Singapore Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the

Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from 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, although more land is being created for development through land reclamation. Singapore had been a part of various local empires since it was first inhabited in the second century AD. It hosted a trading post of the East India Company in 1819 with permission from the Sultanate of Johor. The British obtained sovereignty over the island in 1824 and Singapore became one of the British Straits Settlements in 1826. Singapore was occupied by the Japanese in World War II and reverted to British rule after the war. It became internally self-governing in 1959. Singapore united with other former British territories to form Malaysia in 1963 and became a fully-independent state two years later after separation from Malaysia. Since then it has had a massive increase in wealth, and is one of the Four Asian Tigers. Singapore is the world's fourth leading financial centre, and its port is one of the five busiest ports in the world. The economy heavily depends on the industry and service sectors. Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People's Action Party (PAP) has won every election since the British grant of internal self-government in 1959. The legal system of Singapore has its foundations in the English common law system, but modifications have been made to it over the years, such as the removal of trial by jury. The PAP's popular image is that of a strong, experienced and highly-qualified government, backed by a skilled Civil Service and an education system with an emphasis on achievement and meritocracy; but it is perceived by some voters, opposition critics and international observers as being authoritarian and too restrictive on individual freedom. Some 5 million people live in Singapore, of whom 2.91 million were born locally. Most are of Chinese, Malay or Indian descent. There are four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. One of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations, Singapore also hosts the APEC Secretariat, and is a member of the East Asia Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth. Etymology Main article: Names of Singapore The English name of Singapore is derived from the Malay Singapura (Sanskrit Lion City), hence the customary reference to the nation as the Lion City. Lions probably never lived there; the beast seen by Sang Nila Utama, founder of ancient Singapore, who gave the city its name, was most likely a tiger.

History The earliest known settlement on Singapore was in the second century AD. It was an outpost of the Sumatran Srivijaya empire, named Temasek ('sea town'). Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, it was part of the Sultanate of Johor. In 1613, Portuguese raiders burnt down the settlement and the island sank into obscurity for the next two centuries.[12] In 1819, Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived and signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah on behalf of the British East India Company to develop the southern part of Singapore as a British trading post. In 1824 the entire island became a British possession under a further treaty whereby the sultan and the Temenggong transferred it to the British East India Company. In 1826 it became part of the Straits Settlements, a British colony. Before Raffles arrived, there were around 1,000 people living in Singapore, mostly Malays and a few dozen Chinese.[13] By 1869, due to migration from Malaya and other parts of Asia, 100,000 people lived on the island.[14] During World War II the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Malaya culminating in the Battle of Singapore. The British were defeated, and surrendered on 15 February 1942. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called this "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history".[15] The Japanese occupied Singapore until the British repossessed it in September 1945 after the Japanese surrender.[16] Singapore's first general election in 1955 was won by the pro-independence David Marshall, leader of the Labour Front. Demanding complete self-rule he led a delegation to London but was turned down by the British. He resigned when he returned and was replaced by Lim Yew Hock, whose policies convinced Britain to grant Singapore full internal self-government for all matters except defence and foreign affairs.[17]

and some immigration offences. the eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew. In 1990 Goh Chok Tong succeeded Lee as prime minister.[40] April and May are the hottest months.[39] Urbanisation has eliminated most primary rainforest. Trial by jury was entirely abolished in 1970 leaving judicial assessment performed wholly by judgeship.[18] Governor Sir William Allmond Codrington Goode served as the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara. Geography Singapore consists of 63 islands. but otherwise occupies a ceremonial post. and abundant rainfall. the opposition. with the wetter monsoon season from November to January.5 sq mi) in the 1960s to 704 km2 (272 sq mi) today. it may grow by another 100 km2 (40 sq mi) by 2030.[41] From July to October. along with Hong Kong.5 km2 (224.[ Government and politics Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government representing constituencies.[19] The president is elected through popular vote.[29][30] There is a mandatory death penalty for murder. Malaysia: the Johor±Singapore Causeway in the north. Pulau Tekong. Relative humidity averages around 79% in the morning and 73% in the afternoon.