What was Singapore like before Sir Stamford Raffles set foot on the island in 1819? The popular narrative is that the place was a sleepy fishing village. Was it really? Recent archaeological evidence pointed that Singapore was already a happening port centuries before the East India Company planted the Union Jack flag there. This is one of the obscured past highlighted in the documentary Secrets of Singapore, premiering today (Aug 10) on BBC World News. On the show, Singaporean presenter Sharanjit Leyl gets a clearer picture of Singapore back in the day by speaking to the descendants of famous early settlers (Tan Tock Seng, Syed Omar Aljunied, Arumugam Annamalai Pillai). 8 DAYS asks Leyl at BBC's Asia Bureau office in Kallang about the significance of knowing Singapore’s ‘newfound’ past and what secrets didn’t make it to the final cut.


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