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


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Re: Employment pass being delayed

subashgk007:
Okay, while writing this completed 62 days from the date of EP application. Still in pending.. Looks to be a wait forever.

Re: Epipens

Lophophora:
Hi,

My 11-year old had an anaphylactic shock during the first days upon our arrival in Singapore. He was treated by an allergy specialist at the NUH, who gave us an Epipen. I can give you the Doctor's name if you need it.

Re: RE: Re: 20M American- Looking for friends

ecureilx:


Drinking in Clark quay et al is the best way to spend $ on expensive drinks !

Not that other places are much cheaper

Citizenship approved

yesitsme:
Learnt a great deal from this forum. So one additional input for those following trends on this forum..(not that I believe in trends though when it comes to ICA :))

Nationality: Indian (yes...some odds exist however unfavorable :))
Duration of stay in Singapore: 15 years (for most part as PR)
Education: Masters in Engineering from NUS
Employment: Engineering professional with a manufacturing firm (European company)
Income: 110K+ (single income family. house wife and two daughters part of the application)

Processing time: close to two years :)

Grand Duchess St Patrick's - any views welcome!

Simmerdown:
Hi folks,

Moving to SG from London in Sept'16. We have had been looking for a 4 bed 2500+ sq ft property East Coast as my wife will be working at Changi Biz Park. Not a lot going on in that range tbh.

Currently considering a couple of options. One of which is the Grand Duchess (the other is a landed house)

I welcome any and all opinion on this property: tenants, management, location, life with kids (we have x2 under 3) etc.

In particular, if you have any views on how easy/difficult it is to get in/out at peak time i.e. is it a pain in the harris for a taxi pick up... I'd be much obliged.

Many thanks,
Simmer.

Re: 20M American- Looking for friends

sundaymorningstaple:
I'm familiar with Memphis and Nashville due to Graceland and the Grand Old Opry which my wife sang in back in 1981. (She is also known as The Singapore Cowgirl - now retired). I also live in Louisiana in the late 70's-early 80's so am rather familiar with most of the larger cities in the "deep". I'm originally from MD but my sister is in FL and one of my step-brothers is outside of Birmingham niy but used to live in Atlanta and in Duram where he went to Duke many years ago. My mother is from the coal mining camps of W. 'by god' Virginia (Bluefield). But I came here on a 12 month contract in 1982 and never left. ;-)

Re: 20M American- Looking for friends

Jacruz:

Memphis is actually a decent sized city so not many mountains where I am either haha and thanks for the tip! I went out last night to a club in CQ and it was pretty fun but definitely more pricey than I expected, but hey that's what the job is for :lol:

Re: 20M American- Looking for friends

sundaymorningstaple:
Whoa! You're definitely a fish outta water! No mountains here! Booze, got. Broads, got. Good music venues, no got. Count on one hand maybe and still have one left to point with (which is rude here - point with your thumb). ;-)

Re: EP pass is in Pending status since 4 weeks.

sundaymorningstaple:
Where do I start...



Hi again sunday
Apologize that I just skimmed it indeed
But appreciate it, thank you for answering me

But frankly speaking, I disagree with the statement saying "Foreigner trying to take jobs needed by locals, Or their own citizens.", man. As I said that everybody is trying to get a job, no one is snatching anyone's job. When there's an open vacancy it means everybody from all over the world is allowed to apply including the singaporean itself, doesn't it?



Even when a company is about to apply a SPass for the foreigner, they do need a quota which means a quite numbers of local workers (singaporean / PR) in his company. Isn't it fair enough? Do you get what I mean? Before the company apply the Pass for the foreigner, they do have to hire quite numbers of singaporeans. Thats the first thing they need to do. The quota is 5:1, isnt it? Or maybe even more than that.



So the question is, why does the company itself prefer foreigner to the local themselves? There must be a reason, ain't it? Either it's about the salary issue or maybe the quality of the employee.



But there are a few ridiculous things I know.
1. Apply EP / SP -> need to pay, even when it's rejected, the money won't come back.



2. Apply PR -> invest certain amounts of $$$, you will get it. Or working for few years, you apply, pay the fees, doesn't guarantee you will get it.



Let say, there are 100 companies apply for EP/SP and 500 foreigners apply for PR. How much Singapore earn from it? Worst case, if it's rejected they will still earn tho ](*,)



I won't say Singapore government has 'sucked' a lot of foreigner's or company's money, what I mean is to apply for the foreigner itself, the company had paid the price already. The government can use the money to open an industry just for the local, at least that's what my country does for those unemployment local.



I'm sorry for my bad English
I don't mean to argue or blame anyone, I just wanna share my thoughts

God bless you, sunday :)

It's a rough world we live in. Singapore has a very finite land mass, no hinterland and no resources other than her citizens. So, with that in mind, the Government has no choice but to kowtow to the wishes of the citizenry who are responsible for keeping the current government in power.

sms

20M American- Looking for friends

Jacruz:
Hey y'all,

My name is Alex and I'm from Memphis, TN. I have an internship here in Singapore until December so I'll be here for a little while.
I'm looking for people who would like to go out to the bars/clubs around here. I'm also planning on doing all the regular touristy stuff so I'd also like to meet people who want to explore the island more and travel to nearby cities.

