Straits Settlements

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Straits Settlements,

collective name for certain former British colonies in Southeast Asia. The three British East India Company territories of PinangPinang
or Penang
, state (1991 pop. 1,065,075), c.400 sq mi (1,040 sq km), Malaysia, on the Strait of Malacca. It consists of Pulau Pinang (an island of 108 sq mi/280 sq km), formerly known as Georgetown; and Province Wellesley (292 sq mi/756 sq km), a strip of
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, SingaporeSingapore
, officially Republic of Singapore, republic (2015 est. pop. 5,535,000), 299 sq mi (774 sq km). It consists of the island of Singapore and about 60 small adjacent islands at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, SE Asia.
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, and Malacca (see MelakaMelaka
or Malacca
, state (1991 pop. 504,502), 640 sq mi (1,658 sq km), Malaysia, S Malay Peninsula, on the Strait of Malacca. Formerly one of the Straits Settlements, it was constituted a state of Malaya in 1957 (see Malaysia).
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) were given a unified administration in 1826 and called the Straits Settlements. The company was dissolved in 1858, and the territories were placed under the jurisdiction of the India Office. In 1867 the Straits Settlements became a crown colony administered by the Colonial Office. LabuanLabuan
, island (1991 pop. 54,307), 38 sq mi (98 sq km), a federal territory of Malaysia, off Sabah, N Borneo, in the South China Sea. Coconuts, rubber, and rice are the main products.
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, which had been made a dependency of Singapore in 1906, was constituted a fourth Settlement in 1912. (Christmas IslandChristmas Island,
tropical island (2016 pop. 1,843), 60 sq mi (155 sq km), an external territory of Australia, in the Indian Ocean c.200 mi (320 km) S of Java. The majority of the inhabitants are descendants of Chinese and Malays who came to work the extensive phosphate deposits.
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 and the Cocos IslandsCocos Islands
or Keeling Islands,
officially Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, two separate atolls comprising 27 coral islets (2016 pop. 544), 5.5 sq mi (14.2 sq km), in the Indian Ocean, c.1,400 mi (2,250 km) SE of Sri Lanka.
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 had been made dependencies of Singapore in 1889 and 1903, respectively.) The Straits Settlement crown colony was dissolved in 1946; Singapore with its dependencies became a separate crown colony, and Pinang and Malacca were included in the Malayan Union, which became the Federation of Malaya in 1948, now MalaysiaMalaysia
, independent federation (2015 est. pop. 30,723,000), 128,430 sq mi (332,633 sq km), Southeast Asia. The official capital and by far the largest city is Kuala Lumpur; Putrajaya is the adminstrative capital.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Straits Settlements


from 1826 to 1946, a British colony in Southeast Asia. The Straits Settlements originally included the island of Pinang and Province Wellesley, which is situated on the Malay Peninsula, and also the island of Singapore and the city of Malacca. Later the colony included a Naning, a principality on the Malay Peninsula that was conquered in 1831–32, as well as Labuan Island, the Cocos Islands, and Christmas Island. George Town, on Pinang, was the capital until 1832, when Singapore became the capital.

The Straits Settlements were a part of British India until 1867, when they became a Crown Colony. As of 1976, Pinang, the Malay Peninsula, and Labuan Island have become part of Malaysia. Singapore is a republic, and the Cocos Islands and Christmas Island belong to the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Straits Settlements

(formerly) a British crown colony of SE Asia that included Singapore, Penang, Malacca, Labuan, and some smaller islands
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005