Portal:Singapore

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The Singapore Portal

Flag of 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 million people, of which 2.91 million 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 17th 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).

Selected Article

A painting of Horsburgh Lighthouse by John Turnbull Thomson
The Pedra Branca dispute was a territorial dispute between Singapore and Malaysia over several islets at the eastern entrance to the Singapore Strait, namely Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge. The dispute began in 1979 when Malaysia published a map claiming Pedra Branca. In 1989, Singapore proposed submitting the dispute to the International Court of Justice and Malaysia agreed to this in 1994.

The hearing before the ICJ was held over three weeks in November 2007. Eventually, on 23 May 2008, the Court ruled that Pedra Branca is under Singapore's sovereignty, while Middle Rocks belongs to Malaysia. It also ruled that South Ledge belongs to the state in the territorial waters of which it is located, as it is a maritime feature visible only at low tide. Malaysia and Singapore have established what they have named the Joint Technical Committee to delimit the maritime boundary in the area around Pedra Branca and Middle Rocks, and to determine the ownership of South Ledge.

Selected Picture

Singapore's Sri Mariamman Temple
Credit: AngMoKio (15 February 2011)

The gopuram (tower) at the entrance of the Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore, Singapore's oldest Hindu temple. The temple has been gazetted a National Monument due to its architectural and historical significance.

Selected Biography

Tao Li (Chinese: 陶李; pinyin: Táo Lǐ; born 10 January 1990) is a China-born Singaporean competitive swimmer specializing in the backstroke and butterfly stroke. Singapore Sports School student, Tao has represented Singapore at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) and Asian Games and holds several national records. She became Singapore's most medalled athlete at the 2007 SEA Games after winning four gold medals. She also became the first Singaporean female swimmer to reach a FINA World Aquatics Championships final, finishing seventh in the 50 metres butterfly.

Tao made her Olympic début for Singapore at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She qualified for the 100 metres finals, ranking fourth in the semifinals with a time of 57.54 seconds and setting two Asian records in two days. She thus became the first Singaporean swimmer to enter an Olympic final.

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Did You Know

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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The National University of Singapore
Credit: Sengkang (November 2006)

The National University of Singapore (Abbreviation: NUS; Chinese: 新加坡国立大学; pinyin: Xīnjiāpō Guólì Dàxué; Abbreviated 国大; Malay: Universiti Kebangsaan Singapura; Tamil: சிங்கப்பூர் தேசியப் பல்கலைக்கழகம் ) is Singapore's oldest university. It is the largest university in the country in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered.

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