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Coat of arms of Singapore
Motto"Majulah Singapura"  Template:Ms icon
"Onward, Singapore"
Majulah Singapura
Location of  Singapore  (green)
Capital Singapore
(Downtown Core, Central)1
1°17′N 103°50′E / 1.283°N 103.833°E / 1.283; 103.833
Official language(s) English
Official scripts English alphabet
Malay alphabet
Simplified Chinese
Tamil script
Demonym Singaporean
Government Parliamentary republic
 -  President S.R. Nathan
 -  Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
 -  Speaker of Parliament Abdullah Tarmugi
 -  Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong
Legislature Parliament
 -  Founding 6 February[1] 
 -  Self-government 3 June[2] 
 -  Independence from the United Kingdom 31 August[3] 
 -  Merger with Malaysia 16 September[3] 
 -  Separation from Malaysia 9 August[3] 
 -  Total 710.2 km2 (187th)
274.2 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 1.444
 -  estimate 4,987,600 (36% foreigners) 
 -  census 5,076,700[4] 
 -  Density 7,022[5]/km2 (3rd)
17,275.7/sq mi
GDP (PPP) estimate
 -  Total $291.9 billion[6] (41st)
 -  Per capita $62,100[6] (5th)
GDP (nominal) estimate
 -  Total $222,700.6 billion[7] 
 -  Per capita $43,867[8] (15th)
Gini  47.8[6] (29th)
HDI  increase 0.846[9] (very high) (27th)
Currency Singapore dollar (SGD)
Time zone SST (UTC+8)
Date formats dd/mm/yyyy
Drives on the left
Internet TLD .sg
Calling code +65
1 Singapore is a city-state.
2 STD code 02 from Malaysia.
This article contains Indic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks or boxes, misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Indic text.

Singapore (/[unsupported input][unsupported input]s[unsupported input][unsupported input][unsupported input]p[unsupported input]/), 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. Occupied by the Japanese in World War II, Singapore declared independence, uniting with other former British territories to form Malaysia in 1963, although it was separated from Malaysia two years later. 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 depends on the industry sector and the service sector heavily, which constituted 27.2% and 72.8% respectively of Singapore's GDP in.

Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People's Action Party (PAP) has won every election since 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 voters, opposition critics and international observers alike as being authoritarian and being 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.


The English name of Singapore is derived from indian name, Singapura (Sanskrit सिंहपुर "Lion City"), thus 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.[10][11]


Victorious Japanese troops marching through Singapore City after British capitulation at the Battle of Singapore

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. By 1869, 100,000 people lived on the island.[13]

In 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".[14] The Japanese occupied Singapore until the British repossessed it in September after the Japanese surrender.[15]

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 on return 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.[16]

In elections in May the People's Action Party won a landslide victory and immediately made Singapore a self-governing state within the Commonwealth, with Lee Kuan Yew as the first prime minister.[17] Governor Sir William Allmond Codrington Goode served as the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara until December 1959, when he was succeeded by Yusof bin Ishak, later the first President of Singapore.

Singapore declared independence from Britain on 31 August 1963, before joining the new Federation of Malaysia in September along with Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak as the result of the 1962 Merger Referendum. Tunku Abdul Rahman separated Singapore from the Federation two years later, after heated ideological conflict between the ruling parties of Malaya and Singapore.[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 still as prime minister. In it joined the Non-aligned movement, and in it helped found the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.[18] In 1990, Goh Chok Tong succeeded Lee as prime minister. During his tenure, the country faced the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the SARS outbreak, and terrorist threats posed by Jemaah Islamiyah. In Lee Hsien Loong, eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew, became the third prime minister.[19]

Government and politics

Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government representing constituencies. Its constitution establishes representative democracy as its political system.[6]

The bulk of executive power rests with the Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister. The President of Singapore has some veto powers for a few key decisions such as the use of the national reserves and the appointment of judges, but otherwise occupies a ceremonial post. The President is elected by direct popular vote; however there have been no elections since due to a lack of eligible candidates for a contest.[dated info]

The Parliament serves as the legislative branch of government. Members of Parliament (MPs) consist of elected, non-constituency and nominated members. Elected MPs are voted into parliament on a "first-past-the-post" (plurality) basis and represent either single-member or group-representation constituencies.[20] The People's Action Party has won control of Parliament with large majorities in every election since self-governance was secured in 1959.[21] However, in the most recent parliamentary elections in the opposition, led by the Workers' Party, made significant gains and increased its representation in the House to 6 elected MPs.[22]

