Straits Settlements, collective name for certain former British colonies in Southeast Asia. The three British East India Company territories of Pinang, Singapore, and Malacca (see Melaka) 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. Labuan, which had been made a dependency of Singapore in 1906, was constituted a fourth Settlement in 1912. (Christmas Island and the Cocos Islands 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 Malaysia.
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