Portal:Singapore

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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 million people, of which 2.91 million 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 17th 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).

Selected Article

The Causeway, which was blown up in the battle
The Battle of Kranji was the second stage of the World War II Battle of Singapore. On 9 February 1942 the Japanese assaulted the north-western front of the British colony of Singapore. Their primary objective was to secure a second beachhead after their successful assault at Sarimbun Beach on February 8, in order to breach the Jurong-Kranji defence line as part of their southward thrust towards the heart of Singapore City. Defending the shoreline between the Kranji River and the Johor-Singapore Causeway was the Australian 27th Brigade, led by Brigadier Duncan Maxwell, and one irregular company.

On 10 February the Japanese forces suffered their heaviest losses while moving up the Kranji River, which caused them to panic and nearly aborted the operation. However, a series of miscommunications and withdrawals by Allied forces in the ensuing battles allowed the Japanese to swiftly gain strategic footholds, which eventually led to the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942. The terrain around Kranji was primarily mangrove swamps and tropical forest intersected by streams and inlets. The shoreline between the Kranji River and the Johor-Singapore Causeway, nearly four kilometers long, was defended by the Australian 27th Brigade, led by Australian Brigadier Duncan Maxwell.

Selected Picture

Doorknob of the Siong Lim Temple
Credit: AngMoKio (28 October 2008)

The doorknob of the Siong Lim Temple (Chinese: (莲山)双林寺; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Liân-san-siang-lîm-sī) in Toa Payoh, Singapore. Note that it is shaped as a Chinese dragon.

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Selected Biography

Tao Li (Chinese: 陶李; pinyin: Táo Lǐ; born 10 January 1990) is a China-born Singaporean competitive swimmer specializing in the backstroke and butterfly stroke. Singapore Sports School student, Tao has represented Singapore at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) and Asian Games and holds several national records. She became Singapore's most medalled athlete at the 2007 SEA Games after winning four gold medals. She also became the first Singaporean female swimmer to reach a FINA World Aquatics Championships final, finishing seventh in the 50 metres butterfly.

Tao made her Olympic début for Singapore at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. She qualified for the 100 metres finals, ranking fourth in the semifinals with a time of 57.54 seconds and setting two Asian records in two days. She thus became the first Singaporean swimmer to enter an Olympic final.

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Photo of a large brown snail with white markings on its shell
  • ... that John Little, established in 1845, is the oldest department store in Singapore?

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A view of the roof of VivoCity
Credit: User:Sengkang (4 November 2006)

VivoCity (Chinese: 怡丰城) is the largest shopping mall in Singapore, located at the HarbourFront precinct . Opened on 7 October 2006, it marked the completion of the main structure by a topping-out ceremony on 18 April 2006 and was officially opened on December 1, 2006.

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