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perjantai 11. maaliskuuta 2016

Singapore, Cool Facts #103

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1. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles 

In 1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived at Singapore and signed a treaty with the Sultan of Johor to use the southern part as a British trading post. Raffles was sent on the behalf of the British East India Company because Singapore was on an optimal location.

Piracy was got under control at the area in the 1800s and the opening of the Suez Canal 1869 meant the growth of Singapore's economic importance. A lot of Chinese arrived working at the rubber plantations in Singapore.

In 1824 the entire island of Singapore was under British rule and in 1826 Singapore became part of the Straits Settlements and was part of it until 1942 when the Japanese occupied Singapore after British surrender.

Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles


Straits Settlements with red

2. Singaporean Independence

The Japanese occupied Singapore during the Second World War between 1942-1945 and killed a lot of Chinese in the Sook Ching massacreAfter the war ended the British rule was restored.

In 1963 Singapore joined the Federation of Malaysia but only two years after Singapore was expelled after the Malaysian Parliament had voted 126-0 for the expulsion of Singapore.
The reason had been that Singapore had so many ideological conflicts with the central government.

So in 1965 Singapore, a small island city state without any significant natural resources was all alone and independent. The leader of the People's Action Party, Lee Kuan Yew became the first president of Singapore.


Sook Ching massacre during the Second World War

3. Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew is the founding father of the modern Singapore. He was the Prime Minister between 1959-1990. Under his leadership Singapore made the unbelievable leap from the third world to the first world in one single generation and Singapore became one of the Four Asian Tigers alongside with South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. 

Meritocracy and multiculturalism where important principles for Lee, who made Tamil, Mandarin, Malay and English the four official languages of Singapore. The government ensured everyone an apartment during his rule and foreign investments were attracted to Singapore and the foundations of the modern Singapore were laid with Lee's government's actions. 

However Lee has been criticized for curtailing civil liberties by controlling the media and for the harsh laws and restrictions which were imposed in Singapore by his government.




4. Four Asian Tigers

The Four Asian Tigers or Four Asian Dragons refers to South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore because they are the highly free-market and developed economies in Asia with high standards of living. 

List of the Four Asian Tigers: 

South Korea - manufacturing IT
Taiwan - manufacturing IT 
Hong Kong -  financial center
Singapore - financial center

Singapore's economic facts: 
- GDP 55,182 $/capita (2013) when it was 511$/capita before 1965
- 2nd freest economy in the world (2015 Index of Economic Freedom) 

- Over 7000 multinational corporations from USA, Japan and Europe
- 2nd largest investor in India
- 14th largest exporter and 15th largest importer 
- 11th largest foreign reserves
- 3rd largest foreign exchange center
- 4th leading financial center
- 2nd largest casino gambling market
- 3rd largest oil-refining and trading center
- world's top logistics hub

Marina Bay Sands building
5. Singaporean Law 

Singapore is famous for its harsh laws and low crime rates. Here are some facts of the Singaporean laws: 

1. Failing to flush toilets after use forbidden: up to 1000$ for first time offenders 
2. Littering forbidden: fines range from 300$ to 1000$ for first time offenders
3. Jaywalking forbidden: First offence 20$, repeated offenders even 1000$ and even a possible 3 month jail term which is rare
4. Painting graffiti: if caught, you will be caned as a punishment
5. Sneezing and spitting on the streets forbidden 
6. Smoking cigarettes is forbidden
7. Smoking weed: possession or consumption 20,000$ in fines and up to 10 years in prison. Trafficking cannabis can result in a death penalty 
8. Chewing gum: illegal to sell or buy it on the island
9. Homosexuality: sexual activity between men forbidden like oral or anal sex. Anal sex was permitted between straight couples in 2007, progress ! 



Timeline

1200s Kingdom of Singapura is established and the island became a trading port city
1398 Majapahit Empire destroyed the Kingdom of Singapura
1613 Portuguese raiders burned down the settlement in the current Singapore, which was part of Johore Sultanate although the maritime region and the trade were under Dutch rule
1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles signed a treaty with the Sultan of Johor on behalf of the British East India Company to use the current southern Singapore as a British trading post
1824 The entire island became a British possession
1826 Singapore became part of the Straits Settlements
1836 Singapore became the capital of the British Straits Settlements
1869 Singapore's economic importance grew after the opening of the Suez Canal as it was a harbor along the route where tin and natural rubber where transported from Malaka Peninsula to Europe
1870s Singapore became a global centre for rubber exports
1920s The British built the Singapore Naval Base and moved their most important naval and airbases in Far East there
1942 Sook Ching massacre of the ethnic Chinese in Singapore by the invading Japanese troops
1942-1945 Japanese occupation after the British surrendered
1945 After the surrender of Japan the British repossessed Singapore
1959 Singapore got autonomy and Lee Kwan Yew became the country's first Prime Minister
1963 Singapore joined with Federation of Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah to form the new federation of Malaysia
1965 Singapore became independent as it was expelled from Malaysia idealogical conflicts between the Singapore and the Malaysian central government
1971 The British Naval base was disassembled
1990 Lee Kuan Yew resigned and Goh Chok Tong followed him as the Prime Minister
1997 Singapore faced the Asian financial crisis
2003 SARS outbreak
2004 Lee Kuan Yew's son Lee Hsien Loong became the Prime Minister 

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