Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islandsby the Singapore Strait to its south. Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery
The country is highly urbanised with very little primary rainforest remaining, although more land is being created for development through land reclamation.
Part of various local empires since being inhabited in the 2nd century AD, Singapore hosted a trading post of the East India Company in 1819 with permission from the Sultanate of Johor. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1T Battery
The British obtained sovereignty over the island in 1824 and Singapore became one of the British Straits Settlements in 1826. Occupied by the Japanese in World War II, Singapore declared independence, uniting with other former British territories to formMalaysia in 1963, although it was separated from Malaysia two years later. Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery
Since then it has had a massive increase in wealth, and is one of the Four Asian Tigers. Singapore is the world's fourth leading financial centre, and its port is one of the five busiest ports in the world. The economy depends heavily on exports and refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing, which constituted 26% of Singapore's GDP in 2005. Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery
Singapore is a unitary multiparty parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People's Action Party has won every election since self-government in 1959, and governs on the basis of a strong state and prioritising collective welfare over individual rights such as freedom of speech. Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery
In terms of purchasing power parity, Singapore has the third highest per capita income in the world. There are slightly over 5 million people in Singapore, of which 2.91 million were born locally. The population is highly diverse; the majority are Chinese, with Malays and Indians forming significant minorities. Sony VAIO PCG-7141M Battery
Reflecting this diversity, the country has four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. One of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations, the country is also the host of the APEC Secretariat, and a member of the East Asia Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth. Sony VAIO PCG-7143M Battery
The English name of Singapore is derived from the Malay word Singapura (Sanskrit: सिंहपुर, lit. Lion City), hence the customary reference to the nation as the Lion City. Lions probably never lived there; the beast seen by Sang Nila Utama, who founded and named ancient Singapore, was most likely a tiger. Sony VAIO PCG-7151M Battery
The earliest known settlement on Singapore was in the second century AD. It was an outpost of the Sumatran Srivijaya empire, named Temasek ('sea town'). Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, it was part of the Sultanate of Johor. In 1613, Portuguese raiders burnt down the settlement and the island sank into obscurity for the next two centuries. Sony VAIO PCG-7154M Battery
In 1819, Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived and signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah on behalf of the British East India Company to develop the southern part of Singapore as a British trading post. In 1824, the entire island became a British possession under a further treaty with the Sultan and the Temenggong. Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery
In 1826, it became part of the Straits Settlements, under the jurisdiction of British India. Singapore became the capital of the Straits Settlements in 1836. Before Raffles arrived, there were around 1,000 people living in Singapore, mostly indigenous, but with around 20-30 Malays and 20-30 Chinese. Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery
By 1860, the population exceed 80,000, with over half of the population being Chinese. Many immigrant came to work at rubber plantations, and after the 1870s the island became a global centre for rubber exports.
During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded Malaya culminating in the Battle of Singapore. Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery
The British were defeated, and surrendered on 15 February 1942. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called this "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history". The Sook Ching massacre of ethnic Chinese after the fall of Singapore claimed between 5,000 and 25,000 lives. Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery
The Japanese occupied Singapore until the British repossessed it in September 1945 after the Japanese surrender.
Singapore's first general election in 1955 was won by the pro-independence David Marshall, leader of the Labour Front. Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery
Demanding complete self-rule he led a delegation to London but was turned down by the British. He resigned when he returned and was replaced by Lim Yew Hock, whose policies convinced Britain to grant Singapore full internal self-government for all matters except defence and foreign affairs. Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery
During the May 1959 elections, the People's Action Party won a landslide victory. Singapore had become an internally self-governing state within the Commonwealth, with Lee Kuan Yew as the first Prime Minister.Governor Sir William Allmond Codrington Goode served as the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara ("Head of State"),Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery
and was succeeded by Yusof bin Ishak who in 1965 became the first President of Singapore. During the 1950s Communists, mostly supported by the Chinese-speaking group, with strong ties to the trade unions and Chinese schools, carried out an armed struggle against the state, resulting in the Malayan Emergency and later, theCommunist Insurgency War. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery
The 1954 National Service Riots, Chinese middle schools riots and Hock Lee bus riotsin Singapore were all linked to the Communists 
On 31 August 1963, Singapore declared independence from Britain and joined with Malaya, Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery
Sabah and Sarawak to form the new Federation of Malaysia as the result of the 1962 Merger Referendum. Singaporean leaders joined Malaysia for various reasons. Firstly, as a small country, they did not believe that the British would find it viable for Singapore to become independent by itself. Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery
Secondly, they also did not believe that Singapore could survive on its own, due to scarcity of land, water, markets and natural resources. And lastly, the Singapore government wanted the help of the Malaysian government to flush out the Communists. The two years that Singapore spent as part of Malaysia were filled with strife and bitter disagreements. Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery
The Malaysians insisted on a pro-Malay society, where Malays were given special Bumiputera rights, which still exist to this day. The Malaysians were also suspicious about Singapore's majority of ethnic Chinese and worried that Singapore's economic clout would shift the centre of power from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery
There were also linguistic and religious issues. The Singaporeans, on the other hand, wanted an equal and meritocratic society, where all citizens were given equal rights. As part of Malaysia, Singapore's economic and social development came to a halt as the Malaysian parliament blocked many bills. Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery
Race riots broke out in Singapore in 1964. After much heated ideological conflicts between the two governments, in 1965, the Malaysian parliament voted 126 to 0 to expel Singapore from Malaysia.]
Singapore gained independence as the Republic of Singapore Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery
(remaining within the British Commonwealth) on 9 August 1965 with Yusof bin Ishak as president and Lee Kuan Yew as prime minister. Every one who was present in Singapore on the date of independence was offered Singapore citizenship. In 1967, it helped found the Association of Southeast Asian Nationsand in 1970 it joined the Non-aligned movement. Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery
In 1990, Goh Chok Tong succeeded Lee as prime minister. During his tenure the country faced the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the 2003 SARS outbreak and terrorist threats posed by Jemaah Islamiyah. In 2004, Lee Hsien Loong, the eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew, became the country's third prime minister. Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M Battery
Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government representingconstituencies. Its constitution establishes representative democracy as its political system. Freedom House ranks Singapore as "partly free" in its Freedom in the World report, Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery
and The Economist ranks Singapore as a "hybrid regime", the third rank out of four, in its "Democracy Index". Singapore is consistently rated one of the least corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International.
Executive power rests with the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, and the President. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery
The president is elected through popular vote, and has some veto powers for a few key decisions such as the use of the national reserves and the appointment of judges, but otherwise occupies a ceremonial post.
The Parliament serves as the legislative branch of government. Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery
Members of Parliament (MPs) consist of elected, non-constituency and nominated members. Elected MPs are voted into parliament on a "first-past-the-post" (plurality) basis and represent either single-member or group-representation constituencies. The People's Action Party has won control of Parliament with large majorities in every election since self-governance was secured in 1959. Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery
However, in the most recent parliamentary elections in 2011, the opposition, led by the Workers' Party, made significant gains and increased its representation in the House to 6 elected MPs.
