Choomer. Kuala Lumpur.
The early history of Singapore rests upon tradition, and from this it seems to be established that a leaving Palembang in Sumatra, some Malays settled in Singapore about 1360 a.d., under Sang Nila Utama. The latest authoritative account of this settlement describes the ancient kingdom of Singapore or Tamasek as a mere offshoot of the State of Palembang, which did not last for any length of time, but came to a sudden and terrible end in the year of the great Javanese invasion, 1377 a.d. The legends connected with the fall of the city of Singapore on this occasion suggest that it was effected with terrible bloodshed.a * The name itself has inspired many and Gften fantastic attempts at explanation by philologists, Malay and European. Nothing seems better than the obvious interpretation that Singapura is two Sanskrit words, that Singha is Sanskrit for a lion a and Pura for a city,a that the word means City of the Lion and that the name was magniloquently given to it to bring it good luck by Sanskrit-using settlers from the Hindu-Malayan Empire of Java and its dependency Sumatra. It is believed that its more ancient name was Tamasek, but that is now utterly lost. However great the ancient renown of the City of Singapore in local tradition, it was so little accounted of in later times that in 1703 the Raja of Johore offered it to a Captain
Hamilton, who declined the present, though he remarked that it was a a proper place to settle a colony in, lying in the centre of trade and accommodated with good rivers and a safe harbour, so conveniently situated that all winds serve shipping both to go out and come into these rivers.a This description of Singapore has never been bettered, and it agrees with the remark of an earlier Portuguese writer that to Singapore a resorted all the navigators of the Western seas of India, and of the Eastern of Siam, China, Cam pa and Cambodia, as well as of the thousands of islands to the eastward.a So long as the Dutch held Malacca, which they did until 1795, there was no object for them in founding another great city on the Peninsula, though the anchorages at Singapore were much superior to those at Malacca, and the size of ships was growing. But in 1818, threatened by the British with a loss of their monopoly in the Peninsula, they occupied a post in Rhio, one of the islands visible from Singapore to the south. At that time the British were already in Penang, so the position was that. Penang was British, Malacca Dutch, and Rhio Dutch. Clearly it was expedient for Britain to cut in between Rhio and Malacca. On the 19th August, 1818, therefore, Major Farquhar, subordinate of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, made a treaty providing for mutual liberty of navigation and commerce in the ports and dominions of Johore, Pahang, Linggi, and Rhio and other places subject to the Sultan of Johore, this including Singapore. Sir Stamford Raffles was at that time Lieutenant-Governor of Bencoolen (Sumatra). From there he wrote to the Honourable East India Company in Bengal urging the acquisition not of Singapore but of Bentan (Bintang), an island opposite. He spoke of a simple commercial station with a military guard to force free trade upon the Dutch or to collect the trade under the British flag. He followed the letter in person and returned as Agent to the most Noble the Governor-General with the States of Rhio, Linggi and Johore to occupy some central station in the Archipelago. On February 6, 1819,