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Singapore from Thai History

by Boom Khamai Prinya

Singapore was known first in the 3rd century by the Chinese. At that time, they called Singapore "Pulau Chung" (Island of the Cape), but it was still early in the formation of Singapore.

In the 14th century, Singapore was incorporated as part of Srivijaya (Sri Vijayan Empire, The Empire of Thailand at that time) and was known as the Central Catholic (City of the Sea) located at the foot of Malaya. This was the natural meeting point of sea routes. This island became a meeting point for many fleet types, for example, Chinese, Indian, and Arab ships.

In that century, the small island had the features of its new name: "Singh Pura," with “Singh” meaning lion and “Pura” meaning city in the Thai language. According to legend, the Prince of Srivijaya saw an animal like in a novel, but actually it was a lion. Thus, the current name Singapore was born.

The English were the creator of the later history of Singapore. During the 18th century, the British realized the importance of the "resting point" strategy for repair and replenishing supplies in the convoy fleet of their growing empire, as well as Holland.

In contrast to the foregoing political background, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles set up Singapore as a trading station. The policy of free trade attracted merchants from all parts of Asia and from as far away as the United States and the Middle East. In 1824, just five years after Singapore was set up, the population had grown from 150 to 10,000 people.

In 1832, Singapore became the center of government of the settlements in the Straits of Penang, Malacca, and Singapore. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the coming of the telegraph and steamships were important for Singapore in growing as a commercial center between east and west Asia.

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