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(1,166 words)

Author(s): Roxborogh, John | Yeow, Choo-Lak
1. General Situation The island of Singapore was obtained from Malay rulers in Johor in 1819 by Stamford Raffles (1781–1826). Established as a free trading port, it became part of the British Straits Settlements along with Malacca and Penang. The British surrendered to the Japanese in February 1942, and in 1946 Singapore became a crown colony. After independence in 1963 it was part of the Federation of Malaysia until 1965. Under the leadership of Lee Kwan Yee (prime minister 1959–90), Singapore became a prosperous modern state, acutely conscious of the importance …