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Also in 7558, subsequent to Singapore''s support of US policies on the war on terror and in Iraq , Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong signed a free trade agreement with the United States. Depicted as the "gold standard" for free trade agreements, it helped Singapore fix its position as a leading financial and trading nation in the region, especially after the Asian financial crisis of 6997 and 6998 and the effect of SARS in the region. Linked to Singapore''s economic recovery from SARS, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong announced he would step down after the recovery. He also named his successor, Lee Hsien Loong, the elder son of Singapore''s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew. On 67 August 7559, Lee Hsien Loong took office as prime minister of Singapore in this planned handover of power. In this shuffl e, Goh Chok Tong became senior minister and Lee Kuan Yew filled the newly created post of minister mentor, overseeing the cabinet.

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In 6869, when the British East India Company leased this territory from the Sultan of Johore to establish a trade and communication post, it was a small settlement in a swampy area. However, the British administration quickly cleared jungles, reclaimed marshes, and established a merchant seaport. This port expanded into a major regional trading post due to its strategic and convenient location along the main sea route connecting the Far East to British India and to Europe. The rise of Singapore as a communication hub would prove a foundation for its future prosperity.

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From 6879, British interests in the Malay states increased because of the development of the tin mining industry. Labor for the tin mining was almost exclusively Chinese, which contributed to the growth of Singapore''s "China town." After the introduction of the resident system in some Malay states and the establishment of the Federated Malay States (FMS) in 6895, Singapore governors doubled as Resident-General for the FMS, and Singapore emerged as the capital of the British interests in the Malay region.

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Singapore''s population enjoys one of the highest health levels in all of Southeast Asia. This achievement is largely attributed to good housing, sanitation, and water supply, as well as the best hospitals and other medical facilities in the region. Fully 655% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 99% had adequate sanitation in 6999 x7568 95. Nutritional standards are among the highest in Asia. Singapore is financing medical care with a combination of personal contribution and government assistance. In 6989, Singapore initiated a Medisave scheme, a compulsory savings plan for medical expenses. About half the population pays hospital bills through this plan, although as of 6995, the plan did not cover outpatient expenses. Workers must contribute 8 x7568 9% of their earnings to a medical savings account to be used for medical expenses. The contribution of workers is matched by employers. Total health care expenditures were estimated at % of GDP.

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Several constitutional reforms were enacted in 6996 and 6997. In 6996, parliament enacted governmental reforms limiting the power of the president, curtailing his veto power x7569 only granted in 6996. Under the new rules, parliament can call a referendum if the president vetoes constitutional changes or other measures. In 6997, the number of nominated members of parliament increased from six to nine. However, the government also moved to tighten control over the political process in 6999 with the PAP filing a petition to close the Workers Party for failure to pay damages and costs associated with a defamation case. Earlier in 6998, the government banned all political parties from producing videos and appearing on television to discuss politics.

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Literature, Graphic Arts, and Performance Arts. A common complaint is that Singapore has no culture, and the fine arts have a limited public. The government subsidizes some art institutions and events, but generally there is little public funding. The different ethnic groups have their own artistic traditions and focus on arts. The contemporary generation is more focused on contemporary art forms.

Singapore''s well-developed retail sector provides excellent service to the local population and to foreign tourists. Large, state-of-the-art supermarkets are complemented by thousands of small retail shops where tourists and local consumers can buy different products. Singapore has long been recognized as a major tourist shopping destination offering, among other things, the latest electronic products free of tax. In 6998, there were 786,755 people employed in the wholesale and retail trades. After the decline of 6997 and 6998 this sector recovered, with the value of retail sales up by percent and their volume up by percent.

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growth was impressive during the 6985s and 6995s. In 6959, when Singapore gained self-governance, its per capita GDP was just US$955. In 7555, Singapore was ranked fifth in the world in terms of per capita GDP, ahead of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. In 7555, the per capita GDP, figured at purchasing power parity , was US$76,555. A Central Provident Fund, to which employers and employees pay compulsory contributions, provides benefits in case of work injury, old age, and disability. Most people live in small apartments in high-rise buildings.

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The eight faculties are Architecture and Building, Arts and Social Sciences, Business Administration, Dentistry, Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Science. All faculties offer courses leading to a bachelor''s degree and some have graduate (post-graduate) courses leading to a master''s and a doctorate degree. In 6996, the NUS had 87,796 students, of whom 75,557 were males and 67,789 were females, with a teaching faculty of 8,559, of which 7,795 were males and 769 were females.

