Singapore’s history dates back to 200 century CE., When the oldest population of the island is famous. Singapore was established as a British trading post in 1819, and was a British colony from 1826 to 1963, with the exception of a Japanese conquest during World War II.

In 1963, Singapore joined the Federation Malaysia, but contradictions led Singapore to withdraw from the Federation in August 1965 and was proclaimed an independent republic.

  • Countryaah: Check to see the location of Singapore on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Singapore.

Older history

The earliest known settlement in Singapore are from the 200th century CE. It was an outpost of the Srivijaya Empire of Sumatra. Singapore was a significant Malay port city in the past, but was destroyed in the 1300s. From the 16th century to the early 1800s, Singapore was part of the Johor Sultanate. Portuguese burned down the settlement in 1613.

Singapore was newly established as a British support point by Stamford Raffles in 1819 and became a very important trading center and military support point in the British Empire. In 1826, Singopore, along with Penang and Malacca, were incorporated into the newly formed colony of Straits Settlements, which from 1867 was a crown colony.

Singapore was a free port and soon became the dominant trade and port city in Southeast Asia. The population grew rapidly, and the Chinese early became the dominant group of people, partly because of their key role as a middleman in trade.

From the 1920s, Singapore was developed into a heavily fortified naval base. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Singapore.

Towards independence

The Japanese conquered the island in February 1942, and with the defeat the British lost prestige that was never restored. Following the Japanese occupation, Straits Settlement was dissolved, and Singapore became a British Crown Colony in 1946, which in 1959 gained internal autonomy with an elected parliament.

In 1963, Singapore joined the Malaysia Federation. The contradictions between the then radical and Chinese-dominated Singapore and the more conservative Malay-dominated Malaysia led Singapore to withdraw from the federation in August 1965 and was proclaimed an independent republic.

Authoritarian governance

The original left-wing People’s Action Party (PAP) won the majority in the first elections in 1959. Under the dynamic Lee Kuan Yew’s leadership, PAP gained a completely dominant position and won the elections in 1968, 1972 and 1978 all seats in parliament. Only in 1981 was the opposition elected one representative.

At every election since 1984, the support for PAP has decreased somewhat. The opposition has consistently received just over 30 percent of the vote, but has been weakened by internal strife.

In practice, Singapore has been a one-party state, ruled by a strong man. The board has had clear authoritarian features, including strict control of the mass media. Lee Kuan Yews resigned as prime minister in 1990 after leading the government for 31 years, but retained oversight of Goh Chok Tong’s new government in his new position of so-called “senior minister”. After 14 years as prime minister, Goh handed over power to Lee Hsien Loong, son of “country father” Lee Kuan Yew.

The latter continued as “mentoring minister” (mentor minister) also in the son’s government. Lee Hsien Loong is married to Ho Ching, who heads Singapore’s national investment firm, Temasek Holdings, and is often referred to as one of the world’s most influential business women.

Following the constitutional amendment, the President of the Republic was elected in 1993 for the first time by direct elections with universal suffrage. The government’s candidate, former Deputy Prime Minister Ong Teng Cheong, won by 59 percent of the vote. The president has modest political power, but can veto proposals relating to the use of Singapore’s large financial reserves, and to appointments to more than one hundred key positions in government.

In September 2005, President SR Nathan embarked on a new six-year term as head of state after his three counter-candidates were all disqualified. The three-man electoral commission found that none of the opposing candidates had the required experience, and then declared 81-year-old Nathan re-elected as the only eligible candidate. This sparked a debate about Singapore’s authoritarian political system.

Embellishment with junior Lee

In the May 2006 parliamentary elections, the ruling PAP received 66.7 percent of the vote and 82 of 84 seats; partly as a result of the electoral system (single-person majority voting). The Worker’s Party and the Singapore Democratic Alliance were given one mandate each. The political opposition has increasingly difficult conditions, partly because of a state-controlled and self-censoring press and the government’s frequent use of strict libel laws. However, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has signaled a cautious softening of the island’s hitherto authoritarian regime.

The younger Lee took over the prime minister’s post in 2004 from Goh Chok Tong, who after 14 years as head of government got a position as so-called senior minister in the government. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong resigned as finance minister in 2007 after holding the post since 2001. His successor, T. Shanmurgaratnam, was former head of the central bank.

With Lee Hsien Loong as head of government, Singapore has changed its reputation from an uninteresting city in the cultural sense to invest heavily in theater, film and visual arts. The magnificent Esplanade cultural center at The Bay has become the main stage for Singapore’s numerous music festivals and concerts.

Economic and technological development

During colonial times, Singapore’s free port was a transit station for trade between neighboring countries. After independence, especially in the 1970s, industrialization and foreign investment were invested, which led to strong economic progress. Singapore is one of the developing countries that has taken steps in the ranks of developed countries.

The island state has also become an international banking and financial center, and a large number of multinational companies have located headquarters for their operations in Asia there.

