The polymarble statue at Raffles Landing Site commemorates the arrival of Sir Stamford Thomas Raffles (1781-1826) on 29 January 1819.
When Raffles arrived in Singapore in search of a new trading port for the British East India Company, it was merely a placid little village which belonged to the Temenggong (State Official) of Johor in Malaysia.
Then, Raffles’ ten day visit to Singapore concluded with him signing the first treaty with Temenggong Abdul Rahman, and this gave the British the right to establish a trading port on the island.
The Raffles Landing Site is situated at Boat Quay within the Civic District, where early settlers used to work and lived there. It was also where the British Colonial Government and many landmark buildings were constructed during that time.
The Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles statue at Boat Quay was unveiled in 1972, but was the second one. The first statue was unveiled in 1887 and stood just opposite Victoria Concert Hall.
The Plaque of the Raffles statue describes the Singapore story in four different languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. In English, it reads:
“On this historic site, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles first landed in Singapore on 28th January 1819, and with genius and pecerption changed the destiny of Singapore from an obscure fishing village to a great seaport and modern metropolis.”
The Singapore you see today differs vastly from the Singapore when Raffles first arrived. Wouldn’t it be interesting if you can learn about the early trades and businesses along Singapore River in the early days?
That’s where you will find out at the Asian Civilisation Museum, which is just beside the Raffles statue! Right at the Singapore Gallery, you can also see the bustling life of Singapore River back then, and the history of Sir Stamford Raffles too. You’ll definitely wouldn’t want to give it a miss!
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