The legal system of Singapore is based on English common law, albeit with local differences. Trial by jury was abolished in 1970.[23] Singapore has penalties that include judicial corporal punishment in the form of caning for rape, rioting, vandalism, and some immigration offences.[24][25] There is a mandatory death penalty for murder, and for certain drug-trafficking and firearms offences.[26] Amnesty International has said that some legal provisions conflict with the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and that Singapore has "possibly the highest execution rate in the world relative to its population".[27] The government has disputed Amnesty's claims.[28] In a survey, international business executives believed Singapore, along with Hong Kong, had the best judicial system in Asia.[29]

Freedom House ranks Singapore as "partly free" in its Freedom in the World report,[21] and The Economist ranks Singapore as a "hybrid regime", the third rank out of four, in its "Democracy Index".[30] Singapore is consistently rated one of the least corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International.[31]


Outline of Singapore and the surrounding islands & waterways

Singapore consists of 63 islands, including the main island, widely known as Singapore Island but also as Pulau Ujong.[32] There are two man-made connections to Johor, Malaysia: the Johor–Singapore Causeway in the north, and the Tuas Second Link in the west. Jurong Island, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin and Sentosa are the largest of Singapore's smaller islands. The highest natural point is Bukit Timah Hill at 166 m (545 ft).[33]

There are ongoing land reclamation projects, which have increased its land area from 581.5 km2 (224.5 sq mi) in the 1960s to 704 km2 (272 sq mi) today; it may grow by another 100 km2 (40 sq mi) by.[34] Some projects involve merging smaller islands through land reclamation to form larger, more functional islands, as with Jurong Island.[35] About 23% of Singapore's land area consists of forest and nature reserves.[36] Urbanisation has eliminated most primary rainforest, with Bukit Timah Nature Reserve the only significant remaining forest.[35]

Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no distinctive seasons, uniform temperature and pressure, high humidity, and abundant rainfall. Temperatures usually range from 23 to 32 °C[convert: unknown unit]. Relative humidity averages around 79% in the morning and 73% in the afternoon.[37] April and May are the hottest months, with the wetter monsoon season from November to January.[38] From July to October, there is often haze caused by bush fires in neighbouring Indonesia.[39] Although Singapore does not observe daylight saving time, it follows time zone GMT+8, one hour ahead of its geographical location.[40]

Template:Singapore weatherbox


The port of Singapore with a large number of shipping containers with the skyline of the city visible in the background
The port of Singapore, one of the world's five busiest,[41] with the skyline of Singapore in the background

Singapore has a highly developed market-based economy, based historically on extended entrepôt trade. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Republic of China (Taiwan), Singapore is one of the Four Asian Tigers. The economy depends heavily on exports and refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing,[42] which constituted 27.2% of Singapore's GDP in[6] and includes significant electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, mechanical engineering and biomedical sciences sectors. In Singapore produced about 10% of the world's foundry wafer output.[43] The country is the world's fourth leading financial centre.[44] Singapore has one of the busiest ports in the world and is the world's fourth largest foreign-exchange trading centre after London, New York and Tokyo.[45] The World Bank ranks Singapore as the world's top logistics hub.[46]

Before independence in 1965, Singapore had a GDP per capita of $511, then the third highest in East Asia.[47] After independence, foreign direct investment and a state-led drive for industrialisation based on plans by Goh Keng Swee and Albert Winsemius created a modern economy.[48] As a result of global recession and a slump in the technology sector, the country's GDP contracted by 2.2% in. The Economic Review Committee was set up in December and recommended several policy changes to revitalise the economy. Singapore has since recovered, largely due to improvements in the world economy; the economy grew by 8.3% in 6.4% in[49] and 7.9% in.[50] After a contraction of -0.8% in the economy recovered in with a GDP growth of 14.5%.[6]

Large high-rise buildings at night time
Singapore skyline, dusk

Singapore possesses the world's tenth largest foreign reserves.[51][52] Singapore's external trade is of higher value than its GDP, making trade one of the most vital components of the economy. Over ten free trade agreements have been signed with other countries and regions.[53] Singapore's economy was ranked the world's most open in[54] competitive[55] and innovative.[56][57] Singapore is rated the most business-friendly economy in the world.[58][59] The currency of Singapore is the Singapore dollar, issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.[60] It is interchangeable with the Brunei dollar.[61]

