|Singapore||Introduction||Back to Top|
Singapore, Republic of, independent city-state in South East Asia, comprising one major island and 59 small adjacent islets, located off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Singapore Island, the major island, is separated from Malaysia to the north by the narrow Johor Strait. On the south, it is separated from the Riau archipelago of Indonesia by Singapore Strait, an important shipping channel linking the Indian Ocean to the west with the South China Sea on the east. The city of Singapore is at the south-eastern end of the island; it is one of the most important port cities and commercial centres of South East Asia. The total area of the republic is 640 sq km (247 sq mi).Official Name - Republic of Singapore
|Singapore||Provinces||Back to Top|
|Singapore||People||Back to Top|
At the time of the 1990 census, Singapore had a population of 2,705,115. The 2001 population estimate was 4,300,419. Immigration is highly restricted, so the natural population increase, which measures births and deaths, is an important indicator of the country’s future population growth. Singapore’s natural population increase is 0.9 percent annually, and this rate is expected to fall as much of the population ages beyond the childbearing years. The government is concerned about the slow growth rate because increasingly fewer working people must support a growing elderly population, straining available resources for health care and other social services. The government provides tax incentives to families that have several children, but the growth rate is still expected to fall because most Singaporeans prefer small families. The overall population density is 6,642 persons per sq km (17,202 per sq mi). Large residential areas with high-rise public housing estates are located throughout the main island, including the districts of Jurong in the southwest, and Geylang and Katong along the east coast.
The population of Singapore is diverse, the result of considerable past immigration. Chinese predominate, making up more than three-fourths of the total. Malays are the next largest ethnic group, and Indians the third. None of these three major communities is homogeneous. Among the Chinese, more than two-fifths originate from Fukien province and speak the Amoy dialect, about one-fourth are Teochew from the city of Swatow in Kwangtung province, and a smaller number are from other parts of Kwangtung. The Chinese community as a whole, therefore, speaks mutually incomprehensible dialects. Linguistic differences are less pronounced among the Malays, but the group includes Indonesians speaking Javanese, Boyanese, and other dialects. The Indian group is most diverse, consisting of Tamils (more than half), Malayalis, and Sikhs; it also includes Pakistani and Sinhalese communities.
|Singapore||History||Back to Top|
Humans have inhabited Singapore for about 2,000 years. The original seaport, Temasek, may have been a trading center in the Malay kingdom of Sri Vijaya until the 14th century, when title passed to the Javanese kingdom of Majapahit. The settlement most likely received the name Singapura (Sanskrit for “Lion City”) between the 11th and 14th centuries. It was destroyed in the late 1300s and replaced by Malacca (now Melaka) as the most important port in the area. For more than 400 years Singapore Island was inhabited only by a few Malays who lived in small fishing villages.
Singapore Island originally was inhabited by fishermen and pirates, and it served as an outpost for the Sumatran empire of Srivijaya. In Javanese inscriptions and Chinese records dating to the end of the 14th century, the more common name of the island is Tumasik, or Temasek, from the Javanese word tasek (“sea”). Rajendra, ruler of the southern Indian Cola kingdom, attacked the island in 1025, and there was another Cola raid in 1068. In 1275 the Javanese king Kertanagara probably attacked Temasek when he raided Pahang on the east coast of the peninsula. According to a Chinese traveler, Wang Ta-yuan, just before 1349 about 70 Tai war boats besieged Temasek for a month but had to withdraw. The Javanese epic poem Nagarakertagama (written 1365) includes Temasek among the conquests of the Javanese empire of Majapahit. At the end of the 14th century, Temasek fell into decay and was supplanted by Malacca (now Melaka). Yet in 1552 it was still a port of call from which St. Francis Xavier dispatched letters to Goa, and Joăo de Barros described its busy shipping activity in his history Décadas da Ásia (1552–1615).
Rajendra may have named the city Singapura (“Lion City”), later corrupted to Singapore, or the name may have been bestowed in the 14th century by Buddhist monks, to whom the lion was a symbolic character. According to the Sejarah Melayu, a Malay chronicle, the city was founded by the Srivijayan prince Sri Tri Buana; he is said to have glimpsed a tiger, mistaken it for a lion, and thus called the settlement Singapura.
|Singapore||Culture||Back to Top|
Cultural activities in Singapore are largely derivative, springing from one or another of the major civilizations of China, India, Indonesia, or the West. Traditional Chinese and Indian music, painting, and drama are practiced by numerous cultural societies and professional groups. Popular culture, based on modern mass media, is far more widespread. Malay music, which has adopted the rhythms of Western orchestras, has general appeal. Musical films that popularize Hindi and Tamil songs have a considerable following, as do films from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States.
