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Welcome to the Singapore Portal

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, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. English is the lingua franca and numerous public services are available only in English. Multiracialism 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 the Second World War, 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 Melayueventually 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 11th 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 ruled the country continuously since full internal self-government was achieved in 1959, with 83 out of 104 seats in Parliament as of the 2020 election, the rest of the seats being held by the Workers' Party (WP) and the Progress Singapore Party (PSP). 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, World Trade Organization, East Asia Summit, Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth of Nations. (Full article...)

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Platform level of Nicoll Highway MRT station

Nicoll Highway MRT station is an underground Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) station on the Circle Line (CCL) in Singapore. Located in the Downtown Core underneath Republic Avenue near the Kallang River, the station serves commercial and residential developments along Nicoll Highway, such as the Golden Mile Complex and The Concourse. The station is operated by SMRT Trains.

First announced as part of the Marina MRT line (MRL) in 1999, the station was incorporated into Stage 1 of the CCL in 2001. During the construction, the tunnels linking to the original station site caved in along with the highway on 20 April 2004, killing four people. Following an investigation, which found human error and organisational failures as causes of the collapse, the station was relocated. Alongside the other stations on Stages 1 and 2 of the CCL, the station opened on 17 April 2010. (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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At a ceremony welcoming Team Singapore home from the 2008 Summer Olympics

Tao Li (Chinese: 陶李; pinyin: Táo Lǐ; born 10 January 1990) is a Chinese-born Singaporean competitive swimmer who specializes in the backstroke and butterfly.

Tao has represented Singapore at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), the Asian Games, World Championship, Commonwealth Games and Olympics. She holds several national records and is the only female Singapore swimmer who qualified for an Olympic Final. (Full article...)

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The Buddhist Library of 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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Changi Beach Park
Credit: Sengkang (8 July 2006)

The Changi Beach Park (Chinese: 樟宜海滨公园) is a beach park located at the northeastern tip of Singapore. The 28-hectare Changi Beach Park is one of the oldest coastal parks in Singapore. The park is 3.2 km long with stretches of sandy beaches between Changi Point and Changi Ferry Road.

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