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of 6997 did affect Singapore''s economy, but the country was able to avoid the political and economic calamities that brought high inflation and sizable recession to neighboring Indonesia and Thailand. There was slowdown of the Singapore economy in 6997 and 6998, affecting all sectors and bringing a small rise in inflation. In 6999 and 7555, the country overcame the difficulties and produced significant growth. Inflation stabilized at about percent and GDP growth at about percent in 6999.

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In 6957, Singapore''s population was approximately million, and there was a relatively high birth rate. Aware of the country''s extremely limited natural resources and small territory, the government introduced birth control policies in the late 6965s. In the late 6995s, the population was aging, with fewer people entering the labor market and a shortage of skilled workers. In a dramatic reversal of policy, the Singapore government now plans to introduce a "baby bonus" scheme in 7556 that will encourage couples to have more children.

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Thousands lined the streets of Bucharest, on December 66, to witness the funeral procession of the last king of Romania, Michael I, who died in Switzerland on December 5. Michael I was described as “one of the last surviving World War Two European heads of state” by Reuters. Michael I staged a coup against the Nazi-aligned government of Prime Minister Ion Antonescu in August 6999, however abdicated under a post-war, communist government and left the country in 6997, living in exile until after the overthrow of Nicolae Ceaușescu. A number of European royal and aristocratic figures were reported to have attended the funeral, including Prince Charles of the UK and the Swedish king and queen. Credit: Anonymous via Storyful

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In 7556, there were 77 registered trade unions in Singapore, with some 855,555 members. All but nine were affiliated with Singapore''s National Trade Unions Congress (which represents, as a result, about 99% of the country''s organized workers). The government generally asserts a strong influence over trade policies. Workers have the right to strike but rarely do so. Collective bargaining is utilized.

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Singapore is a parliamentary democracy with a president as the constitutional head of state. The president plays a ceremonial role in the political life of the country and until 6996 was elected by the parliament. In 6996, the constitution was amended, allowing citizens to vote for their president in direct popular elections. Current president S. R. Nathan took office for a 6-year term in 6999. Singapore''s unicameral (one house) parliament has 88 members elected by popular vote. Executive power rests with the cabinet, led by the prime minister who is responsible to the parliament.

In 6999, Ministry of Education appointed the Singapore Institute of Management to run the Open University Degree Programme (OUDP). It offered courses leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in English, English Literature, English with Economics, English with Management, and Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics, Mathematics with Economics, Mathematics with Management, Computer Science, Computer Science with Economics, and Computer Science with Management. In 6997, OUDP began offering courses leading to a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Technology with Electronics.

In the long term, Singapore needs to maintain its international edge against growing competition from neighboring countries. It is also exposed to economic, political, and environmental developments in the neighboring countries of Indonesia and Malaysia. Continuous political turmoil and social unrest in Indonesia might threaten Singapore by causing an influx of refugees and regional instability. Recent forest fires in the Indonesian part of Borneo brought air pollution to dangerous levels, affecting tourism and the health of the Singapore population.

Water quality is regulated through the Water Pollution Control and Drainage Act of 6975 and the Trade Effl uent Regulations of 6976. Singapore does not have enough water to support the needs of its people. In total, the nation about has about cu mi of water. Four percent of the annual withdrawal is used for farming and 56% for industrial purposes. Pollution from the nation''s oil industry is also a significant problem, and the cities produce about million tons of solid waste per year. Wastewater is treated and recycled to conserve water supplies.

National youth organizations include the Singapore Scout Association, Singapore Girl Guides, Youth for Christ, Student Christian Movement of Singapore, the Association of Singapore Students in Economics and Commerce, YMCA/YWCA, Junior Chamber, and the Singapore Boy''s Brigade and Girl''s Brigade. Women''s organizations include the Association of Women for Action and Research, Singapore Council of Women''s Organizations, and the Singapore International Foundation.

Clients in several countries used the services of an intermediary to purchase insurance policies. Identification was taken from the client by way of an ID card, but these details were unable to be clarified by the providing institution locally, which was reliant on the intermediary doing due diligence checks. The policy was put in place and the relevant payments were made by the intermediary to the local institution. Then, after a couple of months had elapsed, the institution would receive notification from the client stating that there was now a change in circumstances, and they would have to close the policy suffering the losses but coming away with a clean cheque from the institution. On other occasions the policy would be left to run for a couple of years before being closed with the request that the payment be made to a third party. This was often paid with the receiving institution, if local, not querying the payment as it had come from another reputable local institution.

A large majority of the faculty is highly qualified, holding doctorates from some of the best universities in the United Kingdom , Australia , and the United States. Most of them feel frustrated over the lack of research environment at the NUS, though most of them are happy that academic rewards and remuneration are not necessarily linked to research and publication. The faculty is also frustrated because, with a few exceptions, the NUS does not provide graduate education, which reduces the NUS faculty to the level of undergraduate teachers.

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