Context of Singapore

Singapore ( (listen)), officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It is located about one degree of latitude (137 kilometres or 85 miles) north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bordering the Strait of Malacca to the west, the Singapore Strait to the south, the South China Sea to the east, and the Straits of Johor to the north. The country's territory is composed of one main island, 63 satellite islands and islets, and one outlying islet; the combined area of these has increased by 25% since the country's independence as a result of extensive land reclamation projects. It has the third highest population density in the world, although there are numerous green and recreational spaces due to advanced urban planning. With a multicultural population and in recognition of the cultural identiti...Read more

Singapore ( (listen)), officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island country and city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It is located about one degree of latitude (137 kilometres or 85 miles) north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bordering the Strait of Malacca to the west, the Singapore Strait to the south, the South China Sea to the east, and the Straits of Johor to the north. The country's territory is composed of one main island, 63 satellite islands and islets, and one outlying islet; the combined area of these has increased by 25% since the country's independence as a result of extensive land reclamation projects. It has the third highest population density in the world, although there are numerous green and recreational spaces due to advanced urban planning. With a multicultural population and in recognition of the cultural identities of the major ethnic groups within the nation, Singapore has four official languages – English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. English is the lingua franca, with its exclusive use in numerous public services. Multi-racialism is enshrined in the constitution and continues to shape national policies in education, housing, and politics.

Singapore's history dates back at least a millennium, having been a maritime emporium known as Temasek and subsequently as a major constituent part of several successive thalassocratic empires. Its contemporary era began in 1819 when Stamford Raffles established Singapore as an entrepôt trading post of the British Empire. In 1867, the colonies in Southeast Asia were reorganised and Singapore came under the direct control of Britain as part of the Straits Settlements. During World War II, Singapore was occupied by Japan in 1942, and returned to British control as a separate Crown colony following Japan's surrender in 1945. Singapore gained self-governance in 1959 and in 1963 became part of the new federation of Malaysia, alongside Malaya, North Borneo, and Sarawak. Ideological differences, most notably the perceived encroachment of the egalitarian "Malaysian Malaysia" political ideology led by Lee Kuan Yew into the other constituent entities of Malaysia—at the perceived expense of the bumiputera and the policies of Ketuanan Melayu—eventually led to Singapore's expulsion from the federation two years later; Singapore became an independent sovereign country in 1965.

After early years of turbulence, although lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation rapidly developed to become one of the Four Asian Tigers. It's growth based on international trade and economic globalisation, it integrated itself with the world economy through free trade with minimal-to-no trade barriers or tariffs, export-oriented industrialisation, and the large accumulation of received foreign direct investments, foreign-exchange reserves, and assets held by sovereign wealth funds. A highly developed country, it has the second-highest GDP per capita (PPP) in the world. Identified as a tax haven, Singapore is the only country in Asia with a AAA sovereign credit rating from all major rating agencies. It is a major aviation, financial, and maritime shipping hub, and has consistently been ranked as one of the most expensive cities to live in for expatriates and foreign workers. Singapore is placed highly in key social indicators: education, healthcare, quality of life, personal safety, infrastructure, and housing, with a home-ownership rate of 88 percent. Singaporeans enjoy one of the longest life expectancies, fastest Internet connection speeds, lowest infant mortality rates, and lowest levels of corruption in the world.

Singapore is a unitary parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government, and its legal system is based on common law. While the country is a multi-party democracy with free elections, the government under the People's Action Party (PAP) wields significant control and dominance over politics and society. The PAP has governed the country continuously since full internal self-government was achieved in 1959, with 83 out of 104 seats in Parliament as of the 2020 general election with 61.23% of the popular vote. One of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is also the headquarters of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) Secretariat, and is the host city of many international conferences and events. Singapore is also a member of the United Nations (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO), East Asia Summit (EAS), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and the Commonwealth of Nations.

