th century – The port of Temasek is founded by Sang Nila Utama, a prince of Srivijaya.

1320 – the Mongol court sent a mission to obtain elephants from Long Ya Men (or Dragon’s Tooth Strait), believed to be Keppel Harbour.

1330s – The Chinese traveller Wang Dayuan visits Temasek.

1390s – Parameswara, the last Srivijayan prince, flees to Temasek.

1405 – Zheng He (Zheng Ho or Cheng Ho) sailed pass Singapore.

1414 – Temasek becomes part of the Sultanate of Malacca established by Parameswara.

1511 – Temasek becomes part of Sultanate of Johor after Malacca fell to the Portuguese.

1613 – Portuguese burns down a trading outpost at the mouth of Singapore River.

1819 to 1945:

1819 January – Stamford Raffles arrives in Singapore with William Farquhar to establish a trading post for the British East India Company.

1819 February – The treaty is signed between Sultan Hussein of Johor, Temenggong Abdul Rahman and Stamford Raffles. Farquhar is installed as Resident of the settlement.

1822 – Raffles drafts the Raffles Plan of Singapore to reorganise the island.

1823 – Raffles founds the Singapore Institution, later renamed the Raffles Institution. Dr John Crawfurd takes over as Resident. It was Dr. Crawfurd who actually signed the final treaty which brought Singapore under British sovereignty, and deserves to be remembered and commemorated for this achievement.

1824 – The Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 is signed, Dutch withdraw all objections to British occupation of Singapore. The first official population census in Singapore recorded the total population as 10,683 which includes 4580 Malays, 3317 Chinese, 756 Indians and 74 Europeans.

1826 – Singapore becomes part of the British colony of Straits Settlements under the rule of the East India Company, together with Malacca and Penang.

1830 – Singapore comes under the Presidency of Bengal in India.

1832 – Singapore becomes the centre of government of the Straits Settlements.

1842 – St. Margaret’s Girls School is founded by Maria Tarn Dyer, the first and oldest all girls’ school in Singapore. The Singapore Turf Club (STC), renowned for its horse-racing began as the Singapore Sporting Club, was founded by Scottish merchant William Henry Macleod Read. The grandstand and track were built in less than five months on swampy land in what is today Farrer Park.

1843 – Thomas Dunman, the first full-time police chief of Singapore, improves the police force as well as the pay and working hours of policemen.

1844 – The Tan Tock Seng Hospital begins operation. Raffles Girls’ School is established.

1852 – A new deep harbour called New Harbour, later known as Keppel Harbour, is built.

1858 – Singapore is placed under the hierarchy of the Government of India, remaining as part of the Straits Settlements.

1858 – Commercial Square is renamed Raffles Place.

1859 – The Singapore Botanic Gardens is founded.

1867 April 1 – Straits Settlements become a crown colony of British Empire.

1869 – The Suez Canal opens, and Singapore enjoys the increase in trade

1877 – The Chinese Protectorate is set up, and William Pickering becomes the head of it. The Post Office Savings Bank, part of the Postal Services Department was established on 1 January 1877 in the General Post Office Building, in Raffles Place by the British Colonial Government in Singapore.

1885 – Gan Eng Seng School was established at Telok Ayer Street.

1886 – Anglo-Chinese School established.

1887 – Methodist Girls’ School established.

1887 – The Raffles Hotel was built.

1888 – Henry Ridley becomes the director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

1888 – The Singapore Fire Brigade was formed.

1892 – The Tanjong Pagar Police Station opens, and many Sikh policemen are recruited.

1899 – Singapore Chinese Girls’ School established.

1906 – The Nanyang branch of Tongmenghui is set up in Singapore.

1906 – Tao Nan School established by the Hokkien Huay Kuan.

1912 – The Singapore Harbour Board is set up.

1915 February – The Singapore Mutiny 1915 occurs as British Muslim Indian sepoys rose up against the British.

1922 – Singapore becomes the main British naval base in East Asia.

1941 December – In an extensive three-pronged attack, Japan opens hostilities with the Allies and their colonies, Singapore suffers immense air raids from this point onwards until February 15. The Imperial Japanese Army invades Malaya. The British men-of-war HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse are sunk by Japanese bombers.

1942 January – Malaya falls to the Japanese and the causeway is blown up to delay Japan’s advancement to Singapore.

1942 February – Japanese soldiers along the Straits of Johor start firing at Singapore. The Japanese cross the Strait of Johor by inflatable boats and land in Singapore during the Battle of Singapore.  Later, the Japanese and Allied soldiers fight fiercely at Bukit Timah.  The Malay regiment, led by Lt. Adnan bin Saidi, fight bravely against the Japanese at Pasir Panjang Ridge in the Battle of Pasir Panjang. The Japanese have captured most of Singapore, and most of the population is crammed into the city centre. On 15 February 1942, the British surrenders and the Japanese Occupation of Singapore starts. Singapore is renamed Syonan (Light of the South).

1942 February to March – The Japanese military police, the Kempei Tai kills an estimated between 25,000 to 50,000 people during Sook Ching Massacre. Lim Bo Seng is captured by the Japanese, and dies after 3 months of torture.

1945 August – Japan surrenders, and there is anomie and looting for nearly a month when the British do not return immediately.

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