RARE Original Real Photograph Postcard. The Temple of the Marble Buddha. For offer: a very nice old postcard!Fresh from a prominent estate in Upstate NY. Never offered on the market until now. Vintage, Old, Original, Antique, NOT a Reproduction - Guaranteed! Published by Associated Screen News Limited, Montreal. In very good to excellent condition.
If you collect 20th century Asian history, Culture, etc. This is a treasure you will not see again!Add this to your image or paper / ephemera collection. Gautama Buddha[note 3] c. 483/400 BCE, also known as Siddhrtha Gautama, [note 4] Shakyamuni Buddha, [note 5] or simply the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was an ascetic (ramaa) and sage,  on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.  He is believed to have lived and taught mostly in the eastern part of ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE.
Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the ramaa movement common in his region. He later taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala. Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism. He is believed by Buddhists to be an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering.Accounts of his life, discourses and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarised after his death and memorised by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later. In Vaishnava Hinduism, the historic Buddha is considered to be an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu.  Of the ten major avatars of Vishnu, Vaishnavites believe Gautama Buddha to be the ninth and most recent incarnation. Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha. Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of the Buddha's life. Most people accept that the Buddha lived, taught, and founded a monastic order during the Mahajanapada era during the reign of Bimbisara c.
400 BCE,  the ruler of the Magadha empire, and died during the early years of the reign of Ajatasatru, who was the successor of Bimbisara, thus making him a younger contemporary of Mahavira, the Jain tirthankara.  Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddha's lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential ramaa schools of thought like jvika, Crvka, Jainism, and Ajñana. Brahmajala Sutta records sixty-two such schools of thought. It was also the age of influential thinkers like Mahavira (referred to as'Nigantha Nataputta' in Pali Canon),  Praa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosla, Ajita Kesakambal, Pakudha Kaccyana, and Sañjaya Belahaputta, as recorded in Samaññaphala Sutta, whose viewpoints the Buddha most certainly must have been acquainted with. [note 7] Indeed, Sariputta and Moggallna, two of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, were formerly the foremost disciples of Sañjaya Belahaputta, the sceptic; and the Pali canon frequently depicts Buddha engaging in debate with the adherents of rival schools of thought. There is also philological evidence to suggest that the two masters, Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, were indeed historical figures and they most probably taught Buddha two different forms of meditative techniques.  Thus, Buddha was just one of the many ramaa philosophers of that time.  In an era where holiness of person was judged by their level of asceticism,  Buddha was a reformist within the ramaa movement, rather than a reactionary against Vedic Brahminism.
 While the general sequence of "birth, maturity, renunciation, search, awakening and liberation, teaching, death" is widely accepted, [page needed] there is less consensus on the veracity of many details contained in traditional biographies. The times of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain.
Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as circa 563 BCE to 483 BCE.  More recently his death is dated later, between 411 and 400 BCE, while at a symposium on this question held in 1988,  the majority of those who presented definite opinions gave dates within 20 years either side of 400 BCE for the Buddha's death. [note 6] These alternative chronologies, however, have not been accepted by all historians.The evidence of the early texts suggests that Siddhrtha Gautama was born into the Shakya clan, a community that was on the periphery, both geographically and culturally, of the eastern Indian subcontinent in the 5th century BCE.  It was either a small republic, or an oligarchy, and his father was an elected chieftain, or oligarch.  According to the Buddhist tradition, Gautama was born in Lumbini, now in modern-day Nepal, and raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilvastu, which may have been either in what is present day Tilaurakot, Nepal or Piprahwa, India. [note 1] He obtained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, gave his first sermon in Sarnath, and died in Kushinagar. No written records about Gautama were found from his lifetime or from the one or two centuries thereafter.
In the middle of the 3rd century BCE, several Edicts of Ashoka (reigned circa 269-232 BCE) mention the Buddha, and particularly Ashoka's Rummindei Minor Pillar Edict commemorates the Emperor's pilgrimage to Lumbini as the Buddha's birthplace. Another one of his edicts mentions the titles of several Dhamma texts, establishing the existence of a written Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era.
These texts may be the precursor of the Pli Canon.  [note 10] The oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts are the Gandhran Buddhist texts, reported to have been found in or around Haa near Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan and now preserved in the British Library.
They are written in the Gndhr language using the Kharosthi script on twenty-seven birch bark manuscripts and date from the first century BCE to the third century CE. On the basis of philological evidence, Indologist and Pali expert Oskar von Hinüber says that some of the Pali suttas have retained very archaic place-names, syntax, and historical data from close to the Buddha's lifetime, including the Mahparinibba Sutta which contains a detailed account of the Buddha's final days. Hinüber proposes a composition date of no later than 350320 BCE for this text, which would allow for a "true historical memory" of the events approximately 60 years prior if the Short Chronology for the Buddha's lifetime is accepted (but also reminds that such a text was originally intended more as hagiography than as an exact historical record of events).
The first known anthropomorphic representation of the Buddha, here surrounded by Brahma (left) and akra (right). Bimaran Casket, mid-1st century CE, British Museum. The sources for the life of Siddhrtha Gautama are a variety of different, and sometimes conflicting, traditional biographies. These include the Buddhacarita, Lalitavistara Stra, Mahvastu, and the Nidnakath.  Of these, the Buddhacarita is the earliest full biography, an epic poem written by the poet Avaghoa in the first century CE.
 The Lalitavistara Stra is the next oldest biography, a Mahyna/Sarvstivda biography dating to the 3rd century CE.  The Mahvastu from the Mahsghika Lokottaravda tradition is another major biography, composed incrementally until perhaps the 4th century CE.  The Dharmaguptaka biography of the Buddha is the most exhaustive, and is entitled the Abhinikramaa Stra,  and various Chinese translations of this date between the 3rd and 6th century CE.The Nidnakath is from the Theravada tradition in Sri Lanka and was composed in the 5th century by Buddhaghoa. From canonical sources come the Jataka tales, the Mahapadana Sutta (DN 14), and the Achariyabhuta Sutta (MN 123), which include selective accounts that may be older, but are not full biographies. The Jtakas retell previous lives of Gautama as a bodhisattva, and the first collection of these can be dated among the earliest Buddhist texts.
