Portal:Singapore

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Introduction

Map of Singapore

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).

Selected article

A fragment of the original Singapore Stone
The Singapore Stone is a fragment of a large sandstone slab which originally stood at the mouth of the Singapore River. The slab, which is believed to date back to at least the 13th century and possibly as early as the 10th or 11th century, bore an undeciphered inscription. Recent theories suggest that the inscription is either in Old Javanese or Sanskrit. It is likely that the person who commissioned the inscription was Sumatran. The slab was blown up in 1843 to clear and widen the passageway at the river mouth to make space for a fort and the quarters of its commander.

The slab may be linked to the legendary story of the 14th-century strongman Badang, who is said to have thrown a massive stone to the mouth of the Singapore River. On Badang's death, the Rajah sent two stone pillars to be raised over his grave "at the point of the straits of Singhapura". The Stone, now displayed at the National Museum of Singapore, was designated by the museum as one of 11 "national treasures" in January 2006, and by the National Heritage Board as one of the top 12 artifacts held in the collections of its museums.

Selected Image

Changi Airport T3 baggage collection point
Credit: Chensiyuan (7 December 2007)

The baggage collection point of Changi Airport's Terminal 3. The green wall can be seen on the right.

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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.

In This Month

Did You Know

Photo of the Concourse
  • ... that to prepare for future examinations, Singapore students use the ten year series to practice on past years' examination papers, some of which date back to before they were born?

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A view from the Singapore Flyer
Credit: Chensiyuan (10 February 2012)

A view of the Marina Bay area from the Singapore Flyer.

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