More about Singapore

Basic information
  • Currency Singapore dollar
  • Calling code +65
  • Internet domain .sg
  • Mains voltage 230V/50Hz
  • Democracy index 6.03
Population, Area & Driving side
  • Population 1022100
  • Area 719
  • Driving side left
History
  • Ancient Singapore

    In 1299, according to the Malay Annals, the Kingdom of Singapura was founded on the island by Sang Nila Utama.[1] Although the historicity of the accounts as given in the Malay Annals is the subject of academic debates,[2] it is nevertheless known from various documents that Singapore in the 14th century, then known as Temasek, was a trading port under the influence of both the Majapahit Empire and the Siamese kingdoms,[3] and was a part of the Indosphere.[4][5][6][7][8] These Indianised kingdoms were characterised by surprising resilience, political integrity and administrative stability.[9] Historical sources also indicate that around the end of the 14th century, its ruler Parameswara was attacked by either the Majapahit or the Siamese, forcing him to move to Malacca where he founded the Sultanate of Malacca.[10] Archaeological evidence suggests that the main settlement on Fort Canning was abandoned around this time, although a small trading settlement continued in Singapore for some time afterwards.[11] In 1613, Portuguese raiders burned down the settlement, and the island faded into obscurity for the next two centuries.[12] By then, Singapore was nominally part of the Johor Sultanate.[13] The wider maritime region and much trade was under Dutch control for the following period after the Dutch conquest of Malacca.[14]

    ...Read more
    Ancient Singapore

    In 1299, according to the Malay Annals, the Kingdom of Singapura was founded on the island by Sang Nila Utama.[1] Although the historicity of the accounts as given in the Malay Annals is the subject of academic debates,[2] it is nevertheless known from various documents that Singapore in the 14th century, then known as Temasek, was a trading port under the influence of both the Majapahit Empire and the Siamese kingdoms,[3] and was a part of the Indosphere.[4][5][6][7][8] These Indianised kingdoms were characterised by surprising resilience, political integrity and administrative stability.[9] Historical sources also indicate that around the end of the 14th century, its ruler Parameswara was attacked by either the Majapahit or the Siamese, forcing him to move to Malacca where he founded the Sultanate of Malacca.[10] Archaeological evidence suggests that the main settlement on Fort Canning was abandoned around this time, although a small trading settlement continued in Singapore for some time afterwards.[11] In 1613, Portuguese raiders burned down the settlement, and the island faded into obscurity for the next two centuries.[12] By then, Singapore was nominally part of the Johor Sultanate.[13] The wider maritime region and much trade was under Dutch control for the following period after the Dutch conquest of Malacca.[14]

    British colonisation
     
    Letter from William Farquhar to Sultan Muhammad Kanzul Alam, the 21st Sultan of Brunei, dated 28 November 1819. In the first line, Farquhar mentions that Sultan Hussein Shah and Temenggong Abdul Rahman allowed the British East India Company to establish a factory in Singapore on 6 February 1819.[15][16]

    The British governor Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore on 28 January 1819 and soon recognised the island as a natural choice for the new port.[17] The island was then nominally ruled by Tengku Abdul Rahman, the Sultan of Johor, who was controlled by the Dutch and the Bugis.[18] However, the Sultanate was weakened by factional division: Abdul Rahman, the Temenggong of Johor to Tengku Abdul Rahman, as well as his officials, were loyal to the Sultan's elder brother Tengku Long, who was living in exile in Penyengat Island, Riau Islands. With the Temenggong's help, Raffles managed to smuggle Tengku Long back into Singapore. Raffles offered to recognise Tengku Long as the rightful Sultan of Johor, under the title of Sultan Hussein, as well as provide him with a yearly payment of $5000 and another $3000 to the Temenggong; in return, Sultan Hussein would grant the British the right to establish a trading post on Singapore.[19] The Treaty of Singapore was signed on 6 February 1819.[20][21]

     
    1825 survey map. Singapore's free port trade was at Singapore River for 150 years. Fort Canning hill (centre) was home to its ancient and early colonial rulers.

