About Singapore... 


 

Singapore

Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. It lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and is 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator. Made up of the lozenge-shaped main island (widely known as Singapore Island but also as Pulau Ujong, its native Malay name) and over 60 much smaller islets, it is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. The country is highly urbanised, with very little primary rainforest remaining. Its territory has consistently expanded through land reclamation.

Part of various local empires since being settled in the second century AD, modern Singapore was founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles as a trading post of the East India Company with the permission of the Johor Sultanate. The British obtained sovereignty over the island in 1824, and Singapore became one of the British Straits Settlements in 1826. Occupied by the Japanese during World War II, Singapore declared independence from the United Kingdom in 1963 and united with other former British territories to form Malaysia, from which it departed two years later. Since then, it has developed rapidly, earning recognition as one of Four Asian Tigers.

Singapore is a unitary multiparty parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People's Action Party has won every election since self-government in 1959. Slightly over five million people live in Singapore, of which around 2 million are foreign-born. Singapore is highly diverse: 75 percent of the population are Chinese, followed by significant minorities of Malays, Indians, Eurasians, and others. This diversity is reflected in the country's four official languages — English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil — as well as in official policies that promote multiculturalism.

One of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Singapore is also the host of the APEC Secretariat, and a member of the East Asia Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth. Singapore's rapid development has given it disproportionate influence in global affairs, leading some analysts to identify it as a middle power. 

 

Languages

Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. English is the common language of the nation and is the language of business, government, and the medium of instruction in schools.

 

Religion

Buddhism is the most widely practised religion in Singapore, with 33% of the resident population declaring themselves adherents at the most recent census. The next-most practised religion is Christianity, followed by Islam, Taoism, and Hinduism. 17% of the population did not have a religious affiliation.

 

Culture

The country has strict laws against drug use and has one of the lowest rates of drug use in the world.

Foreigners also make up 42% of the population and have a strong influence on Singaporean culture. A.T. Kearney named Singapore the most globalised country in the world in 2006 in its Globalization Index. The Economist Intelligence Unit in its "Quality-of-Life Index" ranks Singapore as having the best quality of life in Asia and eleventh overall in the world.

 

Attitudes and beliefs

Singapore, as a country, in general is conservative socially, but some liberalisation has occurred. At the national level, meritocracy, where one is judged based on one's ability, is heavily emphasised.

Racial and religious harmony is regarded by the government as a crucial part of Singapore's success and played a part in building a Singaporean identity. Singapore has a reputation as a nanny state. The national flower of Singapore is the Vanda Miss Joaquim. Many national symbols such as the National Coat of Arms and the Lion Head symbol make use of the lion, as Singapore is known as the 'Lion City'. Public holidays in Singapore cover major Chinese, Western, Malay and Indian festivals.

Singaporean employees work an average of around 45 hours weekly, relatively long compared to many other nations. Three in four Singaporean employees surveyed stated that they take pride in doing their work well, and that doing so helps their self-confidence.

 

Economy

Singapore is one of the world's leading commercial hubs, with the fourth-biggest financial centre and one of the five busiest ports. Its globalized and diversified economy depends heavily on trade, especially in manufacturing, which constituted 26 percent of Singapore's GDP in 2005. In terms of purchasing power parity, Singapore has the third-highest per capita income in the world. It ranks high in international rankings of education, healthcare, government transparency, and economic competitiveness.

 

Geography

Singapore consists of 63 islands, including the main island, widely known as Singapore Island but also as Pulau Ujong.

here are ongoing land reclamation projects, which have increased Singapore's land area from 581.5 km2 (224.5 sq mi) in the 1960s to 716.1 km2 (276.5 sq mi) today; it may grow by another 100 km2 (40 sq mi) by 2030. Some projects involve merging smaller islands through land reclamation to form larger, more functional islands, as with Jurong Island. 5% of Singapore's land is set aside as nature reserves. Urbanisation has eliminated most primary rainforest on the main island, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve being the only significant remaining forest.[46] There are only about 250 acres (101 ha) of farmland remaining in Singapore.

 

Climate

Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no distinctive seasons, uniform temperature and pressure, high humidity, and abundant rainfall. Temperatures usually range from 22 to 35 °C (72 to 95 °F). Relative humidity averages around 79% in the morning and 73% in the afternoon. April and May are the hottest months, with the wetter monsoon season from November to January. From July to October, there is often haze caused by bush fires in neighbouring Indonesia.

 

Capital: Singapore

Calling code: +65

Currency: Singapore dollar (SGD)

Population: 5,399,200

Area: 716.1 km2 

Official language: English, Malay, Mandarin, Tamil

Time zone: ICT (Indochina Time) UTC+8

Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic

President: Tony Tan Keng Yam

Prime Minister: Lee Hsien Loong

 

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