Singapore: The Lion City
The founder of Singapore was Sang Nila Utama. He saw an animal when he was on the island. Therefore he gave the island the Malay name "Singapura", which means "Lion City". However, lions have never lived on the island. The animal he saw was probably a tiger.
Watch on youtube (with lyrics)
|| English / Malay / Mandarin Chinese / Tamil
||710.2 km2, 274.2 sq mi
||~ 5 million
|| Singapore dollar (SGD)
Singapore is an island in South Asia. It is off
the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula
, 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator. 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.
Singapore is an island city-state. That means that the whole island functions as a single city. About 5 million people live and work in Singapore.
Society and culture
Singapore has a very diverse
population. Therefore, Singaporean culture has often been described as a mix of cultures – British, Malay, Chinese, Indian and Peranakan.
Singapore is the second most densely populated
country in the world after Monaco. Approximately 42% of the population in Singapore are foreigners
. Most foreigners come from China, Malaysia, Philippines, North America, Middle East, Europe, Australia, Bangladesh and India. Around 74% of Singapore's residents
are Chinese, 13.4% are Malays, 9.2% Indians.
Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese and Tamil. English is the most dominant language in Singapore. The spelling and vocabulary used are primarily
those of British English. Mandarin Chinese is also widely spoken in Singapore. Malay is spoken by 25% of the population, Tamil by only 5%.
Buddhism is the dominant religion in Singapore. 42.5% of the population of Singapore is Buddhist. Other religions include Islam (14,9%), Christianity (14.6%), Taoism (8.5%) and Hinduism (4%). Around 14% of the population claim to have no religion.
Government and politics
Singapore is a parliamentary
republic. It has a unicameral
government. The Constitution of Singapore establishes representative democracy
as the nation's political system. The People's Action Party (PAP) dominates the political process. The executive
power rests with the cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister.
Singapore has a highly developed economy. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the Four Asian Tigers. The economy depends heavily on exports and refining
imported goods. Singapore has one of the busiest ports
in the world. The state is the world's fourth largest foreign exchange trading centre after London, New York and Tokyo. Singapore's economy has been ranked amongst the world's ten most open, competitive and innovative