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080VIRGIN AUSTRALIA FEBRUARY 2018FEBRUARY 2018 VIRGIN AUSTRALIA081FROM LEFT Raffles Hotel, an icon of colonial Singapore; the waterfront Esplanade includes a theatre and concert hall and is one of many futuristic buildings starting to dominate the cityscape. ALL THAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAINSingapore’s modern buildings and developments wouldn’t be out of place in a sci-fi movie. But the city-state is also one of Asia’s most forward-thinking destinations in terms of its cultural preservation. Words RON GLUCKMAN Photography SCOTT A WOODWARD 082VIRGIN AUSTRALIA FEBRUARY 2018SIR STAMFORD RAFFLES could barely contain his excitement. The British statesman had been exploring Malaya, enticed by the tales of a magnificent city that became a powerhouse of trade nearly eight centuries earlier. Anchoring off Saint John’s Island in the Singapore Strait in 1819, the boats were lowered and his crew rowed towards what he hoped was the lost city of Singapura. On shore, he found a stone monument inscribed in ...