This book is different from other books on Singapore history in its long sighted view of Singapore’s past. Where all other books start Singapore’s history with Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in 1819, this book argues that Singapore’s history started 500 years earlier, with the arrival of Seri Teri Buana from Palembang and his sighting of a Lion on this island. The book attempts a reinterpretation of that event, which has been dismissed as a myth, within the context of the archaeological evidence recovered since 1984 from excavations on and around Fort Canning. The archaeological evidence now confirms the existence of an early Emporium on Singapore in the 14th century which the book argues owed its prosperity to an earlier cycle of globalized trade underpinned by a Chinese market under the Yuan and Ming dynasties. Singapore, this book contends, was not a “sleepy fishing village” prior to Raffles’ arrival, but a thriving harbour and port under the Johor-Riau sultanate. The book reconstructs Raffles’ arrival at Singapore and all that followed in the long cycles of the maritime history of the Melaka Straits. The book situates Singapore’s current concerns about its status as a Global City in the current post-Cold War cycle of globalization in the larger and longer cycles of earlier globalization with the intent of providing a corrective perspective to the myopic view of Singapore after 1965.
Last updated on 28/12/2018