Singapore is characterized as a capitalist country, but with state control of the economy and with many traits of welfare socialism. Around 1980, there was a rapid transition from labor-intensive to more capital-intensive industries. In particular, it focused on high technology and advanced electronics. After a temporary setback in the mid-1980s, when high wage levels had a negative impact on exports, the sharp economic growth continued in the 1990s. Since 1996, the OECD is no longer regarded as a developing country by Singapore but as a fully developed industrialized country. At that time, the average annual income was $ 22,400, higher than in Spain.

Also in the UN statistics, Singapore has long been among the high-income economies. The wage level was in 1997, converted in purchasing power, in 80 percent of the average in the United States. The financial crisis in Asia in 1997–1998 also hit Singapore, but to a much lesser extent than neighboring countries.

Foreign investment capital has been crucial to economic growth. At the turn of the millennium, companies with pure foreign ownership accounted for more than 70 percent of the value added in the industry, against 48 percent in 1975.

Singapore pays tribute to Asian and Confucian values, which means that social solidarity takes precedence over individual expression. The paternalistic city-state has a reputation for being pretty and orderly; the one who neglects risks high fines. The drug laws are among the most stringent in the world; smuggling more than 15 grams of heroin can result in the death penalty. Even after the turn of the millennium, foreigners have been executed for possession of drugs.

As head of government since 2004, Lee Hsien Loong has loosened some of the reins. Casino gambling with gambling was legalized in 2005, and the government has since invested heavily in the development of gambling casinos. In 2006, the US casino company Las Vegas Sands was commissioned to build the first of two colossal casino complexes. Four years later, the casino town of Marina Bay Sands opened. The country’s second casino city, World Sentosa, opened in 2012.

Singapore has managed to avoid the traffic problems that otherwise plague the big cities in Asia. Some sort of rationing of private cars has been introduced, and car taxes are among the highest in the world. The country appears to be a high-cost country in the Asian context with an open, well-developed market economy. The island state has tried to face tougher competition by investing in technology and the pharmaceutical industry. The legislation is very liberal when it comes to research on, for example, stem cells, cloning and other types of research located in an ethical frontier country. In 2004, the first stage of construction of Biopolis was opened, planned as Asia’s largest research center for bio and nanotechnology.

The government’s goal is to establish Singapore as Southeast Asia’s financial and high-tech center, and to secure a continued leading position as an efficient and forward-looking business center. An active policy is being pursued to attract foreign investment and talent. Singapore is focusing on a knowledge-based economy with particular emphasis on education, IT, biotechnology, environmental technology and interactive media. This is done through large government investments and incentives to multinational companies in specific sectors.

In response to increasingly fierce competition, especially from China, Singapore has gradually lowered corporate and income taxes. Singapore is highly dependent on foreign trade, and thus also closely linked to the economic cycle of the international economy. Since independence in 1965, the city state has seen almost uninterrupted growth of about 8 percent annually. Exceptions have been setbacks in connection with the Asian crisis (see economy and business in Asia) in 1997–1998, after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and during the SARS epidemic in 2003. Singapore has recovered relatively quickly, but in 2008 it urbanized island state affected by the global financial crisis with particular strength.

The state investment fund Temasek, a kind of parallel to the Norwegian Pension Fund Global, was severely affected by loss of value from USD 185 billion in March 2008 to USD 120 billion in March 2009. American Charles Goodyear took over the management of the fund in 2009, the first foreigner in the chair since the fund was established in 1974.

More recently, Singapore has also become a center for the world’s offshore industry. The Singapore shipyards, primarily the world’s largest offshore shipyard, Jurong, have in recent years produced over half of the world’s jack-up rigs. Several Norwegian rig companies have Singapore as their base.

In order for growth to continue at the desired rate, the government wants the population of 5.4 million to increase by 2 million until 2030. Since birth rates are low, this will mean an immigration of almost one million. Especially since the turn of the millennium, Singapore has tried to attract highly qualified individuals from abroad, so-called “foreign talents”. The IT industry has largely switched from hardware to software.

Singapore on top

For several years in a row, Singapore has been ranked # 1 out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s global Doing Business overview, which considers the framework conditions for private business enterprises. According to the World Bank, the bureaucracy in Singapore works more efficiently than in any other country. It usually takes less than five days to start a private business in Singapore.

Singapore was ranked 9th out of 187 countries on the 2013 UN Living Index, and 59th out of 142 countries on the World Economic Forum’s Equality Index for 2014. Singapore also scores high as number 7 out of 175 countries on the 2014 Transparency International Corruption Index.

However, in recent years Singapore has also gained a reputation as a tax haven, and has been criticized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for its unwillingness to cooperate in tax matters. The country ranks number five on the Tax Justice Network’s list of the world’s leading tax havens (2013). Low income tax and tax exemptions on foreign capital gains make the country attractive to businessmen; Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin is one of the multimillionaires who has settled in Singapore in recent years.

Singapore Airlines has established itself as one of the world’s leading airlines, with its almost routine victories in international reputation polls. In 2007, the company became the first to use Airbus A-380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft with a capacity for 525 passengers, divided into three different classes, or with 800 passengers in economy class. The plane landed a test landing at Gardermoen in December 2007. Singapore’s main Changi airport is also often at the top of its reputation polls.

History of Singapore
Tagged on: