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 2013

New Year’s Day

1 January 2014

Chinese New Year

31 January - 1 February 2014

Good Friday

18 April 2014

Labour Day

1 May 2014

Vesak Day

13 May 2014

Hari Raya Puasa

28 July 2014

National Day

9 August 2014

Hari Raya Haji

5 October 2014

Deepavali

22 October 2014

Christmas Day

25 December 2014

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

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: Singapore Citizenship Application Outcome

sundaymorningstaple:
EXACTLY. ](*,)

Re: Singapore Citizenship Application Outcome

ful babu:


for example, someone like me ... :D

Re: Recipes

sundaymorningstaple:
That looks exactly like the omelet I eat every morning! Only I substitute Pepper Beef in place of ham or bacon. I use Tomato, Capsicum, Swiss Brown Mushrooms and Pepper Beef (occasionally I'll throw in some onion as well)

Re: Singapore Citizenship Application Outcome

Wd40:
I am not even a PR, so I wouldn't ask questions related to citizenship. Other Indian PR, wannabe citizen lurkers, maybe.

Re: PR advice, approaching 40

curiousgeorge:
I got PR in 2010 at 38 with only 2yrs of NOA - although my profession is/was highly sought after.
Citizenship at the end of last year too. Still male, still single.

But, them's were different times too...

Re: Recipes

JR8:


When an omelette turns out like a pizza => pizzlette?

Re: Termination before joining

sundaymorningstaple:
Hi,
I signed a contract with a company and now I have got a better option. I went through the contract which I had signed and they have mentioned a notice period of 1 month. Considering the fact that I have not joined the company could I be charged with a breach of contract if I inform them that I don't intend to join?
And how would be the best way to inform them ? I am thinking about telling some other reason than going for a better proposition; would that be an issue in the future if they find out it wasnt the complete truth or do the companies really care about the reason?
Appreciate a response from someone experienced in this domain...

Thanks in advance...

You don't apply for the E-pass. The employer does and probably applied for it the day you signed the contract if they were keen on hiring you. Now, you could really be between a rock and a hard place as you have to find out from the first employer if they in fact did apply and if they did, you are going to have to beg them to withdraw the application as the potential 2nd employer will not be able to make an application while there is a pending application. (good luck - after stiffing them, I know what I would do and I'm an HR Mgr here). As an HR Mgr I'll only say this.. Karma can be a bi*ch! and you asked for it.

Oh, am I experienced in this domain? Yeah, you might say so. Both as an HR Manager of a medium sized SME and as a former headhunter.

Re: Singapore Citizenship Application Outcome

sundaymorningstaple:
And before Wd40 and who knows how many more from the Sub-continent ask, suffice it to say that she is NOT from the sub-continent but European and that's as close as I'll go on here. Again, Congratulations.

Re: PR advice, approaching 40

Wd40:
Yeah, I would never change my position just to get PR. Since your company is software, it should be okay. Just don't mention about the domain, anywhere in the application form.

Re: Termination before joining

Strong Eagle:
Your potential employer spent good money to recruit, interview, and hire you... and now because of your lack of integrity she/he will need to to it all over again. Your potential employer has spent additional money getting you set up in HR and payroll, finding you a desk, and ensuring you have all the tools you need to work.

Why did you agree to take the job if you intended on continuing your job hunt? You show poor judgment, and the only positive thing for the employer you are stiffing is that they won't have a bad apple amongst the other employees.

Re: PR advice, approaching 40

Sunny1123:
Thanks, everyone!

ecureilx, glad to hear that 3 years NoA should be ok. I imagine most people don't arrive on Jan 1, so having a lower first NoA is probably common.

zzm9980, no marriage plans on the horizon, ill-conceived or otherwise :)

PNGMK, that is a good point. Of course I would discuss any changes in status with my current employer before applying, but I understand the implication for any potential future employers. The main advantage I had in mind was the "P" part of PR - the ability to remain here after I retire. I understand some countries in the region welcome retirees from abroad, but I never pictured myself dropping into a completely new country for retirement. Maybe I should give that a bit stronger consideration, though.

Wd40, I have read that finance is out of favour. I don't expect ICA to take the view that "software is software," but I'm happy in my current position, and I wouldn't consider a change just to improve my chances.

Re: Termination before joining

ecureilx:
Hi,
I signed a contract with a company and now I have got a better option. I went through the contract which I had signed and they have mentioned a notice period of 1 month. Considering the fact that I have not joined the company and not even applied for an E-pass, could I be charged with a breach of contract if I inform them that I don't intend to join?
And how would be the best way to inform them ? I am thinking about telling some other reason than going for a better proposition; would that be an issue in the future if they find out it wasnt the complete truth or do the companies really care about the reason?
Appreciate a response from someone experienced in this domain...

Thanks in advance...

wait, you confirmed your contract, signed, and then changed your mind before you think they applied for EP ?

Well, if your employer is a hard nut good luck trying to find the loopholes to get away from him !

As for job hopping you can find innovative replies, but any good HR guy will know you are not joining because a) your existing employer increased your package or b) you got a better offer (most likely they know it is b) ) And none will believe any other reason you may think of !

Experienced in this domain ? experienced in this domain is not something anybody want to boast about .. !!!

Re: PR advice, approaching 40

Wd40:
Finance domain is also not going to help.

Re: Singapore Citizenship Application Outcome

wondering2:


Congratulations. And you just pushed the ante up by 6 months from 18 to 24 months. Appreciate the update.

sms


WHOA! 2 years!

We took the slow boat. Applied online March 2013 and took us 6 months to get an appointment to verify documents. Got approval September 2014. Completed the Journey by end of October, got final approval letter November 2014. Thought we had to wait for renunciation documents before we could finalise everything so we kept postponing our appointment until we ran out - found out that we didn't actually have to do that (duh…). Finally went down for registration the beginning of March 2015.

Re: Singapore Citizenship Application Outcome

PNGMK:


Congratulations. And you just pushed the ante up by 6 months from 18 to 24 months. Appreciate the update.

sms


WHOA! 2 years!