Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles in Singapore
(Photo: Al Jazeera)

Singapore (VNA) – Singapore held a grand ceremony on January 28 to mark the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles 200 years ago, an important turning point in Singapore’s modern history.

Addressing at the event, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stressed that Singapore’s history goes back hundreds of years before Stamford Raffles landed on its shore, however, his arrival is billed as a “crucial turning point” that set Singapore on a trajectory leading to where it is today-a modern, outward-looking and multicultural society.

On the occasion, the PM called on his people to think of how the country can move forward together.

“For we are never done building Singapore. It is every generation’s duty to keep on building, for our children and for our future. So that in another 50 or 100 years, Singaporeans not yet born will have a richer and greater Singapore Story to tell, and one that we will have helped to write together”, he said.

Stamford Raffles went on an expedition and set his foot on Singapore on January 29, 1819. Seeing the island’s potential, he persuaded the Sultan of Johor to allow the British East India Company to establish a trading post there, which then opened a new development chapter in the country’s history.-VNA