History of Singapore: From “Sea-Town” to the Current Cosmopolitan ‘Busiest-City-Of-the-World’ Tag!


Singapore, as we now know was very different when it was getting established as a civilization. The beautiful city that is full of hustle bustle and lights was once a quiet city, which was ruled by five kings and it then came under the Malay rule. It took a long time for Singapore to become what it is now. Full of energy, brightness and colors; Singapore has come a long way to achieve the title of the busiest city in the whole world. From Nada to Prada, that is how you can best describe it now but earlier, things were drastically different as people weren’t even sure if it would ever gain independence.

Let us have a peak in the history of this modern day wonder and the hardships and shortcomings that the people faced together as a nation.

The name of this great nation was surprisingly not Singapore from the starting. It was changed several times before getting the final name of Singapore. Initially referred to as “The island at the end of the peninsula”, Singapore saw its first settlements as early as 1298 AD. It later got the name of Sea Town as it was surrounded by sea on all sides.

The Symbol of Singapore

The Symbol of Singapore

Around the 14th century, a prince who was very fond of hunting lions named it “The Lion City” or “Singapura” and hence the name Singapore was finalized for this city. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founded the modern day Singapore in the 19th century. Singapore was a top-trading city at this time, and merchants from all over the world were interested in trading with Singapore.


Formally under Malaysia, Singapore fought for its independence and elected its first Prime Minister in 1959. Lee Kuan Yew was the first Prime Minister of Singapore who worked towards getting nationalism for Singapore and its people.

On 9 August 1965, Singapore became an independent and sovereign democratic nation after it separated from Malaysia and the Malay rule. This was the first step towards the modernization of this city. The city saw a drastic change in its appearance and the citizens, as after that as they became more work oriented and worked hard towards the growth of the economy of Singapore.

Growth of Singapore

After it gained independence, Singapore was reeling on the shaky grounds of uncertainty and doubt. The people did not know what to do or whom to trust. There was a lot of confusion and doubts about the choice of profession and also the kind of education that was to be provided to the children.

Also, Singapore was in the danger of getting attacked by many foreign entities like the Indonesian military and the Malaysian military, as it was a newly freed nation and everyone wanted to step on its weakness and rule it. To combat these problems, the economic development board was set up in 1961 and many capable people were put together to solve the security problem that the nation was facing. Numerous important economic strategies were formulated to lead to the growth of Singapore as a whole nation.

Then there was another problem – health and sanitation. Singapore was not as clean and unpolluted, as it is today. People were economically weak and poorly sanitized; the houses were not enough to accommodate the whole population. And thus, the housing development board was set up to combat these issues. Many building projects were laid down and thousands of houses were built for the people of Singapore. The government strongly believed that the sanitation situation should be improved and the city saw a drastic change in the cleanliness sector.

And the city was kept secure by the Singapore armed forces, which in the current date are considered is the best security troops in the world. And so, the march towards a modern Singapore began.

Modern Singapore

Very soon, the unemployment rate fell down to as low as a three percent and the GDP growth increased to eight percent. It was in the middle of the 1980’s that Singapore began to focus on the improvement and installment of the latest technology and making the city technically sound, as well.

Modern Singapore

Modern Singapore

1981 saw the inauguration of the Singapore Airlines and it was major step towards the modernization of Singapore. It is a major airline and it connects Singapore to every continent in the world. Also, the Singapore airport is one of the busiest airports in the world as Singapore is now a major business hub and also a major tourist attraction.

The future of Singapore

An architectural wonder, an ace in the modern day technology, a hub for employing the largest number of local as well as foreigners, one of the best armies in the whole world, the health condition acing the charts, Singapore started from ground zero and has built itself an empire that is envied by many.

Today, everyone wants to go and work in Singapore, as it provides a good standard of living and also its currency is equal to pretty more or less the US dollar. It has become one of the top most choices for people to go and settle in as it provides great hospitality and warmth to its foreign population.

The open mindedness of this city has led to the evolution of its multi-cultural perspective. Today, Singapore is full of people from every caste, creed and color and they cannot be happier about it. Every year people flock to Singapore for a vacation and all they want to do is to indulge in a repeat-vacation. The growth that this city has seen in the tourism department is really great. The amusement parks, the fun joyrides, the multi-cuisine fine dining restaurants, the spicy street food, the lush and rich flora and fauna, the freshness and refreshing air, the beaches, the aroma of clear air; who does not want to go on a vacation here!

Singapore is progressing by leaps and Bounds

Singapore is progressing by leaps and Bounds

The future of Singapore holds a very strong plan towards an even cleaner and pollution free city. The government is focusing on removing the poverty from the roots and giving every citizen the life that they deserve. Many plans are being proposed to build a green city to combat the dry spells and farming problems that they are currently facing.

The future will see a Singapore that is vibrant and sustainable, has a whole bunch of gracious and hospitable people, a place that anyone can call as “home”, is pollution free and disease free, has a GDP as high as the US, has absolutely no poverty and pays importance to recycling. In one word, it is aiming to becoming a super country in the coming time.

Singapore was just a barren land when people started to occupy it and now, it barely has any barren land left! That is the beauty of civilization and growth that Singapore has seen. The people of Singapore are healthy, they are doing well for themselves and the most important – they are happy!

Welcome to the city that will put a permanent smile on your face!

%d bloggers like this: