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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
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. The country is home to 5.7 million residents, 61% (3.4 million) of whom are Singaporean citizens
. There are four official languages of Singapore
, and Tamil
; with English being the lingua franca
. This reflects in its rich cultural diversity
and extensive ethnic cuisine
and major festivals
is enshrined in the constitution, and continues to shape national policies
in education, housing, and politics.
Although its history stretches back millennia, modern Singapore was founded in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles as a trading post of the British Empire. In 1867, the colonies in East 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, thereby becoming 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 seventh-highest GDP per capita in the world. Singapore is the only country in Asia with an 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 also has the tenth-highest number of billionaires of any city in the world, and 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. Singapore is widely regarded to have an incorrupt
and meritocratic government, with a fair judiciary and strong rule of law. While the country practices parliamentary democracy
, the government has significant control over politics and society, and the People's Action Party
has ruled continuously since 1959. 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
Selected article -
The Singapore Stone is a fragment of a large sandstone slab which originally stood at the mouth of the Singapore River. The large slab, which is believed to date back to at least the 13th century and possibly as early as the 10th or 11th century, bore an undeciphered inscription. Recent theories suggest that the inscription is either in Old Javanese or in Sanskrit, which suggested a possibility that the island was an extension of the Majapahit civilization in the past.
It is likely that the person who commissioned the inscription was Sumatran
. The slab may be linked to the legendary story of the 14th-century strongman Badang
, who is said to have thrown a massive stone to the mouth of the Singapore River. On Badang's death, the Rajah sent two stone pillars to be raised over his grave "at the point of the straits of Singapura". Read more...
The baggage collection point of Changi Airport's Terminal 3. The green wall can be seen on the right.
The following are images from various Singapore-related articles on Wikipedia.
Lieutenant-General 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.
Top view of Bukit Batok West. Large scale public housing development has created high housing ownership among the population.
Chinese community in Singapore carrying the Flag of the Republic of China (written Long live the motherland) to celebrate the victory, also reflected the Chinese identity issues at that time.
JJ Lin is a Singaporean singer, songwriter, record producer and actor.
Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum
The country celebrates its National Day on 9 August each year.
A statue of Raffles by Thomas Woolner now stands in Singapore, near Raffles's landing site in 1819.
Men of various races- Chinese, Malay, and Indian gather at a street corner in Singapore, circa 1900.
Orchids in the Botanic Gardens
The Mao Kun map from Wubei Zhi which is based on the early 15th century maps of Zheng He showing Temasek (淡馬錫) at the top left, and Long Ya Men (龍牙門) on the right panel.
Damage caused by a Japanese air assault on 8 February 1942. Many civilians were killed in these air raids.
The Jurong Industrial Estate was developed in the 1960s to industrialise the economy.
The Thian Hock Keng, completed in 1842, served as a place of worship for early immigrants.
Mural of Singapore's landmarks
An artist's impression of Parameswara, who ruled Singapore in the 1390s.
Fireworks over the Marina Bay skyline following the conclusion of the 2015 National Day Parade on 9 August 2015.
The founding father of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew declaring the forming of the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963 in Singapore.
A busy Victoria Dock, Tanjong Pagar, in the 1890s.
1888 German map of Singapore
Baedeker map of the city and environs, c. 1914
Jurong Industrial Estate, Singapore, with Jurong Island in the background
The Plan of the Town of Singapore, or more commonly known as the Jackson Plan or Raffles Town Plan.
The iconic Marina Bay Sands integrated resort. Opened in 2010, it has become a key feature of Singapore's modern skyline.
Singapore's urban geography is often characterised by extensive use of HDB flats, which the majority of citizens reside in.
Old Supreme Court of Singapore
Japanese POWs are taken to work where they were made to clear up the city during the British reoccupation in September 1945
Selected biography -
In this month
Did you know -
- ... that former chef Aziza Ali is credited with establishing Singapore's first Malay restaurant?
- ... that the Singapore Constitution that came into force on 9 August 1965 was not drafted as a single document but was made up of provisions from three separate statutes?
Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay in Singapore that is situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River and Boat Quay. In this picture, Clarke Quay is pictured on the left bank while the Riverside Point is on the right bank. The bridge on the right of the picture is the Ord Bridge.
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