Singapore was well-connected before 1819

Today, Singapore should also be proud of our success as an independent nation.
Today, Singapore should also be proud of our success as an independent nation.PHOTO: ST FILE

I disagree with Mr Chen Junyi that Singapore was plugged into the world only in 1819, and was unable to play a role in the global trade network until then (Don't rob colonial British of credit due them; Jan 11).

The National Museum of Singapore will hold an exhibition this year to show, among other things, how Singapore was already well connected to the region and the world before 1819 (Singapore's rich pre-colonial history to be showcased; Oct 22, 2018).

And at least two centuries before 1819, Singapore was already appreciated for its fine port and commercial potential as a colonial settlement, according to Dr Peter Borschberg of the National University of Singapore's history department (Raffles did not 'discover' Singapore; April 5, 2018).

Archaeological findings are telling. For instance, a second excavation at the site of today's Kampong Glam revealed that the district was flourishing in 1819 (New signs point to a thriving Kampong Glam 200 years ago; July 9, 2018).

The people of ancient Singapore must have been proud of their achievements.

Today, we should also be proud of our success as an independent nation, instead of attributing credit to a non-altruistic foreign power.

Anthony Oei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore was well-connected before 1819'. Print Edition | Subscribe