[42] Although Singapore does not observe daylight saving time. Jurong Island. and for certain drug-trafficking and firearms offences. and has some veto powers for a few key decisions such as the use of the national reserves and the appointment of judges. which have increased Singapore's land area from 581.[27] The legal system of Singapore is based on English common law. The highest natural point is Bukit Timah Hill at 166 m (545 ft). and that Singapore has "possibly the highest execution rate in the world relative to its population". vandalism. made significant gains and increased its representation in the House to 6 elected MPs. high humidity. widely known as Singapore Island but also as Pulau Ujong. including the main island. international business executives believed Singapore.[22] However. with Lee Kuan Yew as the first Prime Minister. more functional islands. rioting.[36] There are ongoing land reclamation projects.[26] The People's Action Party has won control of Parliament with large majorities in every election since self-governance was secured in 1959.[3] Singapore gained sovereignty as the Republic of Singapore (remaining within the Commonwealth) on 9 August 1965[3] with Yusof bin Ishak as president and Lee Kuan Yew as prime minister. In 1967 it helped found the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [20] and in 1970 it joined the Non-aligned movement. and the President. Tunku Abdul Rahman separated Singapore from the Federation two years later after heated ideological conflict between the ruling parties of Malaya and Singapore.[23] Singapore is consistently rated one of the least corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International.[6] Freedom House ranks Singapore as "partly free" in its Freedom in the World report. became the country's third prime minister. Elected MPs are voted into parliament on a "first-past-the-post" (plurality) basis and represent either singlemember or group-representation constituencies. led by the Prime Minister.[35] There are two man-made connections to Johor. Pulau Ubin and Sentosa are the largest of Singapore's smaller islands. it follows time zone GMT+8.[37] Some projects involve merging smaller islands through land reclamation to form larger. Temperatures usually range from 23 to 32 °C (73 to 90 °F). the 2003 SARS outbreak and terrorist threats posed by Jemaah Islamiyah.[19] Members of Parliament (MPs) consist of elected. Singapore had become an internally self-governing state within the Commonwealth. and was succeeded by Yusof bin Ishak who in 1965 became the first President of Singapore. in its "Democracy Index". In 2004. . non-constituency and nominated members. the third rank out of four.[32] The government has disputed Amnesty's claims. Sabah and Sarawak as the result of the 1962 Merger Referendum. albeit with substantial local differences.[19] Singapore declared independence from Britain on 31 August 1963 before joining the new Federation of Malaysia in September along with Malaya. During his tenure the country faced the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.In elections in May 1959 the People's Action Party won a landslide victory.[33] In a 2008 survey. with Bukit Timah Nature Reserve the only significant remaining forest. uniform temperature and pressure.[22] and The Economist ranks Singapore as a "hybrid regime". Lee Hsien Loong. led by the Workers' Party.[28] Singapore has penalties that include judicial corporal punishment in the form of caning for rape.[31] Amnesty International has said that some legal provisions conflict with the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. there is often haze caused by bush fires in neighbouring Indonesia. as with Jurong Island. one hour ahead of its geographical location. in the most recent parliamentary elections in 2011.[38] Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no distinctive seasons.[38] About 23% of Singapore's land area consists of forest and nature reserves.[25] The Parliament serves as the legislative branch of government. and the Tuas Second Link in the west.[24] Executive power rests with the Cabinet. had the best judicial system in Asia. Its constitution establishes representative democracy as its political system.

9% in 2006. in 2005 the government legalised gambling and allowed two casino resorts (called Integrated Resorts) to be developed.5 percent of all households owning at least one million US dollars. This force was considered too small to provide effective security to the new country and so the development of the military became a priority. and Air Force. Before induction into a specific branch of the armed forces. the number of women in the Singapore Armed Forces has been increasing.500 jobs in December 2010. then the third highest in East Asia. Singapore is one of the Four Asian Tigers. except to those who have a criminal record. Along with Hong Kong. as they can not fall back and re-group. and 10. which employed around 2. or can prove that their loss would bring hardships to their families. The Economic Review Committee was set up in December 2001 and recommended several policy changes to revitalise the economy. Navy. males who have yet to complete pre-university education or are awarded the Public Service Commission scholarship can opt to defer their draft. with a small active force but a large number of reserves.[53] The government continues to play a role in the economy. often from Israel.[88] The government spends 4.[52] After independence.[85] It comprises the Army.[67] Most work in Singapore is in the service sector. based historically on extended entrepôt trade. Around 64.151. the economy recovered in 2010 with a GDP growth of 14.000 foreigners seek medical care there each year. involving all citizens in the country's defence.