Welcome to the Singapore Portal
Singapore is an island nation located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. It lies 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the Equator, south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of Indonesia's Riau Islands. At 704.0 km² (272 sq mi), it is one of the few remaining city-states in the world and the smallest country in Southeast Asia. Despite its small size, Singapore has a population of slightly over 5.6 million people, of which over half were born locally.
The British East India Company established a trading post on the island in 1819. The main settlement up to that point was a Malay fishing village at the mouth of the Singapore River. Several hundred indigenous Orang Laut people also lived around the coast, rivers and smaller islands. The British used Singapore as a strategic trading post along the spice route. It became one of the most important commercial and military centres of the British Empire. Winston Churchill called it "Britain's greatest defeat" when it was occupied by the Japanese during World War II. Singapore reverted to British rule in 1945. In 1963, it merged with Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia. Less than two years later it split from the federation and became an independent republic on August 9, 1965. Singapore joined the United Nations on September 21 that same year.
Since independence, Singapore's standard of living has increased. A state-led industrialization drive, aided by foreign direct investment has created a modern economy based on electronics manufacturing, petrochemicals, tourism and financial services alongside the traditional entrepôt trade. Singapore is the 3rd wealthiest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita. The small nation has a foreign reserve of S$222 billion (US$147 billion).
The Pedra Branca dispute
was a territorial dispute
between Singapore and Malaysia over several islets at the eastern entrance to the Singapore Strait
, namely Pedra Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge. The dispute began in 1979 when Malaysia published a map claiming Pedra Branca. In 1989, Singapore proposed submitting the dispute to the International Court of Justice
and Malaysia agreed to this in 1994.
The hearing before the ICJ was held over three weeks in November 2007. Eventually, on 23 May 2008, the Court ruled that Pedra Branca is under Singapore's sovereignty, while Middle Rocks belongs to Malaysia. It also ruled that South Ledge belongs to the state in the territorial waters of which it is located, as it is a maritime feature visible only at low tide. Malaysia and Singapore have established what they have named the Joint Technical Committee to delimit the maritime boundary in the area around Pedra Branca and Middle Rocks, and to determine the ownership of South Ledge.
In This Month
Did You Know
- ... that the Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act of Singapore allows restrictions to be placed on religious leaders who promote political causes under the guise of religious activity?
Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay in Singapore that is situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River and Boat Quay. In this picture, Clarke Quay is pictured on the left bank while the Riverside Point is on the right bank. The bridge on the right of the picture is the Ord Bridge.
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