Portal:Singapore

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Map of Singapore
Singapore (/ˈsɪŋ(ɡ)əpɔːr/ (listen)), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude (137 kilometres or 85 miles) north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bordering the Strait of Malacca to the west, the Singapore Strait to the south, the South China Sea to the east, and the Straits of Johor to the north. The country's territory is composed of one main island, 63 satellite islands and islets, and one outlying islet; the combined area of these has increased by 25% since the country's independence as a result of extensive land reclamation projects. It has the third highest population density in the world. With a multicultural population and recognising the need to respect cultural identities of the major ethnic groups within the nation, Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. English is the lingua franca and numerous public services are available only in English. Multi-racialism is enshrined in the constitution and continues to shape national policies in education, housing, and politics.

Singapore's history dates back at least a millennium, having been a maritime emporium known as Temasek and subsequently as a major constituent part of several successive thalassocratic empires. Its contemporary era began in 1819 when Stamford Raffles established Singapore as an entrepôt trading post of the British Empire. In 1867, the colonies in Southeast Asia were reorganised and Singapore came under the direct control of Britain as part of the Straits Settlements. During World War II, Singapore was occupied by Japan in 1942, and returned to British control as a separate Crown colony following Japan's surrender in 1945. Singapore gained self-governance in 1959 and in 1963 became part of the new federation of Malaysia, alongside Malaya, North Borneo, and Sarawak. Ideological differences, most notably the perceived encroachment of the egalitarian "Malaysian Malaysia" political ideology led by Lee Kuan Yew into the other constituent entities of Malaysia—at the perceived expense of the bumiputera and the policies of Ketuanan Melayu—eventually led to Singapore's expulsion from the federation two years later; Singapore became an independent sovereign country in 1965.

After early years of turbulence whilst lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation rapidly developed to become one of the Four Asian Tigers based on international trade and economic globalisation, integrating itself within the world economy through free trade with minimal-to-no trade barriers or tariffs, export-oriented industrialisation, and the large accumulation of received foreign direct investments, foreign-exchange reserves, and assets held by sovereign wealth funds. A highly developed country, it is tied at 12th on the UN Human Development Index and has the second-highest GDP per capita (PPP) in the world. Identified as a tax haven, Singapore is the only country in Asia with a AAA sovereign credit rating from all major rating agencies. It is a major aviation, financial, and maritime shipping hub, and has consistently been ranked as one of the most expensive cities to live in for expatriates and foreign workers. Singapore is placed highly in key social indicators: education, healthcare, quality of life, personal safety, infrastructure, and housing, with a home-ownership rate of 88 percent. Singaporeans enjoy one of the longest life expectancies, fastest Internet connection speeds, lowest infant mortality rates, and lowest levels of corruption in the world.

Singapore is a unitary parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government, and its legal system is based on common law. Although the country is a multi-party democracy with free elections, the government under the People's Action Party (PAP) wields significant control and dominance over politics and society. The PAP has governed the country continuously since full internal self-government was achieved in 1959, with 83 out of 104 seats in Parliament as of the 2020 general election. One of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is also the headquarters of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) Secretariat, and is the host city of many international conferences and events. Singapore is also a member of the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO), East Asia Summit (EAS), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and the Commonwealth of Nations. (Full article...)

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The "Double Tenth incident" (双十節事件 Sōjūsetsu jiken) or "Double Tenth massacre" occurred on 10 October 1943, during the Second World War Japanese occupation of Singapore. The Kenpeitai—Japanese military police—arrested and tortured fifty-seven civilians and civilian internees on suspicion of their involvement in a raid on Singapore Harbour that had been carried out by Anglo-Australian commandos from Operation Jaywick. Three Japanese ships were sunk and three were damaged, but none of those arrested and tortured had participated in the raid, nor had any knowledge of it. Fifteen of them died in Singapore's Changi Prison.

After the war ended, twenty-one of the Kenpeitai involved were charged with war crimes. Eight received the death sentence, seven were acquitted, and the remainder were given prison sentences varying from one year to life. (Full article...)
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A view from the DHL Balloon
Credit: Premkudva (20 May 2008)

The DHL Balloon is a giant helium balloon, located on Tan Quee Lan Street in the Downtown Core of Singapore. Sited next to the New 7th Storey Hotel and near Bugis MRT Station, the distinctive red and yellow commercial passenger balloon is the world's largest tethered helium balloon. Read more...

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Teresa Hsu Chih (7 July 1898 – 7 December 2011) (Chinese: 许哲; pinyin: Xǔ Zhe), was a Chinese-born Singaporean charity worker, known affectionately as "Singapore's Mother Teresa", in recognition for her active lifelong devotion in helping the aged, sick, and destitutes locally. The retired nurse was the founder of the non-profit charities—Heart to Heart Service and the Home for the Aged Sick, one of the first homes for the aged sick in Singapore. She had been a social worker in China and Paraguay and a nurse in England, before coming to Singapore to start similar non-profit charities since 1961. Despite being a supercentenarian, Hsu was still involved in charity work and was one of very few supercentenarians who were recognised for reasons other than their longevity. She had spent almost all her savings on feeding and housing the poor and the elderly, all of whom were younger than she was, while she herself led a simple and humble lifestyle. In 2005, she received the Special Recognition Award from the Singapore government in recognition of her contribution to the country. (Full article...)

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The coat of arms of Singapore

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A daytime view of Singapore's Central Area
Credit: Chensiyuan

The skyline of Singapore's Central Business District in daytime. Notable landmarks in the picture includes the new and old Supreme Court of Singapore and the skyscrapers in the Marina Bay area.

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