Traders and intelligentsia of the Malay Archipelago have congregated in Singapore since 1819. Malay publishers, writers, educators, religious reformers and journalists made Singapore their base. While printing technology was first introduced by Christian missionaries, it soon became widely used to print Malay works, both in jawi and rumi. Several Malay printing houses, such as Al-Ahmadiah Press, were established in Singapore.
These developments paved the way for a significant phase in the development of the Malay language, boosting the production of Malay works, which had previously been handwritten in manuscript form. Several major publishing houses published thousands of religious books, especially for haj pilgrims which used Singapore as their transit point. With the opening of vernacular Malay schools, there was also a new demand for textbooks.
Selepas 1819, Singapura menjadi tempat tumpuan cerdik pandai dari seluruh Kepulauan Melayu. Teknologi percetakan yang mula diperkenalkan oleh penyebar agama Kristian, mula digunakan dalam percetakan bahan-bahan berbahasa Melayu baik jawi ataupun rumi. Berbagai syarikat percetakan tumbuh, seperti Percetakan Al-Ahmadiah. Perkembangan ini membuka jalan kepada fasa baru percetakan yang merancakkan penulisan dan penghasilan bahan bacaan dalam bahasa Melayu.