    In 1824, a further treaty with the Sultan led to the entire island becoming a British possession.[22] In 1826, Singapore became part of the Straits Settlements, then under the jurisdiction of British India. Singapore became the regional capital in 1836.[23] Prior to Raffles' arrival, there were only about a thousand people living on the island, mostly indigenous Malays along with a handful of Chinese.[24] By 1860 the population had swelled to over 80,000, more than half being Chinese.[22] Many of these early immigrants came to work on the pepper and gambier plantations.[25] In 1867, the Straits Settlements were separated from British India, coming under the direct control of Britain.[26] Later, in the 1890s, when the rubber industry became established in Malaya and Singapore,[27] the island became a global centre for rubber sorting and export.[22]

    Singapore was not greatly affected by the First World War (1914–18), as the conflict did not spread to Southeast Asia. The only significant event during the war was the 1915 Singapore Mutiny by Muslim sepoys from British India, who were garrisoned in Singapore.[28] After hearing rumours that they were to be sent to fight the Ottoman Empire, a Muslim state, the soldiers rebelled, killing their officers and several British civilians before the mutiny was suppressed by non-Muslim troops arriving from Johore and Burma.[29]

    After World War I, the British built the large Singapore Naval Base as part of the defensive Singapore strategy.[30] Originally announced in 1921, the construction of the base proceeded at a slow pace until the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Costing $60 million and not fully completed in 1938, it was nonetheless the largest dry dock in the world, the third-largest floating dock, and had enough fuel tanks to support the entire British navy for six months.[30][31][32] The base was defended by heavy 15-inch (380 mm) naval guns stationed at Fort Siloso, Fort Canning and Labrador, as well as a Royal Air Force airfield at Tengah Air Base. Winston Churchill touted it as the "Gibraltar of the East", and military discussions often referred to the base as simply "East of Suez". However, the British Home Fleet was stationed in Europe, and the British could not afford to build a second fleet to protect their interests in Asia. The plan was for the Home Fleet to sail quickly to Singapore in the event of an emergency. As a consequence, after World War II broke out in 1939, the fleet was fully occupied with defending Britain, leaving Singapore vulnerable to Japanese invasion.[33][34]

    World War II
     
    British evacuation in 1945 after the Japanese surrender. Kallang Airport's control tower near the city has been conserved.

    During the Pacific War, the Japanese invasion of Malaya culminated in the Battle of Singapore. When the British force of 60,000 troops surrendered on 15 February 1942, British prime minister Winston Churchill called the defeat "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history".[35] British and Empire losses during the fighting for Singapore were heavy, with a total of nearly 85,000 personnel captured.[36] About 5,000 were killed or wounded,[37] of which Australians made up the majority.[38][39][40] Japanese casualties during the fighting in Singapore amounted to 1,714 killed and 3,378 wounded.[36][a] The occupation was to become a major turning point in the histories of several nations, including those of Japan, Britain, and Singapore. Japanese newspapers triumphantly declared the victory as deciding the general situation of the war.[41][42] Between 5,000 and 25,000 ethnic Chinese people were killed in the subsequent Sook Ching massacre.[43] British forces had planned to liberate Singapore in 1945; however, the war ended before these operations could be carried out.[44][45]

    Post-war period

    After the Japanese surrender to the Allies on 15 August 1945, Singapore fell into a brief state of violence and disorder; looting and revenge-killing were widespread. British, Australian, and Indian troops led by Lord Louis Mountbatten returned to Singapore to receive the formal surrender of Japanese forces in the region from General Seishirō Itagaki on behalf of General Hisaichi Terauchi on 12 September 1945.[44][45] Meanwhile, Tomoyuki Yamashita was tried by a US military commission for war crimes, but not for crimes committed by his troops in Malaya or Singapore. He was convicted and hanged in the Philippines on 23 February 1946.[46][47]

    Much of Singapore's infrastructure had been destroyed during the war, including those needed to supply utilities. A shortage of food led to malnutrition, disease, and rampant crime and violence. A series of strikes in 1947 caused massive stoppages in public transport and other services. However, by late 1947 the economy began to recover, facilitated by a growing international demand for tin and rubber.[48] The failure of Britain to successfully defend its colony against the Japanese changed its image in the eyes of Singaporeans. British Military Administration ended on 1 April 1946, and Singapore became a separate Crown Colony.[48] In July 1947, separate Executive and Legislative Councils were established and the election of six members of the Legislative Council was scheduled for the following year.[49]