[54] As a result of global recession and a slump in the technology sector.2% of Singapore's GDP in 2010[6] and includes significant electronics. The small population has also affected the way the SAF has been designed.2% of jobs were held by locals.[56] After a contraction of í0.[69] Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaire households. mechanical engineering and biomedical sciences sectors.[47] which constituted 27. the country's GDP contracted by 2.[49] Singapore has one of the busiest ports in the world and is the world's fourth largest foreign-exchange trading centre after London. In addition. The government provides cheap housing and financial assistance to poorer people.[6] At the time of independence.[57][58] Singapore's external trade is of higher value than its GDP. petroleum refining. 6.[86] The nation's philosophy of defence is one of diplomacy and deterrence.[59] Singapore's economy was ranked the world's most open in 2009.[62][63] Singapore is rated the most business-friendly economy in the world.3% in 2004.8% in 2009. with 15. especially in manufacturing.[48] The country is the world's fourth leading financial centre. New York and Tokyo.Economy Singapore has a highly developed market-based economy. The Defence Science and Technology Agency is responsible for procuring resources for the military. making trade one of the most vital components of the economy.5%. In 2006 Singapore produced about 10% of the world's foundry wafer output. issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.[73] Military The Singaporean military is the most advanced in Southeast Asia.[66] It is interchangeable with the Brunei dollar. The economy depends heavily on exports and refining imported goods. foreign direct investment and a state-led drive for industrialisation based on plans by Goh Keng Swee and Albert Winsemius created a modern economy. Singapore had a GDP per capita of $511. the economy grew by 8. in both conventional and unconventional warfare. Singapore had two infantry regiments commanded by British officers.2% in 2001.[72] Singapore is promoting itself as a medical tourism hub: about 200.[68] Poverty levels are low compared to other countries in the region.[89] The SAF is being developed to respond to a wide range of issues. chemicals.102. recruits undergo at least 9 weeks of basic military training.[55] and 7.[88] Singapore has a draft which extends to all able-bodied males at the age of 18. South Korea and Republic of China (Taiwan).[71] To attract more tourists.[60] competitive[61] and innovative. and many government-owned companies have monopolies.2 million tourists visited the country in 2007.[51] Before independence in 1965. Over ten free trade agreements have been signed with other countries and regions. Though not required to perform military service.[6] It is seen as the guarantor of the country's independence.[90] . with women allowed since 1989 to fill military vocations formerly reserved for men. and Singapore medical services aim to serve one million foreign patients annually by 2012 and generate USD 3 billion in revenue.[87] The geographic restrictions of Singapore mean that the SAF must plan to fully repulse an attack. largely due to improvements in the world economy. and became a highly effective force. The percentage of unemployed economically active people above age 15 is about 2%. and the army obtained equipment such as tanks before its neighbours.[87] This principle translates into the culture.4% in 2005.[6] Singapore possesses the world's tenth largest foreign reserves. Tactics such as jungle warfare were learned to allow the army to fight outside Singapore's borders.[50] The World Bank ranks Singapore as the world's top logistics hub. Singapore has since recovered.[64][65] The currency of Singapore is the Singapore dollar.9% of its GDP on the military.400 people out of 3.[70] Tourism forms a large part of the economy.

and since 1975 have been performed in Taiwan. Other faiths remained largely stable in their share of the population. Singapore is part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements. nearly one in three Singaporeans speak English as their home language. 13. Tibetan Buddhism has also made slow inroads into the country in recent years.5 persons. and the United Kingdom.[106] English is the first language of the nation and is the language of business. This also avoids risk to the main island and the city. as their home language. Mahayana and Vajrayana.[100] Prior to 2010.9 million people (57%) were born in Singapore while the rest are foreign-born.[114] with 1.[101] Religion Buddhism is the most widely practised religion in Singapore.[6] To overcome this problem. Malay.[111] and forms of English spoken range from Standard English to a pidgin known as Singlish. a military alliance with Australia.[92] in both military and non-military roles. and 9. 5.[98][99] In 2009. Chinese Mandarin is the next commonly spoken. Chinese.1 children per woman. and Tamil. However. but no more than two.1 needed to replace the population.[109] 80% of Singaporeans are literate in English as either their first or second language. Teochew.[105] Bazaar .[116][117][106] It is used in the national anthem "Majulah Singapura"[118] and in military commands.[95] About 40 percent of the population are foreigners. mainly Hokkien.2% of residents were of Chinese. although it is recognised that they play a large role in the country's economy.2 million (64%) are Singapore citizens while the rest (36%) are permanent residents or foreign workers. the third lowest in the world and well below the 2. a ceremonial rather than functional designation to reflect the country's history. followed by Malay and Tamil. people may register using a "doublebarrelled" classification. but by mostly those of Chinese descent. 