 The Mahpadna Sutta and Achariyabhuta Sutta both recount miraculous events surrounding Gautama's birth, such as the bodhisattva's descent from the Tuita Heaven into his mother's womb. My miraculously giving birth to Siddhrtha. In the earliest Buddhist texts, the nikyas and gamas, the Buddha is not depicted as possessing omniscience (sabbaññu) nor is he depicted as being an eternal transcendent (lokottara) being.
According to Bhikkhu Analayo, ideas of the Buddha's omniscience (along with an increasing tendency to deify him and his biography) are found only later, in the Mahayana sutras and later Pali commentaries or texts such as the Mahvastu.  In the Sandaka Sutta, the Buddha's disciple Ananda outlines an argument against the claims of teachers who say they are all knowing  while in the Tevijjavacchagotta Sutta the Buddha himself states that he has never made a claim to being omniscient, instead he claimed to have the "higher knowledges" (abhijñ).  The earliest biographical material from the Pali Nikayas focuses on the Buddha's life as a ramaa, his search for enlightenment under various teachers such as Alara Kalama and his forty-five-year career as a teacher.Traditional biographies of Gautama generally include numerous miracles, omens, and supernatural events. The character of the Buddha in these traditional biographies is often that of a fully transcendent Skt. Lokottara and perfected being who is unencumbered by the mundane world. In the Mahvastu, over the course of many lives, Gautama is said to have developed supramundane abilities including: a painless birth conceived without intercourse; no need for sleep, food, medicine, or bathing, although engaging in such "in conformity with the world"; omniscience, and the ability to "suppress karma".
 Nevertheless, some of the more ordinary details of his life have been gathered from these traditional sources. In modern times there has been an attempt to form a secular understanding of Siddhrtha Gautama's life by omitting the traditional supernatural elements of his early biographies. Andrew Skilton writes that the Buddha was never historically regarded by Buddhist traditions as being merely human.It is important to stress that, despite modern Theravada teachings to the contrary (often a sop to skeptical Western pupils), he was never seen as being merely human. For instance, he is often described as having the thirty-two major and eighty minor marks or signs of a mahpurua, "superman"; the Buddha himself denied that he was either a man or a god; and in the Mahparinibbna Sutta he states that he could live for an aeon were he asked to do so.
The ancient Indians were generally unconcerned with chronologies, being more focused on philosophy. Buddhist texts reflect this tendency, providing a clearer picture of what Gautama may have taught than of the dates of the events in his life.
These texts contain descriptions of the culture and daily life of ancient India which can be corroborated from the Jain scriptures, and make the Buddha's time the earliest period in Indian history for which significant accounts exist.  British author Karen Armstrong writes that although there is very little information that can be considered historically sound, we can be reasonably confident that Siddhrtha Gautama did exist as a historical figure.  Michael Carrithers goes a bit further by stating that the most general outline of "birth, maturity, renunciation, search, awakening and liberation, teaching, death" must be true. Maya's dream of the Birth of Gautama Siddharta.
Birthplace of Gautama Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal, [note 1] a holy shrine also for many non-Buddhists. The Buddhist tradition regards Lumbini, in present-day Nepal to be the birthplace of the Buddha. [note 1] He grew up in Kapilavastu. [note 1] The exact site of ancient Kapilavastu is unknown.
 It may have been either Piprahwa, Uttar Pradesh, in present-day India,  or Tilaurakot, in present-day Nepal.  Both places belonged to the Sakya territory, and are located only 15 miles apart. Gautama was born as a Kshatriya, [note 12] the son of uddhodana, "an elected chief of the Shakya clan",  whose capital was Kapilavastu, and who were later annexed by the growing Kingdom of Kosala during the Buddha's lifetime. Gautama was the family name. His mother, Maya (Mydev), Suddhodana's wife, was a Koliyan princess.
Legend has it that, on the night Siddhartha was conceived, Queen Maya dreamt that a white elephant with six white tusks entered her right side,  and ten months later Siddhartha was born. As was the Shakya tradition, when his mother Queen Maya became pregnant, she left Kapilavastu for her father's kingdom to give birth. However, her son is said to have been born on the way, at Lumbini, in a garden beneath a sal tree. The day of the Buddha's birth is widely celebrated in Theravada countries as Vesak.  Buddha's Birthday is called Buddha Purnima in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India as he is believed to have been born on a full moon day.Various sources hold that the Buddha's mother died at his birth, a few days or seven days later. The infant was given the name Siddhartha (Pli: Siddhattha), meaning "he who achieves his aim". During the birth celebrations, the hermit seer Asita journeyed from his mountain abode and announced that the child would either become a great king (chakravartin) or a great sadhu.  By traditional account, which?
This occurred after Siddhartha placed his feet in Asita's hair and Asita examined the birthmarks. Suddhodana held a naming ceremony on the fifth day, and invited eight Brahmin scholars to read the future. All gave a dual prediction that the baby would either become a great king or a great holy man.  Kondañña, the youngest, and later to be the first arhat other than the Buddha, was reputed to be the only one who unequivocally predicted that Siddhartha would become a Buddha.
While later tradition and legend characterised uddhodana as a hereditary monarch, the descendant of the Suryavansha (Solar dynasty) of Ikvku (Pli: Okkka), many scholars think that uddhodana was the elected chief of a tribal confederacy. Early texts suggest that Gautama was not familiar with the dominant religious teachings of his time until he left on his religious quest, which is said to have been motivated by existential concern for the human condition.
