January 19, 1819. A British vessel, the Indiana, set sail from Penang down the coast of the Malay Peninsula, skippered by Captain James Pearl, with a distinguished passenger on board. He was Lieutenant Governor Sir Stamford Raffles. With the midyear south-west monsoons over, and with no fifteen-foot-high waves or incessant rain to deal with, the Indiana continued smoothly on the calm waters of the Straits of Melaka on an important mission for the British East India Company.
On January 27, in mid-journey just after Melaka, the Indiana was joined by eight other ships including the Investigator, skippered by Captain John Crawfurd, and the Enterprise, with the former Commandant and Resident of Melaka, William Farquhar, on board.
1819. That was the year Stamford Raffles landed at South Point and founded Singapore. It was also the year that the famous Muslim saint Habib Nuh came to Singapore from Penang. The story unfolds the tense and colourful relationship between the two significant figures in Singapore history between the early and late 1800s. Other characters that shaped the social, economic and political developments of the Malays in Singapore then were Sultan Hussein, Temenggung Abdul Rahman, Wak Cantuk, Munshi Abdullah, William Farquhar and John Crawfurd.
(Wak Cantuk) was still extremely concerned about the British presence on the island. Wak Cantuk had only twenty students in his silat class, and that would not be sufficient to overthrow the occupiers. He needed at least a hundred.