From wikipedia about Singapore
Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore
, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia
by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore
Strait to its south. The country is highly urbanised with very little primary rainforest remaining, although more land is being created for development through land reclamation.
Singapore had been a part of various local empires since it was first inhabited in the second century AD. It hosted a trading post of the East India
Company in 1819 with permission from the Sultanate of Johor. The British obtained sovereignty over the island in 1824 and Singapore
became one of the British Straits Settlements in 1826. Singapore
was occupied by the Japanese in World War II and reverted to British rule after the war. It became internally self-governing in 1959. Singapore
united with other former British territories to form Malaysia
in 1963 and became a fully independent state two years later after separation from Malaysia
. Since then it has had a massive increase in wealth, and is one of the Four Asian Tigers. The economy heavily depends on the industry and service sectors. Singapore
is a world leader in several areas, it is the world's fourth leading financial centre, the world's second biggest casino gambling market, the world's top three oil refining centre. The port of Singapore
is one of the five busiest ports in the world. The country is home to more US dollar millionaire households per capita than any other country. The World Bank notes Singapore
as the easiest place in the world to do business.
Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People's Action Party (PAP) has won every election since the British grant of internal self-government in 1959. The legal system of Singapore
has its foundations in the English common law system, but modifications have been made to it over the years, such as the removal of trial by jury. The PAP's popular image is that of a strong, experienced and highly qualified government, backed by a skilled Civil Service and an education system with an emphasis on achievement and meritocracy; but it is perceived by some voters, opposition critics and international observers as being authoritarian and too restrictive on individual freedom.
Some 5 million people live in Singapore
, of whom 2. 91 million were born locally. Most are of Chinese, Malay or Indian descent. There are four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. One of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations, Singapore
also hosts the APEC Secretariat, and is a member of the East Asia Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth.