Wee Beng Geok


Keppel and Sembawang shipyards are major players in Singapore’s maritime and shipping industry. Wee Beng Geok traces the colonial origins of these two companies. Singapore has always been highly prized for its location. Fortuitously positioned at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, at a key crossroad along the East-West trade route, its importance as a port settlement can be traced to the 14th century when the island was known as Temasek. In 1819, the British arrived on the scene, and were quick to grasp Singapore’s potential as an entrepôt and a base to spread its version of merchant capitalism in Southeast Asia. Land was leased from the indigenous rulers to set up a British trading post on the island, and in a treaty signed in 1824, Singapore was ceded in full to Britain. For the next 140 years, the British built institutions that would lay the foundations for the…