Singapore – General Information

647.8 sq km
4,017,733 (2000)
population density
6101 per sq km
Singapore. Inhabitants: 3,163,500 (1998)
The island state of Singapore is located off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and is connected to it by two navigable dams. The island is separated by the approximately 1 km wide road from Johor mainland, another 57 islets are also part of the territory. Singapore is mostly flat, the 166 m high Bukit Timah is the highest elevation. In the northeastern part of the island large areas have been removed from the sea, the jungle and the lowland swamps have been mostly cleared or drained.
Republic (in the Commonwealth) since 1959. Constitution of 1959, last change in 1996. One-Chamber Parliament with 83 deputies. Head of State: Sellapan Ramanathan, since 1999. Head of Government: Goh Chok Tong, since 1990. Independent since 1965 (former British Crown Colony), 1963-65 part of the Federation of Malaysia.
Official language is English. Malay is the national language, along with Chinese (Mandarin and some dialects, including Hokkien) and Tamil spoken.
Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhreligion and Taoism.
local time
CET + 7 (UTC + 8).
mains voltage
220/240 V, 50 Hz; Adapter recommended.
country code
Fax machines are available at numerous hotels and the Telecom offices in Robinson Road and Exeter Road.
Internet / E-mail
Many Internet cafés in Singapore provide access to the Internet and e-mail.

Singapore – People

Just as Asian and Western, modern and backward in Singapore are replacing each other, so do the different ethnic groups living in the port city forming a colorful ethnic mosaic.

Over three-quarters of all Singaporeans are of Chinese descent, around 14% are Malays and about 7% are of Indian-Tamil origin. All three ethnic groups maintain their cultural customs and languages, with English as the common language of communication.

State television in Singapore is quadrilingual, evening radio and television news broadcasts in all four languages ​​at different times and channels, and kiosks offer local press products in four languages.

Gone are the colonial times when Singapore’s three major tribes separated from each other in separate urban areas: the Chinese in and around Chinatown, the Malays in their Kampongs, the traditional pile dwellings, and the immigrants from the Indian subcontinent in their Serangoon neighborhood. Road, which is still called “Little India” today.

In an effort to make the resident Malays, along with the immigrant Chinese, Indians and Tamils ​​and their descendants, singaporean citizens, the government tore the ethnic barriers literally and figuratively.

A large-scale social housing program, whose massive housing blocks are scattered far beyond the island state, brought together all ethnic groups and made nearly 80% of the population owners. The state-built, cheap apartments can not be rented, they can only be purchased, and a sophisticated system of social security ensures that almost every working Singaporean can come into possession of such an apartment. For the government speculates that everyone who owns a home feels committed to the young nation and, in times of crisis or war, is ready to defend it.

In general, the government is making tremendous efforts to raise national awareness in the 90% of immigrants or their descendants.

On the one hand, it carries out large-scale popular education campaigns in line with good Chinese tradition, which draconically punish any misconduct. For example, a person who throws a cigarette butt on public property several times or puts his feet on the bench in the ultra-modern subway threatens a fine of up to $ 250.

On the other hand, it engages e.g. International public relations companies that compose shallow songs and beautiful sounds on the subject of national consciousness, thanks to which the government’s concern then penetrates directly into the subconscious of the Singaporeans.

Heroic compositions such as “Stand up for Singapore”, “Singapore my Lady” or “We are Singapore” flatter themselves with their catchy melodies in the ears of the still very young Singaporean population – over 30% of the inhabitants of the island state are under twenty years old – and are deliberately made by the government to local hits.

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