    During the 1950s, Chinese communists, with strong ties to the trade unions and Chinese schools, waged a guerrilla war against the government, leading to the Malayan Emergency. The 1954 National Service riots, Hock Lee bus riots, and Chinese middle schools riots in Singapore were all linked to these events.[50] David Marshall, pro-independence leader of the Labour Front, won Singapore's first general election in 1955.[51] He led a delegation to London, and Britain rejected his demand for complete self-rule. He resigned and was replaced by Lim Yew Hock in 1956, and after further negotiations Britain agreed to grant Singapore full internal self-government for all matters except defence and foreign affairs.[52] During the subsequent May 1959 elections, the People's Action Party (PAP) won a landslide victory.[53] Governor Sir William Allmond Codrington Goode served as the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara (Head of State).[54]

    Within Malaysia
     
    Singapore thrived as an entrepôt. In the 1960s, bumboats were used to transport cargoes and supplies between nearshore ships and Singapore River.

    PAP leaders believed that Singapore's future lay with Malaya, due to strong ties between the two. It was thought that reuniting with Malaya would benefit the economy by creating a common market, alleviating ongoing unemployment woes in Singapore. However, a sizeable pro-communist wing of the PAP was strongly opposed to the merger, fearing a loss of influence, and hence formed the Barisan Sosialis, splitting from the PAP.[55][56] The ruling party of Malaya, United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), was staunchly anti-communist, and it was suspected UMNO would support the non-communist factions of PAP. UMNO, initially sceptical of the idea of a merger due to distrust of the PAP government and concern that the large ethnic Chinese population in Singapore would alter the racial balance in Malaya on which their political power base depended, became supportive of the idea of the merger due to joint fear of a communist takeover.[57]

    On 27 May 1961, Malaya's prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, made a surprise proposal for a new Federation called Malaysia, which would unite the current and former British possessions in the region: the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Brunei, North Borneo, and Sarawak.[57][58] UMNO leaders believed that the additional Malay population in the Bornean territories would balance Singapore's Chinese population.[52] The British government, for its part, believed that the merger would prevent Singapore from becoming a haven for communism.[59] To obtain a mandate for a merger, the PAP held a referendum on the merger. This referendum included a choice of different terms for a merger with Malaysia and had no option for avoiding merger altogether.[60][61] On 16 September 1963, Singapore joined with Malaya, the North Borneo, and Sarawak to form the new Federation of Malaysia under the terms of the Malaysia Agreement.[62] Under this Agreement, Singapore had a relatively high level of autonomy compared to the other states of Malaysia.[63]

    Indonesia opposed the formation of Malaysia due to its own claims over Borneo and launched Konfrontasi (Confrontation in Indonesian) in response to the formation of Malaysia.[64] On 10 March 1965, a bomb planted by Indonesian saboteurs on a mezzanine floor of MacDonald House exploded, killing three people and injuring 33 others. It was the deadliest of at least 42 bomb incidents which occurred during the confrontation.[65] Two members of the Indonesian Marine Corps, Osman bin Haji Mohamed Ali and Harun bin Said, were eventually convicted and executed for the crime.[66] The explosion caused US$250,000 (equivalent to US$2,149,683 in 2021) in damages to MacDonald House.[67][68]

    Even after the merger, the Singaporean government and the Malaysian central government disagreed on many political and economic issues.[69] Despite an agreement to establish a common market, Singapore continued to face restrictions when trading with the rest of Malaysia. In retaliation, Singapore did not extend to Sabah and Sarawak the full extent of the loans agreed to for economic development of the two eastern states. Talks soon broke down, and abusive speeches and writing became rife on both sides. This led to communal strife in Singapore, culminating in the 1964 race riots.[70] On 7 August 1965, Malaysian prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, seeing no alternative to avoid further bloodshed (and with the help of secret negotiations by PAP leaders, as revealed in 2015)[71] advised the Parliament of Malaysia that it should vote to expel Singapore from Malaysia.[69] On 9 August 1965, the Malaysian Parliament voted 126 to 0 to move a bill to amend the constitution, expelling Singapore from Malaysia, which left Singapore as a newly independent country.[52][72][73][74][75][71]

    Republic of Singapore
     
    Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore.

