Moving to Singapore? | Fundamentals of Living in Singapore
All You Need to Know About Living and Moving to Singapore
The Republic of Singapore is an island city-state in Southeast Asia, situated on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of the Indonesian Riau Islands, right above the Equator, characterized by a hot tropical climate and an outdoor lifestyle.
The name Singapore derives from a combination of the Malay word singa, meaning lion, and the Sanskrit word pura, which means city. The icon of Singapore unsurprisingly is a lion.
By many described as the Geneva of Asia, the country has one of the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita rates in the world; it is a major financial, transport and medical hub and a major center of business and commerce, Singapore's main industries are electronics, banking, shipping, shipbuilding, ship repair, tourism, petroleum refining, petrochemicals and machinery.
Its economy revolves around international trade, sale of services and export of manufactures (Malaysia, USA and Japan being Singapore major trading partners). As a result, the population of Singapore expats is significant and there are many expatriate associations reflecting the various nationalities present. Despite SARS and global economic woes Singapore still ranks high as a competitive economy.
Crime is low and, according to statistics, Singapore is one of the least corrupt countries in the world. The city is a modern, high rise one with excellent museums, shops, health system and public transportation. English is spoken everywhere, but most of the 4 million population also speak Chinese, Malay or Tamil.
Practices such as restrictions on chewing gum and fines for littering or spitting have earned Singapore nicknames such as "nanny state"... beware! Do not be fooled into thinking lightly about Singapore laws. The state has an extremely strict judicial system with punishment like caning carried out for vandalism and graffiti.
Death sentences imposed for offenses such as drug trafficking and murder. Censorship is also very tough. Some magazines and newspapers may have restricted circulation or sale and videos and DVD are subject to review/censorship prior distribution in Singapore.
Religious tolerance has been a characteristic of Singapore since colonial times but, although most religions are tolerated, some unorthodox groups are banned as well as any material which may disturb religious and racial harmony.
In many ways, Singapore is truly a place where East meets West, with an harmonious combination of nationalities from all over the world coming together and sharing their cultures. Come and enjoy eating curry with your fingers off a banana leaf in Little India, watching Chinese opera in a park in Chinatown or ...