According to itypeusa, Singapore is located at the southern end of the Malay Peninsula and, in addition to the largest island, includes about fifty smaller islands. This sort of city-state is one of the richest countries in the world due to its strategic position on the Strait of Malacca, at the center of the most important routes between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Singapore pursues a foreign policy that, by necessity, looks both at the regional perspective and at the major world players. Locally, the island has relations with Indonesia and Malaysia. Disputes are still pending with Malaysia, deriving from the different dimensions of the two states and from the historical disagreements that led to Singapore’s independence. The so-called ‘Sand War’ it was one of the most delicate disputes. Adding to this legacy is the hostile attitude of the Malaysian minority in Singapore. In recent years, however, the two countries have seen bilateral relations improve both in the diplomatic and economic fields: the international arbitrations of 2003 and 2008 on issues of territorial sovereignty, in fact, pronounced themselves in favor of the reasons for the small island state and the Malaysian counterpart accepted both sentences. Once political issues have been put aside, mutual economic dependence, a factor of competition as well as cooperation, could form the basis for significant financial and economic developments. Malaysia and Singapore have announced the construction of a railway network linking the island with Kuala Lumpur. Singapore is a member of Asean, a major regional organization that brings together the countries of Southeast Asia and promotes economic development and cooperation in the area. However, with many of these countries, good relations are conditioned by claims about potentially energy-rich areas in the South China Sea. In the international arena, Singapore’s policy is strictly connected to the economic ties established with the Western world in terms of investments, and to the guarantee of security offered by the United States. The Singaporean government has also concluded several bilateral agreements, mainly of a commercial nature, with the most important regional players such as Japan, India and Australia. Economic agreements have also recently been concluded with China which should significantly increase trade in the coming years. In particular, the free trade agreement signed in 2009 allowed the reduction of customs tariffs for 95% of exports. In spite of Beijing’s growing role, however, the desire to maintain ties with the US and, therefore, to support its initiative in Asia, constitutes a prejudicial factor for bilateral relations. Singapore is a parliamentary republic, with a unicameral legislative structure elected every five years. Since the year of independence, the country’s largest party has been the People’s Action Party (Pap), which was made up of Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who ruled from 1965 to 1990. Since 2004, the head of government is the eldest son , Lee Hsien Loong. The opposition parties have never managed to organize themselves in such a way as to be able to question the predominance of the Pap, which, even in the legislative elections of May 2011, obtained 81 seats out of 84, but recorded a drop in preferences of 6% about compared to the previous elections. In the 2013 mid-term elections, the Papal lost one seat.
Singapore’s ‘Sand War’
The territorial dimensions of Singapore have prompted governments, from the 1960s onwards, to implement a drainage policy to recover land from the sea, including by adding sand. The territory of the small state, in this way, has grown by about 20%. Thus, space was found for the development of infrastructures and for the population which, despite the birth control policies, tended to increase. Singapore has been accused by neighboring countries, especially Indonesia and Malaysia, of using sand illegally stolen from the beaches of their respective countries for their own purposes. Following these events, some neighboring states (Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam) have decided to ban the export of sand from their coasts. The practice, among other things, causes damage to national natural heritage. Thousands of tons of sand, however, are still exported by smuggling and this type of activity has contributed to tense relations between Singapore and neighboring countries.
Dictionary of History
Singapore Island state of Southeast Asia. Between the end of the 13th and that of the 14th century. Singapore was a commercial center of some importance, but later underwent a decline and remained almost uninhabited until the 19th century. In 1819 TS Raffles established a commercial base there on behalf of the British East India company. The economic development recorded in the second half of the 19th century. caused rapid population growth, particularly as a result of the influx of immigrants from China. Occupied from 1942 to 1945 by Japanese troops, in 1946, due to its great commercial and strategic importance, Singapore was established as a separate colony and in 1959 obtained self-government. Part of the Federation of Malaysia since 1963, it left it in 1965, becoming an independent republic. The People’s Action Party (PAP), in power since 1959, he is the undisputed arbiter of political life. Initially of social democratic inspiration, the PAP progressively changed its orientation, developing a rigidly repressive internal policy and imposing an almost total control of information. In 1990 Lee Kuan Yew, prime minister since 1959, was succeeded by Goh Chok Tong, and in 2004, under a planned political agreement, Lee Hsien Loong, eldest son of the former, became prime minister. Premier Lee Kuan Yew. In 2005, a second presidential term was conferred on Sellapan R. Nathan (in office since 1999), after all the other candidates had been rejected because they lacked the strict requirements established by law. In 2006, the PAP won the legislative elections again and clearly.