This museum really should be a ‘must visit,’ if you should be visiting Singapore. I’m not saying: ‘go to Singapore right, solely because of the presence of this museum.’ No, I’m just saying that if you happen to be in Singapore and you don’t stop by, you are probably a horrible human being. That’s all.
The collection is wide and varied and while not every single culture in Southeast Asian can be represented, nor every culture represented equally (in terms of space and available collection), but I can’t think of single, culture (or civilization) specific exhibit that gave its subject short shrift. As you might expect from an island nation, island and sea-going cultures were widely represented, as was the influence of ever present Buddhism.
They also had the most wonderful exhibit on a medieval, Middle Eastern trading ship. It had carried a cargo of goods from the Mediterranean to China and then loaded up on Chinese porcelain to take back, but had sunk on that return voyage.