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

An exterior view of the EXPO MRT station
The Mass Rapid Transit or MRT (Chinese: 大众快速交通 or more commonly known as 地铁; Malay: Sistem Pengangkutan Gerak Cepat; Tamil: சிங்கை துரிதக் கடவு ரயில்) is a rapid transit system that forms the backbone of the railway system in Singapore, spanning the entire city-state. The initial section of the MRT, between Yio Chu Kang and Toa Payoh, opened in 1987 establishing itself as the second-oldest metro system in Southeast Asia, after Manila's LRT System. The network has since grown rapidly as a result of Singapore's aim of developing a comprehensive rail network as the main backbone of the public transport system in Singapore with an average daily ridership of 1.564 million in FY07/08, about half of the bus network's 2.969 million in the same period.

The MRT has 64 operating stations with 109.4 kilometres of lines and operates on standard gauge. The rail lines have been constructed by the Land Transport Authority, a department of the government of Singapore, which allocates operating concessions to the profit-based corporations SMRT Corporation and SBS Transit. These operators also run bus and taxi services, thus ensuring that there is a full integration of public transport services. The MRT is complemented by the regional Light Rapid Transit (LRT) systems that link MRT stations with HDB public housing estates. Services operate from about 5:30 am and usually end before 1 a.m. daily with frequencies of approximately three to eight minutes, services being extended during festive periods.

Selected Picture

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.

Selected Biography

Li Jiawei (Chinese: 李佳薇; pinyin: Lǐ Jiāwēi; born 9 August 1981) is a China born Singaporean table tennis player. Spotted by Singapore talent scouts in Beijing in 1995, she moved to Singapore and commenced her international career in competitive table tennis in 1996. She became a Singapore citizen at the age of 18 years under the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Li, together with teammates Feng Tianwei and Wang Yuegu obtained a silver medal in the Women's team event. This was the first time that Singapore had won an Olympic medal since the nation's independence in 1965, and it also comes 48 years after Tan Howe Liang won the country's first medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics. Subsequently, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Li won the women's team bronze medal with Feng and Wang.

In This Month

Did You Know

Photo of the Edgedale
  • ... that four Japanese War Memorials found in the Japanese Cemetery Park were built without knowledge of the British colonial government of Singapore?

Selected Panorama

Sungei Serangoon
Credit: Sengkeng (12 November 2006)

Sungei Serangoon (Malay for Serangoon River; Chinese: 实龙岗河) is a river in the north-eastern part of Singapore. The 6-kilometre river starts as a canal near Tampines Road, and flows through Hougang, Sengkang, Punggol, Lorong Halus and Pasir Ris, before emptying into the Serangoon Harbour. The river is also known as the Serangoon Estuary.

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