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By meWATCH Published: 27 Sep 2019 Audio: English
There was much fear when the warrior-like Bugis appeared on Singapore’s shores. The island watched as 500 Bugis and their chief, Prince Arong Bilawa, arrived in Singapore. Should the Bugis attack, Singapore was without sufficient troops to defend itself. There was relief all around when the islanders saw women and children on board the ships. The Bugis had come as settlers ! They were the largest single body of immigrants and they were welcome by William Farquhar himself. It seemed that the Bugis had escaped the Dutch control of Riau and the imposition of heavy taxes. Despite Dutch attempts that demand the extradition of Arong Bilawa, William Farquhar refused and gave him asylum in Singapore, where the Bugis built their kampong on the Rochor River. The Bugis also started trade in the region.
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