A country’s constant: Four themes

A place amid the big boys: Singapore strives to be open and relevant

Trading hub.

Legend has it that when Sang Nila Utama saw Singapore's beautiful white beaches from across Bintan in 1299, he set sail for its shores.

After an almost fatal storm, he arrived and spotted a lion which he thought was a good omen. The Srivijayan prince named his new kingdom Singapura, or "Lion City". The Lion City's fortunes would rise and decline over the next few centuries.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 04, 2019, with the headline 'A place amid the big boys: S'pore strives to be open and relevant: Vulnerability'. Subscribe