1. Singapore's Fascinating Origin Story
Singapore's name is derived from an interesting story: its founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, thought he saw a lion when he first arrived on the island, but it was actually a tiger. This is significant because it is highly unlikely that lions have ever lived on the island of Singapore, making the founder's mistake all the more remarkable.
2. A City of Diversity and Trade
In the 1870s, Singapore underwent a dramatic transformation, becoming a global hub for rubber exports. This influx of trade brought with it a wave of immigrants, who found work in the city's rubber plantations. As a result, Singapore quickly grew into a bustling metropolis, with a diverse population and a thriving economy.
3. A Car-Free Paradise
In Singapore, owning a car can be a costly endeavor due to the government's policy of charging one and a half times the market value of the vehicle. This is an effort to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion. As a result, only about 10% of the population owns a car, making it a luxury item for many.
4. 150th out of 180 countries in terms of media freedom
Singapore's media landscape is heavily regulated by the government, with only a select few companies allowed to operate television and newspaper outlets. This has resulted in the city being ranked 150th out of 180 countries in terms of media freedom by Reporters Without Borders in 2014, with 180 being the highest possible score. This lack of freedom has been criticised by many, with some calling for the government to loosen its grip on the media and allow for more freedom of expression.
5. 45 hour workweek keeps Singaporeans productive
The average Singaporean employee works a whopping 45 hours a week, significantly longer than the average worker in other countries. This is due to the country's highly competitive job market, which encourages employees to put in extra hours in order to stay ahead of the competition. As a result, Singaporeans often find themselves working late nights and weekends in order to stay on top of their workload. Despite the long hours, Singaporeans remain some of the most productive workers in the world, with the country consistently ranking among the top countries in terms of economic output.
6. Singaporeans Now 20% Literate in English
In 1990, a staggering 40% of Singaporeans were illiterate in English, but by 2010, this number had dropped significantly to just one in five, or 20%. This remarkable improvement in literacy rates is a testament to the dedication of the Singaporean government to providing quality education to its citizens. The government has implemented various initiatives to improve English literacy, such as providing free English classes and introducing English as the language of instruction in schools. As a result, Singaporeans are now more proficient in English than ever before.
7. Safe Haven from Drugs
Singapore is renowned for its strict laws against drug use, which has resulted in one of the lowest rates of drug use in the world as of 2004. This is due to the country's zero-tolerance policy towards drug abuse, which includes severe punishments such as caning, long-term imprisonment, and even the death penalty for certain offences. As a result, Singapore has been able to maintain its low rate of drug use, making it one of the safest countries in the world.
8. Singapore has the fourth highest life expectancy in the world!
Singapore is renowned for its high quality of life, and this is reflected in its life expectancy. As of 2013, Singapore had the fourth highest life expectancy in the world, with males living an average of 80 years and females living an average of 85 years. This is a testament to the country's excellent healthcare system, which provides citizens with access to the latest medical treatments and technologies.
9. A Unique Nation with Many Attractions
Singapore is a unique nation, as it is both an island, a city, and a state. This makes it one of the few countries in the world that can boast such a distinction. Located in Southeast Asia, Singapore is a bustling metropolis with a population of over 5.6 million people. It is a major financial hub, and its economy is one of the most open and competitive in the world. Singapore is also known for its diverse culture, with influences from Chinese, Malay, Indian, and other cultures. It is a vibrant and exciting place to visit, with plenty of attractions and activities to explore.
10. Singapore's Enlistment Act
At age 18, all boys in Singapore are legally required to enlist in the Armed Forces, Police Force or Civil Defense Force for a period of 22 or 24 months as Full Time National Servicemen. This is mandated by the Enlistment Act, which is a law that has been in place since 1967. During this period, the servicemen are expected to perform their duties to the best of their abilities, and are provided with a range of benefits and allowances. Upon completion of their service, they are given a Certificate of Service, which is a recognition of their contribution to the nation.
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- Chinese-speaking countries and territories
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- Southeast Asian countries