Singapore Politics and Economy

Singapore Politics and Economy


Singapore’s constitution is inspired by English parliamentarism. Members of the single parliamentary chamber represent the various electoral districts. Most of the executive power is in the hands of the Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister, currently Lee Hsien Loong. Although the Singapore presidency is a symbolic role, the President has been given the right to veto in certain matters, such as the use of financial reserves and the appointment of judges. The legislative body of the Government is Parliament. Parliamentarians bridge the gap between the community and the government and ensure that the views of their constituents are considered in Parliament. The current Parliament has 94 members, of which 84 are elected, nine are appointed and one appointed without an electoral district. See population of Singapore.

Although the country has minority parties, such as the Workers’ Party, the Singapore Democratic Party and the Singapore Democratic Alliance, the People’s Action Party or People’s Action Party has dominated the country’s politics since independence. The Economist Intelligence Unit describes the government system as “a hybrid regime” that has democratic and authoritarian features. The Freedom House describes Singapore as “partially free.”

Lee Kuan Yew, considered the father of the country, was the only prime minister from 1959 to 1990, when of his own free will he decided to leave office to make way for the next generation of politicians. When Goh Chok Tong took over as Prime Minister, he created a ministry without a portfolio for Lee Kuan Yew and appointed him Senior Minister. Years later, Goh Chok Tong made a similar decision and decided to leave the position to the replacement generation, and in 2004, Lee Hsien Loong, son of Kuan Yew, assumed the position of Prime Minister; at that time his father went from being called Senior Minister to Mentor Minister, and Goh Chok Tong became Senior Minister.

Economic development

According to abbreviationfinder, Singapore has a prosperous free market economy characterized by an open environment. It has stable prices and one of the highest GDP per capita in the world. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, Singapore is considered one of the “ four Asian threes ”.

The economy depends mainly on exports and the refinement of imports, particularly those of the electronic and industrial sector. The manufacturing sector constituted 26% of the country’s GDP in 2005 and has diversified into the chemical, petroleum refining, mechanical engineering and biomedical sciences sectors, among others. Specifically, the largest oil refinery in Asia is located in Singapore.

Singapore has the seaport that handles the highest volume of annual cargo, both in tonnage and number of containers, in the world. The country is also an important international financial center and has the fourth largest foreign exchange market in the world, behind London, New York and Tokyo. In addition, the economy of Singapore is considered one of the most welcoming economies in the world, for which there are thousands of expatriates in the country working in multinational companies.

In 2001, the global recession and the fall in the technology sector had a major impact on the country’s economy (GDP fell by 2%).


Singapore is a popular tourist destination, making tourism one of the largest economic sectors in the country. Approximately 7.8 million tourists visited the country in 2006 and that number rose to 10.2 million in 2007.

The Orchard Road shopping district is one of the most famous attractions that Singapore has to offer. To attract more visitors, the government decided in 2005 to legalize gambling and allow two integrated casinos or resorts to be built in the Marina South area and Sentosa Island. To compete with regional rivals such as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai, the government gave permission to use lights on the facades of public and private buildings to transform the central area into a more exciting place. Also, food has been promoted as an element of Singapore’s attraction, which is why the Singapore Food Festival is organized every July.

The country’s reputation as a center for medical tourism has grown in recent years. 200,000 foreigners visit Singapore a year to get medical care. It is estimated that one million tourists will visit the country for the same reason in 2012, while creating 13,000 new jobs. 2010 World Competitiveness Index and Ranking prepared by the Swiss Business School: Institute For Management Development (IMD), in its 2010 edition, places this nation as the most competitive above Honkong and the United States, respectively.

Singapore, Crescent Island

When sailor Thomas Stamford Raffles first hoisted the British flag in Singapore in 1819, he came across a small island whose space was shared by natives, fishermen and pirates.

In one of the great engineering projects ever undertaken, Singapore has expanded its territory meter by meter, ton of sand by ton of sand, increasing in size by the equivalent of two Manhattan New Yorkers in the last forty years, thanks to land reclaimed from the sea.

Some of the smaller islets of Riau have been flooded until they are submerged under the sea, and other larger islands have seen their beaches reduced in size:

“When you take the sand with you, smaller islands lose their ability to resist wave erosion and can eventually disappear”

, assures Nur Hidayati, coordinator of the campaign initiated by several Indonesian NGOs to stop the extraction of more sand from their territory.

Singapore used land from its mountains in the early 1960s until its territory was practically flat. The government then began to buy sand from Malaysia and Indonesia in quantities that have been increasing as the needs of the engineers did in their work to gain ground from the sea.

Secondary islands

The main island of Singapore is shaped like a diamond, but the territory includes sixty-four other nearby, smaller islands. Among the secondary islands, we find:

  • Jurong Island
  • Pulau Tekong
  • Pulau Ubin
  • Sentose
  • Brani
  • Bukon
  • Hantu
  • Jong
  • Serangoon
  • Subar Laut
  • Palawan
  • Kusu
  • Pedra Branca
  • Pawai
  • Sakijang bendera
  • Sekudu
  • Semakau
  • Senang
  • Sudong

Singapore Politics

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