"Raffles' contribution to Singapore amounted to little more than permission for the formation of a British factory." How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.

Essay by bloomloveJunior High, 8th grade May 2004

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I do not agree with this statement entirely as I believe Raffles did much more than managing to get permission for forming a factory.

Raffles took the main initiative to find a new British base at the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula. It was also he who had a vision for what Singapore could become in its later years.

He managed to convince Lord Hastings about Singapore's advantageous location and potential to be a world renowned trading port. Without his persuasion and determination to gain Singapore, it would not have become a central attraction for traders and merchants in the region.

Raffles did the original planning and laying down of policies for the running of the trading port. His decision to make Singapore a free port made a big impact on the number of merchants coming to the island.

Lastly, Raffles strongly advocated the retention of Singapore when the Dutch protested that they had indirect rule over Singapore although they had no presence on the island.

This led to the final and legal gain of Singapore by the British.

On the other hand, Raffles did not do much of the actual work when it came to administration and leading of the then growing community. In this endeavour, Farquhar and Crawfurd should be praised. This is why I do agree with the statement to a certain extent.

The only other things Raffles did, apart from asking for permission to build a British factory, was setting the path for his Scottish administrators by pointing Singapore out and having a vague idea of what he expected out of Singapore.

However, Farquhar and Crawfurd were the ones who made this vision a reality and without them, Singapore would not have been where it is today.

In fact, Raffles did not bother to reply...