Guide Down and Out in Singapore

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Singapore traditionally has one of the lowest unemployment rates among developed countries. The government provides numerous assistance programmes to the homeless and needy through the Ministry of Social and Family Development , so acute poverty is rare.

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Some of the programmes include providing between SGD and SGD per month to needy households, providing free medical care at government hospitals, and paying for children's school fees. Globally, Singapore is a leader in several economic sectors, including being 3rd-largest foreign exchange centre, 3rd-leading financial centre , [] [] 2nd-largest casino gambling market, [] 3rd-largest oil-refining and trading centre, world's largest oil-rig producer and major hub for ship repair services, [] [] [] world's top logistics hub.

The economy is diversified, with its top contributors—financial services, manufacturing, oil-refining. The nation's best known global brands include Singapore Airlines , Changi Airport and Port of Singapore , all three are amongst the most-awarded in their respective industry sectors. Singapore Airlines is ranked as Asia's most-admired company, and world's 19th most-admired in , by Fortune 's annual "50 most admired companies in the world" industry surveys.

The strategic international air hub has more than "World's Best Airport" awards as of [update] , and is known as the most-awarded airport in the world. Tourism forms a large part of the economy, with over 17 million tourists visiting the city-state in Singapore is an education hub, with more than 80, international students in Information and communications technologies ICT is one of the pillars of Singapore's economic success.

However, Singapore's mass communications networks, including television and phone networks, have long been operated by the government. When Singapore first came online, Singaporeans could use Teleview to communicate with one another, but not with those outside of their sovereign city-state. Publications such as The Wall Street Journal were censored. It is the most comprehensive survey of the pervasiveness and network-readiness of a country, in terms of market, political and regulatory infrastructure for connectivity. Singapore has also topped Waseda University 's International e-Government rankings from to , and As Singapore is a small island with a high population density, the number of private cars on the road is restricted to curb pollution and congestion.

Car buyers must pay for duties one-and-a-half times the vehicle's market value, and bid for a Singaporean Certificate of Entitlement COE , which allows the car to run on the road for a decade. The cost of the Singaporean certificate of entitlement alone would buy a Porsche Boxster in the United States.

Car prices are generally significantly higher in Singapore than in other English-speaking countries. There are six taxi companies , who together put out over 28, taxis on the road. Singapore is a major international transport hub in Asia, serving some of the busiest sea and air trade routes. Singapore Changi Airport hosts a network of over airlines connecting Singapore to some cities in about 70 countries and territories worldwide.

The Port of Singapore , managed by port operators PSA International and Jurong Port , was the world's second-busiest port in in terms of shipping tonnage handled, at 1. In addition, the port is the world's busiest for transshipment traffic and the world's biggest ship refuelling centre. Access to water is universal, affordable, efficient and of high quality.

Singapore relies on four main water sources, or "four national taps" - water imported from neighbouring Malaysia, urban rainwater catchments , reclaimed water NEWater and seawater desalination. Singapore has declared that it will be water self-sufficient by the time its long-term water supply agreement with Malaysia expires in According to analysis by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in , Singapore would already be water self-sufficient by and "the 'water threat' is less than what it seems to be". Due to the need to invest in and upgrade the water system to address concerns such as climate change and increasing costs of producing water and maintaining water infrastructure, water prices in Singapore has been revised since , [] its first revision since As of mid, the estimated population of Singapore was 5,, people, 3,, The same census also reports that about From onward, people may register using a multi-racial classification, in which they may choose one primary race and one secondary race, but no more than two.

Also, The median age of Singaporean residents was The large number of immigrants has kept Singapore's population from declining. All male citizens and permanent residents in Singapore have a statutory requirement to undergo a period of compulsory service in the uniformed services, known as National Service or NS for short , as well as periodic reservist duties after completion of active duty.

The next-most practised religion is Christianity , followed by Islam , Taoism , and Hinduism. The proportion of Christians, Taoists, and non-religious people increased between and by about 3 percentage points each, whilst the proportion of Buddhists decreased.

Other faiths remained largely stable in their share of the population. There are monasteries and Dharma centres from all three major traditions of Buddhism in Singapore: Theravada , Mahayana , and Vajrayana. Most Buddhists in Singapore are Chinese and are of the Mahayana tradition, [] with missionaries having come into the country from China for several decades. However, Thailand's Theravada Buddhism has seen growing popularity among the populace not only the Chinese during the past decade.

The religion of Soka Gakkai International , a Japanese Buddhist organisation, is practised by many people in Singapore, but mostly by those of Chinese descent. Tibetan Buddhism has also made slow inroads into the country in recent years. Sultan Mosque , a historic mosque in Kampong Glam.

