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Spotlight On: Singapore
Singapore Embassy, Washington, D.C.
Singapore consists of the main island of Singapore and some 63 offshore islands. It is situated between latitudes 1°09'N and 1°29'N and longitudes 103°36'E and 104°25'E approximately 137 kilometres north of the Equator.
The main island is about 42 kilometres from east to west and 23 kilometres from north to south. Singapore's total land area, including that of the smaller islands, is 682.3 square kilometres. It has a coastline of approximately 150.5 kilometres long.
Singapore's immediate neighbours are Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia to the North, Sarawak and Sabah to the East), Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia.
Being very close to the Equator, Singapore's climate is characterised by abundant rainfall, relatively uniform temperature and high humidity throughout the year. December is the coolest month of the year while May is the warmest. The mean daily temperature is 26.8°C.
The resident population of Singapore, comprising Singapore citizens and permanent residents, was estimated at 3,319,100 in June 2001. Singapore is a multiracial society. Malays form 13.9% of Singapore's population, while Chinese and Indians make up 76.7% and 7.9% respectively. Other races make up 1.5% of the population.
The official languages in Singapore are Malay, Chinese (Mandarin), Tamil and English. Malay is the national language and English is the language of administration. The Constitution allows every person the right to profess and practise his religion and to propagate it. The main religions in Singapore are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism.
Singapore is a republic with a parliamentary system of government. A written constitution provides for the organs of state, namely the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. President S R Nathan is the current Head of State. The current Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong, leads the Cabinet in the administration of the Government. The Prime Minister and other Cabinet members are appointed from among the Members of Parliament, of which there are currently 85.
The flag of Singapore consists of two equal horizontal sections, red above white. In the upper left canton is a white crescent moon beside five white stars within a circle. Red symbolises universal brotherhood and equality of man, while white signifies pervading and everlasting purity and virtue. The crescent moon represents a young nation on the ascendant, illuminated by the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality as signified by the five stars.
Information obtained from Singapore Facts and Pictures 2002 published by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts.
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