Malaysia and Singapore: the merger years from racial riots to Singapore independence

The roar of People’s Action Party the Birth of Malaysian Solidarity Convention During the troubled two years (1963-65), which saw the partecipation of the former British colony of Singapore to the ambitious political project of Malaysian Federation, better known among historians and political leaders as Merger’s Years1, the long desired cooperation between the main political faction of the two countries gradually crumbled, leaving behind a fertile ground on which a murky atmosphere…


Singapore in the merger years: from the Japanese surrender to its entry into the Federation of Malaya

Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, Tunku Abduhl Rahman

Japan’s surrender and the return of Singapore under British control On August the 15th, 1945 the Emperor of Japan  Hirohito announced the declaration of unconditional surrender1 and therefore the Japanese General Seishiro Hitagachi, lieutenant in charge of Singapore, on September the 2nd of the same year signed the documents of Japanese surrender in front of the British admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, who at that time was the supreme commander of allied forces in Southeast Asia2. Since April the 1st,…


Japanese occupation and economic boom in Singapore

Japanese occupation, Singapore, Japanese victory

Around the last decades of Nineteenth century, aside from being considered a key hub for all import and export maritime trade routes of the entire Malay Peninsula, Singapore had also gradually become one of the the most dynamic immigration port in the whole Southeast Asia. In fact, it was just in Singapore island that the vaste majority of Chinese, Indian and Indonesian immigrants – who had arrived in droves – used…


Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and the British colonization of Singapore among Penang, Melaka and Bencoolen

Raffles- Compagnia Inglese delle Indie

The arrival of the British in Penang and Francis Light’s free trade strategy Around the end of the Eighteenth century the British East India Company, in order to meet the need of an intermediate logistic base for its merchants ships that followed the Indo-chinese routs, began establishing the early diplomatic relations with Malaysian authorities and, thanks to official Francis Light‘s cunning, who was a former cadet of the Royal Navy, in 1786 it managed…


Portuguese conquerors VS Dutch East India Company: Singapore in the Sultanate of Johor

Between the end of the Fifteenth and the dawn of Sixteenth centuries, Portuguese conquerors, strengthened by a series of considerable achievements in the field of navigation put into effect by the illustrious leading explorers Vasco da Gama (1469-1524) and Bartolomeu Dias (1450-1500), started considering the idea of establishing a colonial outpost on the strategic port of Melaka. The Portuguese were quite enticed by the alluring opportunity to impose their dominion on the spice market, which had been dominated by Indian…


Singapore and its origins through archaeology and the legend of Parameswara, the renegade prince

Singapore and the voice of the most illustrious archaeologists and anthropologists The first human settlements in the Malay Archipelago probably date back to about 40.000 years ago, age to which, according to some archaeologists, we can date back the human skull discovered in Niah Caves, located in todays State of Sarawak, which is situated in the north of the Island of Borneo. Still very little is known about the origins of these ancient civilizations, despite the most reliable…


Southeast Asia, the arrival of British settlers and the battles for the imminent colonization

Southeast Asia currently offers one of the most variegated and unique scenery in the whole planet where, in addition to the mixture of ancient indigenous languages and Asian dialects in general, it is possible to observe an interesting phenomenon of mixing between the influence of British English and that of American English. In order to discover all events and factors that have contributed to the preponderance of the former or the latter variant in any territory…


The British East India Company and the spread of English in Asia

British East India Company

Strongly encouraged by the expertise reached after the circumnavigation of the Cape of Good Hope performed by Bartolomeu Dias in 14871 and increasingly eager to discover new alternative commercial routes to the traditional ones such as the famous Silk Road2, the first Europian navigators who entered into direct contact with Asian populations were Portuguese. In fact, just these latter one decade after, under the leadership of Vasco da Gama reached the west coast of  Southern India,…