 The state of the Shakya clan was not a monarchy and seems to have been structured either as an oligarchy, or as a form of republic.  The more egalitarian gana-sangha form of government, as a political alternative to the strongly hierarchical kingdoms, may have influenced the development of the ramanic Jain and Buddhist sanghas, where monarchies tended toward Vedic Brahmanism. Birth and childhood of the Buddha.
Maya's dream, Bharhut, circa 150 BCE. Maya's dream, Gandhara, 2nd century CE. The Infant Buddha Taking A Bath, Gandhara 2nd Century CE. The infant Buddha taking the Seven Steps.Siddhartha was brought up by his mother's younger sister, Maha Pajapati.  By tradition, he is said to have been destined by birth to the life of a prince and had three palaces (for seasonal occupation) built for him. His father, said to be King uddhodana, wishing for his son to be a great king, is said to have shielded him from religious teachings and from knowledge of human suffering. While uddhodana has traditionally been depicted as a king, and Siddhartha as his prince, more recent scholarship suggests the Shakya were in-fact organised as a semi-republican oligarchy rather than a monarchy. When he reached the age of 16, his father reputedly arranged his marriage to a cousin of the same age named Yaodhar (Pli: Yasodhar). According to the traditional account, which? She gave birth to a son, named Rhula. Siddhartha is said to have spent 29 years as a prince in Kapilavastu.
Although his father ensured that Siddhartha was provided with everything he could want or need, Buddhist scriptures say that the future Buddha felt that material wealth was not life's ultimate goal. The "Great Departure" of Siddhartha Gautama, surrounded by a halo, he is accompanied by numerous guards, maithuna loving couples, and devata who have come to pay homage; Gandhara, Kushan period. Prince Siddhartha shaves his hair and becomes an ascetic. At the age of 29, Siddhartha left his palace to meet his subjects. Despite his father's efforts to hide from him the sick, aged and suffering, Siddhartha was said to have seen an old man.
When his charioteer Channa explained to him that all people grew old, the prince went on further trips beyond the palace. On these he encountered a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and an ascetic. These depressed him, and he initially strove to overcome ageing, sickness, and death by living the life of an ascetic.
Accompanied by Channa and riding his horse Kanthaka, Gautama quit his palace for the life of a mendicant. It's said that "the horse's hooves were muffled by the gods" to prevent guards from knowing of his departure. Gautama initially went to Rajagaha and began his ascetic life by begging for alms in the street. After King Bimbisara's men recognised Siddhartha and the king learned of his quest, Bimbisara offered Siddhartha the throne.
Siddhartha rejected the offer but promised to visit his kingdom of Magadha first, upon attaining enlightenment. He left Rajagaha and practised under two hermit teachers of yogic meditation. After mastering the teachings of Alara Kalama Skr. Ra Klma, he was asked by Kalama to succeed him. However, Gautama felt unsatisfied by the practice, and moved on to become a student of yoga with Udaka Ramaputta Skr.  With him he achieved high levels of meditative consciousness and was again asked to succeed his teacher.
But, once more, he was not satisfied, and again moved on. The Buddha surrounded by the demons of Mra. See also: Enlightenment in Buddhism.
Stone Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, India, is the place where Gautama Buddha attained nirvana underneath the Bodhi Tree. Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India, where Gautama Buddha attained nirvana under the Bodhi Tree (left).
Main articles: Moksha and Nirvana (Buddhism). According to the early Buddhist texts,  after realising that meditative dhyana was the right path to awakening, but that extreme asceticism didn't work, Gautama discovered what Buddhists know as being, the Middle Waya path of moderation away from the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification, or the Noble Eightfold Path, as described in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which is regarded as the first discourse of the Buddha.
 In a famous incident, after becoming starved and weakened, he is said to have accepted milk and rice pudding from a village girl named Sujata.  Such was his emaciated appearance that she wrongly believed him to be a spirit that had granted her a wish.
Following this incident, Gautama was famously seated under a pipal treenow known as the Bodhi treein Bodh Gaya, India, when he vowed never to arise until he had found the truth.  Kaundinya and four other companions, believing that he had abandoned his search and become undisciplined, ceased to stay with him, and went to somewhere else. After a reputed 49 days of meditation, at the age of 35, he is said to have attained Enlightenment,  and became known as the Buddha or "Awakened One" ("Buddha" is also sometimes translated as "The Enlightened One"). According to some sutras of the Pali canon, at the time of his awakening he realised complete insight into the Four Noble Truths, thereby attaining liberation from samsara, the endless cycle of rebirth, suffering and dying again.  According to scholars, this story of the awakening and the stress on "liberating insight" is a later development in the Buddhist tradition, where the Buddha may have regarded the practice of dhyana as leading to Nirvana and moksha.
[note 13]. Nirvana is the extinguishing of the "fires" of desire, hatred, and ignorance, that keep the cycle of suffering and rebirth going.
 Nirvana is also regarded as the "end of the world", in that no personal identity or boundaries of the mind remain.  In such a state, a being is said to possess the Ten Characteristics, belonging to every Buddha. According to a story in the ycana Sutta Samyutta Nikaya VI.1 a scripture found in the Pli and other canons immediately after his awakening, the Buddha debated whether or not he should teach the Dharma to others. He was concerned that humans were so overpowered by ignorance, greed and hatred that they could never recognise the path, which is subtle, deep and hard to grasp. However, in the story, Brahm Sahampati convinced him, arguing that at least some will understand it. The Buddha relented, and agreed to teach. Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath, India, site of the first teaching of the Buddha in which he taught the Four Noble Truths to his first five disciples. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message). Mulagandhakuti, Remains of Buddha's hut in Jetavana Monastery, Shravasti, India, Where the Buddha delivered majority of his discourses.
After his awakening, the Buddha met Taphussa and Bhallika two merchant brothers from the city of Balkh in what is currently Afghanistan who became his first lay disciples. It is said that each was given hairs from his head, which are now claimed to be enshrined as relics in the Shwe Dagon Temple in Rangoon, Burma. The Buddha intended to visit Asita, and his former teachers, Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramaputta, to explain his findings, but they had already died.
