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Page created on 25 Oct 2007
Page last modified on 15 Aug 2011

Summary
Singapore earned its present name in the 11th century. Previously known as "Temasek" which means "Water Town", a visiting Sri Vijayan prince seeking shelter here from a storm, saw an animal which he mistook for a lion and hence, the island was called "Singapura" (Lion City).
In 1819, Singapore became a British Trading Post when Sir Stamford Raffles found this place to be a suitable location for their fleet travelling between Europe and East Asia. By the end of the 19th century, Singapore had grown to an important trading centre with an expanding immigrant population.
During World War II, Singapore fell to the Japanese on 15 February 1942 and remained under Japanese rule for three and a half years. In September 1945, Singapore went back under British Military Administration.
By 1959, Singapore attained self-government. In 1961, Singapore merged with Malaya, Sarawak and North Borneo (now known as Sabah) to form Malaysia. The merger was short-lived and on 9 August 1965, Singapore became a sovereign, democratic and independent nation.

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