Singapore is commonly known as ‘Singa Pura’ (‘Lion City’) or Temasek (‘Sea Town’).
The Merlion: A half-fish, half-lion beast, is a fitting symbol of Singapore. The “Singa” or lion represents the animal that a Sumatran prince saw which resembled a lion, and the fish is a tribute to Singapore’s history as “Temasek”, the ancient sea town.
Total land area: 682 square km (main island with 63 surrounding islets)
Independence Day: Singapore became an independent republic on 9 August 1965.
Population: Almost four million, comprises 77% Chinese, 14% Malays, 8% Indians and 1% Eurasians and people of other descent.
Four official languages: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil and English.
Main religions: Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism.
National anthem: the ‘Majulah Singapura’ is actually sung in Malay, though English is the official working language and the most widely used language in Singapore.
Symbolism of the National Flag: Red symbolises universal brotherhood and equality of man while white signifies purity and virtue. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the rise and the five stars signify the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.
National flower: Vanda Miss Joaquim (was first discovered in 1893 by Agnes Joaquim, an Armenian).
Currency: Singapore dollars.
Economy: The island state though small in size and population (4 million people) has become a reputable financial centre, a key regional trading centre, the world’s busiest port, and a top location for investment. Often cited as a model for transparency, efficiency and political stability, Singapore has earned recognition from around the world.
Infrastructure and Accessibility: Singapore is well connected via sea, air and telecommunications to all parts of the world. Singapore Changi Airport serves more than 60 airlines which fly to over 145 cities and has for many consecutive years been nominated as the best airport in the world.
Geographical location: It is 136.8 km north of the equator, between longitudes 103 degrees 38′ E and 104 degrees 06′ E. Located at one of the crossroads of the world, Singapore’s strategic position has helped it grow into a major centre for trade, communications and tourism.