He then travelled to the Deer Park near Varanasi (Benares) in northern India, where he set in motion what Buddhists call the Wheel of Dharma by delivering his first sermon to the five companions with whom he had sought enlightenment. Together with him, they formed the first sagha: the company of Buddhist monks. All five become arahants, and within the first two months, with the conversion of Yasa and fifty-four of his friends, the number of such arahants is said to have grown to 60.
The conversion of three brothers named Kassapa followed, with their reputed 200, 300 and 500 disciples, respectively. This swelled the sangha to more than 1,000. Buddha with his protector Vajrapani, Gandhra, 2nd century CE, Ostasiatisches Kunst-Museum. For the remaining 45 years of his life, the Buddha is said to have travelled in the Gangetic Plain, in what is now Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and southern Nepal, teaching a diverse range of people: from nobles to servants, murderers such as Angulimala, and cannibals such as Alavaka.  Although the Buddha's language remains unknown, it's likely that he taught in one or more of a variety of closely related Middle Indo-Aryan dialects, of which Pali may be a standardisation.
The sangha travelled through the subcontinent, expounding the dharma. This continued throughout the year, except during the four months of the Vassa rainy season when ascetics of all religions rarely travelled. One reason was that it was more difficult to do so without causing harm to animal life. At this time of year, the sangha would retreat to monasteries, public parks or forests, where people would come to them. A view of Vulture Peak, Rajgir, India where the Atanatiya Sutta was held.
The first vassana was spent at Varanasi when the sangha was formed. After this, the Buddha kept a promise to travel to Rajagaha, capital of Magadha, to visit King Bimbisara. During this visit, Sariputta and Maudgalyayana were converted by Assaji, one of the first five disciples, after which they were to become the Buddha's two foremost followers. The Buddha spent the next three seasons at Veluvana Bamboo Grove monastery in Rajagaha, the capital of Magadha.Upon hearing of his son's awakening, Suddhodana sent, over a period, ten delegations to ask him to return to Kapilavastu. On the first nine occasions, the delegates failed to deliver the message and instead joined the sangha to become arahants. The tenth delegation, led by Kaludayi, a childhood friend of Gautama's (who also became an arahant), however, delivered the message. Now two years after his awakening, the Buddha agreed to return, and made a two-month journey by foot to Kapilavastu, teaching the dharma as he went.
At his return, the royal palace prepared a midday meal, but the sangha was making an alms round in Kapilavastu. Hearing this, Suddhodana approached his son, the Buddha, saying.
Ours is the warrior lineage of Mahamassata, and not a single warrior has gone seeking alms. The Buddha is said to have replied. That is not the custom of your royal lineage. But it is the custom of my Buddha lineage.
Several thousands of Buddhas have gone by seeking alms. Buddhist texts say that Suddhodana invited the sangha into the palace for the meal, followed by a dharma talk.
After this he is said to have become a sotapanna. During the visit, many members of the royal family joined the sangha. The Buddha's cousins Ananda and Anuruddha became two of his five chief disciples. At the age of seven, his son Rahula also joined, and became one of his ten chief disciples.
His half-brother Nanda also joined and became an arahant. Of the Buddha's disciples, Sariputta, Maudgalyayana, Mahakasyapa, Ananda and Anuruddha are believed to have been the five closest to him. His ten foremost disciples were reputedly completed by the quintet of Upali, Subhoti, Rahula, Mahakaccana and Punna. In the fifth vassana, the Buddha was staying at Mahavana near Vesali when he heard news of the impending death of his father.He is said to have gone to Suddhodana and taught the dharma, after which his father became an arahant. The last days of buddha teachings. The king's death and cremation was to inspire the creation of an order of nuns.
Buddhist texts record that the Buddha was reluctant to ordain women. His foster mother Maha Pajapati, for example, approached him, asking to join the sangha, but he refused. Maha Pajapati, however, was so intent on the path of awakening that she led a group of royal Sakyan and Koliyan ladies, which followed the sangha on a long journey to Rajagaha. In time, after Ananda championed their cause, the Buddha is said to have reconsidered and, five years after the formation of the sangha, agreed to the ordination of women as nuns. He reasoned that males and females had an equal capacity for awakening.But he gave women additional rules (Vinaya) to follow. The Buddha's entry into Parinirvana. According to the Mahaparinibbana Sutta of the Pali canon, at the age of 80, the Buddha announced that he would soon reach Parinirvana, or the final deathless state, and abandon his earthly body. After this, the Buddha ate his last meal, which he had received as an offering from a blacksmith named Cunda. Falling violently ill, Buddha instructed his attendant nanda to convince Cunda that the meal eaten at his place had nothing to do with his passing and that his meal would be a source of the greatest merit as it provided the last meal for a Buddha.  Mettanando and von Hinüber argue that the Buddha died of mesenteric infarction, a symptom of old age, rather than food poisoning.
