Singapore Quick Facts
Name: Republic of Singapore
Population: 5 million
Area: 710 km^2
Official languages: English, Malay, Chinese, Tamil
The history of today’s Singapore began when the British bought the island in the 19th century in order to use it as a trading post in the Far East. The town quickly became one of the biggest ports in the world (and it’s still one of the busiest ports according to certain criteria), and as the colony developed, a large number of tradesmen and refugees started arriving from various countries — the diverse demographics of the country includes 75% Chinese, 14% Malaysians and 8% Indians. It seceded from the crumbling British Empire in 1959 and, after a short spell as part of the Malayan Union, has been an independent republic since 1965. Since gaining independence the country has invested a lot in improving the quality of education and making English (the main language of international commerce) the primary language (which, along with the ‘mixed’ Singlish, is frequently used by locals to communicate with each other). The effects of these measures are instantly visible: Singapore is now a major financial and business centre, and has one of the highest standards of living in the world.
Ships along the East Coast as far as the eye can see — they’re waiting for entry into Singapore’s port, or refuelling and letting the crew take a few days off:
Read the rest of the blog post in the blog’s new location: