Singapore
Asia's cosmopolitan city
Singapore travel, Singapore facts

Quick facts

Official Name: Republic of Singapore (English) or Republik Singapura (Malay)

 

Common Name: Singapore

 

Area: almost 700 square kilomtres (the country's size keeps on growing due to land reclamation projects)

 

Location: An island at the southernmost tip of the Malay peninsula. 100 km.

north of the equator (approx. 1 degree north of the equator).

 

Population: Approximately four and a half million people live in Singapore.

 

Demographics: About 76% of Singapore's population is of Chinese descent (including the Peranakans who lived around the area before the city was built), the majority of whom are Fujianese, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka and Hainanese, as well as Mandarin speakers from Beijing and Shanghai.   Malay are forming the second largest ethnic group (almost 14%), Indians form 8.5% of the population and the remaining 2% divides between other ethnich groups, such as Europeans, Euroasians, Jews, Arabs, Persians, Indonesians, Philippinos and other Sotheast Asian groups.

 

Religious: Thanks to Singapore's large Chinese population, Buddhism is the country's predominant religion, followed by 43% of the people.  15% of the people follow Christianity, 15% do not consider themselves as followers of any religion, 14% are muslim, 8.5% are Taoaist, 4% are Hindus and the remaining 0.5% divides between small communities of Jews, Sikhs and Bahais.    

 

Capital City: Singapore does not really have a distinctive capital city, as the whole country is covered by one, single metropolis.  The parliament and most government institutes, however, are concentrated around the city's colonial center, near the Singapore River.

 

Large Cities: Singapore is actually one, massive metropolis.  The city-state is subdivided to 55 planning regions, but this division was done solely for the purpose of development planning and has no geo-political significance whatsoever.

 

Languages: The official languages of Singapore are English (widely used in trade and administration), Malay (Singapore's "national" language), Chinese (Mandarin, although Cantonese is also widely spoken) and Tamil.

A large number of Singaporeans, especially the younger ones, speak a localized hybrid form of English known as Singlish ("Singapore English"), which has many Creole-like characteristics, incorporating vocabulary and grammar from Standard English, various Chinese dialects, Malay and Indian languages.

A significant part of the population speaks English, especially employees of the white collar sector, such as High-tech, banking, tourism and finance.

 

Government: Singapore is a republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government, representing different constituencies.  The bulk of the executive powers rests with the Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister.

The office of the President of Singapore, historically a ceremonial one, was granted some veto powers as of 1991 for a few key decisions such as the use of the national reserves and the appointment of judiciary positions. Although the position is to be elected by popular vote, only the 1993 election has been contested to date. The legislative branch of government is the Parliament.

 

Head of State: The president of the Republic of Singapore is Mr. Sellapan Ramanathan (often referred to as S.R. Nathan)

 

Prime Minister: Mr. Lee Hsien Loong

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