Facts about Singapore
The golden pearl of Asia
Located between Malaysia and Indonesia, Singapore is an island, a state, and a city. Small in area, it is a cosmopolitan, fabulously wealthy metropolis. Almost six million people live there. Singapore is the financial capital of Asia, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, a symbol of business, career, and money. At the same time, it is a one-party state, the state of prohibitions and orders.
1The name of the city-state derives from two Sanskrit words: simha (lion) and pura (city).
According to Malay legend, the Prince of Sumatra visited the island of Temasek. While seeking shelter from a storm, he encountered a lion, which he took as a good omen, and founded Singapore. Since lions have never been found in Singapore, he probably saw a Malayan tiger.
2Singapore was leased from the Sultanate of Johor in 1819 as a trading post by East India Company.
The British bought Singapore from the sultan in 1826 and turned it into a naval base. It later became a part of the British colonies.
3During World War II, Singapore passed into Japanese possession.
The Japanese occupied it till 1945.
4The independent Republic of Singapore was proclaimed in 1965.
Singapore became a member of the United Nations in the same year.
5Singapore is a republic belonging to the British Commonwealth.
Power is exercised by the president elected for a six-year term, and the parliament is unicameral.
6Singapore is an authoritarian country led by the People’s Action Party.
Participation in elections is mandatory in Singapore.
7It is known for its strict law.
It has the death penalty, which is carried out regularly and is highly accepted by society. There is also the punishment of flogging and numerous prohibitions punishable by heavy fines.
8Chewing gum is forbidden in Singapore.
It is forbidden to sell or buy chewing gum and import it into the country.
9Possession of drugs is punishable by death.
Smoking in public is strictly forbidden. Only open packs of cigarettes can be brought into the country.
10The State of Singapore is located on the island of Singapore, with an area of 576 square kilometers.
The island is surrounded by 60 islets, mostly surrounded by coral reefs. The island is lowland, with the highest peak of Timah (177 meters).
11Singapore has a dense network of short rivers.
The longest one is 16 kilometers long.
12Only 5% of the country is covered by natural vegetation, protected in reserves.
The island used to be covered with humid equatorial forests, but it was cleared to develop a city-state. Overall, however, the forest covers 29% of the country’s terrain, making it the best among the big cities around the world.
13Macaque is the signature animal of Singapore.
The largest Singaporean mammal is a wild pig.
14Singapore is home to over 350 species of butterflies.
15Singapore is devoid of drinking water, which has to be imported through a pipeline from Malaysia.
16It lies just above the equator.
The distance is 137 kilometers. There are no seasons there, and the weather is the same all year. It is hot, and there are two monsoon seasons. There has never been a negative temperature recorded in Singapore. The length of the day is almost the same throughout the year.
17Underground corridors and shopping malls connect most buildings in Singapore.
It is due to the frequency and amount of rain.
18Singapore has a great airport, one of the most important in the world.
It was designed in the 1960s as the country’s showcase and offers 121 destinations.
19Singapore has exceptional public transportation – subway network, light rail, and buses.
Owning a car in Singapore does not pay off, as the state imposes many high charges associated with it. The concern for cleanliness and ecology dictates this.
20Littering, eating, drinking, and carrying durians are illegal in public transport.
21The currency in Singapore is the Singapore dollar.
22Almost six million people live in Singapore, which gives eight thousand people per square kilometer.
Singapore is a mixture of cultures – 75% are Chinese, 14% Malays, 8% Indians, many Europeans and Americans. The New Year is celebrated four times a year. There is a diversity of religions, and there are four official languages: Mandarin, English, Malay, and Tamil.
23There is almost no agriculture in Singapore, and aquarium fish farming is the most important.
24In Singapore, the world’s largest rubber, tin, and species stock exchanges are located.
25It is the world’s third financial center (after London and New York).
The industry is well developed there, especially high-tech industry.
26The country does not possess any natural resources, so they bet on economics.
27Singapore is the world’s third oil center.
It has five refineries that process oil from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
28The port of Singapore is the world’s second-largest port, after Rotterdam.
It draws massive revenue from it. Singapore has an incredibly advantageous location. It lies on the sea route leading from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and India to China, Japan, and the Pacific. Merchant ships and tankers sail here, replenishing supplies and fuel.
29Singapore is one kilometer away from Malaysia across the Johor Strait.
Singaporeans built two land connections – a causeway and a bridge, thanks to which they gained a land neighbor. Singapore is separated from Indonesia by 15 kilometers of the Singapore Strait.
30Singapore is the third most prosperous country in the world, after Qatar and Luxembourg.
GDP per capita is almost 90,000 US dollars. It is a tax haven. Young companies may not pay taxes for three years.
31Singapore is the second most developed country in Asia, after Japan.
32The government in Singapore controls all the media. Censorship is official.
There is a ban on demonstrations, happenings, and public gatherings. One goes to jail for criticizing the government.
33Singapore has a powerful army.