About Singapore

About Singapore - Facts at a GlanceAbout Singapore - Facts at a GlanceAbout SingaAbout 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: New arrival travel documents

Steve1960:
Knock on the door yesterday evening, the DHL man delivering our new born's UK passport \:D/

Took 10 weeks to process.

Re: F/25 Russian - Looking 4 new friends

Akimbo:
*double post* (goddamnit, I pressed the quote button instead of the edit button...anyone can help me erase this post?)

Re: F/25 Russian - Looking 4 new friends

Akimbo:


What exactly you want to hear?
He is a great leader. I am proud of my country and of its face on the international scene.

Please don't mind the two regulars...they do play this off sometimes, and it puts off newbies :(
Their wit is great when you get to know them. (which I don't know em well yet but they're okay :))

Weekenders are still and always recruiting. We've recently had a purge where we expunged all the inactive members to keep 'em fresh and well connected with each other. I think we're now left with 47 members out of 61. Members are all from different countries from different cultures. My co-admin justsee is originally Russian as well. I'm Indonesian btw.

Hit me up with a meet up time, and I'll gather the troops for it if I can. Similarly, leave a PM where I can contact you, and I'll inform you if there's anything. Though most probably the next small gathering that we'll be having is next year January, and we'll see if you feel at ease with the group :)

I'm still free for New Years Eve, actually :oops:

Re: Next GE predictions?

Wd40:
Well, do you blame the gahmen for that, isn't it part of the Chinese culture to worship money and go behind material wealth? Chinese from mainland and Hong Kong are already known for it. So its not like the gahmen taught them these things, they just helped them achieve it. Also it is the Maslow's hierarchy, people 1st look for material wealth and once they have it they understand, like you put it, there are other things in life aside from $$$. I think current gahmen understands that and they are best positioned to make that transition, if its possible.

Re: Next GE predictions?

earthfriendly:



"Peace" as in there is no war? "Prosperity" as in material wealth?

I am thinking of "peace" as in "inner peace" that is built up over time via experiences (both pleasant and unpleasant one and experiencing failures as well as success) in life that helps to build up resilience and a healthy mindsets. A little less emphasis on money (economy) culture and elitism (brand of school, car, neighborhood and handbags) but working on being more tolerant and inclusionary and recognizing people can contribute in a wide array of ways that sometimes do not show up in the GDP or bottomline or certificates.

And also there are so many kinds of wealth out there, aside from $$$$ wealth.

Re: Next GE predictions?

Wd40:
EF, I don't understand what you are trying to say. There is peace and prosperity here, which is lacking in many parts of the world, what stress and angst are you talking about? Singaporeans are the most well traveled lot, I mean most people in my office have gone to places like Japan, Australia, Nordics etc for their vacations. Yet they are the most short sighted people. May be they just go there for few days see the weather and stress free life and then go, oh Singapoh so stresssfoo leh, without understanding you can't have everything, you can either be Bhutan or Singapore, you can't be both.

Re: Next GE predictions?

earthfriendly:
I have no idea what you mean by ungrateful, WD40? You understand that the present govt has worked very hard and done a marvelous job on the economy. However, their lopsided vision has also caused a lot of issues for Singaporeans seeking for a more balanced way of life. And it ends up creating loads of stress and angst for the citizens. Why? Because it is not healthy to live this way.

And with the millineia and such, the demographics have changed. And was the govt ready for that? Are the younger generations just going to sit back, relax and accept some of the heavy-handedness dish out by the present govt?

Re: Singapore Informal Conversations with Customers

earthfriendly:
This makes for interesting read. As a counter against kiasuism and govt- commanded campaigns on how to behave and think. Why do you think govt social compaigns are not that effective? Do the government or the authority have the answers. Do they know what is best? The ideas expounded in this article just seem so peaceful and so much calmer than what I have come to known. It is a less conflicting way of life. There is different types of behavioral evolution theory. There is the survival of the fittest and there is this:

https://www.facebook.com/The.Warrior.Li ... 58807031:0

Re: PHL Embassy BS?

nakatago:

here, it is a Filipino going BACK TO PHILIPPINES !




I really can't believe that bullshit myself. The destination country would welcome the Filipino with no dramas but the Philippines would add layers and layers of red tape NOT to let said Filipino out of the country even though visas and all other paperwork (save for the stupid OEC) are in order! The OEC is just utter bullshit. Exit clearance? And the only requirements for it are membership in OWWA which is just redundant. They say it's for Filipinos' protection but isn't that part of a consular office's role in the first place? It's just a waste of time to queue up for this otherwise useless piece of paper and if I could, I'll just pay the yet-another-useless-if-not-money-grab terminal in Philippine airports.*

*on a side note, I like the Clark airport so much because it's so small, it doesn't get a lot of traffic and the staff there--including usually power-tripping customs and immigration officials--are so laid back and pleasant to deal with. If I'm gonna deal with crappy airport facilities, I'll take the airport with the more amiable staff.

Re: Next GE predictions?

Barnsley:


Who is ungrateful?

Re: Singapore food - generally very poor quality

rajagainstthemachine:


Or in the topic... where I see you've posted before. That topic was started with the idea that food that stands out can be elusive to find. Hence a place to share tips and suggestions...

viewtopic.php?f=13andt=103262


aah I forgot about that thread, thanks for reminding me.

Re: Driving Singapore registered rental car into Malaysia

GSM8:
Thanks everyone for your replies, appreciated. I haven't yet decided whether to rent in JB (rental company said they will come and pick up from Malaysia side of checkpoint) or Changi (easy MRT ride but they haven't responded yet about whether their CDW/theft insurance covers Malaysia). Meanwhile, a few useful links I found to add to the info from others above:

1. Overview info from LTA website
http://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltaweb/en ... apore.html

2. http://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltaweb/en ... icles.html
- Singapore side toll fees paid in several ways per link above (cash payment incurs $10 admin fee)
- Malaysia side toll fees can be paid in cash or Touch nGo (purchased or topped up with RM next to immigration counter)

3. Current toll fees (Causeway and Tuas; Singapore and Malaysia)
http://www.jackphanginvestment.com/2014 ... ay-vs.html

4. General info relevant to driving rental or foreign registered cars in Singapore
http://www.asia-planet.net/singapore/selfdrive.htm#pass

Do continue to post any additional suggestions on this thread, and I'll do the same once my trip is complete. Thanks :)

Re: F/25 Russian - Looking 4 new friends

rajagainstthemachine:
Indian Culture? I think it died about 300 years ago.

Re: National Service Deferment Procedure in Singapore.

sundaymorningstaple:
That would mean there have been a total of 119+ million Citizens and PR here in the last 50 years. I'd say that would be a stretch. Assuming, just for grins, there were 1M citizens here in 1965 and there were an average of 35,000 births per year and 35,000 new PRs per year for the past 50 years that would be 75,000 x 50 years or 3.75M + 1M originally here so that would be under 5 million here (current population is what? 3.5M citizens and PRs? the 7 digit NRIC plus the A-L suffixs would make 119M unique NRIC numbers available. I reckon you and I will have to stick around till 2015 to see, yeah? ;-)

I grant you, though, with the numbering system having meaning, there would be considerable numbers available once they run through the numbering sequence that are used for the markers to pigeon-hole each person based on race, religion, DoB, Year of citizenship or year of PR. and who knows what else is in that number.

Re: Next GE predictions?

Wd40:
Also I guess, none of you have missed the irony, Putin, inspite of what he has inflicted on his people is the darling of his nation and here we such a prosperous city and yet it gahmen is having sleepness nights. What an ungrateful bunch of people we have here.