Well it depends. If you only consider Singapore history from Stanford Raffles then it's a only a couple of hundred years. But Singapore goes longer than that to the time when it was Temasek under the Johore Sultanate. Even further back, it was under Siam and was already a hotly contested piece of real estate that was fought over. Melaka dominated Temasek after chasing the Siamese out of the Malay peninsula except for the northern states of Kedah, Kelantan and Perlis. There was a very strong Siamese influence in the area. eg. when Kedah tried to throw off the yoke of Siam, the Siamese retaliated by pulling out the northern tip of Kedah, giving it to a new king friendly to Siam which became Perlis.
The problem with Singapore history is that everyone is only interested in its history from the time of the British. Somehow we are still stuck with the colonial legacy of viewing anything else as irrelevant.
So in your opinion, since the siamese once controlled all of the malay peninsular, who are the earlier immigrants to the malay peninsular ? the siamese or the malays ? The malays claim to be the natives of singapore/malaysia.
From what I know from when I was studying Singapore's history, migration of chinese from China began in 1819 when the british colonised Singapore by setting up a settlement here. They brought in many coolies (labourers) from South China (esp. Fujian, Canton area). During the 19th century, many chinese migrated to Singapore in search of 'better living' (we all know China suffered from lots of corruption and turmoil during the 19th century). Migration continued till today and essentially, Singapore's history is one that's based on immigration.
Singapore has the same history as the malaysian chinese right until the 1965. So if you want to know the history , read up on straits settlements, lee kuan yew's biography etc.
Edited by xng, 24 October 2005 - 04:37 AM.