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 2015

New Year’s Day

1 January 2015

Chinese New Year

19 February - 20 February 2015

Good Friday

3 April 2015

Labour Day

1 May 2015

Vesak Day

1 June 2015

Hari Raya Puasa

17 July 2015

SG50 Public Holiday 

7 August 2015

National Day

9 August 2015

Hari Raya Haji

24 September 2015


10 November 2015

Christmas Day

25 December 2015

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

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

Wanna make some new friends in Singapore

Hi Everyone,

I just relocated to Singapore one week ago and I'd like to make some new friends to hang out for foods, drinks, movie, gigs or just chit-chat etc.

I'm a 33 years old guy originally from Hong Kong and spent some years in the U.K. and my personality is very positive, easy-going and always have a laugh.

I could meet up both weekend and during the evening in the weekday as my work is not that busy so far and my office is very central in the city and so I'm easy to meet up for happy hours/ dinner/ movie etc.

Please get in touch if you are keen to make a new friend.

Re: Forum has become so quiet


Seems quiet to me too, w/e or not. I think a) the teething problems with the new format caused quite a bit of down-time and uncertainty, though I don't question a tech upgrade was probably overdue. I'm still getting the 'MYSQLI' error, on seemingly every other post so don't know if what I write actually goes through or if I'm wasting my time talking to the ether.

b) I think the volume of spam getting through does no favours either. This must put some people off, especially newbies. My impression is that the hurdles to initial sign-up might benefit from being set higher, as onerous as that is often considered.

Just my 2c

Re: Jetstar International is recruiting! June 2015

Strong Eagle:
Unfortunately, I'm not on the red dot any more... but still moderate this board. I second SMS'es warm welcome... just one thing... he's the old coot! I'm still very young for my age.

Re: Forum has become so quiet

It's Friday night on the beginning of a long weekend. What did you expect!

Re: Jetstar International is recruiting! June 2015

You have mail.

Forum has become so quiet

I feel the forum has been very quiet off late. We haven't had those 10-20 page threads for sometime now, like we used to.

Anyone else feels the same? Where is everyone?

Re: Some interesting currency moves today

Both articles from yesterday/Friday.

http://www.ig.com/uk/market-update/2015 ... s-on-25146

A couple of excerpts from the already brief article (one page).

'European equity markets are rattled as discussions over Greece’s finances rumble on.
Christine Lagarde of the IMF stated a Greek exit of the eurozone is possible, and even though only the Greek people can determine their membership of the single currency Greece has been in revolving door crisis talks for five years now, and Yanis Varoufakis is refusing to bow down to the international creditors.
The ECB secretly doesn’t want to see Greece leave the euro as it could trigger an exodus from the currency union, but at the same time, it must talk tough in order for Athens to stay with its austerity programme.
The fears and anxiety over Greece have never left traders thoughts this week, and this is just the first of three hurdles that the struggling country will have to clear before the summer is out.
The US market is separated from Europe by the Atlantic but the shock waves can be felt in Wall Street, ...'

---- Looks like a long hot summer back in the West - Messy!

The shockwaves are also being felt as far away as here...

http://www.ig.com/uk/market-update/2015 ... form-25142

Re: Jetstar International is recruiting!


Old Coots?? You mean Strong Eagle is still around? :devil:
*ducks and runs for cover* :shooting: :shock:

Nah, don't see any old coots. I do miss the fun we used to have out here, but all the regular offenders don't post any more. I miss Sapphs, Vacluse, MHB, BH10Y, Fohls, CD..... Those were good times! \:D/

Re: Master's thesis on Repatriation Adjustment


ok...will start with yours and work backwards to SE's, this will take a few iterations and I need to be in the zone for this, which I'm not really ATM...

This is one concern, to go back, and regret doing that, and effectively closing the door on coming back, because it is difficult to do.

With so many changes, and the change in my age, there are real concerns about being able to work, the health care situation, the sharp divisions between right and left and neither being anything sane anymore, and other financial concerns.

