By Invitation

Singapore and the United Kingdom: 1819 to 2019

Time for a balanced and objective review of our 200-year journey together


On Jan 29, 1819, Stamford Raffles, accompanied by William Farquhar and a small entourage, arrived in Singapore. His objective was to establish a port and trading station for the East India Company. This is the beginning of the story of modern Singapore.

Our founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, held this view. Speaking to the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce on Feb 6, 1969, he said: "But for the wisdom and foresight of the Englishman with whose name the history of modern Singapore will always be associated, your Chamber, you and I, all of us would not be here today."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 29, 2019, with the headline 'Singapore and the United Kingdom: 1819 to 2019'. Subscribe