• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


The first known written account of the island of Singapore was by a Chinese explorer in the 3rd century AD. In a strategic location at the tip of the Malay peninsula, the island is likely to have been a port of call for sailors navigating the Melaka straits, although there is no evidence of settlement until the town of Temasek was described in the 13th century. Temasek was controlled by the Srivijaya Empire, centred on Palembang in Sumatra, during the 14th century, before falling to the Javanese Majapahit Empire. When Sultan Iksander Shah founded the Melaka Sultanate in the 1390s, he established a trading post on Singapore Island. After Portuguese forces sacked Melaka in 1511 the island came under the influence of the newly-created Johor Sultanate. In 1613 Singapore’s main settlement was burnt down by Portuguese raiders and the island slipped into obscurity, with the ports of Melaka and Johor dominating the lucrative shipping routes that linked Europe and India with China and the East Indies.


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Further Reading

  1. Department of Statistics. Monthly Digest of Statistics. — Yearbook of Statistics.Google Scholar
  2. The Constitution of Singapore. 1992Google Scholar
  3. Information Division, Ministry of Information and the Arts. Singapore [year] : a Review of [the previous year].Google Scholar
  4. Ministry of Trade and Industry, Economic Survey of Singapore. (Quarterly and Annual)Google Scholar
  5. Chee-Kiong, T., The Making of Singapore Sociology: State and Society. 2002Google Scholar
  6. Chew, E. C. T., A History of Singapore. 1992Google Scholar
  7. Huff, W. G., Economic Growth of Singapore: Trade and Development in the Twentieth Century. 1994CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Myint, S., The Principles of Singapore Law. 4th ed. 2001Google Scholar
  9. Tan, C. H., Financial Markets and Institutions in Singapore. 11th ed. 2005Google Scholar
  10. National library: National Library of Singapore, 100 Victoria Street, Singapore 188064.Google Scholar
  11. National Statistical Office: Department of Statistics, 100 High St. #05–01, The Treasury, Singapore 179434.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

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