22.09.2019 | Singapore - Singapore Circuit

Key Facts

Location: South-East Asia.

Area: 697 sq km (269 sq miles).

Population: 5,674,472 (2015).

Population Density: 8141.3 per sq km.

Capital: Singapore.

Government: Republic.

Geography: The island of Singapore is situated off the southern extremity of the Malay Peninsula, separated from the mainland by the Johor Strait which is about 1km (0.8 miles) wide. Causeways run across the strait carrying roads, a railway and water pipes. The main island is mainly flat with only low hills, the highest being Bukit Timah at 166m (545ft). In the northeast of the island, and in the urban district, large areas have been reclaimed, and much of the original jungle and swamp covering the low-lying areas has been cleared. In addition to the main island, the Republic of Singapore includes more than 60 much smaller islands and islets.

Language: The official languages are Mandarin Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil. Most Singaporeans are bilingual and speak English, which is used as the main language of communication.

Religion: Buddhist 33%, Christian 18%, Muslim 15%, Taoist 11% and Hindu 5%.

Time: GMT + 8.

Social Conventions: Handshaking is the usual form of greeting, regardless of race; Muslims, and some Hindus, would not however normally shake hands with someone of the opposite sex. Social courtesies are often fairly formal. When invited to a private home or entering a temple or mosque, remove your shoes. For private visits, a gift is appreciated and, if on business, a company souvenir is appropriate. Dress is informal. Most first-class restaurants and some hotel dining rooms expect men to wear a jacket and tie in the evenings; a smart appearance is expected for business meetings. Laws relating to jaywalking, littering and chewing gum are strictly enforced in urban areas. Smoking is widely discouraged and illegal in enclosed public places (including restaurants). Dropping a cigarette end in the street or smoking illegally can lead to an immediate fine.

Electricity: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are standard. Many hotels have 110-volt outlets.

Head of Government: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong since 2004.

Head of State: President Tony Tan since 2011.

Recent History: In both January 1997 and September 2001, opposition parties decided to contest only a small proportion (about one-third) of the 83 seats. Unsurprisingly, the People’s Action Party (PAP) won both polls comfortably. Goh was widely expected to stand down in favour of Lee Junior finally doing so in August 2004. In September 2005, S R Nathan began his second six-year term as President of Singapore. He won the election after the other contenders were disqualified for not meeting the strict selection criteria. Singapore staged the high profile IMF/World Bank meeting in 2006, and its first F1 Grand Prix in 2008.

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