Article: 44 things you may not know about Singapore

The nation turns 44 this week. That’s an inauspicious number to some, but there’s always a way to turn that around and make it a little more positive. My mother-in-law tells me you could say it’s 4 + 4 = 8, and that, to the superstitious optimist, says something to the effect of “die die also prosperous”.

Prosperous or not, you could also say, “every National Day, die die sure have articles on the number of things about Singapore based on the number of years of independence”.

So, here it is – 44 things about Singapore you may not know about, or didn’t see it that way.

1. We fought independence, and independence won.
If Lee Kuan Yew is to be believed, then we are probably the only country that gained nationhood by not wanting it. Of course, the other founding fellows have been quoted as saying that leaving the Federation (of Malaysia) was the “best thing that ever happened to Singapore”….

Read on at

How many are Singaporeans?

There might come a time soon when Singaporean citizens, some of whom are responsible for voting in the elections, will be outnumbered in Singapore by people who are not Singaporeans.

CNA says that the population of the country rose by 200,000 between 2006 and 2007, of which only 39,490 were born here, which means 160,510 of these newcomers (welcome, y’all! And yay! my calculator works!) are definitely non-Singaporeans, who, at the moment, tally more than 1 million, and probably around the 2 million mark, because the stats CNA gives don’t tell me how many are Singaporeans and how many are Permanent Residents.

That’s more than one in four people living here. If it’s not your mother, your father, your brother, then the foreigner in your family is you. And the maid.

And don’t cast suspicious eyes at the Olympic Ping Pong team, they’re Singaporeans, every single Chinese Speaking One Of Them, and they won’t be very happy if you tell them you expect medals from them because they’ll have home ground advantage in Beijing, because China very big you know?

Don’t think too much about this though… Happy National Day Saturday!