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


22 October 2014

Christmas Day

25 December 2014

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: +65

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

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Hello! To all the Canadians out there now living in Singapore, could you kindly share how you feel about living in Singapore? For instance, were there any cultural shocks (etc.) when you first moved from Canada to SG? Thank you!

Re: What's the job market like?

One of my observations is that recruiters in Singapore tend to ignore candidates who are "unemployed".

How can we maintain the "employed" status if we leave our post overseas to return to Singapore?

Re: What's the job market like?

As Singaporeans you can also check out potential opportunities at https://www.jobsbank.gov.sg/

As SMS said, as Singaporeans with overseas experience, your prognosis for getting a job fast is pretty good.

Re: What's the job market like?

This is probably asked before but what is it like now? post CNY 2015 that is.

We are Singaporeans living in overseas and every so often we ask ourselves would we like to return? We've managed to establish good (not great) jobs here and life is good but just thinking on the elements of family in Asia.

If returning, we'd need jobs. Mid-level corporate jobs. When we left a few years ago, we were losing our jobs to incoming cheaper labour and declining economy at that time. Are things still the same or has it changed for the better?

If you could give true honest observations/experiences that'll be great.

Good chance even if you aren't qualified, as long as you are a Singaporean and know how to whine and moan. Companies are being forced to hire substandard local help (not saying that you are, but what is currently happening here) to replace foreigners who are being shunted out of the country by reduced quota restrictions, higher levies, stricter criteria, etc. The fact that a lot of the locals are not suitable seems to be irrelevant to the MOM/PAP as they are more afraid of losing more votes in the next GE. So, returning Singaporeans with good international exposure will have easy pickings if you come back. Economy is still declining because of the new policies so manpower is short. Singapore has always had full employment (less than 2% is considered full as the 2% is considered structural unemployment) and now employers are being forced to put substandard local people into PMET positions as there are only X number of locals qualified to be management staff. You cannot make silk purses out of sow's ears and not every Singaporean can "manage" people. You cannot have all chiefs and no braves. So, the prognosis is very good for returning Citizens.

I'd say go for it. The ball is in your court and Citizens with several years of Int'l experience can expect to be paid reasonably well, albeit, whether or not it would be equivalent to what you were receiving in the west I don't know.

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Re: PEP and the 144,000 requirement

My PEP application was approved in February and I have 6 months to collect it. However, since January, I did not work and if I relocate to Singapore now, I might realistically get a job in May till September.

I just found out about the 144,000 requirement. If I collect my PEP this year and start working as of e.g. in July, would that mean that I must earn 144,000 in 6 months? (as I was unemployed before)

That is my monthly salary would need to be 24,000? And if I get a job in September I would need to earn 144,000 in 4 months and my months salary will need to be 36,000? That is quite an requirement.

Did anyone go through this process and could advise me how MOM will consider this case? Would they by 31.1.2016 cancel my PEP if I don't earn 144,000 in the 4 or 6 months? Or are they more relaxed?

What would then be my options? As you can imagine, moving to a different country, I better understand the rules well and also the options that I would have on 31.1.2016?

Thanks for your kind advice.

Please read below from MOM. PEP's salary requirement is based on monthly salary.

Employment Pass holders who earn a fixed monthly salary of at least
$12,000 and overseas-based foreign professionals whose last drawn fixed
monthly salary was at least $18,000 will be eligible for the PEP. For
overseas-based foreign professionals, they should not have been
unemployed for longer than a continuous period of 6 months at the point of
application. Correspondingly, the minimum annual fixed salary requirement
will be increased to $144,000.