|Climate: Due to its proximity to the equator, about 100km to the north, the weather in Singapore is hot all year round. Singapore, like most of its neighbours, gets its heaviest rains during the monsoon season at the end of the year and for the first month of the New Year. While the rainfall during the monsoon months is high, the rest of the months are not short of rain either. In fact, there rain is spread throughout the year. The temperature in this island republic is also rather constant at around 30 degrees. It is of course cooler during the nights.
Geography: Singapore, made up of a land area covering just over 640 square kilometres, is separated from Malaysia to the north by the narrow Straits of Johor. There are two existing links, a causeway and a bridge, between the two nations. Much of the island has been developed with forested areas taking up but a small portion of the central part of the island. The highest point is Bukit Timah (Tin Hill), which stands at just over 160m.
Population: Singapore has a population of over 3 million, the majority of whom are of Chinese origin. The Malays make about 15% of the population while Indians account for about 7%. There is also a large expatriate community.
Economy: Singapore’s thriving economy has seen it survive through the worst that has afflicted this part of Asia. A base for many international companies and organisations, Singapore enjoys bustling trade with its regional neigbours as well as the rest of the world. The shipping industry, which includes shipbuilding and maintenance, is big business. Oil refining is yet another important industry in Singapore.
Religion: The majority of the Chinese population are Buddhists while the others are mainly Christians. The Malays subscribe to the Islamic faith while the Indians believe in Hinduism. A small number of Indians, many of whom are from south India, are also Muslims.
Language: Mandarin and Chinese dialects are widely spoken by the mainly Chinese populace. English however is the main language of Singaporeans. Malay and Tamil are also widely used.
Currency: The unit of currency is the Singapore dollar. (US$1 equals S$1.62)