Seven Exposures of Singapore

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Island country, Southeast Asia.
Situated off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, it comprises Singapore island and 60 islets. Area: 269 sq mi (697 sq km). Population (2005 est.): 4,291,000. Capital: Singapore. Three-fourths of the people are of Chinese ethnicity; most of the rest are Malays and Indians. Languages: English, Chinese (Mandarin), Malay, Tamil (all official). Religions: Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism. Currency: Singapore dollar. Nearly two-thirds of the island’s hilly landscape lies below 50 ft (15 m) above sea level. It has a hot, humid climate. Although only about 2% of its land is arable, it is highly productive cropland. The economy is based largely on international trade and finance; there are more than 100 commercial banks, most of which are foreign, and the headquarters of the Asian Dollar Market is located there. The port is one of the largest in the world, and the country is one of the world’s leading petroleum refiners. Manufacturing (notably electronic equipment) is also important. Singapore is a republic with one legislative house; its chief of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. Long inhabited by fishermen and pirates, it was an outpost of the Sumatran empire of Shrivijaya until the 14th century, when it passed to Java and then Ayutthaya (Siam). It became part of the Malacca empire in the 15th century. In the 16th century the Portuguese controlled the area; they were followed by the Dutch in the 17th century. In 1819 it was ceded to the British East India Company, becoming part of the Straits Settlements and the centre of British colonial activity in Southeast Asia. During World War II the Japanese occupied the island (1942–45). In 1946 it became a crown colony. It achieved full internal self-government in 1959, became part of Malaysia in 1963, and gained independence in 1965. Singapore is influential in the affairs of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The country’s dominant voice in politics for 30 years after independence was Lee Kuan Yew. Singapore has become a regional economic powerhouse.
Singapore and its harbour.[Credits : Paul Russell/Corbis]Street scene in Singapore.[Credits : © Michael Levy]city-state located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, about 85 miles (137 kilometres) north of the Equator. It consists of the diamond-shaped Singapore Island and some 60 small islets; the main island occupies all but about 18 square miles of this combined area. The main island is separated from Peninsular Malaysia to the north by Johor Strait, a narrow channel crossed by a road and rail causeway that is more than half a mile long. The southern limits of the state run through Singapore Strait, where outliers of the Riau-Lingga Archipelago—which forms a part of Indonesia—extend to within 10 miles of the main island.

A sculpture of the Merlion, Singapore.[Credits : © Michael Levy]Singapore is the largest port in Southeast Asia and one of the busiest in the world. It owes its growth and prosperity to its focal position at the southern extremity of the Malay Peninsula, where it dominates the Strait of Malacca, which connects the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea. Once a British colony and now a member of the Commonwealth, Singapore first joined the Federation of Malaysia on its formation in 1963 but seceded to become an independent state on Aug. 9, 1965.

The land » Relief

[Credits : Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.]

Nearly two-thirds of the main island is less than 50 feet (15 metres) above sea levelTimah Hill, the highest summit, has an elevation of only 531 feet (162 metres); with other peaks, such as Panjang and Mandai hills, it forms a block of rugged terrain in the centre of the island. To the west and south are lower scarps with marked northwest-southeast trends, such as Mount Faber. The eastern part of the island is a low plateau cut by erosion into an intricate pattern of hills and valleys. These physical units reflect their geologic foundations: the central hills are formed from granite rocks, the scarp lands from highly folded and faulted sedimentary rocks, and the eastern plateau from uncompacted sands and gravels.

The people » Ethnolinguistic composition

The population of Singapore is diverse, the result of considerable past immigration. Chinese predominate, making up more than three-fourths of the total. Malays are the next largestethnic group, and Indians the third. None of these three major communities is homogeneous. Among the Chinese, more than two-fifths originate from Fukien province and speak the Amoy dialect, about one-fourth are Teochew from the city of Swatow in Kwangtung province, and a smaller number are from other parts of Kwangtung. The Chinese community as a whole, therefore, speaks mutually incomprehensible dialects. Linguistic differences are less pronounced among the Malays, but the group includes Indonesians speaking Javanese, Boyanese, and other dialects. The Indian group is most diverse, consisting of Tamils (more than half), Malayalis, and Sikhs; it also includes Pakistani and Sinhalese communities.
Because of this ethnic diversity, no fewer than four official languages are recognized—English, Mandarin Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. English remains the main medium for administration, commerce, and industry, and it is the primary language of instruction in schools. Mandarin, the official language of China, transcends dialect barriers, and its use is strongly promoted; one-third of the school population is taught in that language. Malay, like English, is widely used for communication among ethnic groups and plays a particularly useful role in view of the close ties between Singapore and Malaysia.