The precise contents of the Buddha's final meal are not clear, due to variant scriptural traditions and ambiguity over the translation of certain significant terms; the Theravada tradition generally believes that the Buddha was offered some kind of pork, while the Mahayana tradition believes that the Buddha consumed some sort of truffle or other mushroom. These may reflect the different traditional views on Buddhist vegetarianism and the precepts for monks and nuns.Buddha's cremation stupa, Kushinagar (Kushinara). Waley suggests that Theravadins would take suukaramaddava (the contents of the Buddha's last meal), which can translate literally as pig-soft, to mean "soft flesh of a pig" or "pig's soft-food", that is, after Neumann, a soft food favoured by pigs, assumed to be a truffle. He argues (also after Neumann) that as "(p)lant names tend to be local and dialectical", as there are several plants known to have suukara- (pig) as part of their names, [note 14] and as Pali Buddhism developed in an area remote from the Buddha's death, suukaramaddava could easily have been a type of plant whose local name was unknown to those in Pali regions. Specifically, local writers writing soon after the Buddha's death knew more about their flora than Theravadin commentator Buddhaghosa who lived hundreds of years and hundreds of kilometres remote in time and space from the events described. Unaware that it may have been a local plant name and with no Theravadin prohibition against eating animal flesh, Theravadins would not have questioned the Buddha eating meat and interpreted the term accordingly. The sharing of the relics of the Buddha, Zenymitsu-Temple Museum, Tokyo. According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha died at Kuinra (present-day Kushinagar, India), which became a pilgrimage centre.  Ananda protested the Buddha's decision to enter Parinirvana in the abandoned jungles of Kuinra of the Malla kingdom. The Buddha, however, is said to have reminded Ananda how Kushinara was a land once ruled by a righteous wheel-turning king and the appropriate place for him to die. The Buddha then asked all the attendant Bhikkhus to clarify any doubts or questions they had and cleared them all in a way which others could not do. According to Buddhist scriptures, he then finally entered Parinirvana. The Buddha's final words are reported to have been: All composite things (Sakhra) are perishable. Strive for your own liberation with diligence (Pali:'vayadhamm sakhr appamdena sampdeth').
His body was cremated and the relics were placed in monuments or stupas, some of which are believed to have survived until the present. For example, the Temple of the Tooth or "Dalada Maligawa" in Sri Lanka is the place where what some believe to be the relic of the right tooth of Buddha is kept at present. Life scenes of Buddha, sand stone: Birth, Enlightenment, Descent from Heaven, First Sermon, Passing Away, c.
2nd Century CE, Government Museum, Mathura. According to the Pli historical chronicles of Sri Lanka, the Dpavasa and Mahvasa, the coronation of Emperor Aoka (Pli: Asoka) is 218 years after the death of the Buddha. According to two textual records in Chinese (and), the coronation of Emperor Aoka is 116 years after the death of the Buddha. Therefore, the time of Buddha's passing is either 486 BCE according to Theravda record or 383 BCE according to Mahayana record.
However, the actual date traditionally accepted as the date of the Buddha's death in Theravda countries is 544 or 545 BCE, because the reign of Emperor Aoka was traditionally reckoned to be about 60 years earlier than current estimates. In Burmese Buddhist tradition, the date of the Buddha's death is 13 May 544 BCE.
 whereas in Thai tradition it is 11 March 545 BCE. At his death, the Buddha is famously believed to have told his disciples to follow no leader. Mahakasyapa was chosen by the sangha to be the chairman of the First Buddhist Council, with the two chief disciples Maudgalyayana and Sariputta having died before the Buddha. Hair Relics of Buddha on display at Gangaramaya Temple (Colombo). While in the Buddha's days he was addressed by the very respected titles Buddha, Shkyamuni, Shkyasimha, Bhante and Bho, he was known after his parinirvana nirvana as Arihant, Bhagav/Bhagavat/Bhagwn, Mahvira,  Jina/Jinendra, Sstr, Sugata, and most popularly in scriptures as Tathgata.See also: arra and Relics associated with Buddha. After his death, Buddha's cremation relics were divided amongst 8 royal families and his disciples; centuries later they would be enshrined by King Ashoka into 84,000 stupas.
 Many supernatural legends surround the history of alleged relics as they accompanied the spread of Buddhism and gave legitimacy to rulers. War over the Buddha's Relics held by the city of Kushinagar, South Gate, Stupa no. Main article: Physical characteristics of the Buddha.Gandhran depiction of the Buddha from Hadda, Afghanistan; Victoria and Albert Museum, London. An extensive and colourful physical description of the Buddha has been laid down in scriptures. A kshatriya by birth, he had military training in his upbringing, and by Shakyan tradition was required to pass tests to demonstrate his worthiness as a warrior in order to marry.
 He had a strong enough body to be noticed by one of the kings and was asked to join his army as a general.  He is also believed by Buddhists to have "the 32 Signs of the Great Man".
The Brahmin Sonadanda described him as handsome, good-looking, and pleasing to the eye, with a most beautiful complexion. He has a godlike form and countenance, he is by no means unattractive. It is wonderful, truly marvellous, how serene is the good Gotama's appearance, how clear and radiant his complexion, just as the golden jujube in autumn is clear and radiant, just as a palm-tree fruit just loosened from the stalk is clear and radiant, just as an adornment of red gold wrought in a crucible by a skilled goldsmith, deftly beaten and laid on a yellow-cloth shines, blazes and glitters, even so, the good Gotama's senses are calmed, his complexion is clear and radiant.
A disciple named Vakkali, who later became an arahant, was so obsessed by the Buddha's physical presence that the Buddha is said to have felt impelled to tell him to desist, and to have reminded him that he should know the Buddha through the Dhamma and not through physical appearances. Although there are no extant representations of the Buddha in human form until around the 1st century CE (see Buddhist art), descriptions of the physical characteristics of fully enlightened buddhas are attributed to the Buddha in the Digha Nikaya's Lakkhaa Sutta (D, I:142).  In addition, the Buddha's physical appearance is described by Yasodhara to their son Rahula upon the Buddha's first post-Enlightenment return to his former princely palace in the non-canonical Pali devotional hymn, Narasha Gth ("The Lion of Men").
Among the 32 main characteristics it is mentioned that Buddha has blue eyes. Recollection of nine virtues attributed to the Buddha is a common Buddhist meditation and devotional practice called Buddhnusmti. The nine virtues are also among the 40 Buddhist meditation subjects.