Most work in Singapore is in the service sector, which employed around 2,151,400 people out of 3,102,500 jobs in December. Around 64.2% of jobs were held by locals. The percentage of unemployed economically active people above age 15 is about 2%.[62] Poverty levels are low compared to other countries in the region. The government provides cheap housing and financial assistance to poorer people.[63] Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaire households, with 15.5 percent of all households owning at least one million US dollars.[64]

Tourism forms a large part of the economy, and 10.2 million tourists visited the country in.[65] To attract more tourists, in the government legalised gambling and allowed two casino resorts (called Integrated Resorts) to be developed.[66] Singapore is promoting itself as a medical tourism hub: about 200,000 foreigners seek medical care there each year, and Singapore medical services aim to serve one million foreign patients annually by and generate USD 3 billion in revenue.[67]

Foreign relations

Then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Ambassador to the U.S. Chan Heng Chee meet with Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen during Lee's visit in

Singapore's foreign policy is directed to maintaining a secure environment in Southeast Asia as well as the territories that surround it. An underlying principle is regional political and economic stability in the region.[53] It has diplomatic relations with 175 other Sovereign states.[68] As one of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN),[69] the country is a strong supporter of the ASEAN Free Trade Area and the ASEAN Investment Area, because Singapore's economic growth is closely linked with the economic progress of the region as a whole. Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong proposed the formation of an ASEAN Economic Community, a step beyond the current AFTA bringing it closer to a common market. This idea was agreed to in for implementation in. Other regional organisations are also important to Singapore, and it is the host of the APEC Secretariat. Singapore also maintains membership in other regional organisations, such as Asia-Europe Meeting, the Forum for East Asia-Latin American Cooperation, and the East Asia Summit.[53] It is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement[70] and the Commonwealth.[71]

Bilateral relations with other ASEAN members are generally strong, however disagreements have arisen[53] and relationships with neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia have historically been difficult.[72] Malaysia has often come into conflict with Singapore over the delivery of fresh water to Singapore,[73] and the access of Malaysian airspace to the Singapore Armed Forces, among others.[72] Border issues exist with both Malaysia and Indonesia, and both have banned the sale of marine sand to Singapore over disputes about Singapore's land reclamation.[74] Some previous disputes have been solved by the International Court of Justice. Piracy in the Malacca Strait has been a cause of concern for all three countries.[73] Close economic ties exist with Brunei, and the two share a pegged currency value.[75]

Singapore and the United States share a long-standing and strong relationship, particularly in defence, the economy, health and education. The USA is Singapore's third largest trading partner in after the European Union and the People's Republic of China.[76] The government of Singapore believes that regional security, and by extension, Singapore's security will be affected if the United States loses its resolve in Iraq.[77] Singapore has pushed regional counter-terrorism initiatives, with a strong resolve to deal with terrorists inside its borders. To this end it has given support to the US-led coalition to fight terrorism, with bilateral cooperation in counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation initiatives, and joint military exercises. Relations with the United States have expanded in other areas, and the two countries share a free trade agreement and take part in joint policy dialogues.[53]

Relations with the People's Republic of China were established in the 1970s, and since then the two countries have enjoyed a strong relationship, being major players in strengthening the ASEAN-China relationship.[78]


The Singaporean military is the most advanced in Southeast Asia.[79] It is divided between the Army, Navy, and Air Force.[6] It is seen as the guarantor of the country's independence.[80] The nation's philosophy of defence is one of diplomacy and deterrence.[81] This principle translates into the culture, involving all citizens in the country's defence.[82] The government spends 4.9% of its GDP on the military.[6]

At the time of independence, Singapore had two infantry regiments, which had been commanded by British officers. It was considered too small to provide effective security to the new country and so the development of the military became a priority. Tactics such as jungle warfare were learned to allow the army to fight outside Singapore's borders, and the army obtained equipment such as tanks before its neighbours, often from Israel, and became a highly effective force.[83]

The SAF is being developed to respond to a wide range of issues, in both conventional and unconventional warfare. The Defence Science and Technology Agency is responsible for procuring resources for the military.[81] The geographic restrictions of Singapore mean that the SAF must plan to fully repulse an attack, as they can not fall back and re-group. The small population has also affected the way the SAF has been designed, with a small active force but a large number of reserves.[82]

