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Timeline of Singaporean history

This is a timeline of Singaporean history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Singapore and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Singapore. See also the list of years in Singapore.


11th to 12th centuryEdit

Year Date Event
1025 The region was invaded and occupied by Rajendra Chola of the Chola empirein India, although there has been no record of them visiting the island itself.[1][2]

13th centuryEdit

Year Date Event
1300 The Kingdom of Singapura is founded by Sang Nila Utama, a prince of Srivijaya.

14th centuryEdit

Year Date Event
1320 The Mongol court sends a mission to obtain elephants from Long Ya Men (or Dragon's Tooth Strait), believed to be Keppel Harbour.
1330 The Chinese traveller Wang Dayuan visits Temasek.
1390 Parameswara, the last Srivijayan prince, flees from Temasek.

15th centuryEdit

Year Date Event
1414 Temasek becomes part of the Sultanate of Malacca established by Parameswara.

16th centuryEdit

Year Date Event
1511 Malacca fell to Pordos.

17th centuryEdit

Year Date Event
1641 Portuguese burn down a trading outpost at the mouth of Singapore River.

19th centuryEdit

Year Date Event
1819 29 January Stamford Raffles arrives in Singapore with William Farquhar to establish a trading post for the British East India Company.
6 February The treaty is signed between Sultan Hussein of Johor, Temenggong Abdul Rahman and Stamford Raffles. William Farquhar is installed as the first Resident of the settlement.
1821 Singapore General Hospital was established.
1822 Raffles drafts the Raffles Plan of Singapore to reorganise the island.
1823 Dr John Crawfurd takes over as Resident.
5 June Raffles Institution is founded by Stamford Raffles.
1830 Singapore comes under the Presidency of Bengal in India.
1832 Singapore becomes the center of government of the Straits Settlements.
1842 St. Margaret's Girls School is founded by Maria Tarn Dyer, the first and oldest all-girls school in Singapore
1843 Thomas Dunman, the first full-time police chief of Singapore, improves the police force as well as the pay and working hours of policemen.
1844 The Tan Tock Seng Hospital begins operation.
4 March Raffles Girls' School is established.
1845 The Straits Times is established.
1852 A new deep harbour called New Harbour, later known as Keppel Harbour, is built. St Joseph's Institution [as St John's Institution] established.
1854 Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (CHIJ) is established.
1858 Singapore is placed under the hierarchy of the Government of India, remaining as part of the Straits Settlements.
Commercial Square is renamed Raffles Place.
1859 The Singapore Botanic Gardens is founded.
1862 8 September Saint Andrews School is founded.
1867 1 April Straits Settlements become a crown colony of British Empire.
1869 The Suez Canal opens, and Singapore enjoys the increase in trade
1876 Victoria School is established
1877 The Chinese Protectorate is set up, and William Pickering becomes the head of it.
1885 Gan Eng Seng School was established at Telok Ayer Street
1886 Anglo-Chinese School established.
1887 Methodist Girls' School established.
The Raffles Hotel is built.
1888 Henry Ridley becomes the director of the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
The Singapore Fire Brigade was formed.
1892 The Tanjong Pagar Police Station opens, and many Sikh policemen are recruited. Holy Innocents' High School established.
1899 Singapore Chinese Girls' School established.