The nine virtues of the Buddha appear throughout the Tipitaka,  and include. Vijja-carana-sampano Endowed with higher knowledge and ideal conduct. Lokavidu Wise in the knowledge of the many worlds.Anuttaro Purisa-damma-sarathi Unexcelled trainer of untrained people. Satthadeva-Manussanam Teacher of gods and humans. An Arahant is one with taints destroyed, who has lived the holy life, done what had to be done, laid down the burden, reached the true goal, destroyed the fetters of being, and is completely liberated through final knowledge. Lord Buddha at Pandavleni Caves, Nashik. In the Pali Canon, the Buddha uses many Brahmanical devices. For example, in Samyutta Nikaya 111, Majjhima Nikaya 92 and Vinaya i 246 of the Pali Canon, the Buddha praises the Agnihotra as the foremost sacrifice and the Gayatri mantra as the foremost meter. Aggihuttamukh yaññ svitt chandaso mukham. Sacrifices have the Agnihotra as foremost; of meter, the foremost is the Svitr. One method to obtain information on the oldest core of Buddhism is to compare the oldest versions of the Pali Canon and other texts, such as the surviving portions of Sarvastivada, Mulasarvastivada, Mahisasaka, Dharmaguptaka,  and the Chinese Agamas.  The reliability of these sources, and the possibility of drawing out a core of oldest teachings, is a matter of dispute..  According to Vetter, inconsistencies remain, and other methods must be applied to resolve those inconsistencies. According to Schmithausen, there are three positions held by scholars of Buddhism:. Stress on the fundamental homogeneity and substantial authenticity of at least a considerable part of the Nikayic materials. Scepticism with regard to the possibility of retrieving the doctrine of earliest Buddhism. Cautious optimism in this respect. The Buddha on a coin of Kanishka I, circa 130 CE. A core problem in the study of early Buddhism is the relation between dhyana and insight.  Schmithausen notes that the mention of the four noble truths as constituting "liberating insight", which is attained after mastering the Rupa Jhanas, is a later addition to texts such as Majjhima Nikaya 36. According to Tilmann Vetter, the core of earliest Buddhism is the practice of dhyna,  as a workable alternative to painful ascetic practices. [note 20] Bronkhorst agrees that Dhyna was a Buddhist invention, [page needed] whereas Norman notes that the Buddha's way to release... Was by means of meditative practices.  Discriminating insight into transiency as a separate path to liberation was a later development. According to the Mahsaccakasutta, [note 21] from the fourth jhana the Buddha gained bodhi. Yet, it is not clear what he was awakened to. [page needed] According to Schmithausen and Bronkhorst, "liberating insight" is a later addition to this text, and reflects a later development and understanding in early Buddhism. [page needed] The mentioning of the four truths as constituting "liberating insight" introduces a logical problem, since the four truths depict a linear path of practice, the knowledge of which is in itself not depicted as being liberating:. [T]hey do not teach that one is released by knowing the four noble truths, but by practicing the fourth noble truth, the eightfold path, which culminates in right samadhi. Although "Nibbna" (Sanskrit: Nirvna) is the common term for the desired goal of this practice, many other terms can be found throughout the Nikayas, which are not specified. According to Vetter, the description of the Buddhist path may initially have been as simple as the term "the middle way".  In time, this short description was elaborated, resulting in the description of the eightfold path.
According to both Bronkhorst and Anderson, the four truths became a substitution for prajna, or "liberating insight", in the suttas[page needed] in those texts where "liberating insight" was preceded by the four jhanas.  According to Bronkhorst, the four truths may not have been formulated in earliest Buddhism, and did not serve in earliest Buddhism as a description of "liberating insight".  Gotama's teachings may have been personal, adjusted to the need of each person. The three marks of existence[note 23] may reflect Upanishadic or other influences. Norman supposes that these terms were already in use at the Buddha's time, and were familiar to his listeners.
The Brahma-vihara was in origin probably a brahmanic term; but its usage may have been common to the Sramana traditions. In time, "liberating insight" became an essential feature of the Buddhist tradition. The following teachings, which are commonly seen as essential to Buddhism, are later formulations which form part of the explanatory framework of this "liberating insight":. The Four Noble Truths: that suffering is an ingrained part of existence; that the origin of suffering is craving for sensuality, acquisition of identity, and fear of annihilation; that suffering can be ended; and that following the Noble Eightfold Path is the means to accomplish this. The Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.Dependent origination: the mind creates suffering as a natural product of a complex process. Buddha depicted as the 9th avatar of god Vishnu in a traditional Hindu representation. Buddha as an avatar at Dwaraka Tirumala temple, Andhra Pradesh. Main article: Gautama Buddha in world religions.
Some Hindus regard Gautama as the 9th avatar of Vishnu. [note 11] However, Buddha's teachings deny the authority of the Vedas and the concepts of Brahman-Atman.  Consequently Buddhism is generally classified as a nstika school (heterodox, literally "It is not so"[note 24]) in contrast to the six orthodox schools of Hinduism. The Buddha is regarded as a prophet by the minority Ahmadiyya sect of Muslims a sect considered a deviant and rejected as apostate by mainstream Islam. Some early Chinese Taoist-Buddhists thought the Buddha to be a reincarnation of Laozi. Disciples of the Cao ài religion worship the Buddha as a major religious teacher.  His image can be found in both their Holy See and on the home altar.
He is revealed during communication with Divine Beings as son of their Supreme Being (God the Father) together with other major religious teachers and founders like Jesus, Laozi, and Confucius. The Christian Saint Josaphat is based on the Buddha. The name comes from the Sanskrit Bodhisattva via Arabic Bdhasaf and Georgian Iodasaph.  The only story in which St. Josaphat appears, Barlaam and Josaphat, is based on the life of the Buddha. Josaphat was included in earlier editions of the Roman Martyrology (feast day 27 November) though not in the Roman Missal and in the Eastern Orthodox Church liturgical calendar (26 August). In the ancient Gnostic sect of Manichaeism, the Buddha is listed among the prophets who preached the word of God before Mani. In Sikhism, Buddha is mentioned as the 23rd avatar of Vishnu in the Chaubis Avtar, a composition in Dasam Granth traditionally and historically attributed to Guru Gobind Singh. Singapore /spr/ (About this sound listen), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. It lies one degree (137 kilometres or 85 miles) north of the equator, at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia's Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north.
Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets. Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23% (130 square kilometres or 50 square miles).Stamford Raffles founded colonial Singapore in 1819 as a trading post of the British East India Company. After the company's collapse in 1858, the islands were ceded to the British Raj as a crown colony. During the Second World War, Singapore was occupied by Japan. It gained independence from the UK in 1963 by federating with other former British territories to form Malaysia, but separated two years later over ideological differences, becoming a sovereign nation in 1965. After early years of turbulence and despite lacking natural resources and a hinterland, the nation developed rapidly as an Asian Tiger economy, based on external trade and its workforce. Singapore is a global commerce, finance and transport hub. In 2018, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Singapore for the fifth year in a row as the most expensive city to live in the world. The Port of Singapore and Changi Airport have held the titles of "Top Maritime Capital" and "Best Airport" respectively for consecutive years, while its national airline Singapore Airlines is the 2018 "World's Best Airline".
Singapore ranks 5th on the UN Human Development Index and the 3rd highest GDP per capita. It is ranked highly in education, healthcare, life expectancy, quality of life, personal safety and housing.  Although income inequality is high, 90% of homes are owner-occupied. 39% of Singapore's 5.6 million residents are not citizens.There are four official languages: English (common and first language), Malay, Mandarin Chinese and Tamil; almost all Singaporeans are bilingual. Singapore is a unitary multiparty parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government.
The People's Action Party has won every election since self-government began in 1959. The dominance of the PAP, coupled with a low level of press freedom and restrictions on civil liberties and political rights, has led to Singapore being classified by the Economist Intelligence Unit as a flawed democracy. As one of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is also the host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat and a member of the East Asia Summit, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations. Main article: Names of Singapore. The English name of Singapore is an anglicisation of the native Malay name for the country, Singapura, which was in turn derived from Sanskrit (, IAST: Sihapura; siha is "lion", pura is "town" or "city"), hence the customary reference to the nation as the Lion City, and its inclusion in many of the nation's symbols e.
Its coat of arms, Merlion emblem. However, it is unlikely that lions ever lived on the island; Sang Nila Utama, the Srivijayan prince said to have founded and named the island Singapura, perhaps saw a Malayan tiger.
There are however other suggestions for the origin of the name and scholars do not believe that the origin of the name is firmly established.  The central island has also been called Pulau Ujong as far back as the third century CE, literally "island at the end" (of the Malay Peninsula) in Malay. Singapore is also referred to as the Garden City for its tree-lined streets and greening efforts since independence,  and the Little Red Dot for how the island-nation is depicted on many maps of the world and Asia, as a red dot.  Also referred to as the "Switzerland of Asia" in 2017 due to it's neutrality on international and regional issues.Main article: History of Singapore. Singapore under British control 181926.
Japanese occupation of Singapore 19421945. Singapore in Malaysia 19631965 also known as Malaya. The Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy (90168) identified a place called Sabana in the general area in the second century,  and the earliest written record of Singapore occurs in a Chinese account from the third century, describing the island of Pu Luo Chung . This was itself a transliteration from the Malay name "Pulau Ujong", or "island at the end" (of the Malay Peninsula).A fragment of the Singapore Stone monolith with the earliest writing found on the island, at "Rocky Point" at the mouth of Singapore River, inscribed with an Indic script, c. 10th to 13th century.
The Nagarakretagama, a Javanese epic poem written in 1365, referred to a settlement on the island called Tumasik (possibly meaning "Sea Town").  In 1299, according to the Malay Annals, the Kingdom of Singapura was founded on the island by Sang Nila Utama.  Although the historicity of the accounts as given in the Malay Annals is the subject of academic debates,  it is nevertheless known from various documents that Singapore in the 14th century, then known as Temasek, was a trading port under the influence of both the Majapahit Empire and the Siamese kingdoms and was a part of the Indosphere of Greater India.  These Indianized Kingdoms, a term coined by George Cdès were characterized by surprising resilience, political integrity and administrative stability.  Historical sources also indicate that around the end of the 14th century, its ruler Parameswara was attacked by either the Majapahit or the Siamese, forcing him to move on to Melaka where he founded the Sultanate of Malacca.
 Archaeological evidence suggests that the main settlement on Fort Canning was abandoned around this time, although a small trading settlement continued in Singapore for some time afterwards.  In 1613, Portuguese raiders burned down the settlement, and the island faded into obscurity for the next two centuries.  By then Singapore was nominally part of the Johor Sultanate.  The wider maritime region and much trade was under Dutch control for the following period. Main articles: Founding of modern Singapore and Singapore in the Straits Settlements.
Singapore's free port trade was at Singapore River for 150 years. Fort Canning hill (centre) was home to its ancient and early colonial rulers. Raffles arrived in Singapore on 28 January 1819 and soon recognised the island as a natural choice for the new port.The island was then nominally ruled by the Sultan of Johor, who was controlled by the Dutch and the Bugis. However, the Sultanate was weakened by factional division and Tengku Abdu'r Rahman and his officials were loyal to Tengku Rahman's elder brother Tengku Long who was living in exile in Riau. With the Temenggong's help, Raffles managed to smuggle Tengku Long back into Singapore.  A formal treaty was signed on 6 February 1819 and modern Singapore was born. In 1824, the entire island as well as the Temenggong became a British possession after a further treaty with the Sultan.
 In 1826, Singapore became part of the Straits Settlements, under the jurisdiction of British India, becoming the regional capital in 1836.  Prior to Raffles' arrival, there were only about a thousand people living on the island, mostly indigenous Malays along with a handful of Chinese. By 1860 the population had swelled to over 80,000, more than half being Chinese.  Many of these early immigrants came to work on the pepper and gambier plantations.  Later, in the 1890s, when the rubber industry also became established in Malaya and Singapore,  the island became a global centre for rubber sorting and export. Raffles Hotel was established in 1887. Singapore was not much affected by First World War (191418), as the conflict did not spread to Southeast Asia. The only significant event during the war was a mutiny by the Muslim sepoys from British India who were garrisoned in Singapore, which occurred in 1915.
