On 29th January, 1819, Raffles founded modern Singapore. On 9 July 1823, feeling that his work on establishing Singapore was finished, he boarded a ship for home, but not before a stop in Batavia to visit his old home and adversary, van der Capellen. A final stop in Bencoolen ensued, and the journey back home was interrupted by a heart-rending experience as one of the ships caught fire off Rat Island, which claimed many of his drawings and papers.


The Gurdwara Sahib Silat Road, a.k.a Silat Road Temple, takes its name from its location which is in Silat Road, now renamed Jalan Bukit Merah. It houses the samadh (tombstone) of Bhai Maharaj Singh Ji, the Sikh freedom fighter, after it was brought to the Gurdwara from the Singapore General Hospital on 12 October 1966. The Gurdwara Sahib Silat Road (Gurdwara) has its origins as the first-ever Sikh temple to be built in Singapore at Pearl's Hill. A bigger Gurdwara was built in 1966 and it served as a meeting place for the Punjabis and a memorial to Bhai Maharaj Singh, a Sikh warrior. It is believed by some Sikhs in Singapore that any prayer would be granted through the divine intervention of Bhai Maharaj. It was only after his tomb was kept in this Gurdwara that it soared in popularity, in comparison to the other Sikh temples in Singapore. Bhai Maharaj Singh was born Nihal Singh, in the village of Rahon in the Ludhiana district. When he became a preacher, he changed his name to Bhagwan Singh and joined a wandering group of Sikh preachers headed by Bir Singh. After Bir Singh's death, Bhagwan Singh became the leader of the group. During the Anglo-Sikh wars of 1835-1847, Bhagwan Singh organised a Sikh uprising in the villages around Jalandhar and Multan to prevent the British takeover. For his role in the Prema Conspiracy to kill Henry Lawrence, a British Resident, the British put up a reward of Rs.10,000 for his capture. He was arrested 28 December 1849 as he was planning a revolt with Punjabi soldiers in the British Army. He was tortured and sent to Singapore, then a penal colony, on the ship, the 'Mohamed Shah', with his chela, Khurruck Singh, a sergeant, a corporal and six privates. He arrived at the new Outram Jail on 9 July 1850 where he was put into solitary confinement. He became blind from the lack of natural light in the prison and developed cancer of the tongue and painful rheumatism. Bhagwan Singh died on 5 July 1856 and he was cremated outside the Outram Jail. The spot was visited by Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs, and eventually it became a small memorial to the freedom fighter who was remembered as Bhai Maharaj Singh.




The Dalhousie Obelisk, in 1885, was considered for demolition as an obstacle to the construction of Connaught Drive. So under the order of the Governor, Sir Cecil Clementi Smith, the obelisk was carefully dismantled and removed from its foundation on 9 July 1890 and re-erected in front of Victoria Memorial Hall and Empress Place Building.


In 1953, a commission headed by Sir George Rendel recommended the establishment of a Legislative Assembly with an elected majority and a ministerial form of government for Singapore. This was a step towards self‐government. However, many important departments such as foreign affairs, defence, internal security and finance remained in British hands. The Governor also had the power to veto any proposed law. The first elections for the Legislative Assembly were held in 1955. Singapore was gripped in an election fever that year. The Labour Party won the elections and David Marshall became the Chief Minister of Singapore. One of the main aims of the Legislative Assembly was to obtain early self‐government. Singapore’s status would change from that of a colony to a State. In 1958, a State Constitution was enacted for Singapore to allow for elections, compulsory voting and to grant powers to the elected government for all matters except defence, foreign affairs and internal security. On 9 July 1963, Singapore signed the Malaysian Agreement which led to the formation of a federation, comprising Malaysia, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak. Under the Agreement, control of Singapore’s foreign affairs, defence and internal security was given to the federal Malaysian government. Singapore was represented by 15 seats in the Federal Parliament.


It was decided that Singapore should have a dedicated air defence formation and the Singapore Air Defence Artillery (SADA) was formed on 9 July 1979. Initially consisting of just the 160 Bn and 170 SQN, it would develop into a far more formidable force against potential air threats over the course of the next decade.


Immediately after the Japanese Surrender and the return of the British forces in 1945, the Shinto Shrine, the Bukit Batok War Memorial (Syonan Chureito) and the British War Memorial behind it, both located at Upper Bukit Timah Road were demolished by the British forces. The remains of the Japanese were moved to the Japanese cemetery. Plans to rebuild the memorials to remember both the Japanese and Allied fallen were discussed in the 1990s but were shelved in 1991 because of sensitivities toward those who had suffered under the Japanese. Today, a transmitting tower stands at the site of the original monuments. On 9 July 1995, a plaque was unveiled by MP Ong Chit Chung at the Bukit Batok Nature Park as a memorial instead.