Saint Andrew's Cathedral in the Civic District has existed since The Constitution of Singapore and all laws are written in English, [] and interpreters are required if one wishes to address the Singaporean Courts in a language other than English. Twenty percent of Singaporeans cannot read or write in English. Singaporeans are mostly bilingual , with English as their common language and usually the mother-tongue as a second language taught in schools, in order to preserve each individual's ethnic identity and values.

Singlish is discouraged by the government. English is the language spoken by most Singaporeans at home, Malay was chosen as a national language by the Singaporean government after independence from Britain in the s to avoid friction with Singapore's Malay-speaking neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia. The education system in Singapore has been noted to be one of the best in the world. Singapore students excelled in most of the world education benchmarks in maths, science and reading. In , both its primary and secondary students rank first in OECD's global school performance rankings across 76 countries—described as the most comprehensive map of education standards.

Education for primary, secondary, and tertiary levels is mostly supported by the state. All institutions, private and public, must be registered with the Ministry of Education. Education takes place in three stages: primary, secondary, and pre-university education. Only the primary level is compulsory. Students begin with six years of primary school, which is made up of a four-year foundation course and a two-year orientation stage. The curriculum is focused on the development of English, the mother tongue, mathematics , and science.

Singapore has six public universities [] of which the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University are among the top 20 universities in the world. National examinations are standardised across all schools, with a test taken after each stage. After the first six years of education, students take the Primary School Leaving Examination PSLE , [] which determines their placement at secondary school. Singapore has a generally efficient healthcare system, even though health expenditures are relatively low for developed countries.

As of December and January , 8, foreigners and 5, Singaporeans were respectively diagnosed with HIV, [] but there are fewer than 10 annual deaths from HIV per , people. There is a high level of immunisation. The government's healthcare system is based upon the "3M" framework. Public hospitals in Singapore have a considerable autonomy in their management decisions, and notionally compete for patients, however they remain in government ownership and government appoints their boards and Chief Executive Officers and management reports and is responsible to these boards.

It accounts for approximately 3. Despite its small size, Singapore has a diversity of languages, religions, and cultures. From , it served as a trading port for British ships on their way to India. Being a major trading hub and its close proximity to its neighbour Malaysia, Singapore was prone to many foreign influences, both from Britain and from other Asian countries. Chinese and Indian workers moved to Singapore to work at the harbour. The country remained a British colony until When Singapore became independent from the United Kingdom in , most Singaporean citizens were uneducated labourers from Malaysia, China and India.

With the exception of the Peranakans who pledged their loyalties to Singapore, most of the labourers' loyalties lay with their respective homelands of Malaysia, China and India. After independence, the government began a deliberate process of crafting a Singaporean identity and culture. Each Singaporean's behaviours and attitudes are influenced by, among other things, his or her home language and his religion. Singaporeans who speak English as their native language tend to lean toward Western culture , while those who speak Chinese as their native language tend to lean toward Chinese culture and Confucianism.

Malay-speaking Singaporeans tend to lean toward Malay culture , which itself is closely linked to Islamic culture. Racial and religious harmony is regarded by Singaporeans as a crucial part of Singapore's success, and played a part in building a Singaporean identity. The national flower of Singapore is the hybrid orchid , Vanda 'Miss Joaquim' , named in memory of a Singapore-born Armenian woman, who crossbred the flower in her garden at Tanjong Pagar in Major religious festivals are public holidays.

Singapore has a reputation as a nanny state. Since the s when the National Arts Council was created to spearhead the development of performing arts, visual and literary art forms, to hasten a vibrant cosmopolitan "gateway between the East and West". The Singapore Art Museum focuses on contemporary art. The Red Dot Design Museum celebrates exceptional art and design of objects for everyday life, from more than 1, items from 50 countries. The lotus-shaped ArtScience Museum host touring exhibitions that combine art with the sciences.

The Esplanade is Singapore's largest performing arts centre with many performances throughout the year, including 5, free arts and culture events in Literature of Singapore , or SingLit , comprises a collection of literary works by Singaporeans written chiefly in the country's four official languages: English , Malay , Standard Mandarin and Tamil.

It is increasingly regarded as having four sub-literatures instead of one. Many significant works has been translated and showcased in publications such as the literary journal Singa , published in the s and s with editors including Edwin Thumboo and Koh Buck Song , as well as in multilingual anthologies such as Rhythms: A Singaporean Millennial Anthology Of Poetry , in which the poems were all translated three times each into the three languages.

