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By meWATCH Published: 27 Sep 2019 Audio: English
As tensions in the region brewed, Jacques de Coutre, a gem trader allied with the Spanish-Portuguese crown, recommended to his king to build a fortress in Singapore through a pamphlet in 1625. This would provide security for Portuguese ships and prevent another Santa Catarina incident. Little did Jacques know that similar plans were already considered by the Dutch in 1609, but dropped in preference for the Sunda Straits, as ships could arrive and depart at any time of the year ? In contrast, Singapore was not accessible all year round due to wind conditions.
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