Facts at a Glance

About Singapore - Facts at a GlanceAbout Singapore - Facts at a GlanceAbout Singapore - Facts at a Glance

This page covers information and statistics of Singapore. Including events and holidays in Singapore, population, land size, the Singapore flag and other useful tips.


Events and Public Holidays

Singapore's polyglot population celebrates a number of festivals and events. Chinese, Hindu and Muslim celebrations follow a lunar calendar so dates of festivities vary from year to year.

Chinese New Year, in January or February, is welcomed in with dragon dances, parades and much good cheer. Chinatown is lit up and there are fireworks and night markets.

During Ramadan, food stalls are set up in the evening in the Arab Street district, near the Sultan Mosque. Hari Raya Puasa, the end of Ramadan in January or February, is marked by three days of joyful celebrations.

Vesak Day in April or May celebrates Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. It is marked by various events, including the release of caged birds to symbolise the setting free of captive souls.

The Dragon Boat Festival, held in May or June, commemorates the death of a Chinese saint who drowned himself as a protest against government corruption. It is celebrated with boat races across Marina Bay.

The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts is usually celebrated in September. This is when the souls of the dead are released for feasting and entertainment on earth. Chinese operas are performed for them and food is offered; the ghosts eat the spirit of the food but thoughtfully leave the substance for the mortal celebrants.

The festival of Thaipusam is one of the most dramatic Hindu festivals and is now banned in India. Devotees honour Lord Subramaniam with acts of amazing body-piercing masochism - definitely not for the squeamish. In Singapore, devotees march in procession from the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on Serangoon Road to the Chettiar Hindu Temple on Tank Road. The festival is based on the lunar calendar but will be held in October for the next couple of years.

Public Holidays in 2016

New Year’s Day

1 January 2016

Chinese New Year

8 February - 9 February 2016

Good Friday

25 Mar 2016

Labour Day

1 May 2016

Vesak Day

21 May 2016

Hari Raya Puasa

6 July 2016

National Day

9 August 2016

Hari Raya Haji

12 September 2016

Deepavali

29 October 2016

Christmas Day

25 December 2016

Facts and Figures

Quick Facts

Full country name:

Republic of Singapore

Area:

715.8 sq km

Population:

5,312,400 (36% foreigners)

People:

74% Chinese, 13% Malay, 9% Indian, 3% Others

Language:

English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil

Religion:

9% Taoist, 42% Buddhist, 15% Muslim,
15% Christian, 4% Hindu, 15% Others

Government:

Parliamentary democracy

President:

Tony Tan

Prime Minister:

Lee Hsien Long

Major industries:

Shipping, banking, tourism, electrical & electronics, chemicals, oil refining

Major trading partners:

US, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan

Health risks:

None

Time:

GMT/UTC+8

Electricity:

220-240V, 50 Hz

County code:

+65

Mobile Phone network:

GSM 900, GSM 1800, 3G, 4G

Weights & measures:

Metric with local variations


General Information

Banking

The local currency is Singapore dollars and cents. Notes come in denominations of SGD 2, SGD 5, SGD 10, SGD 20, SGD 50, SGD 100, SGD 500, SGD 1,000, and SGD 10,000. Coins come in denomination of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and SGD 1.

Banking hours are Monday to Friday: 10 am to 3 pm, and Saturday: 9.30 am to 1 PM (some banks are open until 3 PM). Sunday, 9.30 am to 3 PM (some banks in Orchard Road). Most banks handle travelers' cheques and change foreign currencies. However, some banks do not have foreign exchange dealings on Saturday. Passports are required when cashing travelers' cheques. A nominal commission may be charged.

Credit / Charge Cards

Major cards are widely accepted by establishments in Singapore. Should any shop insist on adding a surcharge, contact the respective card company to report the errant shop-owner.

Drinking Water

It is perfectly safe to drink water straight from the tap in Singapore. However, for those who prefer bottled mineral water, local supermarkets and grocers always have ample stocks.

Immigration

Visas: Most Western nationals either do not require a visa at all or do not require a visa for a social stay of up to 90 days. A 30-day permit is issued on arrival, and extensions are difficult to obtain.

Law

Singapore's government is strict on drug laws, with the death penalty applied for drug trafficking. It is also against the entry of firearms, controlled drugs, endangered species of wildlife, chewing gum and cigarette lighters in the shape of a firearm. Smoking in public buses, the MRT, taxis, lifts and air-conditioned places is also deemed against the law; with fines up to S$1,000. The government is also adamant that littering is an offence and carries penalties of a fine of S$1,000 or more; and also a stint of corrective work order.

Tipping

Tipping is seldom necessary, as a 7% goods and services tax (GST) and a service charge of 10% is usually added automatically (though always double-check the bill). However it is customary to spare a few dollars for efficient waiters, bellboys and taxi drivers.


Singapore Flag

The colours of the Singapore flag represent red for brotherhood and equality; white for purity and virtue. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the rise. The five stars stand for Singapore's ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

The crescent moon originally served as a symbol of assurance to the Malays in 1959 —the year the flag was designed— that Singapore was not a Chinese state. Today it is generally said that the moon signified a young nation rising. The flag was designed initially to have three stars, until leaders such as then Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye expressed concern that Singapore might be perceived to have associations with the Malayan Communist Party, the flag of which also had three stars. The flag was originally meant to be red as red is a very traditional Chinese color. But because of the fear of Communism in those days, a completely red flag was abandoned.

