Record ID: 175

Site Name

Singapore

Type

Seaport - other

Description

city (area: 31 sq mi/80 sq km), (cap.) Singapore, on Straits of Singapore, at S side of Singapore isl.; 01�17'N 103�50'E. While city�s borders have remained fixed, growth in pop. and development has extended its suburbs to most of Singapore isl. Leading shipping, financial, and mfg. center of SE Asia; also a major world tourist destination. Singapore is the principal port of call on Europe�East Asia route, midway bet. India and China and is the 2d-largest port in the world in total tonnage. Although politically detached (since 1946) from Western Malaysia, it continues to handle a large part of the Federation�s exports and imports. Singapore�s premier commercial position is further enhanced by its focal role in the entrep�t trade with Indonesia. A major internatl. air center, Singapore is served by Changi Internatl. Airport 11 mi/18 km ENE, and Paya Lebar Airport (formerly Singapore�s leading airport) 6 mi/9.7 km NE. Among its industries are computers, electronics, and clothing. Other mfg. (petroleum refining, durable goods, motor vehicles and automotive parts, electronic parts, semiconductors, clothing, photographic equip., audio and video equip., computer peripherals, shipbuilding, beer, soft drinks, electrical appliances, baked goods, ice cream, industrial machinery, plastics prods., metal containers, transportation equip.). Singapore also serves as the regional hq. of many multinational corporations operating in SE Asia. Water supply comes from reservoirs in Catchment area 5 mi/8 km�10 mi/16 km N of city as well as S Peninsular Malaysia. The city�s frontage on the Straits, called Inner Roads, has been enclosed by land in-fill, to expand the isl.�s territory, forming Marina Bay. The deep-water port of Keppel Harbour (SW), includes the dock area known as Tanjong Pagar, which has the bulk of the city�s harbor installations extending for 3 mi/4.8 km along waterfront. This facility has been complimented by the Pioneer Sector of the Jurong Industrial Estate, 14 mi/23 km W, which has large shipping and shipbuilding operations. Here is the Singapore RR Station, S terminus of the Malayan RR. Singapore has Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system which extends W, NW, N, and E to suburbs (subway in city). City center is divided into 3 distinct ethnic areas, Chinatown (S), the Arab dist. (center), and Little India (N). Chinatown Centre is a shopping and cultural center. Singapore city proper, NE of Keppel Harbor, is commanded by low (140 ft/43 m�150 ft/46 m) hills (Fort Canning, Pearls Hill) topped by reservoirs, and by Govt. Hill (129 ft/39 m) with the governor�s residence. The city is drained by the Singapore and Rochore (Rochore Canal) rivers, which enter man-made estuary (Marina Bay). Among the notable downtown bldgs. are the govt. and municipal offices, Natl. Theater, and Memorial Hall with Raffles Statue, Raffles Lib. and Mus., Anglican St. Andrews Cathedral (1862), Sri Mariamman Temple, and the imposing Sultan Mosque. Singapore Science Park (Natl. Univ.) W of city; Mt. Faber Scenic Park and Sentosa Isl. resort area to SW; Natl. Stadium to NE at Kallang; Van Kleef Aquarium at Fort Canning Park. War Memorial honors Singapore�s war dead, Kranji War Memorial 12 mi/19 km NW honors allied war dead. In extensive W residential suburbs are the Botanic Gardens (where rubber was 1st cultivated, 1891); Bukit Timah Race Course to NW. World Trade Centre at Keppel Harbour, near RR station, includes Singapore Maritime Showcase, Guiness World of Records Exhibition, ferries to isls. from Jardine Steps of Centre. Natl. Univ. of Singapore est. 1980 with merger of Univ. of Singapore and Nanyang Univ.; other schools include Nanyang Technological Inst., Singapore Technical Inst. (12 mi/19 km W), Singapore Polytechnic. Situated 77 mi/124 km N of the equator, Singapore has a uniformly hot, humid climate without notable seasonal changes, but conditioned by the NE (Oct.-March) and SW (May-Aug.) monsoons. The city has a cosmopolitan aspect. A prosperous commercial center in 13th and 14th cents., Singapore was destroyed by Javanese c.1377, abandoned for Malacca, and disappeared from history for 400 years. Its revival and the founding of the modern city are associated with the name of Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781�1826), an official of the Br. East India Company, who sought a trading station on route to East Asia to rival the Du. trading centers of Indonesia. Then a small Johore fishing village, Singapore and its isl. were ceded 1819 (confirmed 1824) to the British. A policy of free trade, encouragement to settlers, and the natural advantage as a port led to the phenomenal rise of Singapore during the 19th cent., spurred above all by large-scale Chin. immigration. Singapore became (1826) 1 of the Straits Settlements, soon overshadowing Penang and Malacca in importance, and succeeding (1836) George Town (Penang) as the capital. The development of Br. Malaya made Singapore one of the world�s leading ports for the export of tin and rubber. Although considered with its naval base (on isl�s. N shore) the key point in defense of SE Asia, Singapore was rapidly overwhelmed in the final phase of the Jap. Malaya campaign (Feb. 1942) in World War II. Known as Shonan under Jap. occupation, which continued to end of World War II. After the war, Singapore rapidly resumed its dominant position in SE Asia, in spite of internal political unrest. For later history, see Singapore , republic.