Singapore has a draft which extends to all able-bodied males at the age of 18, except to those who have a criminal record, or can prove that their loss would bring hardships to their families. In addition, males who have yet to complete pre-university education or are awarded the Public Service Commission scholarship can opt to defer their draft. Though not required to perform military service, the number of women in the Singapore Armed Forces has been increasing, with women allowed since to fill military vocations formerly reserved for men. Before induction into a specific branch of the armed forces, recruits undergo at least 9 weeks of basic military training.[84]

Because of the scarcity of open land on the main island, training involving activities such as live firing and amphibious landings is often carried out on smaller islands, typically barred to civilian access. This also avoids risk to the main island and the city. However, large-scale drills are considered too dangerous to be performed in the area, and since have been performed in Taiwan,[84] although training is held in about a dozen other countries. Military exercises are generally held with foreign forces once or twice per week.[82]

The SAF has sent forces to assist in operations outside the country in areas such as Iraq[85] and Afghanistan,[86] in both military and non-military roles. Regionally it has helped stabilise East Timor and provided aid to Aceh in Indonesia following the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. Singapore is part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements, a military alliance with Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.[82]


As of 5.1 million people live in Singapore, of whom 3.2 million (64%) are Singapore citizens while the rest (36%) are permanent residents or foreign workers. 2.9 million people (57%) were born in Singapore while the rest are foreign-born. The median age of Singaporeans is 37 years old and the average household size is 3.5 persons.[87][88] In the total fertility rate was 1.1 children per woman, the third lowest in the world and well below the 2.1 needed to replace the population.[89] To overcome this problem, the Singapore government is encouraging foreigners to immigrate to Singapore. The large number of immigrants has kept Singapore's population from declining.[90]

About 40 per cent of the population are foreigners, the sixth-highest percentage in the world.[91] The government is considering capping these workers, although it is recognised that they play a large role in the country's economy.[92] Foreign workers make up 80% of the construction industry and up to 50% in the service industry.[93][94]

In 74.2% of residents were of Chinese, 13.4% of Malays, and 9.2% of Indian descent.[95] Prior to each person could register as a member of only one race, by default that of his or her father. From onwards, people may register using a "double-barrelled" classification, in which they may choose one primary race and one secondary race, but no more than two.[96]


Religion in Singapore[97]
religion percentage
No 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 largest religions, in order of size, are Christianity, Islam, Taoism and Hinduism. The proportion of Christians, Taoists and non-religious people increased between and by about 3% each, while the proportion of Buddhists decreased. Other faiths remained largely stable in their share of the population.[97]

There are monasteries and Dharma centres from all three major traditions of Buddhism in Singapore: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. Most Buddhists in Singapore are Chinese and are of the Mahayana tradition.[98] Chinese Mahayana is the most predominant form of Buddhism in Singapore, with missionaries from Taiwan and China for several decades. However, Thailand's Theravada Buddhism has seen growing popularity amongst the people (not only the Chinese) in the past decade. Soka Gakkai International, a Japanese Buddhist organisation, is practised by many people in Singapore, but by mostly those of Chinese descent. Tibetan Buddhism has also made slow inroads into the country in recent years.[99]


Native languages of Singaporeans[100]
language % of first language speakers

Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil.[101] English is the first language of the nation and is the language of business, government and medium of instruction in schools.[102][103] The Singapore constitution and all laws are written in English.[104] 80% of Singaporeans are literate in English as either their first or second language. Chinese Mandarin is the next commonly spoken, followed by Malay and Tamil.[97][105] Singaporean English is based on British English,[106] and forms of English spoken range from Standard English to a pidgin known as Singlish. Singlish is heavily discouraged by the government.[107] According to the official census, nearly one in three Singaporeans speak English as their home language.[100]

Chinese is the most common home language, used by about half of all Singaporeans.[100] Singaporean Mandarin is the most common version of Chinese in the country,[108] with 1.2 million using it as their home language. Nearly half a million speak other Chinese languages (which the government describes as "dialects"), mainly Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese, as their home language, although the use of these is declining in favour of Mandarin and English.[109]

Malay is the "national language", a ceremonial rather than functional designation to reflect the country's history.[110][111][101] It is used in the national anthem "Majulah Singapura"[112] and in military commands. Today Malay is generally spoken within the Singaporean Malay community, with only 16.8% of Singaporeans literate in Malay[113] and only 12% using it as their home language.[100] Bazaar Malay was historically the lingua franca in Singapore, until it was eclipsed by English, especially after independence.[114] Around 0.1 million or 3% of Singaporeans speak Tamil as their home language.[100] Even though only Tamil has official status, there have been no attempts to discourage the use or spread of other Indian languages.[115]


