is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. It lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsulaand is 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator. The country's territory consists of the lozenge-shaped main island, commonly referred to as Singapore Island in English and Pulau Ujong in Malay, and more than 60 significantly smaller islets. Singapore is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to the north, and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to the south. The country is highly urbanised, and little of the original vegetation remains. The country's territory has consistently expanded through land reclamation.
|Republic of Singapore
"Majulah Singapura" (Malay)
Temasek ('Sea Town' in the Malay language), a second century outpost of the Sumatran Srivijaya empire, is the earliest known settlement on Singapore. The island was part of the Sri Vijaya Empire until it was invaded by the south Indian Emperor Rajendra Chola I, of the Chola Empire, in the 11th century. In 1613, Portuguese raiders burned down the settlement and the island sank into obscurity for the next two centuries. Nominally, it belonged to the Johor Sultanate during this period, while the maritime region and trade was under Dutch control.
In 1819, Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived and signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor, on behalf of the British East India Company, to develop the southern part of Singapore as a British trading post. In 1824, the entire island became a British possession under a further treaty with the Sultan, as well as the Temenggong. In 1826, Singapore became part of the Straits Settlements, under the jurisdiction of British India, becoming the regional capital in 1836. Prior to Raffles' arrival, there were approximately 1,000 people living on the island, mostly indigenous Malays along with a handful of Chinese. By 1860, the population exceeded 80,000 and more than half were Chinese. Many immigrants came to work at rubber plantations and, after the 1870s, the island became a global centre for rubber exports..
Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government representing constituencies. The country's constitution establishes a representative democracy as the political system. Freedom House ranks Singapore as "partly free" in its Freedom in the World report, and The Economist ranks Singapore as a "hybrid regime", the third best rank of four, in its "Democracy Index".
Executive power rests with the Cabinet of Singapore, led by the Prime Minister and, to a much lesser extent, the President. The President is elected through a popular vote, and has veto powers over a specific set of executive decisions, such as the use of the national reserves and the appointment of judges, but otherwise occupies a largely ceremonial post..
The legal system of Singapore is based on English common law, but with substantial local differences. Trial by jury was abolished in 1970 so that judicial decisions would rest entirely in the hands of appointed judges. Singapore has penalties that include judicial corporal punishment in the form of caning, which may be imposed for such offenses as rape, rioting, vandalism, and certain immigration offenses. There is a mandatory death penalty for murder, as well as certain aggravated drug-trafficking and firearms offenses. Amnesty International has said that some legal provisions of the Singapore system conflict with the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and that Singapore has "... possibly the highest execution rate in the world relative to its population". The government has disputed Amnesty's claims. In a 2008 survey of international business executives, Singapore and Hong Kong received the top ranking with regard to judicial system quality in Asia. Singapore has been consistently rated among the least corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International.
Singapore is a world leader in several economic areas: The country is the world's fourth leading financial centre, the world's second largest casino gambling market, one of the world's top three oil-refining centres, the world's largest oil-rig producer, and a major hub for ship repair services. The port is one of the five busiest ports in the world. The World Bank has named Singapore as the easiest place in the world to do business, and ranks Singapore the world's top logistics hub.
In April 2013, for the first time, Singapore surpassed Japan in average daily foreign-exchange trading volume with $383 billion per day. So the rank became: the United Kingdom (41%), the United States (19%), Singapore (5.7)%, Japan (5.6%) and Hong Kong (4.1%)..
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. This excludes property, businesses, and luxury goods, which if included would increase the number of millionaires, especially as property in Singapore is among the world's most expensive. Singapore does not have a minimum wage, believing that it would lower its competitiveness. It also has one of the highest income inequalities among developed countries, being below Hong Kong and above the United States.