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Singapore (/ˈsɪŋ(ɡ)əpɔːr/ SING-(g)ə-por), officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It is located 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 along with the Riau Islands in Indonesia, the South China Sea to the east, and the Straits of Johor along with the State of Johor in Malaysia to the north. The country's territory comprises one main island, 63 satellite islands and islets, and one outlying islet; the combined area of these has increased by approximately 25% since the country's independence as a result of extensive land reclamation projects. It has the second highest population density of any country in the world, although there are numerous green and recreational spaces as a result of urban planning. With a multicultural population and in recognition of the 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, with its exclusive use in numerous public services. 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 eight hundred years, having been a maritime emporium known as Temasek and subsequently 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 and despite lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation rapidly developed to become one of the Four Asian Tigers. With its growth based on international trade and economic globalisation, it integrated itself with 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. As a highly developed country, it has one of the 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 ranks 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. While 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, currently holding 79 out of 93 elected seats in Parliament. One of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is also the headquarters of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council Secretariat, and is the host city of many international conferences and events. Singapore is also a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the East Asia Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth of Nations. (Full article...)

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The Toa Payoh ritual murders took place in Singapore in 1981. On 25 January, the body of a nine-year-old girl was found at a block of public housing flats in the town of Toa Payoh, and two weeks later, the body of a ten-year-old boy was found nearby.

The murders were masterminded by Adrian Lim, a self-styled healer who pretended to have supernatural powers and scammed people for years. He had also been sexually assaulting female clients, often preying on younger women from impoverished backgrounds. Two clients later engaged in a relationship with him. They were: Tan Mui Choo, who he married, and Hoe Kah Hong, who was his "holy wife"—a term he used to manipulate women into having sex with him. Lim subjected them to extensive physical, sexual, mental and financial abuse, including forcing Tan into prostitution, for years before instigating the killings in which they participated. (Full article...)
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Orchids in Bedok Reservoir Park
Orchids in Bedok Reservoir Park
Credit: Sippala (28 March 2002)

Bedok Reservoir (Chinese: 勿洛蓄水池; pinyin: Wùluò Xùshuǐchí) is a reservoir located in the eastern part of Singapore, to the north of Bedok New Town. The reservoir has a surface area of 880,000 m², and a capacity of 12.8 million m³. The mean depth of the reservoir is 9 m, with a maximum depth of 18.2 m. The shoreline length is 4.3 km. Read more...

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Reginald Hugh Hickling, CMG, QC (2 August 1920 – 11 February 2007), known as Hugh Hickling, was a British lawyer, civil servant, law academic, and author, and author of the controversial Internal Security Act of colonial Malaysia.

Born in Derby, England, Hickling served from 1941 until 1946 in the British Royal Navy during World War II, and then joined the Colonial Legal Service. In 1955, Hickling was posted to Malaya (now Malaysia), where he gained prominence as a lawmaker. He drafted the Constitution of Malaysia, and as Commissioner of Law Revision wrote the Internal Security Act (ISA) of 1960, which provided for the detention of persons without trial. The ISA was later used to suppress political opponents or those dedicated to non-violent activities, which Hickling later said was not his intention. (Full article...)

Did you know (auto-generated)

In this month

  • 10 March 1964: The MacDonald House bombing is carried out by Indonesian saboteurs, killing three people.
  • 14 March 1967: The National Service bill is passed though the parliament, making it compulsory for all able-bodied Singaporean males above 18 to serve National Service.
  • 15 March 1986: The Hotel New World collapses, killing 33 people.
  • 20 March 1948: Singapore's first election takes place.
  • 26 March 1991: Singapore Airlines Flight 117 is hijacked by four Pakistanis.
  • 23 March 2015: Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew passed away at the age of 91

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Photo of the Golden Mile Complex
Golden Mile Complex
  • ... that in her début at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Tao Li broke the Asian record for the 100m butterfly twice and became the first Singaporean swimmer to enter an Olympic final?

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The National Stadium, Singapore
The National Stadium, Singapore
Credit: Sengkang (May 2007)

The National Stadium (Chinese: 国家体育场; Malay: Stadium Nasional Singapura) is located in Kallang. Opened in July 1973, the National Stadium was officially closed on June 30, 2007 and will be demolished in late 2008 to make way for the Singapore Sports Hub which is expected to open in 2011.

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Things you can do


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Singapore Central Business District
Singapore Central Business District


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