76 Facts About Singapore


In 1867, the colonies in Southeast Asia were reorganised and Singapore came under the direct control of Britain as part of the Straits Settlements.

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Singapore gained self-governance in 1959 and in 1963 became part of the new federation of Malaysia, alongside Malaya, North Borneo, and Sarawak.

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Singapore is placed highly in key social indicators: education, healthcare, quality of life, personal safety, infrastructure, and housing, with a home-ownership rate of 88 percent.

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Singapore is a unitary parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government, and its legal system is based on common law.

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One of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is the headquarters of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) Secretariat, and is the host city of many international conferences and events.

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Singapore is a member of the United Nations, World Trade Organization, East Asia Summit, Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth of Nations.

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English name of "Singapore" is an anglicisation of the native Malay name for the country, Singapura, which was in turn derived from the Sanskrit word for "lion city".

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In 1826, Singapore became part of the Straits Settlements, then under the jurisdiction of British India.

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Singapore was not greatly affected by the First World War, as the conflict did not spread to Southeast Asia.

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British and Empire losses during the fighting for Singapore were heavy, with a total of nearly 85, 000 personnel captured.

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British, Australian, and Indian troops led by Lord Louis Mountbatten returned to Singapore to receive the formal surrender of Japanese forces in the region from General Seishiro Itagaki on behalf of General Hisaichi Terauchi on 12 September 1945.

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Singapore was convicted and hanged in the Philippines on 23 February 1946.

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Much of Singapore's infrastructure had been destroyed during the war, including those needed to supply utilities.

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Singapore led a delegation to London, and Britain rejected his demand for complete self-rule.

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Singapore resigned and was replaced by Lim Yew Hock in 1956, and after further negotiations Britain agreed to grant Singapore full internal self-government for all matters except defence and foreign affairs.

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PAP leaders believed that Singapore's future lay with Malaya, due to strong ties between the two.

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UMNO, initially sceptical of the idea of a merger due to distrust of the PAP government and concern that the large ethnic Chinese population in Singapore would alter the racial balance in Malaya on which their political power base depended, became supportive of the idea of the merger due to joint fear of a communist takeover.

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On 16 September 1963, Singapore joined with Malaya, the North Borneo, and Sarawak to form the new Federation of Malaysia under the terms of the Malaysia Agreement.

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Under this Agreement, Singapore had a relatively high level of autonomy compared to the other states of Malaysia.

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In retaliation, Singapore did not extend to Sabah and Sarawak the full extent of the loans agreed to for economic development of the two eastern states.

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The Port of Singapore became one of the world's busiest ports and the service and tourism industries grew immensely during this period.

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Singapore is a parliamentary republic based on the Westminster system.

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The Constitution of Singapore is the supreme law of the country, establishing the structure and responsibility of government.

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Criminal law is based on the Indian Penal Code originally intended for British India, and was at the time as a crown colony adopted by the British colonial authorities in Singapore and remains the basis of the criminal code in the country with a few exceptions, amendments and repeals since it came into force.

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In 2022, Singapore was ranked 139th out of 180 nations by Reporters Without Borders on the global Press Freedom Index.

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Singapore's stated foreign policy priority is maintaining security in Southeast Asia and surrounding territories.

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Singapore maintains membership in other regional organisations, such as Asia–Europe Meeting, the Forum for East Asia-Latin American Cooperation, the Indian Ocean Rim Association, and the East Asia Summit.

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Singapore is the location of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council Secretariat.

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Singapore has increased co-operation with ASEAN members and China to strengthen regional security and fight terrorism, and participated in ASEAN's first joint maritime exercise with China in 2018.

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Military courses were conducted according to the IDF's format, and Singapore adopted a system of conscription and reserve service based on the Israeli model.

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Singapore still maintains strong security ties with Israel and is one of the biggest buyers of Israeli arms and weapons systems with one recent example being the MATADOR anti-tank weapon.

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The geographic restrictions of Singapore mean that the SAF must plan to fully repulse an attack, as they cannot fall back and re-group.

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Singapore has conscription for all able-bodied males at age 18, except those with a criminal record or who can prove that their loss would bring hardship to their families.

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Since 2009, the Republic of Singapore Navy has deployed ships to the Gulf of Aden to aid in counter piracy efforts as part of Task Force 151.

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Singapore is part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements, a military alliance with Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

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In 2010 Singapore imported almost 15 million tons of sand for its projects, the demand being such that Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam have all restricted or barred the export of sand to Singapore in recent years.

