Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles was born on June 6, 1781 off the coast of Jamaica. In 1795, a young Raffles accepted his first job with the East India Company as a clerk. Raffles studied hard and by 1804, was posted to Penang (Prince of Wales Island) and promoted to Assistant Secretary to the Presidency of that Malaysian island. Sir Raffles's control of the Malay language made him indispensable to the British Government, and thus he was appointed Malay translator to the Government of India. On January 19, 1819, Raffles founded the Straits Settlement Colony on the base of Malay Peninsula. The Straits Settlements proved to be valuable to the British Empire. The Straits Settlements became modern Singapore.