74. the total fertility rate was 1. each person could register as a member of only one race.[103] Chinese Mahayana is the most predominant form of Buddhism in Singapore. Today Malay is generally spoken within the Singaporean Malay community. Soka Gakkai International. with only 16. and Cantonese.1 million people live in Singapore. with 33% of the resident population declaring themselves adherents at the most recent census. From 2010 onwards. The large number of immigrants has kept Singapore's population from declining. However.[97] Foreign workers make up 80% of the construction industry and up to 50% in the service industry.2% of Indian descent.[112] According to the 2010 official census. The next largest religions. Islam. the sixth-highest percentage in the world.[102][110] Singaporean English is based on British English. Nearly half a million speak other Chinese languages (which the government describes as "dialects"). Singlish is heavily discouraged by the government.[115] Malay is the "national language". Military exercises are generally held with foreign forces once or twice per week. with missionaries from Taiwan and China for several decades.[96] The government is considering capping these workers.[107][108] The Singapore constitution and all laws are written in English. by default that of his or her father.8% of Singaporeans literate in Malay[119] and only 12% using it as their home language. The median age of Singaporeans is 37 years old and the average household size is 3.[102] There are monasteries and Dharma centres from all three major traditions of Buddhism in Singapore: Theravada. Thailand's Theravada Buddhism has seen growing popularity amongst the people (not only the Chinese) in the past decade. in order of size. in which they may choose one primary race and one secondary race. large-scale drills are considered too dangerous to be performed in the area. used by about half of all Singaporeans.2 million using it as their home language. while the proportion of Buddhists decreased. is practised by many people in Singapore. a Japanese Buddhist organisation. the Singapore government is encouraging foreigners to immigrate to Singapore. government and medium of instruction in schools. of whom 3.[93][94] In 2010.Because of the scarcity of open land on the main island.[105] Singaporean Mandarin is the most common version of Chinese in the country.[88] The SAF has sent forces to assist in operations outside the country in areas such as Iraq[91] and Afghanistan. Most Buddhists in Singapore are Chinese and are of the Mahayana tradition.[90] although training is held in about a dozen other countries. training involving activities such as live firing and amphibious landings is often carried out on smaller islands.4% of Malay.[113] Chinese is the most common home language. The proportion of Christians. Taoism and Hinduism. although the use of these is declining in favour of Mandarin and English. Demographics As of 2010.[104] Languages Singapore has four official languages: English. typically barred to civilian access. Taoists and non-religious people increased between 2000 and 2010 by about 3% each. Malaysia. are Christianity. Regionally it has helped stabilise East Timor and provided aid to Aceh in Indonesia following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. New Zealand. 2.

with Chinese. A. "Express". with a test taken after each stage of school. This has three components: Medifund. at the end of the following pre-university stage. even with a health expenditure relatively low for developed countries.[124] While "Mother Tongue" generally refers to the first language internationally. and maths. along with shopping. in Singapore's education system it is used to refer to the second language as English is the first language.[142] The Singapore dream is often satirically and lightheartedly portrayed as the "5 Cs" of Singapore ± cash. and almost the whole population has access to improved water and sanitation facilities.T. mathematics. condominium and country club membership. 18% have no educational qualifications at all while 45% have the Primary School Leaving Examination as their highest qualification. Adult obesity is below 10%. Medisave.[120] Around 0. which provides a safety net for those who could not otherwise afford healthcare. Of all non-student Singaporeans aged 15 and above. 31. "Secondary education". "Normal (Academic)". a government-funded health insurance scheme.[137] In 2008. All institutions. the GCE 'A' Level exams are taken. The curriculum is focused on the development of English.[132] Pre-university education takes place over two to three years at senior schools mostly called Junior Colleges.[141] 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. After the first six years of education. The country is generally conservative socially but some liberalisation has occurred.[145] and the variety of food representing different ethnicities is seen by the government as a symbol of its multiculturalism.[134] Health Singapore has one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the world. depending on a student's ability level. At the end of the secondary stage.[125][126] Students who have been abroad for a while or who struggle with their "Mother Tongue" language are allowed to take a simpler syllabus or drop the subject.000 people.[139] Due to the many races and cultures in the country. of which only the Primary level is compulsory.[122] English is the language of instruction in all public schools[123] and all subjects are taught and examined in English except for the "Mother Tongue" language paper. and Medishield.1 million or 3% of Singaporeans speak Tamil as their home language. although classes are much more specialised.[131] National examinations are standardised across all schools. and are known as autonomous schools.