SkillsFuture Festival Singapore History Series: 18th Century

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Fort Canning Centre

5 Cox Terrace

Singapore, 179620

Singapore

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Viewing Singapore from a broadened Straits Malay perspective, 1699-1819

In this talk, Dr Imran bin Tajudeen introduces 18th century Singapore, and how it was shaped by major developments in the region at the time. These include the economic and political developments in the Johor-Riau-Lingga Sultanate, particularly the stellar growth of the wealthy port-capital at Riau up to its destruction in 1784 as a favoured international entrepot and a hub for its gambier and coconut plantation economy, both of which set precedents for Singapore's development just a few decades later, as well as Singapore’s own links with the network of ports in Southeast Asia. He reviews the crises that beset the Riau-Johor polity across the period, what these setbacks meant for Singapore, and how they re-situate the mistaken notion of Singapore as a mere ‘fishing village’ before 1819. The imprint and continued development of pre-colonial urban form, architectural traditions, and settlement patterns in colonial Singapore that can be foregrounded as one illustration of these widened perspectives will also be discussed. Finally, Dr Imran will also touch on vicissitudes in Malay and Bugis management of international trade, the legacies of cosmopolitan port societies before European colonisation, and how competing European demands and pressures set the stage for the Malay reception of British interest in Singapore.

*Light refreshments are provided.

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Fort Canning Centre

5 Cox Terrace

Singapore, 179620

Singapore

View Map

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