The Administrative Building of Nanyang Technological University, one of five public universities in Singapore

Education for primary, secondary, and tertiary levels is mostly supported by the state. All institutions, private and public, must be registered with the Ministry of Education.[116] English is the language of instruction in all public schools[117] and all subjects are taught and examined in English except for the "Mother Tongue" language paper.[118] While "Mother Tongue" generally refers to the first language internationally, in Singapore's education system it is used to refer to the second language as English is the first language.[119][120] 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.[121][122]

Education takes place in three stages: "Primary education", "Secondary education", and "Pre-university education", of which only the Primary level is compulsory. Students begin with six years of primary school, which is made up of a four-year foundation course and a two-year orientation stage. The curriculum is focused on the development of English, the mother tongue, and maths.[123] There are four standard subjects taught to all students, English, the mother tongue, mathematics, and science.[124] Secondary school lasts from four to five years, and is divided between "Special", "Express", "Normal (Academic)", and "Normal (Technical)" streams within each school, depending on a student's ability level.[125] The basic coursework breakdown is the same as in the primary level, although classes are much more specialised.[126] Pre-university education takes place over two to three years at senior schools mostly called Junior Colleges.[127] Some schools have a degree of freedom in their curriculum, and are known as autonomous schools. These exist from the secondary education level.[125]

Educational attainment of non-student Singaporeans aged above 15yo in[128]
Highest qualification Percentage
No education
Primary school
Secondary school
Post-secondary diploma

National examinations are standardised across all schools, with a test taken after each stage of school. After the first six years of education, students take the Primary School Leaving Examination,[123] which determines their placement at secondary school. At the end of the secondary stage, GCE 'O' Level exams are taken; at the end of the following pre-university stage, the GCE 'A' Level exams are taken. Of all non-student Singaporeans aged 15 and above, 18% have no educational qualifications at all while 45% have the Primary School Leaving Examination as their highest qualification. 15% have the GCE 'O' Level as their highest qualification and 13% have a degree.[128]


Singapore has one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the world, even with a health expenditure relatively low for developed countries.[129] Life expectancy in Singapore is 79 for males and 83 for females, and almost the whole population has access to improved water and sanitation facilities. There are fewer than 10 annual deaths from HIV per 100,000 people, and high levels of immunisation. Adult obesity is below 10%.[130]

The government's healthcare system is based upon the "3M" framework. This has three components: Medifund, which provides a safety net for those who could not otherwise afford healthcare, Medisave, a compulsory health savings scheme covering about 85% of the population, and Medishield, a government-funded health insurance scheme.[129] Public hospitals in Singapore have autonomy in their management decisions, and compete for patients. A subsidy scheme exists for those on low income.[131] In 31.9% of healthcare was funded by the government, approximately 3.5% of Singapore's GDP.[132]


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.[133] Due to the many races and cultures in the country, there is no single set of culturally acceptable behaviours. The country is generally conservative socially but some liberalisation has occurred.[134] Foreigners also make up 42% of the population[91][109] and have a strong influence on Singaporean culture. A.T. Kearney named Singapore the most globalised country in the world in in its Globalization Index.[135] 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.[136] The Singapore dream is often satirically and light-heartedly portrayed as the "5 Cs" of Singapore - cash, credit cards, car, condominium and country club membership. [137]


Dining, along with shopping, is said to be the country's national pastime.[138] The diversity of food is touted as a reason to visit the country,[139] and the variety of food representing different ethnicities is seen by the government as a symbol of its multiculturalism.[140] The "national fruit" of Singapore is the Durian [141] In popular culture, food items belong to a particular ethnicity, with Chinese, Indian, and Malay food clearly defined. The diversity of cuisine has been increased further by the "hybridization" of different styles, e.g. the Peranakan style, a mix of Chinese and Malay cuisine.[139]


File:Theatre and Concert Hall, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore - 20110528.jpg
The durian-shaped Esplanade, performing arts centre, stands out in front of the Marina Square area.