If you're seeing this post on the same night it's posted I'll be going out to the clubs tonight so send me a message if you want to tag along! If you see it later still feel free to send me a message if you want to meet up and we can exchange numbers.

Re: EP pass is in Pending status since 4 weeks.

Rorie:
So, you didn't read the Newsfeed that I just pasted and what I just wrote. Instead you just skimmed it looking for an asnwer that YOU needed. Local Unemployment just went up from 2.6% to 3.1%. Employers are not downshifting and hiring locals for several reasons, the biggest is asking basic salaries. So, I don't blame the employers, however, the government is going to make it so hard to hire foreigners that the local companies will have to fall in line or the company's are going to wind up.

Think about it. To whom does the Singapore Government owe it's allegience to? Foreigner trying to take jobs needed by locals, Or their own citizens. The answer is obvious. So if the Employers won't do it, the government will, but at the same time, the government isn't going to make a blanket ban as that doesn't give them any manuveur room. But only the cream of the crop is going to get in. The rest are going to play a waiting game until their money runs out. That is the way it stands at the moment. So, if you have deep pockets stick around. If not, maybe you better save what you do have.

Hi again sunday
Apologize that I just skimmed it indeed
But appreciate it, thank you for answering me

But frankly speaking, I disagree with the statement saying "Foreigner trying to take jobs needed by locals, Or their own citizens.", man. As I said that everybody is trying to get a job, no one is snatching anyone's job. When there's an open vacancy it means everybody from all over the world is allowed to apply including the singaporean itself, doesn't it?

Even when a company is about to apply a SPass for the foreigner, they do need a quota which means a quite numbers of local workers (singaporean / PR) in his company. Isn't it fair enough? Do you get what I mean? Before the company apply the Pass for the foreigner, they do have to hire quite numbers of singaporeans. Thats the first thing they need to do. The quota is 5:1, isnt it? Or maybe even more than that.

So the question is, why does the company itself prefer foreigner to the local themselves? There must be a reason, ain't it? Either it's about the salary issue or maybe the quality of the employee.

But there are a few ridiculous things I know.
1. Apply EP / SP -> need to pay, even when it's rejected, the money won't come back.
2. Apply PR -> invest certain amounts of $$$, you will get it. Or working for few years, you apply, pay the fees, doesn't guarantee you will get it.

Let say, there are 100 companies apply for EP/SP and 500 foreigners apply for PR. How much Singapore earn from it? Worst case, if it's rejected they will still earn tho ](*,)

I won't say Singapore government has 'sucked' a lot of foreigner's or company's money, what I mean is to apply for the foreigner itself, the company had paid the price already. The government can use the money to open an industry just for the local, at least that's what my country does for those unemployment local.

I'm sorry for my bad English
I don't mean to argue or blame anyone, I just wanna share my thoughts

God bless you, sunday :)

Re: EP pass is in Pending status since 4 weeks.

sundaymorningstaple:
So, you didn't read the Newsfeed that I just pasted and what I just wrote. Instead you just skimmed it looking for an asnwer that YOU needed. Local Unemployment just went up from 2.6% to 3.1%. Employers are not downshifting and hiring locals for several reasons, the biggest is asking basic salaries. So, I don't blame the employers, however, the government is going to make it so hard to hire foreigners that the local companies will have to fall in line or the company's are going to wind up.

Think about it. To whom does the Singapore Government owe it's allegience to? Foreigner trying to take jobs needed by locals, Or their own citizens. The answer is obvious. So if the Employers won't do it, the government will, but at the same time, the government isn't going to make a blanket ban as that doesn't give them any manuveur room. But only the cream of the crop is going to get in. The rest are going to play a waiting game until their money runs out. That is the way it stands at the moment. So, if you have deep pockets stick around. If not, maybe you better save what you do have.

Re: EP pass is in Pending status since 4 weeks.

Rorie:
Simples. Didn't you bother to read the local papers or watch local news on the TV? Singapore is trying to get rid of foreigners. They don't want to close the door but they want people to go away. If by holding up the issuance of the working visa, they can cause the companies to withdraw the offer and maybe hire a local then they will do it. The company's here will not voluntarily cut their reliance on Foreign Manpower. The local unemployment rate for the last quarter went from 2.6% to 3.1% in the last quarter. I reckon it's going to get worse before it gets better. They will probably stall until you cannot afford to stay or your visas run out and you have to go back home empty handed unless you are in a segment of the industry here that they just cannot afford to send the foreigners home.

http://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/press-re ... se-2q-2016

Hi Sundaymorningstaple
Thanks for replying

Yes, man. I've checked everything and everywhere
More over Singapore is going to increase the qualification for EP as well

I came from Indonesia, luckily I'm staying in Batam. So it's not really costly for me. But the thing is, what is the main problem? Why does singapore want to 'kick off' the foreigners?

I believe it's not only me that waiting for the EP status, pretty sure still many others is doing the same. Keep waiting and waiting

I don't mean to complain, but everybody is just trying to work tho. Just like everybody else, including the singaporean itself.

Re: Hiring Lines for Exchange-student English Tutors

sundaymorningstaple:
Try asking BBCWatcher, he thinks he's doG's gift to the English speaking world.