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Wednesday 4th August
Singapore Facts
The highest point in Singapore is Bukit Timah (166 m).

Singapore's name means "lion town". The merlion is the national symbol of Singapore.

The Port of Singapore is one of the world's busiest ports.

Changi airport was the largest airport in Southeast Asia when it opened in 1987. Hong Kong's Kai Tak airport was replaced by Chek Lap Kok airport which became the most modern airport in Southeast Asia.

The national flower of Singapore is the orchid.

In 1877 rubber seeds, originating in Brazil, were sent from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to Singapore. From this grew the great Malayan rubber plantations. This coincided with John Dunlop's invention of the pneumatic tyre.

Singapore is a very clean city: there are high fines for litter, laws forbidding smoking in public places and eating on the underground and similar laws against jay walking.

Chewing gum is not allowed in Singapore because of the difficulty of clearing it from streets and pavements.

Singapore imposes the death penalty for those found guilty of drug trafficking.

Sir Stamford Raffles founded a British trading post in Singapore in 1819.

The Raffles Hotel is one of the most famous hotels in the world.

In 1826 Singapore joined Penang and Malacca to form the Straits Settlements.

Singapore became the capital of the Straits Settlements in 1832.

In 1959 Singapore gained its independence from Britain.

Lee Kuan Yew was the country's first Prime Minister and remained in power from 1959 to 1990.

Singapore joined the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. However, in 1965 Singapore left the Federation becoming a completely independent country.

Singapore is a member of the Commonwealth.

In 1995 the financial scandal of Barings Bank hit Singapore. A trader lost the bank close to a billion pounds before being discovered. Barings collapsed and was bought for only one pound by a Dutch Bank.

Information Technology is very important in schools in Singapore; it is seen as a way of enhancing education and promoting lifelong learning.

In 1997 a Singaporean SilkAir airliner crashed into a river in south Sumatra killing 104 passengers.

The world's first driverless taxi service was launched in Singapore in 2016.
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