Singapore’s cultural life reflects its past colonial administration and the country’s diverse population. Chinese, Malay, Indian, and British influences are apparent in Singapore’s art, architecture, and fine arts. British colonial architecture, for example, is represented by the Parliament House, City Hall, and the Raffles Hotel. Chinese, Hindu, and Islamic architecture are represented in the ornate Shuang Lin Temple, the Sri Mariamman Temple, and the Sultan Mosque, respectively. Singapore’s National Museum complex consists of one museum devoted to the contemporary art of Southeast Asia, one to Asian cultures, and the third to the history of Singapore.
Several Chinese, English, Indian, and Malay newspapers serve a largely literate population. Magazines published in the West, Hong Kong, and Japan also have wide appeal. The government monitors the press to a certain extent and on occasion places circulation restrictions on periodicals and newspapers that are critical of its policies. The government-owned Singapore Broadcasting Corporation controls all local radio and television broadcasting.
|Singapore||Life||Back to Top|
Like many other Asians, Singaporeans value a strong work ethic and close family relations. But some traditions have been altered by Western influences and Singapore’s rapid industrialization and modernization. For example, unlike families in China and India where several generations may share the same housing, Singaporeans of Chinese and Indian ancestry live in small, nuclear families. Housing favors smaller families, as most units consist of small apartments in high-rise buildings. Western clothing is common, and foods reflect the Chinese, Malay, and Indian origins of the people.
|Singapore||Land||Back to Top|
Nearly two-thirds of the main island is less than 50 feet (15 metres) above sea level. Timah Hill, the highest summit, has an elevation of only 531 feet (162 metres); with other peaks, such as Panjang and Mandai hills, it forms a block of rugged terrain in the centre of the island. To the west and south are lower scarps with marked northwest-southeast trends, such as Mount Faber. The eastern part of the island is a low plateau cut by erosion into an intricate pattern of hills and valleys. These physical units reflect their geologic foundations: the central hills are formed from granite rocks, the scarp lands from highly folded and faulted sedimentary rocks, and the eastern plateau from uncompacted sands and gravels.
|Singapore||Plants and Animal||Back to Top|
Except for rodents, comparatively few varieties of mammals are found in the islands. The most important are the domesticated water buffalo called the carabao, several species of deer, wild and domesticated pigs, the mongoose, and a variety of humped cattle. Reptiles are numerous, and the islands contain 556 species of birds, including colorful parrots. Coastal waters teem with marine fauna, particularly mollusks, for which the Philippines are noted. Pearl oysters are abundant around the Sulu Archipelago, in the extreme southwest, and Sulu pearls are famous.
|Singapore||Economy||Back to Top|
Because of its phenomenal economic growth since independence in 1965 and the continued robustness of its economy, Singapore is often referred to by economists as one of Asia’s “Four Tigers,” along with Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan. In 1999 the gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated at U.S.$85 billion, or $21,810 per capita, among the highest per capita GDPs in the world. The economy centers around services, notably financial and business services.
Singapore, one of the great trading entrepôts of the British empire, has experienced remarkable economic growth and diversification since 1960. In addition to enhancing its position as a world trade centre, it has developed powerful financial and industrial sectors. Singapore has the most advanced economy in Southeast Asia and is often mentioned along with other rapidly industrializing countries in Asia, notably South Korea and Taiwan. Singapore's economy always has differed from those of the other Southeast Asian countries in that it never has been primarily dependent on the production and export of commodities.
Singapore is blessed with a highly developed and successful free-market economy, a remarkably open and corruption-free business environment, stable prices, and the fifth highest per capita GDP in the world. Exports, particularly in electronics and chemicals, and services are the main drivers of the economy. Mainly because of robust exports, especially electronic goods, the economy grew 10.1% in 2000. Forecasters, however, are projecting only 4%-6% growth in 2001 largely because of weaker global demand, especially in the US. The government promotes high levels of savings and investment through a mandatory savings scheme and spends heavily in education and technology. It also owns government-linked companies (GLCs) - particularly in manufacturing - that operate as commercial entities. As Singapore looks to a future increasingly marked by globalization, the country is positioning itself as the region's financial and high-tech hub.
