Portal:Singapore

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Singapore (/ˈsɪŋ(ɡ)əpɔːr/ (About this soundlisten)), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island city-state 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: English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil; with English being the lingua franca. This reflects in its rich cultural diversity and extensive ethnic cuisine and major festivals. Multiracialism 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 of unicameral 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.

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SingaporeStone-bwphoto.jpg

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...
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Changi Airport T3 baggage collection point
Credit: Chensiyuan (7 December 2007)

The baggage collection point of Changi Airport's Terminal 3. The green wall can be seen on the right.

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The following are images from various Singapore-related articles on Wikipedia.

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Glenn Jeyasingam Knight (born 1945) is a Singaporean lawyer. He was the first Director of the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) when it was founded in 1984. He lost his post in 1991 after being convicted of corruption in a much-publicised trial. In 1998, he was again tried and convicted for misappropriating money while in office. Read more...

In this month

Photo of the City Hall and Old Supreme Court Building
  • ... 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?

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Clarke Quay
Credit: Sengkang (20 February 2006)

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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