The Singapore Flag


Related Page

   
Re: SIA cabin crew

Tedyuntianhu:


Hi Anna. False alarm. HAHAHAHHA

Re: Legal Document translation

chamberstranslations:
Try Chambers , I am impressed by their professional service..

Being Paraded on Social Media

mihaelea:


Re: Horrible Condo Security Guards

taxico:
i suppose you can scrutinize the by-laws and see if you can find any "loop hole" but i doubt it.

in all likelihood, there's not much you can do but move.

Re: Unceremoniously booted out of SingTel

taxico:


Re: SIA cabin crew

Jakeee:
Congratulations to everyone that got in!

Hopefully the rest of us receive ours soon.

Anyway, has anyone received the letter of rejection??

Proper Food and Many of Them

bobsalea:



Re: SIA cabin crew

Annamarie:
Hello! Anyone here starting on the 7th of nov? Batch 59/16?

Re: Air traffic controller

xxjj:
Hello! Just wna know if there's an age limit when applying for ATCO?

Re: PR rejected, need some perspective

singaporeflyer:
http://www.nptd.gov.sg/Portals/0/Homepa ... f-2016.pdf

Page 26 has the answer.

Re: Plastic Surgery Korea, BK clinic

susan123300:
Hi, I am posting a comment on BK due to their terrible bedside manners/ customer service experience. Korean hospitals and doctors are notorious for being unfriendly. But BK takes rudeness to another level. Let me preface this by stating that I am Korean and Korean is my first language, which is to say that there was no cultural bias or misunderstanding. I've had a simple procedure there, but had some questions for the doctor (one of the two chief surgeons who run the entire BK enterprise). After all, aren't we all concerned about side effects and appropriate expectation levels after the surgery? I politely asked a valid medical question (after extensive academic research), and the doctor admonished me for "questioning him".

What's worse is that when I later returned for a follow up visit and asked for a copy of my medical records, 1) the nurse flat out declined to show me MY own medical records, which I have full legal rights to view and obtain;
2) when I persisted and demanded it, and finally took a look at it, it stated, "difficult patient who made Dr. X angry, and the atmosphere was in one word: chill." -- Now, I am someone who works in the medical field here, and this "side note" was absolutely unprofessional, out of context (she did NOT even document what happened), unsigned (all medical notes must be signed to state who had written it), and blatantly immature.

Let it be known that at the end, they flat out refused to make any copies of MY own medical records for me, and the doctor/or anybody in the hospital offered a single apology or explanation. I did not make any scenes. I simply felt: humiliated. And went to another hospital for follow-ups.

If you are to undergo any type of surgery at BK Hospital (in Korea or elsewhere), you should know that their follow-up or medical assistance to you will be minimal, or zero. There are literally hundreds of Korean plastic surgery hospitals. Be smart, shop around before deciding your doctor. Because BK IS NOT WORTH IT.

I know for a fact that the chief doctor I stated above is responsible for all international and domestic activities, and that he travels extensively. It is his brand, and all other doctors are "temporary" and none of them stay for long. That alone should tell you something about the overarching culture there. Hope this helps.

Re: PR rejected, need some perspective

Stephy@:
Hi all,
Would like to know whether anyone out there granted their PR at age 32? I been rejected twice and try to apply next year.

Re: Unceremoniously booted out of SingTel

Josepho:
I just received the letter from SingTel informing that they will terminate my 1 Mbps 50 GB dual sim mobile broadband which I have used for more than 10 years! They offered me an "exclusive" deal which costs $150 to replace my current $12 plan. Do I have any contractual rights to refuse Singtel unilateral termination notice?

Re: Whacked with MediShield Life Premium

sundaymorningstaple:
Wd40 it's easy to stop the Medishield life premiums. Leave Singapore, give up PR and withdraw all your CPF. However, in order to stop US Taxation of it Citizens/Green Card holders worldwide you have to either give up your citizenship/Green Card or die!

Re: Scam - apartment deposit

thismyvoice:
Hi, I recently left Singapore and I'm currently going through a battle with a property agent for getting my deposit back.

I stayed in the apartment for 3 years; I completed a 2-year contract + reniewed the contract with an expat clause which I could exit the contract after 6 months from the comencing date (+3 months notice) in case of leaving the country.

On the handover day, the agent mentioned that the place would require another professional cleaning. I had a maid cleaned the place, but it seemed it was not up to the standard. Fine.

I waited, waited and waited..after my several emails, the agent finally came back to me, which was 2 months after the handover. In the contract, I was supposed to receive my deposit back within 14 days, by the way.

The agent came back to me with a full list of reduction including the professional cleaning and repair costs of more than SGD 3K.. It's a scam!! I thought I kept the place tidy and clean so I was really shocked to see that. The agent claimed that there were some stains on the marble floor and wooden floor so they arranged to polish the floor too. I don't record any major stains on the floor and we didn't go through the issues during the handover.

In addition, I was charged for the agent commission of nearly SGD 5K despite the expat clause..

I don't think all the agents are playing a game like this but if you are a foreigner and leaving the country, they may take advantage of you. So please be alert and protect yourself. Select a good trusted agent. (By the way, the agent I used was Orange Tee. Not recommended. http://www.orangetee.com/Home/)

Not happy with agent, write in to CEA at www.cea.gov.sg.