Singapore was colonized by Great Britain in early 19th century. After gaining its independence from Great Britain, Singapore became part of Federation of Malaysia. However, the serious disputes and conflicts between Singapore and Malaysia led to Singapore’s separation from the federation, and Singapore became the independent nation. Singapore consists of 63 islands including Singapore Island, mainland of Singapore. Singapore is small in terms of geographical size, but its economic size is significant. Singapore has a highly developed market-based economy and one of the highest per capita GDP. Today, Singapore has a reputation that its economic environment is the most business friendly in the world and enjoyed economic success focusing on industry, education, tourism, etc.
In the early 1440’s, a kingdom called Malacca was established in the Malay Peninsula. The founder of the kingdom became a Muslim and by the end of 15th century, Islam became the dominant religion among Malays. In the early 16th century, Malacca was colonized by Portugal, and the sons of the last ruler of Malacca established two kingdoms in the peninsula. The three fought for the control of Malacca Strait until the Dutch gained control of Malacca. In 1786, Great Britain established the colony in the Malay Peninsula and took control of Malacca in 1824. During World War II, Malaya was invaded and occupied by Japan. After the end of the war, the momentum of independence grew. In 1946, Britain established Malayan Union to unite the Malay states and the Strait Settlements but it was dissolved in 1948 because of Malay’s strong opposition. It was replaced by Federation of Malaya. In 1957, Federation was granted its independence within the Commonwealth and finally Malaysia was formed in 1963. Malaysia has achieved industrialization and the economic growth despite its colonized history for about 170 years.
At noon, I arrived at Singapore. It rained heavily outside.
The terminal building was so beautiful and looked like an international airport.
*DMC-ZS10/TZ20 records images in max.14-megapixel and DMC-ZS7/TZ10 in max.12-megapixel.
After briefly browsing in shops in the terminal, I left for Johor Bahru, the city of Malaysia, the neighbor of Singapore. When I arrived at Malaysia, it stopped raining.
I visited Sultan Royal Abu Bakar Museum. The building was build about 140 years ago, and it became open to the public as a museum about 20-something years ago when the Sultan moved to a new palace. Extensive collections including gorgeous gifts from countries worldwide were exhibited there. For me, one of the most attractive exhibits was Baccarat’s dining-room set made with crystals. Bases of chairs and the table were all made with crystals and brilliantly shining! I wish I could show you the photo, but photo shooting was prohibited.
Next, I visited Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, the oldest, largest and most beautiful Islamic mosque in Johor Bahru. (To keep this beauty, Mosque is repainted every year. I noticed that the walls became so thick with paint when I saw it up close.)
Then, I heard prayers of Islam. It was a prayer time. As I rarely had an opportunity to be exposed to Islam, it was quite new to me.
On the way back to Singapore, I saw big three pipes lining along with the bridge connecting Malaysia and Singapore. Two of them are used to import water from Malaysia to Singapore, and the remaining one to export some of the purified water to Malaysia for resale.
Singapore is a small country relying almost entirely on import for resources. Singaporeans agree that the only resource Singapore has is its excellent human resource and that it would not be able to survive without fostering the excellent human resource for economic development. Singapore enforces stringent regulations in the city and at the border for crisis management. I heard that Singapore utilized feng shui (Chinese geomancy) for the planning of the nation, such as placement of facilities according to the idea of feng shui. It is interesting.
Of course I did visit the must-see spot in Singapore, Merlion. I enjoyed a beautiful night scenery with illuminated Merlion. As tourism is one of the major economic resources of Singapore, it is relatively a safe place and seems to make an effort to attract tourists who repeatedly visit Singapore. It would be nice to visit Singapore again in a few years.