Forgotten world (64): Singapore

Singapore comprises the main island – linked by a causeway and a bridge to the southern tip of Malaysia – and around 50 smaller islands. Chinese make up more than 75% of the community of 4.4M; Malays and Indians make up much of the remainder; and there are many foreign workers.
Once a colonial outpost of Britain, Singapore has become one of the world’s most prosperous and most technologically advanced places. According to the quality-of-life index by the Economist Intelligence Unit, it has the highest standard of living in Asia, and is ranked 11th in the world.
However, South-East Asia’s hi-tech, wealthy city-state is also known for the conservatism of its leaders and its strict social controls. Although Singapore is a multi-party nation, the People’s Action Party (PAP) has been the dominant force since independence. Rights groups have accused some politicians of using defamation suits to silence their opponents.