Through the use of bribery and intrigue Raffles was able to obtain the right to establish a trading outpost in Singapore on February 6, 1819. Due to its tax free status and optimum location, the settlement grew by leaps and bounds. Raffles had the town divided by ethnicity, with Malay, a Chinese and an Indian quarter, and areas reserved for the white colonialists. In 1824, the British and Dutch authorities signed the Treaty of London in which the Dutch acknowledged British authority in Singapore. The settlement continued to thrive as a trading outpost and by 1860 Singapore’s population exceeded 80,000 residents (Schelander, 1998).
In the Second World War, Singapore was wrested away from British control by the Japanese. After the end of the war, Singapore returned to British rule however by that time a nationalist and anti-imperialist movement had arisen amongst the people of Singapore. Communist groups in Malaya and Singapore started guerrilla warfare against the British forces which the colonial power suppressed with harsh and oppressive measures. Singapore achieved partial independence in 1955 and full independence in1959 (MIMC, 2009).
In 1963 Singapore merged with the Governments of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak and the Republic of Malaysia was formed. The merger caused an increase in tension between the Malay and the Chinese citizens of Malaysia, after three years of continuous racial tensions and rioting, the Malaysian parliament decided to expel Singapore from the Malaysian Federation and in August 1965 the present day Republic of Singapore was formed (MIMC, 2009).
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