20th centuryEdit

Year Date Event


The Nanyang branch of Tongmenghui is set up in Singapore.
The Singapore Harbor board is set up.
1915 15 February The Singapore Mutiny occurred as British Muslim Indian sepoys rose up against the British. (to 25 February)
1917 Nanyang Girls' High School was established by Tan Chor Nam, partially due to Dr Sun Yat Sen's belief in education for girls. Nan Hua High School by Mr Xiong Shangfu, its campus in Coleman Street, and it was once a base for the Japanese soldiers during the Japanese occupation.
1919 The Chinese High School established by Tan Kah Kee.
1923 Singapore starts constructing the main British naval base in East Asia.
1932 Tanjong Pagar Railway Station is opened.
1933 CHIJ Saint Nicholas Girls' School, Singapore's only bilingual and bicultural IJ school, was founded.
1935 Catholic High School established.
1937 12 June Kallang Airport is opened.
1939 Singapore completes the main British naval base, which is the largest drydock and third largest floating dock in the world.
1939 Chung Cheng High School (Main) was established.
1941 7 December In an extensive three-pronged attack, Japan opens hostilities with the countries that opposed the Axis powers and their colonies. First air raid on Singapore at 4:15 am. The Imperial Japanese Army invades Malaya. (to 8 December)
10 December The British battleship HMS Prince of Wales and battlecruiser HMS Repulse are sunk by Japanese bombers.
16 December Second air raid on Singapore, at night. Only RAF Tengah is attacked.
25 December A lone Japanese aircraft drops propaganda pamphlets on Singapore Island.
29 December Second Japanese air raid on Singapore City (and third on the island), at night. Nightly raids commence.
30 December The Overseas Chinese Mobilization Council is set up in Singapore, led by Tan Kah Kee.
1942 12 January First major daylight air raid on Singapore. Henceforth, the island is bombed everyday up to the British surrender (with the exception of 19 January).
31 January Malaya falls to the Japanese and the Causeway is blown up to delay Japan's advancement to Singapore.
February The Japanese military police, the Kempei Tai kills an estimated 25,000 to 50,000 people during Sook Ching Massacre. (to March)
1 February The siege of Singapore begins. The Japanese in Johor Bahru begin shelling the island daily in addition to daily aerial bombing.
8 February The Japanese cross the Strait of Johor by inflatable boats and land in Singapore during the Battle of Singapore.
11 February The Japanese and Allied soldiers fight fiercely at Bukit Timah.
13 February The Malay regiment, led by Lt. Adnan bin Saidi, fight bravely against the Japanese at Pasir Panjang Ridge in the Battle of Pasir Panjang.
14 February The Japanese have captured most of Singapore, and most of the population is crammed into the city centre.
15 February The British surrenders and the Japanese Occupation of Singapore starts. Singapore is renamed Syonan (Light of the South).
1943 27 September Operation Jaywick occurs. Seven Japanese ships are bombed at Clifford Pier.
10 October The Japanese initiate the Double Tenth Incident in response to Operation Jaywick, by launching a fierce crackdown on anti-Japanese elements and Allied prisoners-of-war in Singapore.
1944 27 March Lim Bo Seng is captured by the Japanese, and dies after 3 months of torture.
1945 14 August Japan surrenders, and there is anomie and looting for nearly a month when the British do not return immediately.
5 September The British return to Singapore after the end of World War II and begin a military administration of the Straits Settlements.
1946 1 April The Straits Settlements is dissolved and Singapore becomes a separate crown colony.
1947 A large number of strikes occur causing stoppages in public transport, public services and the harbour.
May Severe food shortage leads to record-low rice ration, causing malnutrition, disease and outbreak of crime and violence.
1948 Rubber plantations and tin mines in Malaya are destroyed by communists, and the British declares the state of Emergency over Singapore and Malaya.
20 March Singapore's first "limited elections" held (representation with no specific areas of responsibility); 6 seats in Legislative Council, with Singapore Progressive Party winning 3 seats.
18 June Malayan Emergency begins, Singapore declared a State of Emergency a week later.
1949 The University of Malaya is formed following the merger of Raffles College and King Edward Medical College.
1950 11 December 18 people are killed during the Maria Hertogh riots. (to 13 December)
1951 The number of elected seats is increased to 9 in the second election.
1953 Rendel Commission is appointed to make recommendations for Singapore's self-government.
1954 13 May Chinese school students demonstrate against the British due to the National Service proposal. See Anti-National Service Riots
1955 2 April Second general elections (limited self-government) held. The Labour Front wins the most seats and David Saul Marshall became the first Chief Minister of Singapore.
12 May Four people are killed during the Hock Lee bus riots.
1956 Dunman High School (formally known as Singapore Government Chinese Middle School), became the first Chinese secondary school established by the government.
June David Saul Marshall appeals to the United Kingdom for full self-government, but resigns when he fails. Lim Yew Hock takes over as Chief Minister.
October Riots by pro-communist Chinese school students occur when government closes down a student union.
1957 Cedar Girls' Secondary School was founded.
1959 Encik Yusof bin Ishak becomes the Head of State of Singapore.
March Lim Yew Hock successfully gains full self-government for Singapore.
May 3rd general elections (limited self-government) held. People's Action Party wins 43 of 51 seats and Lee Kuan Yew became the first Prime Minister.
3 June A celebration is held at the Padang for Singapore gaining full self-government.
3 December The national anthem Majulah Singapura, written by Zubir Said, is presented.
1960 The Housing and Development Board is set up.
1961 25 May The Bukit Ho Swee Fire kills four people and destroys 2,200 attap houses.
27 May Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Prime Minister of Malaya, proposes a merger between Singapore, Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.