The legal system of Singapore is based on English common law, albeit with substantial local differences. Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery
Trial by jury was entirely abolished in 1970 leaving judicial assessment performed wholly by judgeship. Singapore has penalties that include judicial corporal punishment in the form of caning for rape, rioting, vandalism, and some immigration offences. There is a mandatory death penalty for murder, and for certain drug-trafficking and firearms offences. Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery
Amnesty International has said that some legal provisions conflict with the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and that Singapore has "possibly the highest execution rate in the world relative to its population". The government has disputed Amnesty's claims. Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery
In a 2008 survey, international business executives believed Singapore, along with Hong Kong, had the best judicial system in Asia. In 2011, in the World Justice Project's Rule of Law IndexSingapore was ranked in the top countries surveyed in "Order and Security", "Absence of Corruption", and "Effective Criminal Justice". Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery
However, it scored very low for both "Freedom of Speech" and "Freedom of Assembly". All public gatherings of five or more people require police permits, and protests may only be legally held at Speakers' Corner.
Singapore consists of 63 islands, including the main island, widely known as Singapore Island but also as Pulau Ujong. Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery
There are two man-made connections to Johor, Malaysia: the Johor–Singapore Causeway in the north, and the Tuas Second Linkin the west. Jurong Island, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin and Sentosa are the largest of Singapore's smaller islands. The highest natural point is Bukit Timah Hill at 166 m (545 ft). Sony VAIO PCG-51112M Battery
There are ongoing land reclamation projects, which have increased Singapore's land area from 581.5 km2 (224.5 sq mi) in the 1960s to 704 km2 (272 sq mi) today; it may grow by another 100 km2 (40 sq mi) by 2030. Some projects involve merging smaller islands through land reclamation to form larger, more functional islands, as with Jurong Island. Sony VAIO PCG-51211M Battery
5% of Singapore's land is set aside as nature reserves. Urbanisation has eliminated most primary rainforest, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve being the only significant remaining forest.
Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no distinctive seasons, uniform temperature and pressure, high humidity, and abundant rainfall. Sony VAIO PCG-51212M Battery
Temperatures usually range from 23 to 32 °C (73 to 90 °F). Relative humidity averages around 79% in the morning and 73% in the afternoon. April and May are the hottest months, with the wetter monsoon season from November to January. From July to October, there is often haze caused by bush fires in neighbouring Indonesia. Sony VAIO PCG-41111M Battery
Although Singapore does not observe daylight saving time, it follows time zone GMT+8, one hour ahead of its geographical location.
Before independence in 1965, Singapore was the capital of the British Straits Settlements, a Crown Colony. It was also the main British naval base in East Asia. Sony VAIO PCG-41111V Battery
Because of its status as the main British naval base in the region, as well as hosting the largest dry dock in the world at that time in the form of the Singapore Naval Base, it was described in the press as the 'Gibraltar of the East'. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 caused global trade to boom, Sony VAIO PCG-61412V Battery
and Singapore became a major world trade node, and the Port of Singapore became one of the largest and busiest ports in the world. Before independence in 1965, Singapore had a GDP per capita of $511, then the third-highest in East Asia. After independence, Sony VAIO PCG-71112M Battery
foreign direct investment and a state-led drive for industrialisation based on plans by Goh Keng Swee and Albert Winsemiuscreated a modern economy.
Today, Singapore has a highly developed market-based economy, based historically on extended entrepôt trade. Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery
Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the original Four Asian Tigers. The Singaporean economy is known as one of the freest, most innovative, most competitive, and most business-friendly. The 2011 Index of Economic Freedomranks Singapore as the second freest economy in the world, behind Hong Kong. Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery
According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, Singapore is consistently ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, along with New Zealand and the Scandinavian countries.
Singapore is the 14th largest exporter and the 15th largest importer in the world. The country has the highest trade-to-GDP ratio in the world at 407.9 percent, Sony VAIO PCG-81212M Battery
signifying the importance of trade to its economy. The country is currently the only Asian country to have AAA credit ratings from all three major credit rating agencies – Standard & Poor's, Moody's, and Fitch. Singapore attracts a lot of foreign direct investment because of its location, corruption-free environment, Sony VAIO PCG-81212V Battery
skilled workforce, low tax rates and advanced infrastructure. There are more than 7,000 multinational corporations from the United States, Japan, and Europe in Singapore. There are also 1,500 companies from China and 1,500 from India. Foreign firms are found in almost all sectors of the economy. Sony VAIO PCG-51111M Battery
Singapore is also the second largest foreign investor in India. Roughly 44 percent of the Singaporean workforce is made up of non-Singaporeans. Over tenfree trade agreements have been signed with other countries and regions. Sony VAIO VPCS13X9E/B battery
Singapore also possesses the world's tenth largest foreign reserves. The currency of Singapore is the Singapore dollar, issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. It is interchangeable with the Brunei dollar.
The Singaporean economy depends heavily on exports and refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing, Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B battery
which constituted 27.2% of GDP in 2010 and includes significant electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, mechanical engineering and biomedical sciences sectors. In 2006 Singapore produced about 10% of the world's foundry wafer output. Despite its small size, Singapore has a diversified economy, a strategy that the government considers vital for growth and stability. Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B battery
Tourism also forms a large part of the economy, and 10.2 million tourists visited the country in 2007. To attract more tourists, in 2005 the government legalised gambling and allowed two casino resorts (called Integrated Resorts) to be developed. Singapore is promoting itself as a medical tourism hub: Sony VAIO VPCF13M8E/B battery
about 200,000 foreigners seek medical care there each year, and Singapore medical services aim to serve one million foreign patients annually by 2012 and generate USD 3 billion in revenue. Singapore is an education hub, and many foreign students study in Singapore. Singapore hosted over 80,000 international students in 2006. Sony VAIO VPCF13Z0E/B battery
There are also more than 5000 Malaysian students who cross the Johor–Singapore Causeway every morning with hopes of receiving a better education in Singapore. In 2009, 20% of all students in Singaporean universities were international students. The students were mainly from ASEAN, China and India. Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/L battery
Singapore is a world leader in several economic areas: The country is the world's fourth leading financial centre, the world's second-biggest casino gambling market, one of the world's top three oil refining centres, the world's largest oil-rig producer, and a major ship-repairer. Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/W battery
The port is one of the five busiest ports in the world. The World Bank has named Singapore as the easiest place in the world to do business and ranks Singapore the world's top logistics hub. It is also the world's fourth largest foreign-exchange trading centre after London, New York and Tokyo. Sony VAIO VPCF22M1E battery
As a result of global recession and a slump in the technology sector, Singapore's GDP contracted by 2.2% in 2001. The Economic Review Committee was set up in December 2001 and recommended several policy changes to revitalise the economy. Singapore has since recovered, due largely to improvements in the world economy; Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H battery
the economy grew by 8.3% in 2004, 6.4% in 2005, and 7.9% in 2006. After a contraction of 0.8% in 2009, the economy recovered in 2010, with GDP growth of 14.5%. Most work in Singapore is in the service sector, which employed 2,151,400 people out of 3,102,500 jobs in December 2010. Sony VAIO VPCF13M0E/B battery
The percentage of unemployed economically active people above age 15 is about 2%.
Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaires, with one out of every six households having at least one million US dollars in disposable wealth. This excludes property, businesses, and luxury goods, Sony VAIO VPCYB2M1E battery
which if included would further increase the number of millionaires, especially as property in Singapore is among the world's most expensive. Despite its relative economic success, Singapore does not have a minimum wage, believing that it would lower its competitiveness. Sony VAIO VPCYB3V1E battery
It also has one of the highest income inequality levels among developed countries, coming in just behind Hong Kong and in front of the United States.
Acute poverty is rare in Singapore; the government has rejected the idea of a generous welfare system, stating that each generation must earn and save enough for its entire life cycle. Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E battery
There are, however, numerous means-tested 'assistance schemes' provided by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports in Singapore for the needy, including some that pay out SGD 400 to SGD 1000 per month to each needy household, free medical care at government hospitals, money for children's school fees, rental of studio apartments for SGD 80 a month, training grants for courses, etc. Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B battery
Singapore's foreign policy is directed to maintaining a secure environment in Southeast Asia as well as the surrounding territories. An underlying principle is political and economic stability in the region. It has diplomatic relations with 175 other sovereign states. As one of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations(ASEAN), Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B battery
the country is a strong supporter of the ASEAN Free Trade Area and the ASEAN Investment Area, because Singapore's economic growth is closely linked with the economic progress of the region as a whole. Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong proposed the formation of an ASEAN Economic Community, Sony VAIO VPCYB3V1E/R Battery
a step beyond the current AFTA bringing it closer to acommon market. This idea was agreed to in 2007 for implementation by 2015. Other regional organisations are also important to Singapore, and it is the host of the APEC Secretariat. Singapore also maintains membership in other regional organisations, Sony VAIO VPCF23P1E Battery
such as Asia-Europe Meeting, the Forum for East Asia-Latin American Cooperation, and the East Asia Summit. It is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth.
In general, bilateral relations with other ASEAN members are strong; Sony VAIO VPCF23N1E Battery
however, disagreements have arisen, and relations with neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia have historically sometimes been very strained and difficult. Malaysia and Singapore have clashed over the delivery of fresh water to Singapore, access of the Singapore Armed Forces to Malaysian airspace, Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery
the sovereignty of Pedra Branca, and the relocation of Tanjong Pagar railway station, among others. Border issues exist with both Malaysia and Indonesia, and both have banned the sale of marine sand to Singapore over disputes about Singapore's land reclamation. Some previous disputes have been resolved by the International Court of Justice. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/G battery
Piracy in the Malacca Strait has been a cause of concern for all three countries. Close economic ties exist with Brunei, and the two share a pegged currency value.
The first diplomatic contact with China was made in the 1970s, with full diplomatic relations being established in the 1990s. Sony VAIO VPCF24M1E battery
Since then the two countries have enjoyed a strong relationship, being major players in strengthening the ASEAN–China relationship. Singapore and the United States share a long-standing and strong relationship, in particular in defence, the economy, health and education. HP Compaq HSTNN-105C Battery
The United States was Singapore's third largest trading partner in 2010, behind the European Union and China. The two countries have a free-trade agreement, and Singapore views its relationship with the United States as an important counterbalance to China's influence. HP Compaq HSTNN-C12C Battery
A Strategic Framework Agreement between the two signed in 2005 formalises security and defence cooperation. Singapore has pushed regional counter-terrorism initiatives, with a strong resolve to deal with terrorists inside its borders. To this end it has given support to the US-led coalition to fight terrorism, with bilateral cooperation in counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation initiatives, and joint military exercises. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C Battery
The Singaporean military is arguably the most technologically advanced in Southeast Asia. It comprises the Army, Navy, and Air Force. It is seen as the guarantor of the country's independence. The nation's philosophy of defence is one of diplomacy and deterrence. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-4 Battery
This principle translates into the culture, involving all citizens in the country's defence. The government spends 4.9% of the country's GDP on the military and one out of every four dollars of government spending is spent on defence.
On independence, Singapore had two infantry regiments commanded by British officers. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-5 Battery
This force was considered too small to provide effective security to the new country, so the development of the military became a priority. Britain pulled its military out of Singapore in October 1971, leaving behind only a small British, Australian and New Zealand force as a token military presence. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C Battery
The last British soldier left Singapore in March 1976. New Zealand troops were the last to leave, in 1989.
A great deal of initial support came from Israel, a country that is not recognised by neighbouring Islamic Malaysia, Indonesia or Brunei. The main fear after independence was an invasion by Malaysia. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-4 Battery
Israel Defense Forcescommanders were tasked with creating the Singapore Armed Forces from scratch, and Israeli instructors were brought in to train Singaporean soldiers. Military courses were conducted according to the Israel Defense Forces' format, and Singapore adopted a system of conscription and reserve service based on the Israelimodel. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-5 Battery
Singapore still maintains strong security ties with Israel and is one of the biggest buyers of Israeli arms and weapons systems. The MATADOR is one example of recent Singapore-Israeli collaboration.
