The Arabs are a small but significant community in Singapore.
During colonial times, the Arabs played prominent economic roles in the retail, wholesale and production trades, the Muslim pilgrimage industry and real estate development. They were also involved in philanthropic works such as establishing religious schools and donating land for community projects. The majority of Arabs in Singapore are descendents of Hadhrami Arabs who originally came from the Hadhramaut region in Yemen.
General Syed Mohammed Alsagoff was an Hadhrami Muslim born in Singapore and grandson of Nong Chik. He had his education at Victoria School and later joined the Malayan Armed Forces, the predecessor of the Malaysian Armed Forces. He rose to the rank of major-general before his retirement in the 1970s. His mother was Raja Siti the daughter of Hajjah Fatimah. His father was Dato Syed Ahmad bin Mohammad Alsagoff, a renowned philanthropist who also brought the Boy Scout movement and St. John's Ambulance brigade to Singapore.
Calvin Cheng said this in his post,
BICENTENNIAL HISTORY TIDBIT
My own thoughts on the post below, regarding the Arabs in Singapore:
Lee Kuan Yew in his memoirs, recounted how he decided to set up the SAF in response to General Syed Mohammed Alsagoff, then the commander of the armed forces in Singapore. The Alsagoffs were the leading Arab clan in Singapore back then.
Alsagoff insisted that his (Malaysian) troops escort LKY from City Hall to Parliament, during the opening of first Parliament of Singapore. Alsagoff then joked he could have had LKY shot and taken over Singapore.
LKY did not find Alsagoff funny and proceeded to not only form the SAF after independence, but also dismantle the vast wealth of the Alsagoffs.
What was once one of the richest families in SE Asia are now a footnote of history, after LKY confiscated their property for a pittance under the Land Acquisition Act, including the whole of Geylang Serai.
You may come across modern day Alsagoffs in Singapore. They were once one of the richest clans in Singapore (Raffles Hotel and the land it sat on was owned by them), and their clansman commanded the troops here.
But they lost it all due to his unfunny joke to LKY ?
Is this legit?
Also, can't tell whether it was a joke or a real death threat.
But who knows, all is in the past.