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Singapore’s history dates from 11th century. Based on the Chinese historical account the island is known as "Pu-Long-Chung", an island at the end of the peninsula. During the 13th century the country was become a part of the Srivijayan Empire and was known as Temasak (the sea town) was known as an early settlement inhabited by Malay and Chinese.
The legend of Sang Nila Utama, explained how Singapore acquire its present name. According to the legend, the prince of Sumatra is looking for a suitable place for a new city and visited the islands coast of Sumatra. During his hunting on Temasek he saw a strange animal fine looking animal that moved with great speed. Thought that what he saw was a lion, and believed it to be good omen, thus decided to build a new city in Temasek and named it "Singapura", city of lion.
Beginning of modern Singapore
During 16th to 19th centuries, the Malay Archipelago was gradually taken over by European colonial powers. The dominance of Portuguese was challenged by the Dutch during 17th century whom later on came to control most of the port in the region and established monopoly over the trade within the archipelago.
Sir Stamford Raffles, the Lieutenant- Governor of Bencoolen in Sumatra strongly opposed the monopoly of trade by the Dutch and so realized the necessity to break the Dutch monopoly of trade.
Determined to break the monopoly of the Dutch over the trade, he wrote several complaints to the East India Company against the Dutch and forwarded ideas about forming a new British Settlement. After several try the Governor-General of British India, agreed to let him visit Calcutta and present his ideas in person. Raffles sailed towards east and on 29 January 1819 he landed in Singapore, with its geographical position and excellent harbour and abundant supply of food and drinking water he decided to set up the new port that the British desperately needed.
Though the Malay chief or Temenggong, was willing to give Raffles permission to start a settlement the island is nominally ruled by the Sultan of Johor, Tengku Rahman, who was under by the Dutch control. The weakened factional division of the Sultanate and the loyalty of Malay chiefs to the older brother of Sultan Tengku Rahman led to a formal treaty concluded by Raffles on the 6 February 1819 with Sultan Hussein of Johor and the Temanggong, as the de jure and de facto rulers of Singapore respectively. The treaty allows the British to establish a trading post in southern Singapore and that the Sultanate and the Temenggong would be paid yearly.
After singing the treaty Raffles returned to Bencoolen and left his assistant Major William Farquhar in charge of the new settlement. As a prized settlement, Singapore as a free port attracted traders as well as immigrants mostly from Malay Archipelago, Southeast Asia, India and China. By the year 1825 Singapore surpassed the trade volume of the long established port of Penang.
In 1822, three years after the establishment of the trading post Raffles returned to Singapore. To ensure that the Singapore will be functional and orderly city, he developed a plan for the improvement the town.