|When Raffles first
came to Singapore, there were very few
inhabitants on the island.
The people on the
island were mainly Orang Laut, Chinese and
Malays. Immigrants came after Raffles founded
The immigrants were mainly Malays, Arabs,
Europeans, Indians, Chinese. Most of them did not
intend to settle down in Singapore.
They wanted to return to their homeland when
they had made their fortunes.
Where Were The
people who came to Singapore were British,
Americans, Portuguese and Germans.
Hokkiens came from Fujian, the Cantonese, Hakkas
and Teochews came from Guangdong and the
Hainanese came from Hainan Island.
The Arabs came to Singapore to trade.
Most of the Indians in Singapore came from Madras
and Negapatam. The others came from Bombay,
Punjab, Sri Lanka and Gujerat.
Bugis, Javanese and Boyanese came from the East
Indies. Malays came from Malay Peninsula,
Riau-Lingga Archipelago and Sumatra.
Did They Come?
They came here to look for work, escape from war
and the Arabs came here to trade. Some came
because they missed they relatives here.
As factories were built, more goods were
produced. So the merchants came to Singapore to
sell their goods. Some of the British came here
to work. At that time, refrigerators were not
invented, so they came to Asia to buy spices to
preserve their food.
They came here to look for work, better living
conditions, and to escape from famine,
over-population, floods, drought, lack of fertile
lands.There was disorder in the country as the
people were trying to overthrow the Qing
government and China was also at war with other
India was over-populated and there were not
enough food and jobs for the people. There were
also droughts. Most of them came here to work and
search for better living conditions, while others
came to trade.
The word "Nanyang" means
southern ocean refers to Southeast Asia. The Chinese came
here to earn money but their living conditions were very
bad. Do you know why?
large part of Singapore. The early settlers had
to clear the jungles to build settlements. There
were dangerous animals like tigers, centipedes
and poisonous snakes, which was a hazard to them.
The Chinese did
not bring their families to Singapore. So they
felt lonely. They often sent letters back to
their loved ones in China.
Many of the Chinese worked as coolies.
They had to work from dawn to dusk but only
earned a little bit of money. Some of them had to
pay for their journey to Singapore too. They
lived in cramped and dirty houses.
Besides all these problems, There was
also a shortage of food. Many settlers fell ill
because of malnutrition. There were not enough
doctors and some of them were too poor to seek
for medical treatment, as a result, many of them