Brief History of Singapore:
Singapore is a small, but important island nation located just south of Malaysia. In the 2nd century AD the first settlement was established at Singapore by the Sumatran Srivijaya Empire. Later between the 16th and the 19th centuries the area was controlled by the Sultanate of Johor.
In 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived to the islands. He was an agent of the British East India Company. Great Britain then bought the island and turned it into a major port for trading in Southeast Asia. During World War II, the island was occupied by the Japanese, however, the Japanese were defeated and in 1946 Singapore became a British Crown Colony.
In 1963, Singapore separated from Britain and joined the independent country of Malaysia. However, this did not work and in 1965, Singapore became a fully independent country.
The Geography of Singapore
Total Size: 693 square km
Size Comparison: slightly more than 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Geographical Coordinates: 1 22 N, 103 48 E
World Region or Continent: Southeast Asia
General Terrain: lowland; gently undulating central plateau contains water catchment area and nature preserve
Geographical Low Point: Singapore Strait 0 m
Geographical High Point: Bukit Timah 166 m
Climate: tropical; hot, humid, rainy; two distinct monsoon seasons - Northeastern monsoon (December to March) and Southwestern monsoon (June to September); inter-monsoon - frequent afternoon and early evening thunderstorms
The People of Singapore
Type of Government: parliamentary republic
Languages Spoken: Mandarin 35%, English 23%, Malay 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9% (2000 census)
Independence: 9 August 1965 (from Malaysian Federation)
National Holiday: National Day, 9 August (1965)
Religions: Buddhist 42.5%, Muslim 14.9%, Taoist 8.5%, Hindu 4%, Catholic 4.8%, other Christian 9.8%, other 0.7%, none 14.8% (2000 census)
National Symbol: lion
National Anthem or Song: Majulah Singapura (Onward Singapore)
Economy of Singapore
Major Industries: electronics, chemicals, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, rubber processing and rubber products, processed food and beverages, ship repair, offshore platform construction, life sciences, entrepot trade
Agricultural Products: rubber, copra, fruit, orchids, vegetables; poultry, eggs; fish, ornamental fish
Natural Resources: fish, deepwater ports
Major Exports: machinery and equipment (including electronics), consumer goods, chemicals, mineral fuels
Major Imports: machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs
Currency: Singapore dollar (SGD)
National GDP: $314,900,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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