Singapore Overview


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Brief introduction to Singapore. Includes food, language, religion, Michael Fay, Singlish, political quotes, location, statistics.

Published in: Education, Business, Technology
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  • Great to see the activity on this slide deck, I will be updating the economic stats to reflect a new article that just appeared in Business Week that ranks Singapore as #1 for Innovation.

    This is strictly something I put together as a private individual and does not reflect the opinions of any Singapore company or government body.
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Singapore Overview

  1. 1. Republic of Singapore Island/Nation/City
  2. 2. Singapore: Location in SE Asia Size of Rhode Island
  3. 3. Location and Population <ul><li>Island/Nation/City at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 3 degrees north of the Equator, tropical climate </li></ul><ul><li>Near Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand at the crossroads of trade, navigation </li></ul><ul><li>Population of 3.8 million on area the size of Rhode Island </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural populace </li></ul>
  4. 4. Government <ul><li>Former British Colony, separated from Malaysia in 1965 </li></ul><ul><li>Member of the United Nations, currently a non-voting member of the UN Security Council </li></ul><ul><li>Parliamentary system of government based on the West, Prime Minister, Supreme Court, President </li></ul><ul><li>Government and Business use English </li></ul>
  5. 5. Media - Asian hub for foreign tv, newspapers, magazines, newswires which relocated from Hong Kong after 1997. - Most of MTV’s viewers are in Asia (over 500 million)
  6. 6. Singapore Consumer Culture
  7. 7. Laws <ul><li>Strict laws, little drugs, no guns, low crime </li></ul><ul><li>Death penalty for dealing drugs </li></ul><ul><li>Chewing gum sales banned for years, now allowed. </li></ul><ul><li>Strict laws make Singapore the safest city in Asia </li></ul><ul><li>Strict laws make Singapore attractive to 30,000 Americans and over 400,000 expatriates </li></ul>
  8. 8. Do Strict Laws = Quality of Life? <ul><li>Rated as the #1 Quality of Life in Asia ahead of Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, and Hong Kong </li></ul><ul><li>Ranked ahead of London and New York in Quality of Life ( Economist ) </li></ul><ul><li>Top rated infrastructure in air, sea, telecommunications </li></ul><ul><li>K-12 Education System ranked #1 or #2 in international math and science testing </li></ul>
  9. 9. Business Environment
  10. 10. Profitable Place for Investors
  11. 11. World Competitiveness
  12. 12. Other world rankings
  13. 13. Michael Fay <ul><li>Michael Fay was given 4 months jail and 6 strokes of the cane </li></ul><ul><li>President Clinton requested concern so Fay was given a 33% discount </li></ul><ul><li>Ed Koch, Mayor of New York “Bring back caning in US” </li></ul><ul><li>Usual stereotypes about “Oriental Torture” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Michael Fay - what the US media left out <ul><li>9 foreign students arrested for vandalizing 67 cars, one which belonged to a member of Singapore’s Supreme Court </li></ul><ul><li>A student from Hong Kong got 8 months jail and 12 strokes of the cane) </li></ul><ul><li>Singapore laws allow caning for vandalism (there is little vandalism in Singapore) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Michael Fay - the inside story <ul><li>The Hong Kong student kept his mouth shut, did his jail time, got in good physical shape, and went to study law in England </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Fay went back to America, punched his father, and was arrested for drug possession </li></ul>
  16. 16. Why is Singapore Relevant to the USA? <ul><li>U.S.-Singapore trade supports over 220,000 export-related American jobs </li></ul><ul><li>Singapore is the 11th largest U.S. export market worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>Gateway to 500 million consumers in ASEAN (nations of Southeast Asia) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Relevance to USA continued <ul><li>Over 1500 American companies operate in Singapore today, with over 300 of these having made Singapore their regional Asia Pacific headquarters. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Understanding Singapore <ul><li>Diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural populace developed as a result of Singapore’s free trade status since the 1800’s which attracted immigrants </li></ul><ul><li>No natural resources, information economy </li></ul><ul><li>Singapore is run like a corporation and depends on global trade </li></ul>
