Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Singapore

How many dates can a country celebrate? The choices are many. Day of discovery, day of independence, ruler's birthday?

Today is the anniversary of the date in 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, administrator of the British East India Company, stole the island of Singapore from Malay and handpicked someone to become the Sultan of Singapore. Sir Stamford stole Singapore and created this position out of whole cloth, without permission or authority from anyone.

Clearly, he was a man with a plan. The plan was to create a free trading port between India and China. He was marvelously successful.

Upon hearing of his coup his masters at the BEIC through a fit, and recalled him immediately to India. It took him 3 years to return.

While away he designed the city, created the plans for new wharves and sea ports. His city plan is mostly still intact.

Today, Singapore is the 16th largest trading economy in the world, thanks to the foresight of one man.


forever thanks to ADG for the use of his Jaguar while at my favorite hotel


Martha said...

My husband loved the Raffles when he stayed there oh so many years ago! It was one thing on his "must do" list!

Shelley said...

Sounds pretty arrogant, doesn't it, stealing and designing like that, without even your employer's permission? I used to see it every day in the NHS...

tintarosa said...

Singapore Sling anyone!

ADG said...

I remember now-that time you were spotted at Raffles with that tiny gal.

Brian said...

What a great way to get what you want out of a place. Maybe I'll try to steal a tropical island.

Scott said...

I spent Christmas, 1985 in Singapore courtesy of the US Navy. One of the nicer things they did for me. Raffles was elegantly shabby in '85. I understand they've had a major refurb and new management since then.