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 Toa Payoh ritual murders took place in Singapore in 1981. Two children, a nine-year-old girl and a ten-year-old boy was murdered, purportedly as blood sacrifices to the Hindu goddess Kali. The murders were masterminded by Adrian Lim, a self-styled medium, tricked scores of women into offering money and sexual services in exchange for cures, beauty, and good fortune. Two of the women, Tan Mui Choo and Hoe Kah Hong, became his loyal assistants. A rape charge was later filed by one of Lim's targets, and he decided to kill children to derail their investigations. The trio were arrested after the police found a trail of blood that led to their flat.

The 41-day trial was the second longest to have been held in the courts of Singapore at the time. The trio were eventually sentenced to death. These murders shocked the public in Singapore; the case was closely followed and remained prominent in the Singaporean consciousness for several years. The actions and behaviour of the three killers were studied by academics in the criminal psychology field, and the rulings set by the courts became local case studies for diminished responsibility.

Selected Picture

Singapore Cable Cars
Credit: Nachoman-au (15 September 2005)

The Singapore Cable Car provides an aerial link from Mount Faber on the main island of Singapore to the resort island of Sentosa across the Keppel Harbour. Opened on 15 February 1974, it was the first aerial ropeway system in the world to span a harbour.

Selected Biography

Walter Woon Cheong Ming (Chinese: 温长明; pinyin: Wēn Chángmíng; born 12 September 1956) is a Singaporean lawyer, academic, diplomat and politician. Educated at NUS and St. John's College, Cambridge, he joined the teaching staff of the NUS Faculty of Law in 1981 and later served as Sub-Dean and Vice-Dean. He was Legal Adviser to the President of Singapore and Council of Presidential Advisors from 1995 to 1997, and was appointed as professor of law in 1999.

Woon was a Nominated Member of Parliament between 1992 and 1996. He became the first Member of Parliament since 1965 to have a private member's bill become a public law in Singapore – the Maintenance of Parents Act, which was passed in 1995. Between 1997 and 2006, Woon served in a number of diplomatic capacities, including the Ambassador to Germany and the Ambassador to Belgium. He served as Attorney-General between 2008 and 2010. He is currently professor of law at the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Law and the Dean of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education.

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

A daytime view of Singapore's Central Area
Credit: Chensiyuan

The skyline of Singapore's Central Business District in daytime. Notable landmarks in the picture includes the new and old Supreme Court of Singapore and the skyscrapers in the Marina Bay area.

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