The British East India Company established a trading post on the island in 1819. The main settlement up to that point was a Malay fishing village at the mouth of the Singapore River. Several hundred indigenous Orang Laut people also lived around the coast, rivers and smaller islands. The British used Singapore as a strategic trading post along the spice route. It became one of the most important commercial and military centres of the British Empire. Winston Churchill called it "Britain's greatest defeat" when it was occupied by the Japanese during World War II. Singapore reverted to British rule in 1945. In 1963, it merged with Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia. Less than two years later it split from the federation and became an independent republic on August 9, 1965. Singapore joined the United Nations on September 21 that same year.
Since independence, Singapore's standard of living has increased. A state-led industrialization drive, aided by foreign direct investment has created a modern economy based on electronics manufacturing, petrochemicals, tourism and financial services alongside the traditional entrepôt trade. Singapore is the 17th wealthiest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita. The small nation has a foreign reserve of S$222 billion (US$147 billion).
I Not Stupid (Chinese: 小孩不笨; pinyin: Xiǎohái Bù Bèn; literally: "The Children Are Not Stupid") is a Singaporean comedy film revolving around three Primary 6 pupils who are placed in the academically inferior Primary EM3 stream. The film is directed by Jack Neo, who spent over two years researching and editing the script of this film. The film was first released in Singapore on 9 February 2002, and it was subsequently released in Malaysia, Thailand and Hong Kong. This film was also screened at a number of film festivals, winning several awards. Critics praised the film for its humour and uniqueness, noting that it touched a raw nerve among Singaporeans.
I Not Stupid earned over S$3.8 million and is the third-highest grossing Singaporean movie. Its satirical criticism of the Singaporean education system and social attitudes in Singapore sparked public discussions and parliamentary debates that led to reforms in the education system.
Theresa held the world record for the 50 metres and 200 metres breaststroke. She was ranked second in the world for the 100 metres breaststroke and third for the 200 metres individual medley. Goh received the 2001 Sportsgirl Merit Award from the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) and was named Sportsgirl of the Year in 2002 and 2003. From 2004 to 2006, she was the SDSC's Sportswoman of the Year. On 27 February 2008 Goh received a special award at the SDSC's Sports Superstar Awards 2007 for outstanding achievements in swimming, and in August that year she was conferred the Pingat Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Medal) in the National Day Awards.