The SAF is being developed to respond to a wide range of issues, in both conventional and unconventional warfare. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB05 Battery
The Defence Science and Technology Agency is responsible for procuring resources for the military. The geographic restrictions of Singapore mean that the SAF must plan to fully repulse an attack, as they can not fall back and re-group. The small size of the population has also affected the way the SAF has been designed, with a small active force but a large number of reserves. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB06 Battery
Singapore has conscription for all able-bodied males at age 18, except those with a criminal record or who can prove that their loss would bring hardship to their families. Males who have yet to complete pre-university education or are awarded the Public Service Commission scholarship can opt to defer their draft. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB0E Battery
Though not required to perform military service, the number of women in the SAF has been increasing: since 1989 they have been allowed to fill military vocations formerly reserved for men. Before induction into a specific branch of the armed forces, recruits undergo at least 9 weeks of basic military training. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB11 Battery
Because of the scarcity of open land on the main island, training involving activities such as live firing and amphibious landings is often carried out on smaller islands, typically barred to civilian access. This also avoids risk to the main island and the city. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB16 Battery
However, large-scale drills are considered too dangerous to be performed in the area, and since 1975 have been performed in Taiwan. Training is also held in about a dozen other countries. In general, military exercises are held with foreign forces once or twice per week. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB28 Battery
Due to airspace and land constraints, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) maintains a number of overseas bases in Australia, the United States, and France. The RSAF's 130 Squadron is based in RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia, and its 126 Squadron is based in the Oakey Army Aviation Centre, Queensland. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB29 Battery
The RSAF has one squadron – the 150 Squadron – based in Cazaux Air Base in southern France. The RSAF also has a few overseas detachments in the United States, in San Diego, California, Marana, Arizona, Grand Prairie, Texas andLuke Air Force Base, among others. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB67 Battery
The SAF has sent forces to assist in operations outside the country in areas such as Iraqand Afghanistan,in both military and civilian roles. In the region, it has helped stabilise East Timor and has provided aid to Aceh in Indonesia following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB05 Battery
The SAF also helped in relief efforts during Hurricane Katrina. Singapore is part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements, a military alliance with Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
As of 2011, the population of Singapore is 5.18 million people, of whom 3.25 million (63%) arecitizens while the rest (37%) are permanent residents or foreign workers. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB18 Battery
Twenty-three percent of Singaporean citizens were born outside Singapore i.e. foreign born citizens. There are half a million permanent residents in Singapore in 2011. The resident population does not take into account the 11 million transient visitors who visit Singapore annually. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB51 Battery
The median age of Singaporeans is 37 years old and the average household size is 3.5 persons. Due to scarcity of land, four out of five Singaporeans live in subsidised, high-rise, public housing apartments known as Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats, after the board responsible for public housing in the country. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB52 Battery
In 2010, three quarters of Singaporean residents live in properties that are equal to or larger than a four room HDB flat or in private housing. Home ownership rate is at 87.2%. Mobile phone penetration rate is extremely high at 1,400 mobile phone subscribers per 1000 people. Around 1 in 10 residents owns a car. HP Compaq HSTNN-I04C Battery
The total fertility rate is estimated to be .78 children per woman in 2012, the lowest in the world and well below the 2.1 needed to replace the population.To overcome this problem, the Singapore government has been encouraging foreigners to immigrate to Singapore for the past few decades. HP Compaq HSTNN-I12C Battery
The large number of immigrants has kept Singapore's population from declining. Singapore traditionally has one of the lowest unemployment rate among developed countries. Singaporean unemployment rate has not exceeded 4% in the past decade, hitting a high of 3% during the 2009 global financial criss and falling to 1.9% in 2011. HP Compaq HSTNN-I39C Battery
As of 2009, about 40% of Singapore's residents were foreigners, one of the highest percentage in the world. The government is considering capping these workers, although it is recognised that they are crucial to the country's economy, as foreign workers make up 80% of the construction industry and up to 50% in the service industry. HP Compaq HSTNN-I40C Battery
In 2009, the government census reports that 74.2% of residents were of Chinese, 13.4% of Malay, and 9.2% of Indian descent, while Eurasians and other groups form 3.2%. Prior to 2010, each person could register as a member of only one race, by default that of his or her father, therefore, HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C Battery
mixed-race persons were solely grouped under their father's race in government censuses. From 2010 onward, people may register using a "double-barrelled" classification, in which they may choose one primary race and one secondary race, but no more than two. HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-A Battery
Buddhism is the most widely practised religion in Singapore, with 33% of the resident population declaring themselves adherents at the most recent census. The next most practised religion is Christianity, followed by Islam,Taoism and Hinduism. 17% of the population did not have a religious affiliation. HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-B Battery
The proportion of Christians, Taoists and non-religious people increased between 2000 and 2010 by about 3% each, whilst the proportion of Buddhists decreased. Other faiths remained largely stable in their share of the population.
There are monasteries and Dharma centres from all three major traditions of Buddhism in Singapore: HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C Battery
Theravada,Mahayana, and Vajrayana. Most Buddhists in Singapore are Chinese and are of the Mahayana tradition. Chinese Mahayana is the most predominant form of Buddhism in Singapore, with missionaries from Taiwan and China for several decades.HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-A Battery
However, Thailand's Theravada Buddhism has seen growing popularity among the people (not only the Chinese) in the past decade. Soka Gakkai International, a Japanese Buddhist organisation, is practised by many people in Singapore, but by mostly those of Chinese descent. Tibetan Buddhism has also made slow inroads into the country in recent years. HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-B Battery
Singapore has four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. English is the common language of the nation and is the language of business, government and medium of instruction in schools. Public bodies in Singapore conduct their businesses in English, and official documents written in a non-English official language such as Chinese, HP Compaq HSTNN-I48C-A Battery
Malay or Tamil typically have to be translated into English to be accepted for submission. TheSingapore Constitution and all laws are written in English, and translators are also required if one wishes to address the Singaporean Courts in a language other than English. HP Compaq HSTNN-I48C-B Battery
However, English is the native tongue for only one-third of all Singaporeans, with roughly a third of all Singaporean Chinese, a quarter of all Singaporean Malays and half of all Singaporean Indians speaking it as their native tongue. Twenty percent of Singaporeans, or one out of every five, is unable to read or write in English. HP Compaq HSTNN-I49C Battery
Many, but not all, Singaporeans are bilingual in English and another official language, with vastly varying degrees of fluency. The various official languages ranked in terms of literacy amongst Singaporeans are: English (80% literacy), Mandarin Chinese (65% literacy), Malay (17% literacy) and Tamil (4% literacy).HP Compaq HSTNN-I50C-B Battery
Singaporean English is based on British English, and forms of English spoken range from Standard English to a pidgin known as "Singlish". Singlish is heavily discouraged by the government.
Chinese is the language which is spoken as their native tongue by the greatest number of Singaporeans, half of them. HP Compaq HSTNN-I54C Battery
Singaporean Mandarin is the most common version of Chinese in the country, with 1.2 million using it as their home language. Nearly half a million speak other Chinese languages (which the government describes as "dialects"), mainly Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese, as their home language, although the use of these is declining in favour of Mandarin and English. HP Compaq HSTNN-I64C-5 Battery
Malay was chosen as the "national language" by the Singaporean government after independence from Britain in the 1960s to avoid friction with Singapore's neighbours -- Malaysia and Indonesia -- both of which are Malay-speaking. It has a symbolic rather than functional purpose. HP Compaq HSTNN-I65C-5 Battery
It is used in the national anthem "Majulah Singapura" and in military commands. Today, in general, Malay is spoken within the Singaporean Malay community, with only 16.8% of all Singaporeans literate in Malay and only 12% using it as their native language. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB05 Battery
Around 100,000 or 3% of Singaporeans speak Tamil as their native language. Even though only Tamil has official status, there have been no attempts to discourage the use or spread of other Indian languages.
Education for primary, secondary, and tertiary levels is mostly supported by the state. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB08 Battery
All institutions, private and public, must be registered with the Ministry of Education. English is the language of instruction in all public schoolsand all subjects are taught and examined in English except for the "Mother Tongue" language paper. While "Mother Tongue" in general refers to the first language internationally; HP Compaq HSTNNIB12 Battery
in Singapore's education system, it is used to refer to the second language, as English is the first language. Students who have been abroad for a while or who struggle with their "Mother Tongue" language are allowed to take a simpler syllabus or drop the subject. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB16 Battery
Education takes place in three stages: "Primary education", "Secondary education", and "Pre-university education", of which only the Primary level is compulsory. Students begin with six years of primary school, which is made up of a four-year foundation course and a two-year orientation stage. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB18 Battery
The curriculum is focused on the development of English, the mother tongue, and maths. There are four standard subjects taught to all students: English, the mother tongue, mathematics, and science. Secondary school lasts from four to five years, and is divided between "Special", "Express",HP Compaq HSTNN-IB28 Battery
"Normal (Academic)", and "Normal (Technical)" streams within each school, depending on a student's ability level. The basic coursework breakdown is the same as in the primary level, although classes are much more specialised. Pre-university education takes place over two to three years at senior schools mostly called Junior Colleges. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB51 Battery
Some schools have a degree of freedom in their curriculum, and are known as autonomous schools. These exist from the secondary education level.