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Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no distinctive seasons, uniform temperature and pressure, high humidity, and abundant rainfall.

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Singapore follows the GMT+8 time zone, one hour ahead of the typical zone for its geographical location.

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Singapore recognises that climate change and rising sea levels in the decades ahead will have major implications for its low-lying coastline.

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Singapore is the first country in Southeast Asia to levy a carbon tax on its largest carbon-emitting corporations producing more than 25, 000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, at $5 per ton.

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Singapore has a highly developed market economy, based historically on extended entrepot trade.

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Singapore has the world's eleventh largest foreign reserves, and one of the highest net international investment position per capita.

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Singapore has been identified as a tax haven for the wealthy due to its low tax rates on personal income and tax exemptions on foreign-based income and capital gains.

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In 2009, Singapore was removed from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development "liste grise" of tax havens, and ranked fourth on the Tax Justice Network's 2015 Financial Secrecy Index of the world's off-shore financial service providers, banking one-eighth of the world's offshore capital, while "providing numerous tax avoidance and evasion opportunities".

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In October 2016, the Monetary Authority of Singapore admonished and fined UBS and DBS and withdrew Falcon Private Bank's banking licence for their alleged role in the Malaysian Sovereign Fund scandal.

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Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaires, with one out of every six households having at least one million US dollars in disposable wealth.

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In 2016, Singapore was rated the world's most expensive city for the third consecutive year by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and this remained true in 2018.

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Singapore is the world's 3rd-largest foreign exchange centre, 6th-largest financial centre, 2nd-largest casino gambling market, 3rd-largest oil-refining and trading centre, largest oil-rig producer and hub for ship repair services, and largest logistics hub.

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Singapore was ranked 8th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, the same as in 2019 and 2020.

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Singapore Airlines was ranked as Asia's most-admired company, and the world's 19th most-admired company in 2015 by Fortune's annual "50 most admired companies in the world" industry surveys.

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Singapore is the 5th most visited city in the world, and 2nd in the Asia-Pacific.

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The Singapore Zoo has embraced the open zoo concept whereby animals are kept in enclosures, separated from visitors by hidden dry or wet moats, instead of caging the animals, and the River Wonders has 300 species of animals, including numerous endangered species.

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Singapore promotes itself as a medical tourism hub, with about 200, 000 foreigners seeking medical care there each year.

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Singapore is a major international transport hub in Asia, serving some of the busiest sea and air trade routes.

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The Port of Singapore, managed by port operators PSA International and Jurong Port, was the world's second-busiest port in 2019 in terms of shipping tonnage handled, at 2.

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Johor–Singapore Causeway is the busiest international land border crossing in the world, whereby approximately 350, 000 travellers cross the border checkpoints of both Woodlands Checkpoint and Sultan Iskandar Building daily (with an annual total of 128 million travellers).

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Singapore considers water a national security issue and the government has sought to emphasise conservation.

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Singapore has declared that it will be water self-sufficient by the time its 1961 long-term water supply agreement with Malaysia expires in 2061.

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Singapore is expanding its recycling system and intends to spend $7.

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Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil.

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Standard Singapore English is fully understandable to all Standard English speakers, while most English-speaking people do not understand Singlish.

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Singapore has six public universities of which the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University are among the top 20 universities in the world.

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Singapore is an education hub, with more than 80, 000 international students in 2006.

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Singapore students have excelled in many of the world education benchmarks in maths, science and reading.

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In 2016, Singapore students topped both the Program International Student Assessment and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

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Singapore has a generally efficient healthcare system, even though health expenditures are relatively low for developed countries.

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Singapore has had the lowest infant mortality rates in the world for the past two decades.

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In 2013, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Singapore as having the best quality of life in Asia and sixth overall in the world.

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Public hospitals in Singapore have a considerable autonomy in their management decisions, and notionally compete for patients, but remain in government ownership.

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Singapore is known as the Lion City and many national symbols such as the coat of arms and the lion head symbol make use of a lion.

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Singapore is increasingly regarded as having four sub-literatures instead of one.

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Singapore has a diverse music culture that ranges from pop and rock, to folk and classical.

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Singapore sailors have had success on the international stage, with their Optimist team being considered among the best in the world.

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Singapore hosted the inaugural 2010 Summer Youth Olympics, in which 3, 600 athletes from 204 nations competed in 26 sports.

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Singapore began hosting a round of the Formula One World Championship, the Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in 2008.

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In 2022, Singapore was ranked 139 on the Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, up from 160 the previous year.

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