Portal:Singapore

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Map of Singapore

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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The Vigilante drive entrance to Kent Ridge Park
Kent Ridge Park is a 47-hectare public park in western Singapore, between the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Science Park. Due to its undisturbed habitat and abundant plant life, it is a popular venue for bird-watchers and eco-tourists. During World War II, a hill in the park was the site of one of the last and fiercest battles fought by the Malay Regiment against the invading Japanese army, the Battle of Bukit Chandu (also known as the Battle of Pasir Panjang), 12–14 February 1942.

The park was officially opened in 1954, and was gazetted by the National Heritage Board as one of 11 World War II sites in Singapore in 1995. It is one of 300 parks managed by Singapore's National Parks Board, NParks. The area occupied by Kent Ridge Park was formerly known as Pasir Panjang Ridge, and was originally a lowland evergreen rainforest. The park's natural vegetation survives in the form of groves of Tembusu, Acacias and Dillenias. When the first settlers arrived in Singapore in the early 19th century, they grew crops such as rubber, pepper, gambier and pineapple on the ridge. During World War II, it was used as a fortress by the British in the defence of Singapore.

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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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Edwin Nadason Thumboo (born 22 November 1933) is an award-winning Singaporean poet and academic who is regarded as one of the pioneers of English literature in Singapore. Thumboo graduated in English from the University of Malaya in 1956. Although he applied for a position at the university, he was rejected as few locals held academic posts at that time. He therefore worked in the civil service for about nine years before finally joining the university, then renamed the University of Singapore, in 1966 following Singapore's independence. He received a Ph.D. from the university in 1970. Thumboo rose to the position of full professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, heading the department between 1977 and 1993. After the merger of the University of Singapore and Nanyang University in 1980 to form the National University of Singapore (NUS), he was the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 1980 to 1991, NUS's longest-serving dean.

Thumboo was the first Chairman and Director of the university's Centre for the Arts from 1993 to 2005, and continues to be associated with the university as an emeritus professor, a position he has held since retiring from full-time teaching in September 1997. Thumboo's poetry is inspired by myth and history, and he is often dubbed Singapore's unofficial poet laureate because of his poems with nationalistic themes. A pioneer of local English literature, he compiled and edited some of the first anthologies of English poetry and fiction from Singapore and Malaysia.

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Photo of the Buddhist Library in Singapore
  • ... that the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, a Singaporean body that ensures laws do not discriminate against racial or religious minorities, has not issued an adverse report since its creation?

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Sungei Serangoon
Credit: Sengkeng (12 November 2006)

Sungei Serangoon (Malay for Serangoon River; Chinese: 实龙岗河) is a river in the north-eastern part of Singapore. The 6-kilometre river starts as a canal near Tampines Road, and flows through Hougang, Sengkang, Punggol, Lorong Halus and Pasir Ris, before emptying into the Serangoon Harbour. The river is also known as the Serangoon Estuary.

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