[136] The government's healthcare system is based upon the "3M" framework. A subsidy scheme exists for those on low income. These exist from the secondary education level.Malay was historically the lingua franca in Singapore. and "Normal (Technical)" streams within each school.[135] Public hospitals in Singapore have autonomy in their management decisions. which is made up of a four-year foundation course and a two-year orientation stage.[146] The "national fruit" of Singapore is the Durian[147] In popular culture. food items belong to a particular ethnicity.9% of healthcare was funded by the government. private and public.[105] Even though only Tamil has official status. 15% have the GCE 'O' Level as their highest qualification and 13% have a degree. . until it was eclipsed by English. Education takes place in three stages: "Primary education".[131] The basic coursework breakdown is the same as in the primary level. and there is a high level of immunisation. Indian. car. the mother tongue. must be registered with the Ministry of Education. especially after independence.[144] The diversity of food is touted as a reason to visit the country.[143] Cuisine Dining. a compulsory health savings scheme covering about 85% of the population.[140] Foreigners also make up 42% of the population[96][115] and have a strong influence on Singaporean culture. It accounts for approximately 3. Students begin with six years of primary school.[133] Some schools have a degree of freedom in their curriculum. credit cards.[130] Secondary school lasts from four to five years.[129] which determines their placement at secondary school. and tertiary levels is mostly supported by the state. the mother tongue.[135] Life expectancy in Singapore is 79 for males and 83 for females. There are fewer than 10 annual deaths from HIV per 100. and "Pre-university education". students take the Primary School Leaving Examination.[138] Culture 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. and science. there have been no attempts to discourage the use or spread of other Indian languages. and is divided between "Special". and compete for patients. there is no single set of culturally acceptable behaviours. GCE 'O' Level exams are taken. is said to be the country's national pastime. secondary. Kearney named Singapore the most globalised country in the world in 2006 in its Globalization Index.[129] There are four standard subjects taught to all students: English.[121] Education Education for primary.5% of Singapore's GDP.

[158] Media Media in Singapore is tightly controlled. Scuba diving is another popular recreational sport. the government has been promoting Singapore as a centre for arts and culture. including sailing. founded in October 2009. a classical ballet competition promoted by London's Royal Academy of Dance.[149] The annual Singapore Arts Festival is organised by the National Arts Council.56% of Singapore's GDP. with a weekly open mic. thus promoting an atmosphere of self-censorship. sailing. The diversity of cuisine has been increased further by the "hybridization" of different styles. The race was staged at the Marina Bay Street Circuit and became the first night race on the F1 circuit[156] and the first street circuit in Asia.[162] Private ownership of TV satellite dishes is banned. Water sports are popular. e. Most Singaporeans live in public residential areas near amenities such as public swimming pools.[152] Singapore's football (soccer) league. Reporters Without Borders ranked Singapore 136 out of 178 in the Press Freedom Index. The stand-up comedy scene has been growing.[164][165] In the 1990s the media sector grew 7. the S-League. is one of the inaugural teams in the ASEAN Basketball League.[155] Singapore began hosting a round of the Formula One World Championship in 2008. and to transform the country into a cosmopolitan 'gateway between the East and West'.[159] There are 3. controls most of the newspaper industry.[150] Singapore hosted the 2009 Genee International Ballet Competition.[159] one of the highest Internet penetration rates in the world.[160] The state-owned MediaCorp operates most television channels and radio stations in Singapore.[145] Arts Since the 1990s.[157] Singapore won the bid to host the inaugural 2010 Summer Youth Olympics.4 million users of the internet in Singapore. claiming to balance the demand for choice and protection against offensive and harmful material. a body with close links to the government. Singapore Press Holdings.[159] In 2010.[162] .[151] Sport and recreation Popular sports include football.g. kayaking and water skiing.[154] The Singapore Slingers. cricket. a performing arts centre opened in October 2002. The government does not engage in widespread censoring of internet sites[163] but a 'symbolic' list of 100 websites ± mostly pornographic sites ± is blocked by the government as a symbol of disapproval of their contents. particularly. swimming. table tennis and badminton.[161] The Media Development Authority regulates Singaporean media. the Peranakan style. and by 2001 produced $10 billion and contributed 1. basketball.[159] Freedom of the press is limited and companies linked to the government control the domestic media.[148] One highlight was the construction of Esplanade. a mix of Chinese and Malay cuisine. formed in 1994. in particular the performing arts.7%. is known for its rich coral reefs. outdoor basketball courts and indoor sport complexes. formerly in the Australian National Basketball League. The Southern island of Pulau Hantu. and strong action is taken against media that criticise government officials.and Malay food clearly defined.[153] currently comprises 12 clubs including foreign teams.

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