When establishing the Singapore branch of my consultancy the New Dimensions Group, I researched the city’s rich history. Singapore’s strategic location in Southeast Asia has paved the way for its trade and wealth.
Needing a place to maintain its naval forces in the Far East, Great Britain claimed the island in 1819. It became prosperous as it supplied rubber for the rest of the world. In 1941 and 1942 Japanese forces took over the city and occupied it for three years.
After World War II, desire for an independent Singapore grew. It did not attain self-government until 1959, after a state of emergency declared by Britain and lasting for twelve years, brought on by Communist advances in nearby Malaya.
Singapore associated itself with the new nation of Malaysia, but in 1965 pulled out of that federation and became truly independent. Britain withdrew its armed forces from Singapore in 1971, encouraging the island nation to build up its own armed forces.
-About the author: Nicholas Janitsary works for cultural understanding between Westerners and their Asian business interests.