    After being expelled from Malaysia, Singapore became independent as the Republic of Singapore on 9 August 1965,[76][77] with Lee Kuan Yew and Yusof bin Ishak as the first prime minister and president respectively.[78][79] In 1967, the country co-founded the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).[80] Race riots broke out once more in 1969.[81] Lee Kuan Yew's emphasis on rapid economic growth, support for business entrepreneurship, and limitations on internal democracy shaped Singapore's policies for the next half-century.[82][83] Economic growth continued throughout the 1980s, with the unemployment rate falling to 3% and real GDP growth averaging at about 8% up until 1999. During the 1980s, Singapore began to shift towards high-tech industries, such as the wafer fabrication sector, in order to remain competitive as neighbouring countries began manufacturing with cheaper labour. Singapore Changi Airport was opened in 1981 and Singapore Airlines was formed.[84] The Port of Singapore became one of the world's busiest ports and the service and tourism industries also grew immensely during this period.[85][86]

    The PAP, which has remained in power since independence, is believed to rule in an authoritarian manner by some activists and opposition politicians who see the strict regulation of political and media activities by the government as an infringement on political rights.[87] In response, Singapore has seen several significant political changes, such as the introduction of the Non-Constituency members of parliament in 1984 to allow up to three losing candidates from opposition parties to be appointed as MPs. Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) were introduced in 1988 to create multi-seat electoral divisions, intended to ensure minority representation in parliament.[88] Nominated members of parliament were introduced in 1990 to allow non-elected non-partisan MPs.[89] The Constitution was amended in 1991 to provide for an Elected President who has veto power in the use of Past Reserves and appointments to certain public offices.[90]

    In 1990, Goh Chok Tong succeeded Lee and became Singapore's second prime minister.[91] During Goh's tenure, the country went through the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2003 SARS outbreak.[92][93] In 2004, Lee Hsien Loong, the eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew, became the country's third prime minister.[93] Lee Hsien Loong's tenure included the 2008 global financial crisis, the resolution of a dispute over land ownership at Tanjong Pagar railway station between Singapore and Malaysia, and the introduction of the 2 integrated resorts (IRs), located at the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa.[94] The People's Action Party (PAP) suffered its worst ever electoral results in 2011, winning just 60% of votes, amidst debate over issues including the influx of foreign workers and the high cost of living.[95] On 23 March 2015, Lee Kuan Yew died, and a one-week period of public mourning was observed nationwide.[83] Subsequently, the PAP regained its dominance in Parliament through the September general election, receiving 69.9% of the popular vote,[96] although this remained lower than the 2001 tally of 75.3%[97] and the 1968 tally of 86.7%.[98] The 2020 election held in July saw the PAP drop to 61% of the vote, while the opposition Workers' Party took 10 of the 93 seats, the highest number ever won by an opposition party.[99]

