The records of how Singapore was formed are shrouded in time, but a third-century Chinese record refers to it as the island at the end of a peninsula in the Malay language. Later, the city was referred to as Temasek or Sea town and the during the 14th century it earned the name of Singapore and there is an ancient legend behind it.
Origin and Foundation of Singapore: Once upon a time
Emergence of Modern Singapore: Raffles Effect
World War II and End of Colonialism
The British had no option but to surrender the island and they did so within a week. Singapore remained in the hands of the Japanese until September 1945. The Japanese were tyrants and they executed thousands of Chinese Singaporeans. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared it as the worst disaster and the largest ever capitulation in British history. Singapore faced massive unemployment, staggering economic growth, inadequate housing, labour strikes, social unrest and dwindling infrastructure. However, after 3 years, the Japanese surrendered and the British reoccupied Singapore.
Post War Period
The rise in the prices of commodities and unemployment led to a number of rebellious strikes which in turn led to stoppages in transport and other services. The economy started to improve by late 1947, but it would still take years to stabilize the economy like the pre-war time. The British had lost the confidence of Singaporeans as they failed to defend the country. This led to a state of political awakening among the local population and there was a rise in the number of anti-colonial groups and parties who came up with a myriad of nationalist slogans fighting for 'Merdeka' or independence in the Malay language.
Independence of Singapore
In August 1963, Singapore declared independence from the British rule and joined the federation of Malaysia along with Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. However, after ideological conflicts between the federation and the Singapore government's major political party, People's Action Party (PAP), Singapore left the federation in 1965 and on 9th August in the same year gained sovereignty officially. Singapore became completely independent, and Yusof Bin Ishak was sworn in as its first president while Lee Kuan Yew continued as prime minister.
The merger with Malaysia proved unsuccessful. Singapore left Malaysia and on 9 August 1965 became an independent and sovereign democratic nation. Even today, Singapore preserves the remnants of its multicultural, colonial and wartime past in the form of monuments, museums and memorials.
~This article is written by CR Anjali~