Portal:Singapore

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Singapore is an island nation located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. It lies 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the Equator, south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of Indonesia's Riau Islands. At 704.0 km² (272 sq mi), it is one of the few remaining city-states in the world and the smallest country in Southeast Asia. Despite its small size, Singapore has a population of slightly over 5.6 million people, of which over half were born locally.

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 3rd 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).

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An exterior view of the EXPO MRT station
The Mass Rapid Transit or MRT (Chinese: 大众快速交通 or more commonly known as 地铁; Malay: Sistem Pengangkutan Gerak Cepat; Tamil: சிங்கை துரிதக் கடவு ரயில்) is a rapid transit system that forms the backbone of the railway system in Singapore, spanning the entire city-state. The initial section of the MRT, between Yio Chu Kang and Toa Payoh, opened in 1987 establishing itself as the second-oldest metro system in Southeast Asia, after Manila's LRT System. The network has since grown rapidly as a result of Singapore's aim of developing a comprehensive rail network as the main backbone of the public transport system in Singapore with an average daily ridership of 1.564 million in FY07/08, about half of the bus network's 2.969 million in the same period.

The MRT has 64 operating stations with 109.4 kilometres of lines and operates on standard gauge. The rail lines have been constructed by the Land Transport Authority, a department of the government of Singapore, which allocates operating concessions to the profit-based corporations SMRT Corporation and SBS Transit. These operators also run bus and taxi services, thus ensuring that there is a full integration of public transport services. The MRT is complemented by the regional Light Rapid Transit (LRT) systems that link MRT stations with HDB public housing estates. Services operate from about 5:30 am and usually end before 1 a.m. daily with frequencies of approximately three to eight minutes, services being extended during festive periods.

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Singapore's Parliament House
Credit: TteckK (5 October 2002)

The Parliament House of Singapore. Thid building was designed to represent a contemporary architectural expression of stateliness and authority. Its prism-shaped top was designed by former president Ong Teng Cheong.

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Selected Biography

Walter Woon Cheong Ming (Chinese: 温长明; pinyin: Wēn Chángmíng; born 12 September 1956) is a Singaporean lawyer, academic, diplomat and politician. Educated at NUS and St. John's College, Cambridge, he joined the teaching staff of the NUS Faculty of Law in 1981 and later served as Sub-Dean and Vice-Dean. He was Legal Adviser to the President of Singapore and Council of Presidential Advisors from 1995 to 1997, and was appointed as professor of law in 1999.

Woon was a Nominated Member of Parliament between 1992 and 1996. He became the first Member of Parliament since 1965 to have a private member's bill become a public law in Singapore – the Maintenance of Parents Act, which was passed in 1995. Between 1997 and 2006, Woon served in a number of diplomatic capacities, including the Ambassador to Germany and the Ambassador to Belgium. He served as Attorney-General between 2008 and 2010. He is currently professor of law at the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Law and the Dean of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education.

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Photo of the Golden Mile Complex
  • ... that in her début at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Tao Li broke the Asian record for the 100m butterfly twice and became the first Singaporean swimmer to enter an Olympic final?

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Jurong Industrial Estate and Jurong Island
Credit: Sengkang (19 November 2006)

Jurong Island is a man-made island located to the southwest of the main island of Singapore, off Jurong Industrial Estate. It was formed from the amalgamation of several offshore islands, chiefly the seven main islands of Pulau Ayer Chawan, Pulau Ayer Merbau, Pulau Merlimau, Pulau Pesek, Pulau Pesek Kecil, Pulau Sakra and Pulau Seraya.

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