History

Singapore Island originally was inhabited by fishermen and pirates, and it served as an outpost for the Sumatran empire of Śrīvijaya. In Javanese inscriptions and Chinese records dating to the end of the 14th century, the more common name of the island is Tumasik, or Temasek, from the Javanese word tasek (“sea”). Rājendra, ruler of the southern Indian Coḷa kingdom, attacked the island in 1025, and there was another Coḷa raid in 1068. In 1275 the Javanese king Kertanagara probably attacked Temasek when he raided Pahang on the east coast of the peninsula. According to a Chinese traveler, Wang Ta-yuan, just before 1349 about 70 Tai war boats besieged Temasek for a month but had to withdraw. The Javanese epic poem Nāgarakeṛtāgama (written 1365) includes Temasek among the conquests of the Javanese empire of Majapahit. At the end of the 14th century, Temasek fell into decay and was supplanted by Malacca (now Melaka). Yet in 1552 it was still a port of call from which St. Francis Xavier dispatched letters to Goa, and João de Barros described its busy shipping activity in his history Décadas da Ásia (1552–1615).
Rājendra may have named the city Singapura (“Lion City”), later corrupted to Singapore, or the name may have been bestowed in the 14th century by Buddhist monks, to whom the lion was a symbolic character. According to the Sejarah Melayu, a Malay chronicle, the city was founded by the Śrīvijayan prince Sri Tri Buana; he is said to have glimpsed a tiger, mistaken it for a lion, and thus called the settlement Singapura.

East India Company

In January 1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles of the English East India Company, searching for a trading site, forestalled by the Dutch at Riau, and finding the Carimon (Karimun) Islands unsuitable, landed at Singapore. He found only a few Chinese planters, some aborigines, and a few Malays and was told by the hereditary chief, the temenggong (direct ancestor of the sultans of modern Johor), that the company could purchase land. The temenggong, however, was a subordinate of his cousin Abdul Rahman, sultan of Riau-Johor, who was under Dutch surveillance. Furthermore, Abdul Rahman was a younger son and not a sultan de jure. Raffles, disobeying instructions not to offend the Dutch, withdrew his own recognition of Abdul Rahman’s suzerainty over Singapore and installed Abdul Rahman’s elder brother, Hussein (Husain), to validate the purchase of land there on behalf of the company. The Dutch protested. In London the court of directors, though it decided Raffles had contravened instructions, took no action.
In 1824 an Anglo-Dutch treaty left Malaya and Singapore in the British sphere, and in August the whole of Singapore Island was ceded to the British for a monetary payment. Two years later Singapore, Penang, and Malacca (Melaka) were combined as the Straits Settlements to form an outlying residency of India. In 1830 they were reduced to a residency under Bengal, and two years later Singapore became their capital. When the East India Company lost its monopoly of the China trade (1833), it also lost its interest in Malaya. The settlements were transferred to the direct control of the governor-general of India in 1851. In 1867 they were made a crown colony under the Colonial Office in London.

About brexians

Demetrios Georgalas (A Surviving Globalization Consultant) was born in 1961 in Bern and grew up in Athens. In1985, graduated from Surrey University with a Tourism Management BSc (Hons). In 1998, graduated from LMTB under Freie Universitat Berlin, with a Diploma Lasers in Medicine. His professional career was started in the private sector and at the same time he created his first consulting company D+G Consultants Inc. Worked for major multinationals in Greece and abroad (FMCGs / Pharmaceuticals / Tourism). Demetrios Georgalas, having established also Travelling 2 Greece a destination management company, while with the D+G Consultants working in the areas of BTL and special marketing projects. He is activated except from Greece in the Balkans and in Turkey, consulting his clientele with new innovative proposals. Apart from his enterprising activities, he dabbles at blogging, travelling and cooking while he is married and has two children. In conclusion Demetrios Georgalas is an Athenian, Greek, Agnostic, Traveller, & Liberal he likes sci-fi, photography, blogging, travelling and cooking and if you like fascism or any kind of dogma, keep out! Δημήτρης Κ. Γεωργαλάς Γεννήθηκε στην Αθήνα το 1961, σπούδασε Τουριστική Διαχείριση στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο και κατέχει μεταπτυχιακό τίτλο στην Βιοτεχνολογία. Έχει εργαστεί σε μεγάλα τουριστικά γραφεία του εσωτερικού, και σε πολυεθνικές σε Ελλάδα και Εξωτερικό, στο χώρο των φαρμάκων, των ιατρικών μηχανημάτων και των FMCG’s. Από το 2001 είναι ελεύθερος επαγγελματίας, με δραστηριότητα στην διαχείριση προορισμού, τον θεματικό τουρισμό και τις ειδικές ενέργειες marketing. Είναι παντρεμένος και πατέρας δυο παιδιών, διδάσκει ειδικά θέματα εξωτερικού εμπορίου και κοινωνικής δικτύωσης, σε επιχειρήσεις και οργανισμούς. Ασχολείται ενεργά με το διαδίκτυο από το 1993 με άμεση εμπλοκή στα κοινωνικά δίκτυα και στο «ιστολογείν». Φανατικός ταξιδευτής, ερασιτέχνης φωτογράφος, μαχόμενος αγνωστικός και φιλελεύθερος. Όραμά του μια Ευρωπαϊκή Ελλάδα. https://brexians.wordpress.com
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