General issues: British colony 1948-1959, Self government 1959-1963, Republic 1965-Present
Country name on general issues: Singapore
Currency: 1 (Straits) Dollar = 100 Cent 1948-1953, 1 (Malayan) Dollar = 100 Cent 1953-1967, 1 (Singapore) Dollar = 100 Cent 1967-Present
Population: 961 000 in 1948, 5 399 000 in 2013
Political history Singapore
Singapore is located off the coast of the Malayan peninsula in southeastern Asia. At the start of the 19th century, Singapore is part of the sultanate of Johore. In 1819, the sultan of Johore allows the British to settle in Singapore. Singapore is of strategic importance to the British as it is located on the trade routes to China. In 1824, the British and the Dutch agree on their spheres of influence in Southeastern Asia, the Malayan peninsula being part of the British sphere of influence. The British subsequently annex Singapore and, in 1826, form the colony of the Straits Settlements of which MalaccaThe current Melaka. and PenangThe current Pinang. are also made part.
During WWII, Singapore is, from 1942 to 1945, occupied by Japan and is part of the Japanese administrative area of Malaya. After the Japanese capitulation in 1945, the British establish a military administration on the Malayan peninsula, including Singapore, until 1946 when two colonies are formed: the Union of Malaya and Singapore. Also from Singapore are administered the Cocos Islands and Christmas Island, located in the Indian Ocean and – like Singapore – formerly part of the Straits Settlements. The Cocos Islands are, in 1955, transferred to Australia and Christmas Island in 1958.
Singapore, in 1959, gains self government and, in 1963, full independence when Singapore joins the Federation of Malaysia that is formed in that year. However, soon tensions arise between Singapore and the federal government. The federal government supports the ‘bumiputera’ policy that favors ethnic Malaysians. Singapore, with a large and economically powerful Chinese population, votes for ethnic equality. Also in economic policy, conflicts arise between the economically more developed Singapore and the federal government. In 1965, Singapore leaves the federation of Malaysia and becomes an independent republic.
Singapore subsequently shows rapid development, in the 1990’s Singapore is one of the ‘Asian Tigers’, the four fastest growing Asian economies.
Postal history Singapore
The first stamps to be used in Singapore are stamps from British India that, in 1867, are superseded by the the issues of the Straits Settlements. During the occupation by Japan in WWII, the issues for the Japanese administrative area of Malaya are used – overprints on previous issues of the Straits Settlements and the Malayan states and definitives issued from 1943. From 1945, the stamps of the British military in Malaya administration are used. These being issues from the Straits Settlements overprinted ‘BMA Malaya’‘British Military Administration Malaya’. Although military administration ends in 1946, the stamps are used until 1948. Singapore issues stamps of its own from 1948 until 1963 as a self governing British colony and again, from 1965, as the republic of Singapore. The stamps of Singapore are used on the Cocos Islands and on Christmas Island from 1948 until 1955 and 1957 respectively. Singapore is a member of the Malayan Postal Union and, concurrent with its own issues for regular mail, uses the postage due stamps issued by the Malayan Postal Union until 1968.