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Retrieved 9 March 2022. ^ "Singapore becomes part of Malaysia". HistorySG. Retrieved 6 February 2017. ^ James, Harold; Sheil-Small, Denis (1971). The Undeclared War: The Story of the Indonesian Confrontation 1962–1966. Totowa: Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-87471-074-8.Mackie, J.A.C. (1974). Konfrontasi: The Indonesia-Malaysia Dispute 1963–1966. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-638247-0. ^ "Record of the Wreckers". The Straits Times. Singapore. 16 May 1965. ^ "Mac Donald House blast: Two for trial". The Straits Times. Singapore. 6 April 1965. ^ Tan Lay Yuan. "MacDonald House bomb explosion". Singapore Infopedia. National Library Board. Archived from the original on 15 December 2011. ^ "Mac Donald House suffered $250,000 bomb damage". The Straits Times. Singapore. 9 October 1965. ^ a b "Road to Independence". AsiaOne. 1998. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. ^ Lau, A (2000). A moment of anguish: Singapore in Malaysia and the politics of disengagement. Singapore: Times Academic Press. ^ a b Lim, Edmund (22 December 2015). "Secret documents reveal extent of negotiations for Separation". The Straits Times. Retrieved 15 August 2022. ^ Leitch Lepoer, Barbara (1989). "Singapore as Part of Malaysia". Library of Congress Country Studies. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. Retrieved 29 January 2011. ^ "A Summary of Malaysia-Singapore History". europe-solidaire. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012. ^ "Singapore separates from Malaysia and becomes independent – Singapore History". National Library Board. Retrieved 12 May 2017. Negotiations were, however, done in complete secrecy... (Tunku moved) a bill to amend the constitution that would provide for Singapore's departure from the Federation. Razak was also waiting for the fully signed separation agreement from Singapore to allay possible suggestions that Singapore was expelled from Malaysia. ^ "Episode 0: Trailer". ^ "Road to Independence". Headlines, Lifelines, by AsiaOne. 1998. Archived from the original on 13 October 2013. ^ Abisheganaden, Felix (10 August 1965). "Singapore is out". The Straits Times. Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 21 February 2022. ^ "Past and present leaders of Singapore | Infopedia". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 28 May 2020. ^ "Yusof to be the first President". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 28 May 2020. ^ Bangkok Declaration  – via Wikisource. ^ Sandhu, Kernial Singh; Wheatley, Paul (1989). Management of Success: The Moulding of Modern Singapore. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 107. ISBN 978-981-3035-42-3. ^ Terry McCarthy, "Lee Kuan Yew." Time 154: 7–8 (1999). online ^ a b "Lee Kuan Yew: Our chief diplomat to the world". The Straits Times. Singapore. 25 March 2015. ^ "History of Changi Airport". Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. Archived from the original on 29 June 2006. ^ "Lunch Dialogue on 'Singapore as a Transport Hub'". Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Retrieved 17 November 2018. ^ Lam, Yin Yin. "Three factors that have made Singapore a global logistics hub". The World Bank Blogs. Retrieved 17 November 2018. ^ "Singapore elections". BBC News. 5 May 2006. ^ Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218) ^ Ho Khai Leong (2003). Shared Responsibilities, Unshared Power: The Politics of Policy-Making in Singapore. Eastern Univ Pr. ISBN 978-981-210-218-8 ^ "Presidential Elections". Elections Department Singapore. 18 April 2006. Archived from the original on 27 August 2008. ^ Encyclopedia of Singapore. Singapore: Tailsman Publishing. 2006. p. 82. ISBN 978-981-05-5667-9. ^ Yeoh, En-Lai (9 April 2003). "Singapore Woman Linked to 100 SARS Cases". Associated Press. ^ a b "Goh Chok Tong". National Library Board. Retrieved 6 February 2017. ^ "Country profile: Singapore". BBC News. 15 July 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2010. ^ hermesauto (28 August 2015). "GE2015: A look back at the last 5 general elections from 1991 to 2011". The Straits Times. Retrieved 7 October 2018. ^ Lee, U-Wen. "PAP racks up landslide win, takes 83 out of 89 seats". Business Times (Singapore). Archived from the original on 13 September 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2015. ^ Heng, Janice (12 September 2015). "For PAP, the numbers hark back to 2001 polls showing". The Straits Times. Singapore. Archived from the original on 12 September 2015. ^ "History of general elections in Singapore". National Library Board. Retrieved 4 February 2020. ^ "Why so many Singaporeans voted for the opposition". The Economist. 18 July 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2020.


