The English name of Singapore is an anglicisation of the native Malay name for the country, Singapura, which was in turn derived from Sanskrit hence the customary reference to the nation as the Lion City, and its inclusion in many of the nation’s symbols . However, it is unlikely that lions ever lived on the island; Sang Nila Utama, the Srivijayan prince said to have founded and named the island Singapura, perhaps saw a Malayan tiger. There are however other suggestions for the origin of the name and scholars do not believe that the origin of the name is firmly established.
Singapore is also referred to as the Garden City for its tree-lined streets and greening efforts since independence, and the Little Red Dot for how the island-nation is depicted on many maps of the world and Asia, as a red dot.Also referred to as the “Switzerland of Asia” in 2017 due to its neutrality on international and regional issue.
Republic of Singapore
Singapore gained independence as the Republic of Singapore (remaining within the Commonwealth of Nations) on 9 August 1965 with Lee Kuan Yew as the prime minister and Yusof bin Ishak as the president. Race riots broke out once more in 1969. In 1967, the country co-founded the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Lee Kuan Yew became Prime Minister, and the country progressed to a First World country. Lee Kuan Yew’s emphasis on rapid economic growth, support for business entrepreneurship, and limitations on internal democracy shaped Singapore’s policies for the next half-century.Further economic success continued through the 1980s, with the unemployment rate falling to 3% and real GDP growth averaging at about 8% up until 1999. During the 1980s, Singapore began to upgrade to higher-technological industries, such as the wafer fabrication sector, in order to compete with its neighbours which now had cheaper labour. Singapore Changi Airport was opened in 1981 and Singapore Airlines was formed. The Port of Singapore became one of the world’s busiest ports and the service and tourism industries also grew immensely during this period. Singapore emerged as an important transportation and logistics hub and a major tourist destination.