National examinations are standardised across all schools, with a test taken after each stage of school. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB52 Battery
After the first six years of education, students take the Primary School Leaving Examination, which determines their placement at secondary school. At the end of the secondary stage, GCE 'O' Level exams are taken; at the end of the following pre-university stage, the GCE 'A' Level exams are taken. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB55 Battery
Of all non-student Singaporeans aged 15 and above, 18% have no educational qualifications at all while 45% have the Primary School Leaving Examination as their highest qualification. 15% have the GCE 'O' Level as their highest qualification and 14% have a degree.
Singaporean students consistently rank top five in the world in the two major international assessments of mathematics and science knowledge. HP Compaq HSTNN-IB62 Battery
Singaporean students were ranked first in the latest Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study conducted by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement and have been ranked top three every year since 1995.Singaporean students were also ranked top five in the world in terms of mathematics, HP Compaq HSTNN-LB05 Battery
science and reading in the 2009 Programme for International Student Assessmentconducted by the OECD. The country's two main public universities – the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University – are among the top 100 universities in the world. HP Compaq HSTNN-LB08 Battery
Singapore has a generally efficient healthcare system, even with a health expenditure relatively low for developed countries. The World Health Organizationranks Singapore's healthcare system as 6th overall in the world in its World Health Report. In general, Singapore has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world for the past two decades. HP Compaq HSTNN-LB0E Battery
Life expectancy in Singapore is 79 for males and 83 for females, placing the country 15th in the world for life expectancy. Almost the whole population has access to improved water and sanitation facilities. There are fewer than 10 annual deaths from HIV per 100,000 people. There is a high level of immunisation. Adult obesity is below 10%.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB11 Battery
The government's healthcare system is based upon the "3M" framework. This has three components: Medifund, which provides a safety net for those not able to otherwise afford healthcare, Medisave, a compulsory health savings scheme covering about 85% of the population, and Medishield, a government-funded health insurance scheme. HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 Battery
Public hospitals in Singapore have autonomy in their management decisions, and compete for patients. A subsidy scheme exists for those on low income. In 2008, 31.9% of healthcare was funded by the government. It accounts for approximately 3.5% of Singapore's GDP. HP Compaq HSTNN-LB52 Battery
Singapore is a very diverse and young country. It has many languages, cultures and religions for a country its size. Due to the many different languages and cultures in the country, there is no single set of culturally acceptable behaviours.
When Singapore became independent from the United Kingdom in 1963, HP Compaq HSTNN-MB05 Battery
most of the newly minted Singaporean citizens were uneducated labourers from China, Malaysia and India. Many of them were transient labourers who were seeking to make some money in Singapore and they had no intentions of staying for good. A sizeable minority of middle-class, local-born people, known as the Peranakans also existed. HP Compaq HSTNN-OB06 Battery
With the exception of the Peranakans (descendants of late 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants) who pledged their loyalties to Singapore, most of the labourers' loyalties lie with their respective homelands of China, Malaysia and India.After independence, the process of crafting a Singaporean identity and culture began. HP Compaq HSTNN-OB52 Battery
Both the former Prime Ministers of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong, have stated that Singapore does not fit the traditional description of a nation, calling it a society in transition, pointing out the fact that Singaporeans do not all speak the same language, share the same religion or have the same customs. HP Compaq HSTNN-OB62 Battery
Even though English is the first language of the nation, according to the government's 2010 census 20% of Singaporeans, or one in five, are illiterate in English. This is a marked improvement from 1990 where 40% of Singaporeans were illiterate in English.
Unlike many other countries, languages, religions and cultures among Singaporeans are not delineated according to skin colour or ancestry. HP Compaq HSTNN-UB05 Battery
Among Singaporean Chinese, one in five is Christian, another one in five is atheist, and the rest are mostly Buddhists or Taoists. One-third speak English as their home language, while half speak Mandarin Chinese as their home language. The rest speak other mutually unintelligible Chinese languages at home. HP Compaq HSTNN-UB11 Battery
Singaporean Indians are much more religious. Only 1% of them are atheists. Six in ten are Hindus, two in ten Muslims, and the rest mostly Christians. Four in ten speak English as their home language, three in ten Tamil, one in ten Malay, and the rest other Indian languages as their home language. HP Compaq HSTNN-UB18 Battery
Each Singaporean's behaviours and attitudes would therefore be influenced by, among many other things, his or her home language and his religion. Singaporeans who speak English as their native language tend to lean toward Western Culture. While those who speak Chinese languages as their native language tend to lean toward Chinese culture and Confucianism. HP Compaq HSTNN-UB68 Battery
Malay-speaking Singaporeans tend to lean toward Malay culture, which itself is closely linked to Islamic culture. Those who speak Indian languages as their native language would probably lean toward Indian culture.
Singapore, as a country, in general is conservative socially, but some liberalisation has occurred. HP Compaq HSTNN-UB69 Battery
At the national level, meritocracy, where one is judged based on one's ability, is heavily emphasised. Racial and religious harmony is regarded by the government as a crucial part of Singapore's success and played a part in building a Singaporean identity. Singapore has a reputation as a nanny state. HP Compaq HSTNN-W42C Battery
The national flower of Singapore is the Vanda Miss Joaquim. Many national symbols such as the National Coat of Arms and the Lion Head symbol make use of the lion, as Singapore is known as the 'Lion City'. Public holidays in Singapore cover major Chinese, Western, Malay and Indian festivals. HP Compaq HSTNN-W42C-A Battery
Due to scarcity of land, four out of five Singaporeans live in subsidised, high-rise, public housing apartments known as HDB (for Housing and Development Board) flats. Singaporeans generally take off their shoes before entering their homes. HP Compaq HSTNN-W42C-B Battery
Live-in domestic helpers are quite common in Singapore and there are nearly 200,000 domestic helpers there. As with most Commonwealth countries, vehicles on the road and people walking on the streets keep to the left. The country has strict laws against drug use and has one of the lowest rates of drug use in the world. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB0E Battery
Singaporean employees work an average of around 45 hours weekly, relatively long compared to many other nations. Three in four Singaporean employees surveyed stated that they take pride in doing their work well, and that doing so helps their self-confidence.