Plus the general fit for me, to be back around an largely un-international demographic which I may not be able to relate to very well.


re: SG specifically, and leaving here.
There's the climate thing. The shock lasts about a month IME. After that, when you remember that there are things like sweaters and coats, being out of this climate is actually pretty damned good.
I expect I might differ from you on this, and that makes it one more reason to regret leaving.

Now this, this is one of the key things on the plus side of leaving, and is a huge factor. So much is lost when one is out of one's true environment. I may no longer be able to fully relate to the people's back home perspectives on life and the world, but there is a much more natural way of relating to them as fellow human beings, and I have grown very weary of the contrary.

Re: I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

If you read my post and the attached quote/link you will see that because you were not ever in the military, you will be dealt with in the civil courts.

They will not entertain any questions before hand but will tell you to return and present yourself to them. Any penalties will be the judgement of the courts and it can vary. If you go to the link for the whole page, under the portion that I copy/pasted, you will read about a rather high profile case who was just given a fine. You played, now if you want to return you will definitely have to pay, but because you are still young enough quite possibly you may only have a fine. But there are no guarantees. You buys your ticket and you takes your chances.

Re: I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

So, should I contact Mindef and ask what they would do to me if I voluntarily return? Can I trust what they say? For instance, if they say they won't put me in jail and only give me a fine + NS, can I take their word for it? I'm scared that they will turn back on their word and put me in jail (maybe its a bit naive to think like that but its still a possibility)

Re: Jetstar International is recruiting!

Yeah, since 2011, the dynamics here have changed considerably. Most that are left are hanging on and wondering if/when their number is up, EP/PR wise. Some of us, however, have become so entrenched that it's virtually impossible to escape! In fact, some of us old coots should have been put out to pasture long ago! LOL

Re: Music

I think the thing with Motorhead (I like your umlaut BTW :-D] is not to take them too seriously. I know they look angry/mean etc ... but don't forget one of their biggest hits is called 'Killed by death', and has the opening lyric 'If you squeeze my lizard, I'll put my snake on you'.

That documentary is surprisingly personal and tender (much of the focus is on Lemmy of course). You get to see his humour, his personal vulnerabilities, the lot. There is a lot of humility, not a hint of vanity, nothing fake or varnished about him. WYSIWYG.

They are also a legendarily hard-working band, something crazy like 200 gigs a year for 40 years, and still at it. So the honest insight into that and their life on the road is also interesting. How Lemmy is still alive.... heaven's knows.
Plus they know the fans are there to hear the hits, and not just what some bands do and play 90% 'stuff off our new album'. For a band of that stature they don't gouge on the ticket-price either, as they know a lot of there fans are not well off. We paid something like euro30 each - a few weeks later we went to see AC/DC in a c80,000pax stadium and paid many multiples of that for pretty average seats.

I've only seen Motorhead once and it was in c2000 capacity hall in a very run-down neighbourhood of former communist East Berlin. Not the kind of area I really relished going at night. I took my wife too, a Duran Duran fan lol, a petite Asian lady, i.e. I'm probably out of the stereotype mold of a typical Motorhead fan -> 'Big angry and violent tattooed bikers', my wife 10* more-so. All in, beforehand, she had her doubts if it was a wise thing to do. Anyway it was absolutely brilliant. They came on pretty much on time, started with their usual greeting, on that night, 'Hello Berlin thank you for coming - We are Motorhead and we play rock'n'roll!' that segued immediately into over two hours of continuous music. No more chat until right at the very end... 'Thank you Berlin, you've been a brilliant audience, give yourself a round of applause!'.

So yeah, try and put the image aside if you have an interest in watching the linked programme. Above and beyond the music what they've achieved is really pretty amazing. I can understand why they have been called 'The hardest working band in rock n'roll'.

Re: Jetstar International is recruiting!


The wit is still intact, but the dynamic out here has changed. So many folks are no longer posting out here and I have few mates left to bounce my witticisms off.

But I'll skulk and see 8-[

Re: Music

Will look into that Motörhead documentary, I don't think they are my type of thing but need to educate myself on them and be sure, one of those many bands on the To Check list.

Meanwhile, a bit eerie how we were only talking slap bass a few weeks back and just last week one of those very best masters passed away way too young, so this in his honor:

Edit: added umlaut