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 5.6 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

The Chinese High School Clock Tower Building in front of Hwa Chong Institution
Hwa Chong Institution (simplified Chinese: 华侨中学; traditional Chinese: 華僑中學; pinyin: Húaqíao Zhōngxúe) (HCI) is an independent school in Singapore for students aged 12 to 18 covering both secondary and pre-university levels. A Ministry of Education-designated FutureSchool, it operates under the Special Assistance Plan (SAP) for bilingualism, and offers the Integrated Programme. The school's main campus in Bukit Timah covers 72 acres (29 ha), which is shared between Hwa Chong Institution, Hwa Chong International School, and the Bukit Timah campus of the Singapore University of Social Sciences. The campus is markedly larger than most schools in Singapore and the region.

Hwa Chong Institution was founded by Tan Kah Kee in March 1919 at Niven Road. It was the first Chinese institution of higher learning at that time in Southeast Asia, catering to Chinese dialect groups amongst the overseas Chinese. HCI has produced 55 President's Scholars to date, and it has been cited as a leading Oxford and Cambridge entry centre outside of the United Kingdom. The school has produced championship-winning sports teams, while some of its research and leadership development programmes have gained international accolades.

Selected Picture

Singapore's Sri Mariamman Temple
Credit: AngMoKio (15 February 2011)

The gopuram (tower) at the entrance of the Sri Mariamman Temple, Singapore, Singapore's oldest Hindu temple. The temple has been gazetted a National Monument due to its architectural and historical significance.

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Selected Biography

Tang Da Wu (Chinese: 唐大雾; pinyin: Táng Dàwù, pronounced [tʰɑ̌ŋ tâ.û]; born 1943) is a Singaporean artist who works in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, installation art and performance art. Though his art, Tang has expressed concern about environmental and social issues. He was educated at Birmingham Polytechnic and Goldsmiths' College, University of London. In 1970, Tang gave his first solo exhibition at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He began engaging in performance art upon returning to Singapore in 1979.

In 1988, Tang founded The Artists Village, the first art colony to be established in Singapore. In January 1994, the National Arts Council (NAC) stopped funding unscripted performance art following a controversial performance. From that time on, Tang mostly practised his art abroad. This decision was later reversed in September 2003. Tang was one of four artists who represented Singapore at the 2007 Venice Biennale.

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Did You Know

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?

Selected Panorama

Clarke Quay
Credit: Sengkang (20 February 2006)

Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay in Singapore that is situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River and Boat Quay. In this picture, Clarke Quay is pictured on the left bank while the Riverside Point is on the right bank. The bridge on the right of the picture is the Ord Bridge.

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