Foreigners also make up 42% of the populationand have a strong influence on Singaporean culture. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB11 Battery
A.T. Kearney named Singapore the most globalised country in the world in 2006 in its Globalization Index. The Economist Intelligence Unit in its "Quality-of-Life Index" ranks Singapore as having the best quality of life in Asia and eleventh overall in the world. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB18 Battery
Dining, along with shopping, is said to be the country's national pastime.The diversity of food is touted as a reason to visit the country,and the variety of food representing different ethnicities is seen by the government as a symbol of its multiculturalism.[The "national fruit" of Singapore is thedurian. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB21 Battery
n popular culture, food items belong to a particular ethnicity, with Chinese, Indian, and Malay food clearly defined. The diversity of cuisine has been increased further by the "hybridization" of different styles, e.g. the Peranakan style, a mix of Chinese and Malay cuisine. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB24 Battery
Since the 1990s, the government has been promoting Singapore as a centre for arts and culture, in particular the performing arts, and to transform the country into a cosmopolitan "gateway between the East and West". One highlight was the construction of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, a performing arts centre opened in October 2002. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB28 Battery
The national orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, plays at the Esplanade. The annual Singapore Arts Festival is organised by the National Arts Council. The stand-up comedy scene has been growing, with a weekly open mic. Singapore hosted the 2009Genee International Ballet Competition, a classical ballet competition promoted by London's Royal Academy of Dance. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB51 Battery
Popular sports include football, basketball, cricket, swimming, sailing, table tennis and badminton. Most Singaporeans live in public residential areas near amenities such as public swimming pools, outdoor basketball courts and indoor sport complexes. Water sports are popular, including sailing, kayaking and water skiing. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB52 Battery
Scuba diving is another popular recreational sport. The Southern island of Pulau Hantu, particularly, is known for its rich coral reefs.
Singapore's football (soccer) league, the S-League, formed in 1994, currently comprises 12 clubs including foreign teams. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB59 Battery
The Singapore Slingers, formerly in the Australian National Basketball League, is one of the inaugural teams in the ASEAN Basketball League, founded in October 2009. Singapore began hosting a round of the Formula One World Championship, the Singapore Grand Prix, in 2008. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB61 Battery
The race was staged at the Marina Bay Street Circuit and became the first night race on the F1 circuit and the first street circuit in Asia. Singapore hosted the inaugural 2010 Summer Youth Olympics.
Companies linked to the government control much of the domestic media in Singapore. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB62 Battery
MediaCorp operates most free-to-air television channels and free-to-air radio stations in Singapore. There are a total of seven free-to-air TV channels offered by Mediacorp. The channels are Channel 5 (English channel), Channel News Asia (English channel), Okto (English channel), Channel 8 (Chinese channel), Channel U (Chinese channel), Suria (Malay channel) and Vasantham (Indian channel). HP Compaq HSTNN-XB68 Battery
Starhub Cable Vision (SCV) also offers cable television with channels from all around the world and Singtel's MioTV provides an IPTVservice. Singapore Press Holdings, a body with close links to the government, controls most of the newspaper industry
Singapore's media industry has sometimes been criticised for being too regulated and lacking in freedom by human rights groups such as Freedom House. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB69 Battery
In 2010, Reporters Without Borders, a France-based international non-governmental organisation, ranked Singapore 136 out of 178 in its Press Freedom Index, just below Mexico.
The Media Development Authority regulates Singaporean media, claiming to balance the demand for choice and protection against offensive and harmful material. HP Compaq HSTNN-XB85 Battery
Private ownership of TV satellite dishes is banned. There are 3.4 million users of the internet in Singapore, one of the highest internet penetration rates in the world. The Singapore government does not engage in widespread censoring of the internet, but it maintains a list of one hundred websites HP Compaq 500764-001 Battery
(mostly pornographic) that it blocks as a 'symbolic statement of the Singaporean community's stand on harmful and undesirable content on the Internet'. As the block covers only home internet access, users may still visit the blocked websites from their office computers. HP Compaq 500765-001 Battery
Since Singapore is a small island with a high population density, the number of private cars on the road is restricted so as to curb pollution and congestion. Car buyers must pay for duties one-and-a-half times the vehicle's market value and bid for a Singaporean Certificate of Entitlement (COE), which allows the car to run on the road for a decade. HP Compaq 501870-001 Battery
The cost of the Singaporean certificate of entitlement alone would buy a Porsche Boxster in the United States. Car prices are generally significantly higher in Singapore than in other English-speaking countries and thus only one in 10 residents owns a car.
Most Singaporean residents travel by foot, bicycles, bus, taxis and train (Mass Rapid Transit or Light Rail Transit). HP Compaq 513129-121 Battery
Two companies run the public bus and train transport system – SBS Transit and SMRT Corporation. There are almost a dozen taxi companies, who together put out 25,000 taxis on the road. Taxis are a popular form of public transport as the fares are relatively cheap compared to many other developed countries. HP Compaq 513129-141 Battery
Singapore has a road system covering 3,356 kilometres (2,085 mi), which includes 161 kilometres (100 mi) of expressways. The Singapore Area Licensing Scheme, implemented in 1975, became the world's firstcongestion pricing scheme, and included other complementary measures such as stringent car ownership quotas and improvements in mass transit. HP Compaq 513129-421 Battery
Upgraded in 1998 and renamed Electronic Road Pricing, the system introducedelectronic toll collection, electronic detection, and video surveillance technology.
Singapore is a major international transport hub in Asia, positioned on many sea and air trade routes. HP Compaq 532497-221 Battery
The Port of Singapore, managed by port operators PSA International and Jurong Port, was the world's second-busiest port in 2005 in terms of shipping tonnage handled, at 1.15 billion gross tons, and in terms of containerised traffic, at 23.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). HP Compaq 532497-241 Battery
It is also the world's second-busiest, behind Shanghai, in terms of cargo tonnage with 423 million tons handled. In addition, the port is the world's busiest fortransshipment traffic and the world's biggest ship refuelling centre.
Singapore is an aviation hub for Southeast Asia and a stopover on the Kangaroo route between Sydney and London. HP Compaq 532497-421 Battery
There are eight airports in the country,and Singapore Changi Airport hosts a network of 80 airlines connecting Singapore to 200 cities in 68 countries. It has been rated one of the best international airports by international travel magazines, including being rated as the world's best airport for the first time in 2006 by Skytrax.The national airline isSingapore Airlines. HP Compaq 572186-001 Battery
Singapore was a part of British Malaya for many centuries. It was ruled by the Sultanate of Johor. In 1819, the British came to the Island and set up a port and colony. During British rule, the port of Singapore flourished and attracted many migrants. After World War 2, Singapore became an independent nation and a republic, which it remains today. HP Compaq 572187-001 Battery
Singapore has a diverse populace of nearly 5 million people which is made up of Chinese, Malays, Indians, Caucasians and Eurasians (plus other mixed groups) and Asians of different origins, which is in line with the nation's history as a crossroads for various ethnic and racial groups. The temples of Chinatown can still be seen in certain towns in Singapore. HP Compaq 572188-001 Battery
In addition, 42% of Singapore's populace are foreigners, which makes it the country with the sixth highest proportion of foreigners worldwide.
Singapore is also the third most densely populated in the world after Macau and Monaco.
Singaporean culture is best described as a melting pot of mainly Chinese, Indian, British, and Malay cultures, a reflection of its immigrant history. HP Compaq 572189-001 Battery
Many Singaporeans though not all, are bilingual. Most speak English and another language, most commonly Mandarin Chinese,Malay, Tamil or Singapore Colloquial English (Singlish).
