Singapore emerged as a self-governing nation at 3 Dec 1959 and gained her independence on 9 Aug 1965. Known to have the world’s best transport system, the journey to nation planning begins in the 1970s where the first Land Transport and Master Plan were created. Quick growth were experienced in 1980s with the improvements continuing into the 1990s. By 2000s, Singapore has achieved a robust transportation system.
Across the history of Southeast Asia, Singapore has been referred to by many names like Pulau Ujong, Temasek and Singapura, which the latter is the Malay origin for the current name of Singapore. Pulau Ujong means ‘island at the end’ of peninsula but this name was used by many Chinese pioneers and mis-pronounced as PuLuoZhong. Temasek, which means ‘sea town’, was a name used to call Singapore in the epic poem “Javanese Nagarakretagama”. Singapura is a name given by ex-ruler of Palembang, Sang Nila Utama, referring to ‘lion city’.
The original people of Singapore were made up mostly of Malays from Malaysia. Chinese immigrants came from Riau and Melaka, which many belonging to the Baba community. The Chinese population increased drastically after the first junk from Amoy, China, arrived in Feb 1821. Many others soon followed. The first Indians came from Penang and Malacca. Others migrated from Southern India. Today, these became the 3 main ethnic groups in Singapore.
Singapore is a republic with a parliamentary system of government. As a former British colony, the Westminster model was adopted after gaining independence. The 3 main branches of government are Executive, Legislative and Judiciary.
Executive power rest with the Cabinet that is led by the Prime Minister, which is appointed by the President. The Cabinet is responsible for all government policies and the day-to-day administration of the state affairs.
Singapore Parliament is unicameral together with the President of Singapore to be known as the Legislature. Members of Parliament (MPs) are voted by public in regular General Elections that are held once every 5 years. The leader of the party that secure majority of the seats will be asked by President to become the Prime Minister.
The Judiciary is made up of Supreme Court and Subordinate Courts. The Judiciary administers the law independently and this independence is safeguarded by the Constitution. Common law legal system is used in Singapore. Current criminal code was preceded by the Indian Penal Code adopted since colonial days.
Continue reading and discover how living in Singapore is like. For investors who are looking to enter Singapore property market, you can find out the differences between Singapore property compared to other countries.