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(), officially the Republic of Singapore
, is a sovereign
in maritime Southeast Asia
. It lies about one degree of latitude (137 kilometres or 85 miles) north of the equator
, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula
, bordering the Straits of Malacca
to the west, the Riau Islands
(Indonesia) to the south, and the South China Sea
to the east. The country's territory is composed of one main island
, 63 satellite islands and islets
, and one outlying islet
, the combined area of which has increased by 25% since the country's independence as a result of extensive land reclamation
projects. It has the second greatest population density in the world
. With a multicultural population and recognizing the need to respect cultural identities, Singapore has four official languages
, Mandarin Chinese
. English is the lingua franca
is enshrined in the constitution, and continues to shape national policies
in education, housing, and politics.
Modern Singapore was founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles as a trading post of the British Empire. In 1867, the colonies in Southeast Asia were reorganised and Singapore came under the direct control of Britain as part of the Straits Settlements. During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by Japan in 1942, but returned to British control as a separate crown colony following Japan's surrender in 1945. Singapore gained self-governance in 1959, and in 1963 became part of the new federation of Malaysia, alongside Malaya, North Borneo, and Sarawak. Ideological differences led to Singapore being expelled from the federation two years later, and it became an independent country.
After early years of turbulence and despite lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation rapidly developed to become one of the Four Asian Tigers based on external trade, becoming a highly developed country; it is ranked ninth on the UN Human Development Index, and has the second-highest GDP per capita (PPP) in the world. Singapore is the only country in Asia with a AAA sovereign rating from all major rating agencies. It is a major financial and shipping hub, consistently ranked the most expensive city to live in since 2013, and has been identified as a tax haven. Singapore is placed highly in key social indicators: education, healthcare, quality of life, personal safety and housing, with a home-ownership rate of 91%. Singaporeans enjoy one of the world's longest life expectancies, fastest Internet connection speeds and one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.
Singapore is a unitary parliamentary republic
with a Westminster system
parliamentary government. While elections are considered generally free, the government exercises significant control over politics and society, and the People's Action Party
has ruled continuously since independence. One of the five founding members of ASEAN
, Singapore is also the headquarters of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) Secretariat and Pacific Economic Cooperation Council
(PECC) Secretariat, as well as many international conferences and events. Singapore is also a member of the United Nations
, World Trade Organization
, East Asia Summit
, Non-Aligned Movement
and the Commonwealth of Nations
. (Full article...
Selected article -
The following are images from various Singapore-related articles on Wikipedia.
Lee Kuan Yew declaring the forming of the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963 in Singapore. (from History of Singapore)
Singapore's first Prime Minister,
Baedeker map of the city and environs, c. 1914
Arthur Percival, led by a Japanese officer, marches under a flag of truce to negotiate the capitulation of Allied forces in Singapore, on 15 February 1942. It was the largest surrender of British-led forces in history. (from History of Singapore)
Damage caused by a Japanese air assault on 8 February 1942. Many civilians were killed in these air raids.
Parameswara, who ruled Singapore in the 1390s.
An artist's impression of
Japanese POWs are taken to work where they were made to clear up the city during the British reoccupation in September 1945
History of Singapore)
Top view of Bukit Batok West. Large scale public housing development has created high housing ownership among the population. (from
History of Singapore)
Fireworks over the Marina Bay skyline following the conclusion of the 2015 National Day Parade on 9 August 2015. (from
History of Singapore)
The Marina Bay Sands integrated resort. Opened in 2010, it has become a key feature of Singapore's modern skyline. (from
Selected biography -
In this month
Did you know -
- ... that four Japanese War Memorials found in the Japanese Cemetery Park were built without knowledge of the British colonial government of Singapore?
The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM, Chinese: 亚洲文明博物馆) is an institution which forms a part of the three museums of the National Museums of Singapore. It is one of the pioneering museums in the region to specialise in pan-Asian cultures and civilisations.
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