Singapore - Country Overview
Officially the Republic of Singapore, Singapore is located off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Geographically, it is located 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator, south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of Indonesia's Riau Islands.
Singapore is a sovereign republic with a parliamentary system of government. As a former British colony, its legal system is based on the English common law. The Constitution lays down the fundamental principles and basic framework for the three organs of state, namely, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary.
The Executive comprises the Cabinet, which is responsible for the general direction of the Government and accountable to Parliament. The Legislature comprises the Parliament and is the legislative authority responsible for enacting legislation. The Judiciary's function is to independently administer justice. The Judiciary is safeguarded by the Constitution.
Singapore has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a fishing village to an independent nation. It has earned the distinction of a corruption free, disciplined and forward looking country with high education, high technology, high per capita income, high foreign reserve, and a high standard of living for the Singaporeans.
As such, the city-state has been called an economic miracle because of how much it has achieved in a short span of time, and in spite of its lack of natural resources. In the post-independence 1960s, all that the island possessed was a strategic entrepôt location, a hardworking population and visionary leadership. It has since built up its foreign reserves that total S$243,382.8 million (Monetary Authority of Singapore, June 2012). Singapore’s core industries lie in electronics, chemicals, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, rubber processing and products, processed food and beverages, ship repair, offshore platform construction, life sciences, and entrepôt trade.
Singapore at a Glance
Country name: Republic of Singapore
Location: An island and islets in the heart of Southeast Asia, between Malaysia and Indonesia
Area: 712.4 sq km
Highest Point: Bukit Timah Hill at 163.36m
Climate: Tropical. It is hot and sunny all year, with two monsoon seasons (December to March and June to September) bringing heavy rains
Government: Parliamentary Republic
President: President Tony Tan Keng Yam (elected 27 August 2011)
Gross Domestic Product: S$326,832.4 million (Statistics Singapore, 2011)
Major Industries: Electronics, chemicals, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, rubber processing and products, processed food and beverages, ship repair, offshore platform construction, life sciences, entrepot trade.
Currency: Singapore Dollar
Population: 5,183,700 (Statistics Singapore, 2011)
Median Age: 38 years
Life Expectancy: 81.8 years
Population Growth Rate: 2.1%
Ethnic Groups: Chinese 74.1%, Malay 13.4%, Indian 9.2%, Other races 3.3%
Language: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English are the 4 official languages in Singapore. The national language shall be the Malay language and shall be in the Roman script.
Religions: Buddhism 33.3%, Islam 14.7%, Christianity 11.3%, Taoism 10.9%, Catholicism 7.1%, Hinduism 5.1%, other religions 0.7%, none 16.9% (Statistics Singapore, Census of Population 2010)
Literacy: 96.1% of the population above 15 years of age can read and write
Communications: Excellent facilities and services, including 3G wireless service launched in 2005, and a 104.5% household broadband penetration rate (Infocomm Development Authority, March 2012)
Mobile Phone Penetration: 150.6% (April 2012)
International Country Code: +65
Internet Domain Suffix: .sg
More information on Singapore can be found at Singapore’s official gateway portal www.gov.sg.
The Singapore Government also offers an official electronic communication platform at www.gov.sg which serves as a convenient gateway to locate information about the Singapore Government such as news and speeches, information resources, e-services, events calendar and contact information of public service agencies.
Some key Singapore Government websites:
Department of Singapore Statistics [www.singstat.gov.sg]
Economic Development Board (EDB) [www.edb.gov.sg]
IE Singapore (IES) [www.iesingapore.gov.sg]
Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore [www.ica.gov.sg]
Ministry of Foreign Affairs [www.mfa.gov.sg]
Singapore Tourism Board (STB) [www.stb.gov.sg]