English is the first language of Singapore. The standard form of English spoken in Singapore is Singapore Standard English, which uses British spellings and grammar. HP Compaq 572190-001 Battery
However, there is also a local dialect of English, Singlish, that is unique to Singapore, though it has close affinities with the Malaysian dialect known as Manglish.
Singapore is a multi-lingual nation and Singaporeans speak different languages as their first language. In 2005, 50% of Singaporeans speak Mandarin at home. HP Compaq 572191-001 Battery
32% speak English at home and 12% speak Malay while 3% speak Tamil at home. Singaporeans who do not speak English as their home language normally speak it as their second language.
As part of the multi-cultural ethos of the nation, one language was also chosen to represent each of the four major ethnic or 'racial' groups. HP Compaq 583256-001 Battery
The 'national' language of Singapore is Bahasa Melayu. This is in recognition of the Malay people as the indigenous community in Singapore. 85% of Singaporeans do not speak Malay. Malay is used in the national anthem, national motto and military parade drill commands. HP Compaq 586031-001 Battery
Tamil is an official language as a majority of South Asians in Singapore are ethnic Tamils from India and Sri Lanka. While most Chinese Singaporeans are descendants of southern Chinese migrants who spoke a variety of regional languages, it is the northern Chinese language of Mandarin that is official in Singapore. HP Compaq 451085-141 Battery
Singapore is emerging as a cultural centre for arts and culture, including theatre andmusic. As a cosmopolitan and multi-racial society, Singapore is often identified with the "gateway between the East and West". In the past decade, there is an emergence of several performing arts groups in Singapore, especially in theatrical arts. HP Compaq 451085-661 Battery
A number of productions were staged successfully and several groups, such as TheatreWorks, have performed overseas. The Singapore government encourages a product-oriented arts scene within its master plan to include arts as a commodity for its economy, true explorations and innovation exist but at a level that is not well funded. HP Compaq 451086-001 Battery
However, the local scene of constructive arts critics is still much under developed and often subjective in tone. Most prominent events and venues are government operated and normally with an international focus. For indigenous artistic works, it's best to explore and find out about local private arts companies. HP Compaq 451086-121 Battery
Another festival that is going strong is the Singapore Youth Festival organised by the Ministry of Education. In fact, it has become a magnet that provides funding for local performing artists to work at most local schools and compete for the gold! Funding for these arts companies are divided into different class, HP Compaq 451086-161 Battery
some are government inititiated companies and may received direct funding from the government (e.g. Singapore Symphony Orchestra) while others will need to apply for funding through the National Arts Council. At the moment, major grants are given to mainly western and ethnic cultural companies to signify them as the flagship companies of Singapore. HP Compaq 451086-621 Battery
Due to the limited physical space of Singapore, arts groups and companies are also relatively dependent on housing arrangement and provision by the government. So far, the issue on space is still one of the major factors that influence performing arts making in Singapore. A much more vibrant local scene may evolve if this issue can be carefully resolved. HP Compaq 451086-661 Battery
Singapore hosts an annual Singapore Arts Festival when international and local artists gather in the country to perform in a wide variety of events including music, dance and theatre. The Singapore Arts Festival has become an event for Singapore to showcase its ability to buy international renowned performing arts products. HP Compaq 451568-001 Battery
In 2003, the Esplanade - "Theatres on the Bay", a centre for performing arts, was opened. The Esplanade is also known as "The Durian", due to its resemblance to the fruit. The Arts House at Old Parliament Lane has also been supportive of local performing arts in recent years. HP Compaq 456864-001 Battery
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and LASALLE College of the Arts are the two main arts institutions offering full-time programmes for the performing arts in Singapore. Institutions including government schools nowadays receive good funding for their arts programmes. HP Compaq 456865-001 Battery
Singapore has a growing stand-up comedy scene with three active venues. TakeOut Comedy hosts a weekly open mic to help develop local comics. Each of Howl at the Moon and The Comedy Club Asia at DXO offers shows one weekend per month primarily featuring leading international comics such as Paul Ogata. HP Compaq 458640-542 Battery
Kumar, a drag queen who has performed in Singapore for more than 17 years, is Singapore's leading stand-up comedian.
Singapore maintains tight restrictions on arts and cultural performances. Most artistic works have to be vetted by the government in advance, and topics that breach so-called out of bounds markers (OB markers) are not permitted. HP Compaq 464119-142 Battery
While the OB markers are not publicly defined, they are generally assumed to include sensitive topics such as race, religion, and allegations of corruption or nepotism in government. Nudity and other forms of loosely-defined "obscenity" are also banned. HP Compaq 464119-143 Battery
Singaporean film director Royston Tan has produced movies which challenge these policies, including a movie called Cut in reference to censorship of the arts. The country's first pre-tertiary arts school, School Of The Arts, is currently being built at Kirk Terrace. It is now completed and stands along the country's prominent Orchard Road. HP Compaq 464119-162 Battery
Expected to commence in 2008, the school aims to provide an environment for nurturing young artists aged between 13 and 18 years old. There has been much public rhetoric about liberalization and its association with the development of a creative economy in Singapore. HP Compaq 464119-361 Battery
The response from artists, academics, public intellectuals, and civil society activists has ranged from strongly optimistic to deeply pessimistic, as reflected in the chapters written for edited book Renaissance Singapore: Economy, Culture, and Politics. The difference between what is "culture" and what makes up "the arts" has been a matter of some debate in Singapore. HP Compaq 464119-362 Battery
For an attempt at defining what is artistic, see, for example, the Report of the Censorship Review Committee 1992.
Singapore has a rich heritage in Creative Writing in the Malay, Chinese, Tamil and English Languages. HP Compaq 464119-363 Battery
While there is more emphasis on social and patriotic themes in Malay, Chinese and Tamil, the writer in English finds himself (or herself) more comfortable in the analysis of the individual and his motivations. For the writer in Tamil, Chinese and Malay, a healthy concern with the particulars of everyday life (one could say the minutae of living) HP Compaq 482962-001 Battery
and the interweaving of these into the fabric of larger nationalistic, patriotic social events is in no way an offensive experience—in fact it is expected. The writer in English seems more concerned with discovering an image of the individual self, or extrapolating human experience. HP Compaq 484786-001 Battery
The social milieu of the English educated is a middle class one and they have middle class pretensions. The middle class preoccupation with the self has over the years pervaded the consciousness of the modern Chinese and Malay writers and is what made it possible for their identification with writers using the English Language. HP Compaq 484787-001 Battery
The writer in the English language was a comparatively later phenomenon. Creative writing in English is traced to the establishment in Singapore of an institution of higher education in the arts and sciences, Raffles College, which subsequently became the University of Malaya in Singapore together with the King Edward VII Medical College. HP Compaq 490306-001 Battery
One of the high points in writing in English was the early and mid-fifties when a rising anti-colonial nationalism was at play and contributed to the desire to be identified as "Malayan". The poems of Wang Gungwu, Lim Thean Soo and Augustine Goh Sin Tub from this period are in a category by themselves. HP Compaq 491278-001 Battery
Except for Wang who managed to move into some detached social poems, the rest are mostly personal and experimental in their use of language. The imagery is for most part forcedly local with rubber trees, durians, laterite etc. appearing again and again as do words and phrases from Malay and Chinese. HP Compaq 491279-001 Battery
This led to the coining of the word "Engmalchin" to explain the highly rarefied, nationalistic application of such languages in poems in English. In the mid-fifties and early sixties there rose a group of writers in English, only a few of whom are alive today--Ee Tiang Hong, Edwin Thumboo, Lloyd Fernando and Oliver Seet. HP Compaq 491654-001 Battery
A "younger" group among whom Wong Phui Nam was most outstanding arose a few years later and moved away from the conscious Malayaness of their immediate predecessors, but found themselves unsure of direction; though convinced of their interest in writing.
During this period (1950–1963), prose writing was almost negligible. HP Compaq 491657-001 Battery
Herman Hochstadt's "The Compact and Other Stories" is about the only collection. Lloyd Fernando, then a short story writer, published his first novel after 20 years. Of the other writers, Awang Kedua (Wang Gung Wu, again) had surest control of language and development of theme. HP Compaq 496897-001 Battery
It was however, poetry and not prose that surged forward in the sixties beginning with Robert Yeo, Dudely de Souza, Arthur Yap(died in 2006) and Wong May. The achievements of these writers were consolidated and enlarged by the establilshment of "FOCUS", the journal of the Literary Society of the University of Singapore, HP Compaq 408545-001 Battery
so much so that when the next group of writers, Lee Tzu Pheng, Mohd Hj Salleh, Yeo Bock Cheng, Pang Khye Guan, Syed Alwi Shahab and Chandran Nair (now living in Paris) arrived at the University in 1965, there was already in existence within the confines of the University, a micro-tradition of writing and publishing in English. HP Compaq 408545-141 Battery
The arrival of Edwin Thumboo to the English Department from the Civil Service was an added impetus.
At around this time too, Goh Poh Seng (now living in Canada), who had actually taken a year off to do nothing but write in Dublin and London (and almost starved as a result), HP Compaq 408545-142 Battery
arrived to begin work as a Medical Officer at the General Hospital. He started "TUMASEK" a journal for the publication of Singapore/Malayan writing; the fourth such attempt—the first being "WRITE" begun by Herman Hochstadt and others in the late 1950s; the second,"MONSOON" edited by Lim Siew Wai in the early sixties; HP Compaq 408545-241 Battery
the third, the aforementioned "FOCUS". "TUMASEK" however followed "MONSOON" into death after a few issues but Goh pushed forward undaunted and founded together with Lim Kok Ann, CENTRE 65 which presented the first ever "Poetry and Folk Music Festival" to Singaporeans at the Cultural Centre in 1966. HP Compaq 408545-261 Battery
The Centre provided Goh with the framework to develop as a playwright beginning with his "Moon is Less Bright" and going on to "When Smiles are Done". Goh later decided that his particular field was prose; "The Immolation" being his first novel. HP Compaq 408545-262 Battery
The poets of the mid-sixties extended their style and techniques in the seventies and published in local and international journals and also in individual collections—Robert Yeo's "Coming Home Baby" and Arthur Yap's "Only Lines" in 1971, Chandran Nair's "Once the Horsemen and Other Poems" in 1972, and "After the Hard Hours, This Rain" in 1975. HP Compaq 408545-621 Battery
The impetus of the sixties was carried over into the seventies and among the names that emerged in poetry were Chung Yee Chong, Sng Boh Kim, Ernest Lim, and Geraldine Heng, who achieved a remarkable fluency of style in a single volume work, "White Dreams". THP Compaq 408545-721 Battery
oday the younger poets writing in English, Leong Liew Geok, Angeline Yap, Boey Kim Cheng, Heng Siok Tian, Paul Tan, Yong Shu Hoong, Aaron Lee, Cyril Wong and Felix Cheong, show a more "diffusive" sensibility: rather than treating the self as linked to a core or primal place or time (Singapore before independence, a childhood haunt), HP Compaq 408545-741 Battery
their poems are conscious of the change and flux, the dispersions and returns which are appropriate to contemporary Singapore society.
Singaporean cuisine is also a prime example of diversity and cultural diffusion in Singapore. HP Compaq 408545-761 Battery
In Singapore's hawker centres, for example, traditionally Malay hawker stalls selling halal food may serve halal versions of traditionally Tamil food.Chinese stalls may introduce Malay ingredients, cooking techniques or entire dishes into their range of catering. This continues to make the cuisine of Singapore significantly rich and a cultural attraction. HP Compaq 409357-001 Battery
Singaporeans also enjoy a wide variety of seafood including crabs, clams, squid, and oysters. One favorite dish is the stingray barbecued and served on banana leaf and with sambal (chilli).
Singapore is a multi-religious country, the roots of which can be traced to its strategic location; HP Compaq 409357-002 Battery
after its declaration as a port, a wide variety of nationalities and ethnicities from places as far as Arabia immigrated to Singapore. 33% of Singaporeans adhere to Buddhism, the main faith of the Chinese population of Singapore. Other Chinese are followers of Taoism(11%), Confucianism, and Christianity. HP Compaq 412779-001 Battery
Christians constitute about 18% of the population of Singapore. Most Malays areMuslims, who constitute about 15% of the population, while most Indians are Hindus, constituting 5%. There is also a sizable number of Muslims and Sikhs in the Indian population. As a result of this diversity, HP Compaq 415306-001 Battery
there are a large number of religious buildings including Hindu temples, churches and mosques, some of which have great historical significance. There are also some Sikh temples and Jewish synagogues. These interesting buildings often became prominent architectural landmarks in cosmopolitan Singapore. HP Compaq 418867-001 Battery
In addition, about 17% of Singaporeans do not belong to any religion and consider themselves as free-thinkers.
Singapore has several distinct ethnic neighborhoods, including Little India, Chinatown and Kampong Glam. HP Compaq 418871-001 Battery
Little India is known and patronized by all races within the population for its thalis-- South Indian "buffets" that are vegetarian and served on the traditional banana leaves. These neighborhoods are accessible by public transport, especially by Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). HP Compaq 441675-001 Battery
Singapore's Chinatown is an ethnic neighbourhood featuring distinctly Chinese cultural elements and a historically concentrated ethnic Chinese population. Chinatown is located within the larger district of Outram.
The major public holidays reflect the mentioned racial diversity, including Chinese New Year, HP Compaq 443884-001 Battery
Buddhist Vesak Day, Muslim Eid ul-Fitr (known locally by its Malayname Hari Raya Puasa), and Hindu Diwali (known locally by its Tamil name Deepavali). Christians constitute a large and rapidly growing minority, and Christmas Day, Good Friday, and New Year's Day are also public holidays. HP Compaq 443885-001 Battery
On August 9, Singapore celebrates the anniversary of its independence with a series of events, including the National Day Parade which is the main ceremony. The National Day Parade, 2005 was held at the Padang in the city centre. HP Compaq 446398-001 Battery,HP Compaq 446399-001 Battery,HP Compaq 451085-121 Battery