The story begins against the background of Temasek and pre-colonial occupation to the residue of British colonial development and the birth of the Republic of Singapore in 1965 as a fledgling island nation state in South-east Asia. With early colonial settlement dating from 1819 with the arrival of Stamford Raffles and the East India Company, the primeval forested and vegetated circumstances of Singapore were transformed substantially to make way for plantation and other forms of agricultural production. Well served by its location as a choke point between the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, the colony thrived largely on entrepôt trade with the Malay hinterland through concentration of lightering, warehousing and convenient association of locals and foreigners, primarily around the Singapore River.
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