1962 1 September A referendum is held in Singapore to vote on merger with Malaysia.
1963 February During Operation Coldstore, 107 left-wing politicians and trade unionists are arrested by Internal Security Department
9 July The Malaysia Agreement is signed between leaders of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak.
31 August In this Malaysia Solidarity Day, Lee Kuan Yew declares de facto Independence for Singapore.
16 September Malaysia is formed. Indonesia carries out its konfrontasi campaign.
21 September The PAP wins the 1963 State Elections, defeating the Barisan Sosialis and UMNO.
1964 The PAP wins one seat in the Malaysian Federal Election. UMNO is outraged.
21 July There is an ethnic riot between various Malays and Chinese, on Prophet Muhammad's birthday, 23 people are killed.
1965 10 March Indonesian saboteurs carry out the MacDonald House bombing, killing three people.
May Lee Kuan Yew begins campaigning for a Malaysian Malaysia
7 August Singapore and Malaysia sign the separation agreement.
9 August The Malaysian Parliament votes to expel Singapore from the Federation; Singapore becomes independent after separating from Malaysia.
21 September Singapore is admitted into the United Nations as the 117th member.
October Singapore becomes the 22nd member of the Commonwealth.
22 December Constitutional Amendment Act is passed and Yusof bin Ishak becomes the first President of Singapore.
1966 21 May Suharto resigned and as a result the Konfrontasi stopped.
1967 The Civilian Memorial is unveiled at the Kranji War Cemetery
14 March The National Service bill is passed in the parliament.
28 March Registrations for national service begins at the Central Manpower Base.
12 June The issue of the first Singapore Dollar.
July The first batch of the army is drafted for national service.
8 August Singapore is the founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
1968 January Britain announces its intention to withdraw its armed forces from Singapore.
April The PAP wins all seats in the 1968 General Election, which is boycotted by Barisan Sosialis.
1969 31 May The 1969 Race Riots of Singapore broke out after growing tension of the 13 May Incident in Malaysia spilled over to Singapore.
1970 May The National Junior College, Singapore's first junior college opens.
1971 2 January Dr Benjamin Henry Sheares becomes the second President of Singapore.
31 October The last British military forces withdraws from Singapore.
1972 The Singapore Airlines is formed.
2 September The PAP wins the 1972 General Election.
1973 The first Chingay Parade is held in Singapore.
The construction of the National Stadium is completed.
The Presidential Council for Minority Rights is set up to ensure minority would not be discriminated.
1974 Hwa Chong Junior College, Singapore's first government-aided junior college was established.
31 January Laju incident: Japanese Red Army bombs petroleum tanks at Pulau Bukom and hijacks a ferry boat.
1976 The PAP wins all 69 seats in the 1976 General Election.
1978 12 October Spyros disaster
1979 Singapore becomes the world's second busiest port in terms of shipping tonnage.
1980 The PAP wins all 75 seats in the 1980 General Election.
1981 1 July Singapore Changi Airport starts operation.
24 October C V Devan Nair becomes the third President of Singapore.
31 October Workers' Party of Singapore's Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam elected into Parliament, breaking a 16 years PAP monopoly of the House.
1982 The Courtesy Campaign and the Civil Defence Programme are launched.
1983 29 January Eniwetok, a Panamanian-registered oil rig, hits the Singapore Cable Car system, sending two cabins plunging into the sea and killing seven people.
1984 The PAP wins the 1984 General Election while two members of the opposition parties are elected as members of parliament. Three PAP women MPs are also elected, ending a 16 years absence of women representation in Parliament.
Non-Constituency Member of Parliament was introduced.
1985 2 September Wee Kim Wee becomes the fourth President of Singapore.
Singapore went into its first ever recession which was induced by government policies.
1986 15 March Hotel New World collapses, killing 100 people (injuries fatal victim 67 people and death 33 people).
1987 21 May 16 people were arrested during Operation Spectrum and detained under the Internal Security Act. Another six were arrested on 20 June.
1988 3 September The PAP wins the 1988 General Election and group representation constituencies (GRC)s are introduced.
1990 6 July The East West Line of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is completed.
22 November Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 begins operation.
28 November Goh Chok Tong becomes the second Prime Minister of Singapore.
1991 26 March Four Pakistanis hijack Singapore Airlines Flight 117 and demand the release of Pakistan Peoples Party members from Pakistani jails.
27 March Members of the Singapore Special Operations Force storm into Singapore Airlines Flight 117, killing all hijackers and freeing all passengers and crew members.
31 August General elections are held. The result is a victory for the PAP, which wins 77 out of 81 seats.
1993 1 September Ong Teng Cheong becomes the first directly-elected President.
1994 5 May American teenager Michael P. Fay is convicted and caned for vandalism.
1996 The parliament passes the Maintenance of Parents law, a private member's bill introduced by Nominated Member of Parliament Woon Cheong Ming Walter.
1997 2 January PAP led by Goh Chok Tong wins a total of 81 out of 83 seats in the 1997 general election.
19 December Silkair Flight 185 crashes into Musi River near Palembang, Sumatra, killing all 104 people on board.
1998 15 January Singapore and United States announces agreement for US ships to use a planned $35 million naval base from 2000.
September "The Singapore Story", the first volume of Lee Kuan Yew's memoirs is published
1999 Sellapan Ramanathan becomes the President of Singapore
Singapore slips into recession during the Asian financial crisis.
2000 1 September Speaker's Corner is launched at Hong Lim Park
31 October Singapore Airlines Flight 006 crashes during take-off in Chiang Kai Shek International Airport, killing 83 people.

