Parliamentary elections were held in Singapore on May 7. The political party, People’s Action Party (PAP), that has been leading the country for over 40 years won the elections again. The party won by a large majority, but PAP has won previous elections by even larger margins. This shows that Singaporeans are more unhappy with PAP than in the past. The leader of PAP, who is also the prime minister of Singapore, has promised to make some changes.
Singapore is a tiny country made up of one main island and about 50 other islands. The country is just above the equator, so the number of daylight hours stays about the same the whole year round (about 12 hours). The weather is hot and humid. Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, and English are the four official languages of Singapore. It is the second most densely populated country in the world (after Monaco) with about 7,000 people living per square kilometer.
Singapore is a wealthy country. It falls into one of the top five countries in the world if you look at the per capita GDP. (The GDP of a country is the total value of all the products and services that are produced by the companies and the people of that country over a year. Per capita GDP is the GDP per person.) Years ago, many people thought that Singapore, with its lack of natural resources, would have a hard time surviving as an independent country. However, the government of Singapore recognized that its people were its true resource. It invested in the education of its people, while transforming the country into a big transportation and manufacturing hub. Singapore has continued to reinvent itself successfully. Today, it is one of the world’s leading supporters of entrepreneurship – it encourages and funds its citizens to create new companies in various fields of technology and beyond.
Singapore was a British colony and got its independence in 1963. It joined Malaysia for two years, and separated to become an independent country in 1965. The first prime minister of Singapore was Lee Kuan Yew and he was the prime minister for about 30 years. His son is the current prime minister of Singapore.
Singapore is extremely clean. Even chewing gum is not allowed. Caning is an official way of punishing many crimes.
Image Credits: Someformofhuman for image of Singapore