Source :
2) Understanding our Past – Singapore from Colony to Nation – Ministry of Education.
A chronology of key events:

1819 January 28 – While searching for a new British settlement, Sir Stamford Raffles of British East India Company, from his ship the Indiana, caught sight of Singapore island.

1819 February 6– Sir Stamford Raffles signed a treaty with Tengku Hussein and the Temenggong allowing the British to set up a trading settlement in the southern part of Singapore.  In return, the Sultan would receive $5,000 a year and the Temenggong would receive $3,000 a year.
1826 – Singapore, Malacca and Penang become British colony of the Straits Settlements.

1832 – Singapore becomes capital of Straits Settlements. The port attracts thousands of migrants from China, India and other parts of Asia.

1867 – Straits Settlements become crown colony of British Empire (the control of the settlements was transferred from the government in India to the Colonial Office in London)

1869 – Suez Canal opens, trade booms.
( a long canal that link the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, to shorten the sea route around Africa thus cutting the distance between Britain and Singapore. The plan was drawn up by a French engineer, Ferdinand de Lesseps, in 1959)

1922 – Singapore becomes main British naval base in East Asia.

1942 February 8 – World War II. Japan landed on Singapore.

1942 February 15 – British in Singapore surrendered to Japan, which renames it Syonan (Light of the South).

1945 September 12 – Formal surrender of Japanese Southeast Asia.  Singapore came under British Military Administration (BMA).


1946 – Singapore becomes separate crown colony.

– Full Internal Self-government. People’s Action Party (PAP) won 43 out of the 51 seats in the Legislative Assembly and formed the new government. Lee Kuan Yew, leader of PAP, became the first Prime Minister of Singapore.
State symbols (flag, crest and anthem) were introduced to replace the symbols of British overnment.

1963 September 16 – Singapore joins the Federation of Malaya, Sabah (North Borneo), and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia.

1965 August 9 – Singapore pulls out of the Federation of Malaysia, at Malaysia’s invitation, amid political and ethnic tensions. The territory becomes an independent republic and joins the United Nations.

1967 – Singapore founder member of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

1971 – Last British military forces withdrawn.

End of an era

1984 – Two opposition MPs elected to parliament for first time.
1990 – Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew stands down after 31 years, but continues to exert significant influence as senior minister. Goh Chok Tong becomes new prime minister.

1993 – Ong Teng Cheong becomes first directly-elected president.

1994 – Caning of American teenager Michael Fay for vandalising cars grabs world headlines.

1995 – Nick Leeson’s disastrous dealings on Singapore stock exchange lead to collapse of Britain’s oldest merchant bank, Barings. He is convicted in Singapore and sentenced to six and a half years in jail.

Asian crisis

1997 – Singaporean SilkAir airliner crashes into river in south Sumatra, with the loss of all 104 passengers and crew.
1998 – Singapore slips into recession for the first time in 13 years during Asian financial crisis.

Malaysia bans Singapore’s military and rescue planes from its air space, after Lee Kuan Yew’s memoirs accuse Malaysia of ”bullying” during the 1960s.

1999 – S R Nathan becomes president without election after he is declared only candidate eligible to run.

Nick Leeson released early from Singapore jail for good behaviour.

2000 November – Singapore Airlines 747 airliner crashes while taking off in high winds at Taipei airport, killing 81 passengers and crew.

2001 January – A pipeline feeding gas to Singapore from Indonesia’s Natuna field in the South China Sea opens.

2001 April – Unprecedented anti-government rally – the first legal demonstration outside election campaign. Hundreds gather to support veteran opposition leader J.B. Jeyaretnam who faces bankruptcy and thus expulsion from parliament.

2001 September – Malaysia, Singapore agree to end long-standing disputes ranging from water supplies to air space. They agree to build a new bridge and tunnel.
2001 November – General election landslide victory for governing People’s Action Party which secures all but two of the 84 seats.

2002 January – Japan, Singapore sign free trade agreement.

2003 April – Outbreak of pneumonia-like Sars virus; Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong says outbreak is worst crisis country has faced.

2003 May – Singapore becomes first Asian nation to sign free-trade deal with US.

Power transfer

2004 August – Lee Hsien Loong, eldest son of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, is sworn in as prime minister.

2005 January – Singapore, Malaysia settle a bitter dispute over land reclamation work in their border waters.

2005 April – Government approves a controversial plan to legalise casino gambling, paving the way for the construction of two multi-billion dollar casino resorts.

2005 September – President S R Nathan begins a second, six-year term after winning elections from which his rivals were disqualified.

2005 December – Execution of an Australian man for drug smuggling, despite high-level appeals for clemency, is condemned by Australia’s attorney-general as barbaric.
2006 May – Lee Hsien Loong’s ruling People’s Action Party wins general elections which are seen as the first real test of the prime minister’s popularity.

2006 September – Singapore hosts IMF-World Bank annual meeting.

2007 January – Two African men are executed for drug smuggling despite worldwide appeals for clemency.

2007 October – The world’s largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, flies from Singapore to Sydney on its first commercial flight run by state-controlled Singapore Airlines.

Parliament votes against a proposal to decriminalise sex between men.

2008 February – Mas Selamat Kastari, suspected leader of Islamist militant group Jemaah Islamia, escapes from jail. Security forces mount massive manhunt.

2009 April – Official figures show that the economy shrank by 19.7% in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the previous three months, its biggest quarterly contraction on record.

2009 July – Singapore appears to emerge from its worst recession on record after the economy expands at an annualised rate of 20.4% between April and June, the first quarterly expansion in a year.

2009 October – Appeal court rules that the Far Eastern Economic Review defamed the country’s founder Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

2010 November – British author Alan Shadrake convicted for insulting Singapore’s judiciary in a book on the death penalty.

Singapore remains best country in which to run a business, according to a World Bank annual report.

2011 May – Ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) wins all but six seats in parliament, but opposition parties make unprecedented gains in what PM Lee Hsien Loong calls a “watershed election”.

2011 August – Tony Tan is elected president, in the first election of its kind for 18 years.