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: PR chances for Japanese

x9200:


You mean to be a director? None that I am aware of. If you are breathing, normally resident, and haven't been a bankrupt or other naughty things, you can be a director. Being a director is "working", however, so the usual restrictions apply.
I mean to get the pass. In other words, it is enough to apply for an EP for a director position and the degree (or the salary) are not THAT critical? I though salary (or deg applies to all the EP middle range passes.

Re: PR chances for Japanese

Strong Eagle:


You mean to be a director? None that I am aware of. If you are breathing, normally resident, and haven't been a bankrupt or other naughty things, you can be a director. Being a director is "working", however, so the usual restrictions apply.

Re: US Family Housing Advice (yes I've filled out the form)

ivysmom:
Hi listmates,

Just an update and a little advice -- we moved 3 weeks ago and the Capella on Sentosa has been absolutely divine (but for the 6:30 am bus pick-up for UWC East). But still well worth it, thanks for weighing in on that excellent decision. Undergoing property search right now, had trouble finding condos in East big enough for our big family and didn't want a single family home without good proximity to a club for the kids to hang with friends, etc. So...leaning toward Bukit Timah around Stevens or Botanical Gardens because bus commute times are fairly short to UWC East b/c of PIE proximity and it's a very short commute to Chatsworth Orchard where youngest son attends. Very close to MRT which is a big bonus (decided if we weren't going to live East Coast we wanted to be very close to an MRT), can't walk to much near Stevens MRT but a very short drive to Hollandse Club or American Club (too rich for my blood but maybe the company will pay for it, and it's too bad it's under major construction), Grandstand for kids stuff, Botanic Gardens, Orchard, etc. We will have a car. One place is very near Raffles Town Place so I'm wondering if you know anything about that club -- it isn't currently accepting members but you can buy memberships on the open market. Facilities look good, good pool, tennis, gym, bowling alley. I am not super picky but I want a good gym (machines, etc.) and more importantly for my kids to have friends outside of school -- if we're not getting that in a condo, I'd like it in a club. Any feedback on that facility? I've visited the Hollandse Club and like the low-key vibe but the gym itself is very small, we've also visited the Swiss Club. Any others I should be looking at?

Re: Is Resignation sufficient for Diplomatic clause early lease termination?

x9200:
OP, first of all, nobody can tell you anything concrete without seeing the related clauses.

Raffles Town Place Reviews?

ivysmom:
Hi Everbody,

We are an American family who just moved here a few weeks ago. We are considering a place (not a condo) very close to the Raffles Town Club. Facilities look nice. From their site, it looks like they're no longer selling individual memberships but you can buy them on the open market. Anyone have any information to share -- what the nationality breakdown might look like, does the pool get crowded, how's the food and services, etc.

Thanks!

Re: PR chances for Japanese

x9200:
^^^SE, does any degree related restrictions apply in such cases?

Re: PR chances for Japanese

Strong Eagle:
Thank you guys for giving some opinions and advices.

Hmmm I just checked ACRA website and realized their rule may have been changed. When I visited their website to check the definition of the ordinary resident several months ago, they say EP holder is also recognized as that. I need to check about this with our company secretory. However I am registered as authorized representative on Bizfile. Thanks BBCWatcher for pointing this out!

I obtained LOC to work under DP before I applied EP in 2014. So I may have no problems with this point….

BBCW is full of crap because all he did was read the same page you did, and that page does not tell the whole story.

If you have been issued an EP under your own company you can most certainly be a director. The ACRA webpage is misleading. Plenty of companies have been formed outside the Entrepass requirements, an EP has been issued, and the EP becomes managing director. There are lots of companies that have directors who hold an EP. There are no restrictions on becoming a director just because you are an EP. An Australian friend of mine was managing director for a Singapore Pte Ltd, wholly owned by a dutch company.

What MoM and ACRA don't want is an EP working for one company to become the inside director of another company. And, forming a Pte Ltd with a rented director, then applying for an EP for the foreigner was the "scam de jour" for quite a few years... an easy way for people to get into the country without qualifications. You read what you do on the the ACRA website to dissuade people from trying this.

MoM has clearly issued you an EP for your own company. You are clearly managing and running it. BBCW's comments that the ICA would be interested in you are unwarranted, and you, as a foreigner, being a director on an EP is not unusual at all.

Re: PR chances for Japanese

Strong Eagle:


WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. You read that straight off the ACRA page, didn't you?

Any pass that gives you long term residence in Singapore makes you ordinarily resident. An EP can be a director of her own company. A DP is ordinarily resident. A DP cannot be a director because that is "working". An EP cannot be a director of a different company from the one for which the EP was issued. But, they are still ordinarily resident.

For your information, there is absolutely no difference in the employment pass issued under the Entrepass scheme and the employment pass issued to already operating companies. The pass is identical. The rules are identical. It doesn't say "Entrepass" anywhere because it is an EMPLOYMENT PASS. The difference is in the renewal.

I know from personal experience that BOTH of these facts are true, notwithstanding the changed language on the ACRA page.

Re: PR chances for Japanese

JunJun1993:
Thank you guys for giving some opinions and advices.

Hmmm I just checked ACRA website and realized their rule may have been changed. When I visited their website to check the definition of the ordinary resident several months ago, they say EP holder is also recognized as that. I need to check about this with our company secretory. However I am registered as authorized representative on Bizfile. Thanks BBCWatcher for pointing this out!

I obtained LOC to work under DP before I applied EP in 2014. So I may have no problems with this point….

Re: Employment Pass Status Pending

Strong Eagle:


This long ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Re: Apply to Be Medical Officer in Singapore

taxico:
hi everyone,
does anybody knows how to apply medical officer job in Singapore.
I become a citizen now and due to my husband's job in different countries we finally settle back here.
Now after 10 years of graduation from Pakistan and diploma in ultrasound from UAE that i did recently 2015 dec,will i be eligible to get job as medical officer??
I want to continue my proffesion and want to apply for mrcp part1 here.
Is there any MRCPGP exam here in singapore??
Plz give me good suggession,so i can continue my proffession.

i suspect a gdip in sonography isn't really what they would expect from an MO.

i'm not trying to be rude, but you may want to try applying for an allied health position if all else fails and you're determined to work in a "hands on" setting?

good money and less stress! you can also try applying for positions as a medical educator (not necessarily to MBBS students, they have other biomedical sciences here).

all doctors know why.

Re: Apply to Be Medical Officer in Singapore

taxico:
sorry, not much to add here as i'm no longer based there and don't keep up with the latest developments as i don't get my singapore mail sent overseas...

MRCGP? no. well... you can get a grad dip in FM in singapore, and go on to an MMed (FM)... BUT i don't think you can do this without at least a c-reg.

oh, you can also work in a private clinic treating foreigners ONLY. still t-reg but better hours and environment...

you can try applying for a clinical fellowship at PGMI/SGH... all are welcomed.

Re: Is Resignation sufficient for Diplomatic clause early lease termination?

PNGMK:
I wish you hadn't disclosed your resignation to the agent; I would have preferred if you had asked her what proof of termination is needed and then had your employer / local photoshop guy draft the appropriate letter.

Re: IPA Approved but got better offer from another company

taxico:


Re: Where to buy a honeywell air purifier in the Haze?

taxico:
why that particular model only? it looks really noisy.

i'm happy using second hand sharp plasmaclusters + fresh new filters.

higher volume, imo. if you go that route, don't buy one with the humidifier function.