21st centuryEdit

Year Date Event
2001 Economic recession in Singapore. (to 2003)
January A pipeline feeding gas to Singapore from Indonesia's Natuna field in South China Sea opens.
3 November The PAP wins 82 of 84 seats in the 2001 General Election.
9 December 15 suspected militants of Jemaah Islamiah are arrested for alleged bomb plot.
27 December Typhoon Vamei, a rare typhoon that occurs only once in 100 to 400 years, hits Singapore.
2002 13 January Singapore and Japan sign the Japan-Singapore Economic Agreement.
2003 April SARS virus outbreak in Singapore and other parts of Asia.
6 May Singapore and United States sign the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USS-FTA).
29 October A major research center Biopolis opens.
2004 National Service was reduced from two and half years to two years.
20 April A section of Nicoll Highway collapses, killing 4 people.
12 August Lee Hsien Loong, Lee Kuan Yew's Son becomes the third Prime Minister.
2005 15 January Singapore and Malaysia settle dispute over land reclamation work.
18 April The government approves the plan to legalise casino-gambling and build two Integrated Resorts.
8 July In the aftermath of 7 July 2005 – London bombings, Transport Minister Yeo Cheow Tong announces plan to set up a new Police MRT Unit to enhance the security of Singapore's public transport. (CNA)
17 August S R Nathan returns for his second term as President, following a walkover in the Singapore presidential election, 2005.
27 August White Elephant Incident at Buangkok MRT Station.
2006 6 May The PAP, led by Lee Hsien Loong, wins 82 of 84 seats in the General Election.
2008 9 January Singapore Changi Airport opens its third passenger terminal.
21 February The International Olympic Committee (IOC) awards the Youth Olympic Games hosting rights to Singapore ahead of Moscow by a vote of 53 to 44.
21 March Jemiah Islamiah terrorist head Mas Selamat bin Kastari escapes from prison.
September Singapore slips into recession due to the global financial crisis. World economies hit badly; banks around the world collapse.
16 October Singapore government guarantees all local and foreign currency fixed deposits with a $150 billion pool for that in view of the financial crisis, joining governments around the world in doing so.
2011 7 May PAP loses its grip on Aljunied Group Representation Constituency to the Workers' Party in the General Election. This is the first time an opposition party has captured a GRC since the inception of this scheme in 1988.
27 August Singaporeans, for the first time since the establishment of Presidential Election, will be voting for the next President after the 6th President of Singapore – SR Nathan stepped down on 31 August 2011. The candidates involves in this election includes – Dr Tan Keng Yam Tony, Mr Tan Jee Say, Mr Tan Kin Lian and Dr. Tan Cheng Bock.
1 September Dr Tan Keng Yam Tony is sworn as the seventh President of Singapore.
2013 16 February More than 3000 Singaporeans gathered at the Speakers' Corner, Singapore at Hong Lim Park for a non-partisan protest against the government's Population White Paper which projected a possible 6.9 million people in Singapore by 2030.
24 June Haze in Singapore reaches 401 PSI, the worst in Singapore history.
2015 23 March Lee Kuan Yew passes away. Singapore enters a one-week mourning period.
9 August Singapore turns 50.
2016 22 August S R Nathan passes away. Singapore enters a one-week mourning period.
12 January Beginning construction of the new Thomson-East coast line consisting of 31 new stations (including 7 interchanges). Expected to be completed by 2019.
2017 11 February Nearly 300 year old Tembusu tree at Singapore Botanic Gardens falls, killing one and injured 4 others.
17 April Othman Wok passes away. Singapore enters a one-week mourning period.
13-14 September 2017 Halimah Yacob is elected as the first female president of Singapore.


  1. ^ Munoz, Paul Michel (2006). Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula. Singapore: Editions Didier Millet. ISBN 981-4155-67-5. 
  2. ^ Singapore in Global History by Derek Thiam Soon Heng,Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied p.40