|Singapore||Communications||Back to Top|
major consideration given to serving business interests; excellent international service domestic: excellent domestic facilities international: submarine cables to Malaysia (Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia), Indonesia, and the Philippines; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Pacific Ocean), and 1 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean region)
|Singapore||Languages||Back to Top|
Chinese is the primary language spoken in the majority of homes. English is the language of administration and business and it is widely spoken as a second language.
|Singapore||Politics||Back to Top|
People's Action Party or PAP [Chok Tong GOH, secretary general] - the governing party; Singapore Democratic Party or SDP [CHEE Soon Juan]; Singapore People's Party or SPP [CHIAM See Tong]; Workers' Party or WP [J. B. JEYARETNAM]
|Singapore||Government||Back to Top|
Singapore is a parliamentary democracy governed under a 1959 constitution, promulgated when Singapore became a self-governing state. The constitution was amended in 1963 when Singapore joined with Sarawak, North Borneo (now Sabah), and the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia. In 1965 the constitution was amended again when Singapore separated from Malaysia to form an independent republic. Voting is compulsory for all Singaporeans 21 years of age and older.
|Singapore||Legal||Back to Top|
Legal system: based on English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal and compulsory Executive branch: chief of state: President Sellapan Rama (S. R.) NATHAN (since 1 September 1999) head of government: Prime Minister Chok Tong GOH (since 28 November 1990) and Deputy Prime Ministers Brig. Gen (Res.) Hsien Loong LEE (since 28 November 1990) and Keng Yam Tony TAN (since 1 August 1995) cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president, responsible to Parliament elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term; election last held 28 August 1999 (next to be held NA August 2005); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president; deputy prime ministers appointed by the president election results: Sellapan Rama (S. R.) NATHAN elected president unopposed Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament (83 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) elections: last held 2 January 1997 (next to be held by 26 August 2002) election results: percent of vote by party - PAP 65% (in contested constituencies), other 35%; seats by party - PAP 81, WP 1, SPP 1; note - subsequent to the election, there was a change in the distribution of seats, the new distribution is as follows: PAP 80, WP 1, SPP 1, vacant 1 Judicial branch: Supreme Court (chief justice is appointed by the president with the advice of the prime minister, other judges are appointed by the president with the advice of the chief justice); Court of Appeals
|Singapore||organization||Back to Top|
APEC, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, Australia Group (observer), BIS, C, CCC, CP, ESCAP, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OPCW, PCA, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNTAET, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO
|Singapore||Education||Back to Top|
Although education is not compulsory in Singapore, primary school is free for six years, and attendance is nearly universal. Some 73 percent of children also attend secondary school. Since 1987 English has been the language of instruction, but a policy of bilingualism requires that children also be taught Chinese, Malay, or Tamil. Institutions of higher education include the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. Of Singaporeans aged 15 and older, 100 percent can read and write.
|Singapore||Defence||Back to Top|
Military branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, People's Defense Force, Police Force
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 1,316,815 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 959,636 (2001 est.)
|Singapore||International Disputes||Back to Top|
Pedra Branca Island (Pulau Batu Putih) disputed with Malaysia
costa rica map
dominican R. map
el salvador map
puerto rico map
hong kong map
south korea map
sri lanka map
american samoa map
new zealand map
czech rep. map
saudi arabia map
Burkina Faso Map
Cape Verde Map
Congo, Rep Map
Cote d'Ivoire Map
D.R. Congo Map
Eq Guinea Map
Sao Tome Map
Sierra Leone Map
South Africa Map
|canada||cayman islands||chile||colombia||costa rica||cuba|
|curacao||dominica||dominican R.||ecuador||el salvador||falkland|
|maarten||kitts & nevis||lucia||martin||vincent||suriname|
|trinidad||turks and caicos||uruguay||usa||us virgin islands||venezuela|
|north korea||pakistan||philippines||singapore||south korea||sri lanka|
|vietnam||american samoa||antarctica||australia||cook islands||micronesia|
|caledonia||new zealand||niue||mariana islands||palau||pitcairn|
|vanuatu||wallis and futuna||albania||andorra||armenia||austria|
Write your own experience on Europe Travel includes each countries and cities, map, car rental, airfare, attractions, and hotels.
MapZones™ is created and maintained by Panalink Internet Services and is a trade mark of Panalink Technologies. Copyright © 1995-2002 Panalink Internet Services. All rights reserved worldwide. Email: mailto:email@example.com?subject=Mail from HomePage. Disclaimer.