A Doc's Life is a underground Medical Blog about some poor Singapore doctors. They are sibei sian and very buay song. Best practices not observed!
(Warning: Grammar is non existent in this blog. Those obsessively compulsive about good English please go no further and book an appointment to see your psychiatrist in Singapore.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lan Fang Republic, Malacca and Their Relevance to Singapore

Alert: Contains seriously heavy reading and historical stuff! Do not read on if you only use one side of your brain!!!

I was surprised when Lan Fang Republic was mentioned by MG Ki Chew. Dr Og is politically apathetic but I was one of the top history student for my year and I would have become a historian (really!) if I din become a dog doc.

Lan Fang Republic - Huh?
And honestly, what the *#@# is Lan Fang? I have not in my most comprehensive (means chow mug la) study of Southeast Asian history ever come across this name. There can only be two reasons:
1) The historians are so f%$% up they forgot to mention Lan Fang (except in some minor articles)... OR
2) LF Republic was so insignificant no one cared.

I leave you to your own conclusion and unless you have an IQ of 10, the conclusion would be 2) anyway. The only reason why LF Republic is recieving any attention at all is because our MG decided to Ki Chew (literally).

The Malacca Sultanate
Now, let us look at Malacca. (Of course not Malacca of today lah, bodoh!) The Malacca Sultanate was founded no later than 1400 by a Malay prince, Parameswara and was invaded by the Portuguese in 1511 (lasted at least a good five years more than LF Republic!) In its time, the Malacca Sultanate achieved the following:
1) Conversion to Islam in 1409. To date, Islam remains the main religon of the Malay Peninsula.
2) Prevented Thai influence in the Malay Peninsula by successfully repelling their attacks.
3) Encouraged bilateral trade and inter-racial marriages with Chinese when the Sultan married a Ming princess. This was the beginning of the Peranakan culture (or not you where got Little Nonya!!).

The Fall of the Malacca Sultanate
Some may say that the fall of the Malacca Sultanate was inevitable as the Portuguese were too much of a force to deal with. But seriously, our red hair (and hence ang moh) dudes have travelled half the world in ships (not even economy class can??!!!). Some internal factors hastened Malacca's demise!

1) Weak ruling government
The golden age of Malacca, with its wealth and prestige, very much depended on one leader Tun Perak who is the Prime Minister equivalent. After his death however, there was no successor capable of running the state. The Sultan, Mahmud, paid no heed to the administration of the government. He allowed his officers to act as they pleased and this encouraged much bribery and corruption among them.

2) Dependence on Foreigners
Many of the foreign merchants were not loyal to the government of Malacca and some jumped ship (again literally!) and backed the Portuguese during the attack on Malacca. A Chinese merchant, for instance, provided on loan, 5 huge barges to the Portuguese while a Tamil merchant supplied information on Malacca’s defense system. Lagi worse, the Sultanate hired Javanese mercenary soldiers who were not willing to die for a country which wasn’t their own and they chow liao liao when Malacca came under siege.

In short: Weak government and foreign talents were in part to blame for the fall of Malacca.
I think as Singaporeans, there is a need to understand the lessons learned from Malacca Sultanate. Who will Stand Up For Singapore (fave national day song!). External and alien funds can flow out as easily as they flow in. When crisis strikes, only the loyal locals will stay and fight. Time and again this has been shown in history.
And what is the relevance of LF Republic? Beats me....

Tags: Lan Fang Republic, History, Singapore


  1. Anonymous4:41 PM

    U dun anyhow say! Lan Fang Republic is the best! ok!!

  2. Anonymous8:05 PM

    Here is relevance for you

    "Those that fled to Sumatra regrouped in Medan. From there, some moved to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. One of the descendent from these people is Lee Kuan Yew. While Hakkas are the minority in Singapore, it is the Hakkas that played an important part to establish the second Lan Fang company - Singapore."


  3. we learn new things every day :0

  4. Anonymous6:06 PM

    Lanfang was also barren once, ok! Some stupid old man, who believes himself to be a seed from that ethnic abomination will tell you.

    Truth is, by the time that place was wrapping up, their leaders had packed up the ill gotten wealth and abandoned the people.

    Sadly, the haraam money, like so many these days made its way to your country.

  5. Anonymous8:09 PM

    Hi, just stumbled upon your blog. IMHO, the relevance is twofold 1) We just celebrated Sg50 which is far short of Lanfang (LF)'s length of history; this reminds us it will take continuous effort to survive as a country in SE Asia and 2) we have to be multi-racial and ensure our relevance to the big powers, and not be like LF Republic which was solely a Chinese community and was unable to forge strong links with the major powers.

  6. Anonymous1:45 AM

    Melaka/Malacca Sultanate came under China's PROTECTION. It was a Tributary State of China and Melaka King would often gave BUNGA MAS to the Ming Emperor. It was China that warned SIAM/THAILAND against attacking Melaka. At that time SIAM was also a Tributary State of China.