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Stay safe
  • Stay safe
    Travel Warning  WARNING: Singapore treats drug offences extremely severely. The death penalty is mandatory for those convicted of trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than 15 g of heroin, 30 g of morphine, 30 g of cocaine, 500 g of cannabis, 200 g of cannabis resin and 1.2 kg of opium, and possession of these quantities is all that is needed for you to be convicted. Unauthorised consumption can result in up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $20,000, or both. You can be charged for unauthorised consumption as long as traces of illicit drugs are found in your system, even if you can prove that they were consumed outside the country, and you can be charged for trafficking as long as drugs are found in bags that are in your possession or in your room, even if they aren't yours and regardless of whether you're aware of them. If you must bring potentially forbidden medicines, check with the Singapore Health Sciences Authority to find out, and (as needed and allowed) obtain written permission to bring them....Read more
    Stay safe
    Travel Warning  WARNING: Singapore treats drug offences extremely severely. The death penalty is mandatory for those convicted of trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than 15 g of heroin, 30 g of morphine, 30 g of cocaine, 500 g of cannabis, 200 g of cannabis resin and 1.2 kg of opium, and possession of these quantities is all that is needed for you to be convicted. Unauthorised consumption can result in up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $20,000, or both. You can be charged for unauthorised consumption as long as traces of illicit drugs are found in your system, even if you can prove that they were consumed outside the country, and you can be charged for trafficking as long as drugs are found in bags that are in your possession or in your room, even if they aren't yours and regardless of whether you're aware of them. If you must bring potentially forbidden medicines, check with the Singapore Health Sciences Authority to find out, and (as needed and allowed) obtain written permission to bring them. This can be done fairly quickly by e-mail, perhaps a few weeks by regular postal mail.
     
    Forbidden items in the MRT trains and stations

    Singapore is one of the safest major cities in the world by virtually any measure. Most people, including single female travellers, will not face any problems walking along the streets alone at night. But as the local police say, "low crime does not mean no crime" — beware of pickpockets in crowded areas and don't forget your common sense entirely.

    The Singapore Police Force is responsible for law enforcement throughout the country, and you can recognise police officers by their distinctive dark blue uniforms. Most visitors will find the majority of Singaporean police officers to be professional and helpful, and you should report any crimes that you encounter to them as soon as possible. The Singaporean police have broader powers that what you might be used to in Western countries. In particular, while you are entitled to have a lawyer represent you at trial, the police have the right to restrict your access to a lawyer during your interrogation if they believe it could interfere with their investigation. In addition, while you have the right against self-incrimination, you do not have the right to silence and are required to answer the police's questions truthfully unless it contravenes the former. You should always make all statements in your defence during your interrogation, as failure to do so could result in the judge not believing you should you raise them for the first time at your trial.

    Singapore's squeaky cleanliness is achieved in part by strict rules against activities that are tolerated in other countries. For example, jay-walking, spitting, littering and drinking and eating on public transport are prohibited. Locals joke about Singapore being a fine city because heavy fines are levied if you're caught committing an offence. Look around for sign boards detailing the "Don'ts" and the fines associated with these offences and heed them. Avoid littering, as offenders are not only subject to fines, but also to a "Corrective Work Order", in which offenders are made to wear a bright yellow jacket and pick up rubbish in public places. Enforcement is however, sporadic at best and it's not uncommon to see people openly litter, spit, smoke in non-smoking zones, etc. Chewing gum, famously long banned, is now available at pharmacies for medical purposes (e.g., nicotine gum) if you ask for it directly, show your ID and sign the register. While importing gum is still officially an offence, you can usually bring in a few packs for personal consumption without any problem.

     
    Police officers from the Singapore Police Force

    For some crimes, most notably illegal entry and overstaying your visa for over 30 or 90 days, Singapore imposes caning as a punishment for male offenders. Other offences which have caning as a punishment include vandalism, robbery, molestation and rape. Having sex with a girl under the age of 16 is considered to be rape under Singapore law even if the girl consents to it. Strokes from the thick rattan cane are excruciatingly painful, take weeks to heal and scar for life. Crimes such as murder, kidnapping, unauthorised possession of firearms and drug trafficking are punished with death.