  19. 19. US Chamber of Commerce <ul><li>“ Singapore operates the world’s busiest port. Singapore’s participation in free trade agreements allow US companies to effectively use Singapore as a regional hub and manufacturing center.” </li></ul>
  20. 20. 2003 Free Trade Agreement <ul><li>“ The US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement will be America’s first free trade agreement with an Asian country. It will have historical ramifications and it will send a strong signal that the United States intends to remain heavily engaged in Asia for a long time to come in business, economics, security and international politics.” </li></ul>
  21. 21. Media - No censorship of foreign media but circulation requires a license and can be restricted. - Domestic media is government owned, local newspapers tend to “self-censor”
  22. 22. Singapore: Ethnic Groups <ul><li>Chinese - majority; 76%, largest Chinese city outside China [but not part of China!] </li></ul><ul><li>Malay, 14% - indigenous islanders </li></ul><ul><li>Indian, 8% - traders, merchants </li></ul><ul><li>Others - mixed Asian-European ancestry </li></ul>
  23. 24. Singapore: 4 Official Languages <ul><li>English: Standard and Colloquial/Singlish </li></ul><ul><li>Mandarin , various dialects: Cantonese, </li></ul><ul><li>Hokkien, Teochewz </li></ul><ul><li>Malay: Bahasa, Arabic (Islamic Studies) </li></ul><ul><li>Tamil </li></ul>
  24. 25. Singlish: Features <ul><li>Pragmatic particles - ah, lah, what. example: Prisoners also go on tour, ah? </li></ul><ul><li>Verb groups with out subjects - example: Fall down, got then blood! </li></ul>
  25. 26. Non-English Root Words <ul><li>Singapura - Malay name for Singapore - Singa = Lion and pura = city </li></ul><ul><li>Ice Kachang - Malay dessert of shaved ice topped with syrup, nuts (kachang), sweet corn and bits of jello </li></ul><ul><li>Ketchup - from Malay word kecap </li></ul>
  26. 27. When is Singlish Used? <ul><li>Taxi from airport - possibly Singlish </li></ul><ul><li>Arrive at the Ritz - Standard English </li></ul><ul><li>Government office – Standard English </li></ul><ul><li>TV - local; imported – American, British, </li></ul><ul><li> & Singlish </li></ul>
  27. 28. Phua Chu Kang Pte. Ltd.
  28. 29. Description of PCK <ul><li>Local caricature--verges on being a hick by Singapore standards </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotype -- high-school educated and in remodelling (contracting) business </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance: permed hair, pinkie nail, dress </li></ul><ul><li>Situations portrayed mirror social, cultural life of large segment of population </li></ul>
  29. 30. Singlish Usage: Controversy <ul><li>Use widens in mainstream television, radio broadcasts - example PCK Pte. Ltd. </li></ul><ul><li>Becomes defining thread of Singapore identity </li></ul><ul><li>Government cracks down on Singlish use </li></ul>
  30. 31. Singlish or Standard English? <ul><li>College-educated individuals can switch seamlessly between Standard English and Colloquial English </li></ul><ul><li>The average ‘man in the street’ cannot determine proper use of these two varieties of English </li></ul><ul><li>Worrisome trend of low proficiency in command of English, speak Good English campaign </li></ul>
  31. 32. Singapore Food <ul><li>Chinese (Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China) </li></ul><ul><li>Malaysian </li></ul><ul><li>Indian (north and south) </li></ul><ul><li>Indonesian </li></ul><ul><li>Thai </li></ul><ul><li>Japanese, Korean </li></ul>
  32. 33. Chicken Rice - Chinese
  33. 34. Bee Hoon - rice noodles, veggies, shrimp, eggs (shiok!)
  34. 35. Steamboat - fish, shrimp, tofu, vegetables, ginger, hot pepper
  35. 36. Ice Kachang - shaved ice, sweet condensed milk, jello bits, corn, beans
  36. 37. Laksa - (Malay-Straits Chinese dish) spicy noodle soup, eggs, lime
  37. 38. Satay - Malay (meat on a stick), peanut sauce
  38. 39. Lee Kuan Yew <ul><li>Senior Prime Minister and founder of modern Singapore </li></ul><ul><li>Respected for modernizing Singapore </li></ul>
  39. 40. Lee Kuan Yew <ul><li>“ You think, or you say, that we are too authoritarian. We … say this excessive respect for the individual, at the expense of the community, has brought a great deal of social disruption, pain on the public, insecurity, loss of a sense of well-being” </li></ul>
  40. 41. Lee Kuan Yew on Michael Fay <ul><li>“ We don’t deal with criminal behavior the way Americans do. We don’t have the concept of ‘victim of society’ either in the Chinese, Malay, or Tamil language.” </li></ul>