The Sultan of Singapore, Abdul Rahman, was under relatively tight Dutch control and as such, could not allow for the British to set up any trading post in Singapore. However Raffles formulated a plan through which the Sultan’s elder brother would be able to take up the sultanate. Sultan Abdul Rahman’s elder brother Tengku Hussein Shah was supposed to be the rightful ruler due to his having been the eldest son (Rahim, 2010).
Sir Raffles drew up papers that effectively recognized Hussein Shah as being the lawful sultan of not only Johor, but also Singapore. After recognizing Hussein Shah as sultan, Sir Stamford Raffles signed a treaty in February 1819 with Hussein Shah and Temenggong Abdul Rahman, the treaty declared the approval the establishment of a British East India Company trading post in Singapore (Rahim, 2010). The treaty also specified that Sultan Hussein Shah and the Temenggong would in turn receive an annual income from the British. In the establishment of this trading post, it can be noted that Sir Raffles undertook a number of drastic measures in what can be construed to be an indicator of the importance that Britain attributed to the establishment of this trading post (Yew, 2013). This paper will seek to establish why Sir Stamford Raffles and Britain wanted a trading post in Singapore.
The geographical location of Singapore is believed to have been one of the key reasons as to why the British essentially chose it as the location where they would set up a new port in the region. The Straits of Melaka had become an important trade route for British traders who would use it when travelling to China during the 19th century. The strait had proven to be a relatively great source of income for these British traders as a result of its facilitation of the lucrative opium-tea and silk trade with China (Yew, 2013). When using the route, British traders would travel from Europe, around the African continent to SEA,