    Oral and anal sex, long banned under colonial-era sodomy statutes, were legalised for heterosexuals in October 2007. Male homosexual contact, however, remains illegal, with a theoretical punishment of two years in prison and/or caning. Although this law is generally not enforced and there is a fairly vibrant gay community with several gay bars in the Chinatown area, gay people should still expect legalised discrimination and censorious attitudes from locals and government officials. Nevertheless, unprovoked violence against homosexuals is almost unheard of, and you are unlikely to get anything beyond drawing stares and whispers. While not illegal, transgender people may also be subject to some degree of derision from locals and government officials, though unprovoked violent incidents are almost unheard of. Under Singapore law, transgender people may change their legal gender and use public toilets of their choice only after undergoing sex reassignment surgery.

    Begging is illegal in Singapore, but you'll occasionally see beggars on the streets. Most are not Singaporean — even the "monks" dressed in robes, who occasionally pester tourists for donations, are usually bogus.

    While jaywalking is illegal, it is still a common thing and occurs quite often around the city. Beware though that if a police officer catches you, you might end up with a small fine. Put simply, the roads are designated for cars and the footpaths are for people.

    Singapore's constitution pledges "freedom of expression", but in practice this right is severely curtailed, as a glance at the neutered domestic press will show. Police will not arrest you for expressing anti-government opinions in casual conversation with your friends, but foreigners in Singapore are not allowed to engage in any sort of political activity, including attending rallies or protests, regardless of the subject. The offence of scandalizing the court (contempt of court) is broadly defined, with any act or statement that could bring a court or judge into disrepute being liable for prosecution. There have been cases in which foreign journalists and jurists were convicted, so you should also avoid making comments regarding the judiciary.

    Singapore is virtually immune to natural disasters: there are no fault lines nearby, although slight tremors from Indonesia's earthquakes can sometimes be felt from the upper storeys of buildings. Other landmasses shield it from tsunamis, and the local conditions are not conducive to the formation of typhoons and tornadoes (only one tornado has been recorded in Singapore's history). Flooding in the November–January monsoon season is an occasional hazard, especially in low-lying parts of the East Coast, but any water usually drains off within a day and life continues as normal.

    Bribery

    Singapore is generally considered to be relatively free from corruption in both public and private life. Bribery is a very serious offence penalised with long jail terms together with fines and caning for men. Do not, under any circumstances, offer a bribe to a police officer or any other government employee since this will most likely result in your immediate arrest.

    Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (贪污调查局), 2 Lengkok Bahru/247 Whitley Road, ☏ +65-1800-376-0000, . The main corruption investigation agency for Singapore which effectively eradicated corruption after its establishment, and has been emulated by other jurisdictions. Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (Q1045329) on Wikidata  Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau on Wikipedia Racial and religious discrimination

    Singapore has made great efforts to ensure a peaceful integrated society; making disparaging remarks against any ethnicity or religion is a crime that carries a prison term. Bloggers have been arrested and sentenced to imprisonment for making racist remarks on their blogs, and religious leaders have also gotten into trouble with the law for insulting other religions in their sermons.

    The Jehovah's Witnesses sect is banned for locals in Singapore (due to their avoidance of military service) but this does not affect tourists in any way.

    Firearms

    Singapore has very strict firearms laws, and unauthorised possession of firearms is punishable by long jail terms at best, and at worst could even result in the death penalty for assumed arms trafficking. Air-soft guns are also prohibited, and possession of them without a licence will land you in jail for up to 3 years.

    Licences to purchase and own firearms are generally only granted for sporting purposes (i.e. for target shooting), and would generally require you to be a member of a registered shooting club. Firearms must be stored securely at a shooting range, and bringing one out of the shooting range is generally illegal unless you have received special permission in advance.

    Visitors who wish to bring firearms in are required to apply for a permit in advance, though in practice these permits are only granted for official shooting competitions. You will also be required to travel under police escort from the port of entry to the shooting range, where you will have to securely store your firearm until you leave the country.

    Emergency numbers Police (main number for Emergency Services), ☏ 999. Police (emergency SMS), ☏ 71999 (local rate). Ambulance / Fire, ☏ 995. Non-emergency ambulance, ☏ 1777. a $274 charge is paid for a non-emergency ferry to a hospital Singapore General Hospital, ☏ +65 6222 3322. Drug & Poison Information Centre, ☏ +65 6423 9119.
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