A number of Singaporean writers such as Tan Swie Hian and Kuo Pao Kun have contributed work in more than one language, although such cross-linguistic fertilisation is becoming increasingly rare. Singapore has a diverse music culture that ranges from pop and rock, to folk and classical.

Western classical music plays a significant role in the cultural life in Singapore, with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra SSO instituted in Various communities have their own distinct ethnic musical traditions: Chinese, Malays, Indians, and Eurasians. With their traditional forms of music and various modern musical styles, the fusion of different forms account for the musical diversity in the country.

Dining is said to be Singaporeans' national pastime, [] and even an obsession for many. The city-state has a burgeoning food scene ranging from hawker centres open-air , food courts air-conditioned , coffee shops open-air with up to a dozen hawker stalls , cafes, fast food, simple kitchens, casual, celebrity and high-end restaurants. For most events, organisers will be mindful of them and cater food that is acceptable to all or provide choices for the ethnic minorities.

Prior to the s, street food were mainly sold by immigrants from China, India and Malaysia to other immigrants seeking a familiar taste. In Singapore, street food has long migrated into hawker centres with communal seating areas. Typically, these centres have a few dozen to hundreds of food stalls, with each specialising in a single or a number of related dishes.

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The choices are almost overwhelming even for locals. In , there are hawker centres spread across the city centre and heartland housing estates. They are maintained by the National Environment Agency , which also grade each food stall for hygiene. The largest hawker centre is located on the second floor of Chinatown Complex with over stalls. Two street food stalls in the city are the first in the world to be awarded a Michelin star each. Local food items generally belong to a particular ethnicity — Chinese, Malay and Indian; but diversity of cuisine has increased further by the "hybridisation" of different styles e.

In hawker centres, cultural diffusion can also be noted when traditionally Malay hawker stalls also sells Tamil food. Chinese stalls may introduce Malay ingredients, cooking techniques or entire dishes into their range of catering. This continues to make the cuisine of Singapore significantly rich and a cultural attraction.

The development of private sports and recreation clubs began in the 19th century colonial Singapore, such as the Cricket Club, Singapore Recreation Club, Singapore Swimming Club, Hollandse Club and others. Water sports are some of the most popular in Singapore. At the Rio Olympics, Joseph Schooling won Singapore's first Olympic gold medal, claiming the metre butterfly in a new Olympic record time of Three swimmers including Michael Phelps , were in an unprecedented three-way tie for silver. Its men water polo team has won the SEA Games gold medal for the 27th time in , continuing Singapore sport's longest winning streak.

Singapore's table tennis women team reached their peak as silver medalists at the Beijing Olympics. They were also world champions in when they beat China at the World Team Table Tennis Championships in Russia, breaking the latter's year winning streak. Singapore's football league, the S. League , launched in , [] currently comprises nine clubs, including two foreign teams. It was the inaugural F1 night race, [] and the first F1 street race in Asia. Singapore hosted the inaugural Summer Youth Olympics , in which 3, athletes from nations competed in 26 sports. Companies linked to the government control much of the domestic media in Singapore.

There are a total of seven free-to-air TV channels offered by Mediacorp. Singapore's media industry has sometimes been criticised for being overly regulated and lacking in freedom by human rights groups such as Freedom House. Private ownership of TV satellite dishes is banned. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the city-state. For other uses, see Singapore disambiguation. Republic in Southeast Asia. Republic of Singapore. Coat of arms. English Malay Chinese Tamil.

Main article: Names of Singapore. Main article: History of Singapore. Main article: Japanese occupation of Singapore. Main articles: Operation Tiderace and Post-war Singapore. Main article: Singapore in Malaysia. See also: Independence of Singapore Agreement Goh Chok Tong 2nd Prime Minister — Since self-government in , Singapore has had only three Prime Ministers.

Main article: Foreign relations of Singapore. Main article: Singapore Armed Forces. Main article: Geography of Singapore. See also: Land reclamation in Singapore. Main article: Wildlife of Singapore. Main article: Economy of Singapore. Main article: Employment in Singapore. Main article: Transport in Singapore. Main article: Water supply and sanitation in Singapore. See also: NEWater. Main articles: Demographics of Singapore and Singaporeans. See also: Race in Singapore. Main article: Religion in Singapore.

Religion in Singapore, [2] Religion Percent Buddhism. Main article: Languages of Singapore. Language used most frequently at home [] [] Language Percent English. Main article: Education in Singapore. Main article: Healthcare in Singapore. Main article: Culture of Singapore. Main article: Music of Singapore. Main article: Singaporean cuisine.

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Retrieved 25 January United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 15 September BBC News. Nikkei Asian Review. International Business Times, Singapore Edition. The Straits Times. Singapore Tourism Board.


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