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


29 October 2016

Christmas Day

25 December 2016

Facts and Figures

Quick Facts

Full country name:

Republic of Singapore


715.8 sq km


5,312,400 (36% foreigners)


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


English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil


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


Parliamentary democracy


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:





220-240V, 50 Hz

County code:


Mobile Phone network:

GSM 900, GSM 1800, 3G, 4G

Weights & measures:

Metric with local variations

General Information


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.


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.


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 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: Singapore Tax Question

I see, so my EP is for 2 years and thus I will be counted with resident tax rate.
Ok that's good to know. Thanks for the advice! I appreciate it. :D

Re: 22F looking for other expat friends

Hey guys, I have been in Singapore for more than a year now. Feel free to whatsApp me, and we can plan to hangout and explore new places together +6591260960

P.S Anyone keen in joining, feel free to drop me line :)


Re: 22M - British just moved to Singapore. Looking for friends and travelling partners

Hey man, I have been in Singapore for more than a year now. Feel free to whatsApp me, and we can plan out to take over places together :D +6591260960

P.S Anyone keen in joining, feel free to drop me line :)


Re: German wife's LTVP/LTVP+ chances

you have good chances of obtaining PR for your wife, you can count on it..

Re: Where to buy a dryer vent?

Hello Forum,

I've been here a month and have searched for a longer dryer vent (tube). Our into the laundry area and I want it to reach out a window so our flat does not get so HOT!

I've looked at FIY, Mustafa's and several appliance stores. Any ideas where I can purchase this?

Many thanks for all those whom answer questions. You make living here so much easier! Be Well.

You can buy it online at a very cheap rate.

Re: Non-Competition after Employment

Zeke, no links, first hand discussion with a lawyer. The situation was a bit different, my wife quit to open her own company directly competing with her then present employer, and even in this case, it was max 6 months, as advised by the lawyer.

The sh*t that was in her contract was unlimited time prohibition to work with the same clients, and when the lawyer saw this, had to control himself not to laugh.

Re: EP Processing Time

Got my EP renewal approved today when i check the status.
Processing time since 14 june so yeah about 2 weeks.

Was nervewracking as my EP expired next week

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: Singapore Tax Question

SE, Residency starts from the first day of entry into Singapore so if you were here on a 90 day visa and spend 60 days here looking for a job and got one, your residency (physical presence test) started the day you arrived. But yeah, if you are granted a 24 month EP, even if it was in say end of November, you would automatically be given resident rates. If not, as SE already mentioned.

Re: Singapore Tax Question

Strong Eagle:
A couple of things. If you have a two or more year employment pass, they will grant you resident tax status automatically.

If for some reason they did not, you would be taxed at the non-resident rate the first tax year and you would receive a rebate for the second tax year when you did qualify for the resident rate.

Term of residency is usually from the first valid day of your EP to the last, regardless of when you actually started work.

Re: Non-Competition after Employment

Strong Eagle:
Zeke... look at the contract the muppets offered you... if they can't enforce 12 months, they'll try for 6, and if they can't do that, then 3, then 1. They already know they can't do anything.

They can ask you to pay damages and you can tell them to go piss up a rope. You saw what your lawyer said... do you think that the employer would actually file suit for compensation?

They do this to put the fear in you... it's not about quitting and taking another job they are worried about... they put that crap in there so you won't quit in the first place... that you will be too fearful to move on.

Re: PR has been pending for 6 months (Child of SPR)

Best bet is to move to Indonesia and make your career there. It is a huge country with plenty of opportunity for a fresh young graduate

Re: Non-Competition after Employment

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much for your replies. I did speak with a lawyer at the end and here is her reply in summary:

- Employer should provide reasonable compensation during the non-compete to the employee something that is missing from the contract!
- Employee must hold a fairly senior position in the company that have significant impact on the operations of the business. I am assuming such as directors(?) Something that I am not :)
- The Employer should justify in detail how that clause can protect him.

I have replied to HR accordingly and i am waiting to come back to me.

@Strong Eagle
I understand that they can not stop me from taking another job but i am afraid they might be asking me to pay them "damages" etc

Do you have any links i can check regarding the duration? 3 months is not too bad but 12 months is a suicide.

Do you know of any cases that a company actually harassed ex-employees in Singapore?

I would appreciate more comments from people who have experience on this matter.

Thank you!

Re: UK vote to leave the EU ['BREXIT'] - 23rd June


I don't think it is when measured in other major currencies. Moreover, the FTSE indices aren't exclusively (or even very) U.K. domestic. Multinationals are multinationals, even if they're part of a FTSE index. Burberry, GSK, Diageo, and Intercontinental Hotels -- picking four examples at random -- are truly global companies.

"Remain" campaigners predicted at least near-term market volatility (check) and a weaker pound (check) in the event of an exit vote. Other near-term economic predictions, notably an economic slowdown or recession, won't be known until sometime next year probably. The impact will also depend on where the U.K. looks likely to end up (and how quickly it ends up there). Indicators will include U.K. employment, GDP, and real estate.

Singapore Tax Question

I've a question and hope someone will advise on this.

Based on the IRAS website,
You will be regarded as a non-resident of Singapore for tax purposes if:
If you are here for 61 to 182 days
Your employment income is taxed at 15%

But another page states:-
(See example 2)
If you stay or work in Singapore for a continuous period of at least 183 days straddling two years , you will be regarded as a tax resident for the two years under the two-year administrative concession.
2015 ->3 Nov 2014 to 31 Dec 2014 (59 days) Resident
2016 -> 1 Jan 2015 to 7 May 2015 (127 days) Resident

Under what condition for the two-year administrative concession?
I'm expected to start work from 15 Aug 2016, so how do I calculate this?
How much I'll be paying will be based on which rates?

I've also heard that for expats, usually after about
18 months of working before any tax is paid?

Thanks for the advice!

Re: PR has been pending for 6 months (Child of SPR)

Yes. IT looks like the parents did not think this through. Sorry OP. Cast your net wider. There are many other countries that welcome Indonesians.