The Republic of Singapore (Chinese 新加坡共和国, Xīnjīapō Gnghgo; Malay Republik Singapura; Tamil சிங்கப்பூர் குடியரசு, Cingkappūr Kudiyaracu), is an island city-state in Southeast Asia, situated south of the state of Johor of Peninsular Malaysia and north of the Indonesian islands of Riau.

Republik Singapura
சிங்கப்பூர் குடியரசு
Republic of Singapore

(In Detail)
National motto: Majulah Singapura
(Malay: Onward, Singapore)
Official languagesEnglish, Chinese,
Malay and Tamil
National languageMalay
PresidentS. R. Nathan
Prime MinisterGoh Chok Tong
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 174th
692.7 km
 - Total (July 2003 est.)
 - Density
Ranked 115th
 - Date
From Malaysia
August 9, 1965
CurrencySingapore Dollar (S$, SGD)
Time zoneUTC +8
National anthemMajulah Singapura
Internet TLD.SG
Calling code65

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Economy
4 Geography
5 Demographics
6 Culture
7 Laws
8 Miscellaneous topics
9 Reference
10 External links


Main article: History of Singapore

Modern Singapore was founded in 1819 as a British trading settlement. The British surrendered Singapore to Japan during World War II, and it was returned to British administration in 1945. Self-government was granted by the British in 1959. In 1963 Singapore joined Malaysia but separated from Malaysia in 1965 and was re-instituted as an independent republic. It has subsequently become one of the world's most prosperous countries, with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world's busiest) and with per capita GDP above that of the leading nations of Western Europe. During the early years, it was led by prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, whose policies were responsible for Singapore's prosperity and authoritarianism.


Main article: Politics of Singapore

Singapore has a Westminster-style constitution. In practice, politics is dominated by the People's Action Party which has ruled since Independence. The mode of government is perhaps closer to authoritarianism than true democracy. Paradoxically (for political scientists), Singapore has a highly successful, corruption-free, and transparent market economy.


Main article: Economy of Singapore

Singapore enjoys a highly developed and successful free-market economy, characterised by a remarkably open and corruption-free environment, stable prices, and one of the highest per capita GDPs in the world. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in electronics and manufacturing, and was hard hit in 2001 by the global recession and the slump in the technology sector. In 2001, GDP contracted by 2.2%. The economy is expected to recover in 2002 in response to improvements in the US economy, and GDP growth for 2002 is projected to be 3% to 4%. In the longer term the government hopes to establish a new growth path that will be less vulnerable to the external business cycle than the current export-led model, but is unlikely to abandon efforts to establish Singapore as Southeast Asia's financial and high-tech hub.


Main article: Geography of Singapore

Singapore's main territory is a diamond-shaped piece of land that would be an island, if it was not connected to the Malay Peninsula by a man-made causeway to the north. There is also a bridge to the west. Singapore also has dozens of smaller islands, of which Jurong Island, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin and Sentosa are the largest. Since Singapore basically consists of only one city, there are no further administrative divisions.


Main article: Demographics of Singapore

Apart from the much smaller Monaco, Singapore is the most densely populated independent country in the world.

Singapore's population is diverse. Chinese people account for 3/4 of the population. Malayss are the second largest ethnic group and were the indigenous or native group of the country.Indianss are the third largest ethnic group. The official languages are English, Mandarin (Chinese), Malay and Tamil.

Malay is also Singapore's national language but this is largely symbolic, being the language of the national anthem. The ruling PAP has preferred to promote English as the country's lingua franca, with Malay being confined largely to its native speakers, with relatively few Chinese and Indian Singaporeans speaking it.


Main article: Culture of Singapore

  • Music of Singapore


Laws are often strict (there is a saying "Everything that is fun is illegal in Singapore"), with a slight tendency to relax some laws, e.g.:

  • the sale of chewing gum is forbidden although chewing the gum is not;
  • Heavy fines are levied on people who litter or discard items in public areas;
  • car ownership is curbed through a government scheme in which residents must bid for a Certificate of Entitlement (COE)
  • eating and drinking on buses and metro trains (also known as the Mass Rapid Transit system) also carries heavy fines;
  • vandalism and graffiti are punishable by mandatory caning;
  • there is tough censorship:
    • some foreign newspapers and magazines, such as the Asian Wall Street Journal and the Far Eastern Economic Review have had their circulation or sale restricted. Malaysian newspapers are not allowed to be sold in Singapore (and vice versa)
    • pornography is not allowed; depiction of sex and nudity is restricted, e.g. Playboy and certain other 'adult' magazines such as Cosmo are not allowed. Sex and nudity, if allowed at all, must be relevant to the context; movies containing nudity, sex or high levels of violence are usually categorised as 'Restricted (Artistic)' or R(A).
    • private ownership of satellite dishes is banned, and international TV broadcasts (such as CNN, BBC, etc) can only be received by cable.
    • certain political material is not allowed;
    • material which may disturb religious and racial harmony is not allowed;
  • drugs laws are very strict;
  • homosexual penetration is illegal.

Note: Wikipedia does not give legal advice

Miscellaneous topics


External links

Panorama of Singapore from Boat Quay ()

Countries of the world  |  Asia

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