Since the 1990s, the government has been promoting Singapore as a centre for arts and culture, in particular the performing arts, and to transform the country into a cosmopolitan 'gateway between the East and West'.[142] One highlight was the construction of Esplanade, a performing arts centre opened in October.[143] The annual Singapore Arts Festival is organised by the National Arts Council. The stand-up comedy scene has been growing, with a weekly open mic.[144] Singapore hosted the Genee International Ballet Competition, a classical ballet competition promoted by London's Royal Academy of Dance.[145]

Sport and recreation

Closing ceremony for the National Stadium
National Stadium of Singapore

Popular sports include football, basketball, cricket, swimming, sailing, table tennis and badminton. Most Singaporeans live in public residential areas near amenities such as public swimming pools, outdoor basketball courts and indoor sport complexes. Water sports are popular, including sailing, kayaking and water skiing. Scuba diving is another recreation, particularly around the southern island of Pulau Hantu, known for its rich coral reefs.[146]

Singapore's football (soccer) league, the S-League, formed in 1994,[147] currently comprises 12 clubs including foreign teams.[148] The Singapore Slingers, formerly in the Australian National Basketball League, is one of the inaugural teams in the ASEAN Basketball League, founded in October.[149] Singapore began hosting a round of the Formula One World Championship in. The race was staged at the Marina Bay Street Circuit and became the first night race on the F1 circuit[150] and the first street circuit in Asia.[151] Singapore won the bid to host the inaugural Summer Youth Olympics.[152]


Media in Singapore is tightly controlled, and strong action is taken against media that criticise government officials, thus promoting an atmosphere of self-censorship.[108] The government strictly restricts freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, and companies linked to the government control the domestic media.[153] The state-owned MediaCorp operates television channels and radio stations in Singapore. Singapore Press Holdings, a body with close links to the government, controls most of the newspaper industry.[108] In Reporters Without Borders ranked Singapore 136 out of 178 in the Press Freedom Index.[154]

The Media Development Authority regulates Singaporean media, claiming to balance the demand for choice and protection against offensive and harmful material.[155] Private ownership of TV satellite dishes is banned.[108] There are 3.4 million users of the internet in Singapore,[108] one of the highest Internet penetration rates in the world. Although the government has not engaged in widespread censoring of internet sites,[156] a "symbolic" number of "mass impact objectionable"[157] websites featuring "pornography, violence and incitement of racial or religious hatred" are blocked.[158] Government censorship policies have not hindered economic growth.[159] In the 1990s the media sector grew 7.7%, and by produced $10 billion and contributed 1.56% of Singapore's GDP.[155]


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The Port of Singapore with Sentosa island in the background

Singapore is a major international transportation hub in Asia, positioned on many sea and air trade routes. The Port of Singapore, managed by port operators PSA International and Jurong Port, was the world's second busiest port in in terms of shipping tonnage handled, at 1.15 billion gross tons, and in terms of containerised traffic, at 23.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). It is also the world's second busiest in terms of cargo tonnage, coming behind Shanghai with 423 million tons handled. In addition, the port is the world's busiest for transshipment traffic and the world's biggest ship refuelling centre.[160]

Singapore is an aviation hub for the Southeast Asian region and a stopover on the Kangaroo route between Sydney and London.[161] There are 8 total airports in the country,[6] and Singapore Changi Airport hosts a network of 80 airlines connecting Singapore to 200 cities in 68 countries. It has been rated one of the best international airports by international travel magazines, including being rated as the world's best airport for the first time in by Skytrax.[162] The national airline is Singapore Airlines.[163]

The island has a road system covering 3,356 kilometres (2,085 mi) which includes 161 kilometres (100 mi) of expressways.[6] The public road system is served by the many bus services and a number of licensed taxi-operating companies, and thousands of people use these services everyday.[164] Since 1987, the heavy rail passenger Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) metro system has been in operation.[165]

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Ships anchored at Singapore's Eastern Anchorage off the East Coast Park.

See also


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External links

  • Singapore Government Directory Interactive
  • Singapore Government Online Portal
  • Gateway To All Government Services
  • Singapore National Service Portal
  • Singapore Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority
  • Singapore Department of Statistics Annual Data
  • Chief of State and Cabinet Members
  • Singapore Economic Development Board
General information
  • Singapore entry at The World Factbook
  • Singapore from UCB Libraries GovPubs
  • Singapore at the Open Directory Project
  • Singapore Infomap
  • Wikimedia Atlas of Singapore
  • WikiSatellite view of Singapore at WikiMapia
  • Official Gateway To Singapore
  • Singapore travel guide, also as book Wikitravel Singapore: The free, complete, up-to-date and reliable guide to Singapore, ISBN 1229217831

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Singapore.
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