After hearing rumours that they were to be sent off to fight the Ottoman Empire, which was a Muslim state, the soldiers rebelled. They killed their officers and several British civilians before the mutiny was suppressed by non-Muslim troops arriving from Johore and Burma. After the First World War, the British built the large Singapore Naval Base as part of the defensive Singapore strategy.
Originally announced in 1923, the construction of the base proceeded slowly until the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. It was defended by heavy 15-inch naval guns stationed at Fort Siloso, Fort Canning and Labrador, as well as a Royal Air Force airfield at Tengah Air Base. Winston Churchill touted it as the "Gibraltar of the East" and military discussions often referred to the base as simply "East of Suez". Unfortunately, it was a base without a fleet.
The British Home Fleet was stationed in Europe, and the British could not afford to build a second fleet to protect its interests in Asia. The plan was for the Home Fleet to sail quickly to Singapore in the event of an emergency. However, after World War II broke out in 1939, the fleet was fully occupied with defending Britain. Main article: Japanese occupation of Singapore. Singapore Naval Base, completed in 1938.During the Second World War, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded British Malaya, culminating in the Battle of Singapore. When the British force of 60,000 troops surrendered on 15 February 1942, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called the defeat the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history.  British losses during the fighting for Singapore were heavy, with a total of nearly 85,000 personnel captured, in addition to losses during the earlier fighting in Malaya.  About 5,000 were killed or wounded,  of which Australians made up the majority.  Japanese casualties during the fighting in Singapore amounted to 1,714 killed and 3,378 wounded. [Note 1] The occupation was to become a major turning point in the histories of several nations, including those of Japan, Britain, and the then-colonial state of Singapore. Japanese newspapers triumphantly declared the victory as deciding the general situation of the war.
 Singapore was renamed Syonan-to (Shnan-t), meaning "Light of the South".  Between 5,000 and 25,000 ethnic Chinese people were killed in the subsequent Sook Ching massacre. British forces had planned to liberate Singapore in 1945; however, the war ended before these operations could be carried out.
It was subsequently re-occupied by British, Indian and Australian forces following the Japanese surrender in September.  Meanwhile, Tomoyuki Yamashita was tried by a US military commission for war crimes, but not for crimes committed by his troops in Malaya or Singapore.He was convicted and hanged in the Philippines on 23 February 1946. Main articles: Operation Tiderace and Post-war Singapore. British evacuation in 1945 after the Japanese surrender. Kallang Airport's control tower near the city has been conserved. After the Japanese surrender to the Allies on 15 August 1945, Singapore fell into a brief state of violence and disorder; looting and revenge-killing were widespread.
Much of the infrastructure had been destroyed during the war, including harbor facilities at the Port of Singapore. There was also a shortage of food leading to malnutrition, disease, and rampant crime and violence. High food prices, unemployment, and workers' discontent culminated into a series of strikes in 1947 causing massive stoppages in public transport and other services.
The failure of Britain to successfully defend Singapore had destroyed its credibility as infallible ruler in the eyes of Singaporeans. The decades after the war saw a political awakening amongst the local populace and the rise of anti-colonial and nationalist sentiments, epitomized by the slogan Merdeka, or "independence" in the Malay language. The British, on their part, were prepared to gradually increase self-governance for Singapore and Malaya.  On 1 April 1946, the Straits Settlements was dissolved and Singapore became a separate Crown Colony with a civil administration headed by a Governor.
In July 1947, separate Executive and Legislative Councils were established and the election of six members of the Legislative Council was scheduled in the following year. During the 1950s, Chinese communists with strong ties to the trade unions and Chinese schools waged a guerrilla war against the government, leading to the Malayan Emergency. The 1954 National Service Riots, Chinese middle schools riots, and Hock Lee bus riots in Singapore were all linked to these events.  David Marshall, pro-independence leader of the Labour Front, won Singapore's first general election in 1955. He led a delegation to London, but Britain rejected his demand for complete self-rule.He resigned and was replaced by Lim Yew Hock in 1956, whose policies convinced Britain to grant Singapore full internal self-government for all matters except defence and foreign affairs. During the May 1959 elections, the People's Action Party won a landslide victory.
Singapore became an internally self-governing state within the Commonwealth, with Lee Kuan Yew as its first Prime Minister.  As a result, the 1959 general elections were the first after full internal self-government was granted by the British authorities. Singapore was not yet fully independent, as the British still controlled external affairs such as the military and foreign relations. However, Singapore was now a recognised state. Governor Sir William Allmond Codrington Goode served as the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara (Head of State), and was succeeded by Yusof bin Ishak.The founding father of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, declaring the formation of the Federation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963 in Singapore, with Sabah and Sarawak also celebrating along. Despite their successes in governing Singapore, the PAP leaders believed that Singapore's future lay with Malaya due to strong ties between the two nations. It was thought that the merger would benefit the economy by creating a common market which will support new industries, thus solving the ongoing unemployment woes in Singapore. However, a sizeable pro-communist wing of the PAP were strongly opposed to the merger, fearing a loss of influence.
 This is because the ruling party of Malaya, United Malays National Organisation, was staunchly anti-communist and would support the non-communist faction of PAP against them. UMNO, who were initially sceptical of the idea of a merger as they distrust the PAP government and were concerned that the large Chinese population in Singapore would alter the racial balance on which their political power base depended, changed their minds about the merger after being afraid of being taken over by pro-communists. On 27 May, Malaya's Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, mooted the idea of a Federation of Malaysia, comprising existing Federation of Malaya, Singapore, Brunei and the British Borneo territories of North Borneo and Sarawak.
 The UMNO leaders believed that the additional Malay population in the Borneo territories would offset Singapore's Chinese population.  The British government, for its part, believed that the merger would prevent Singapore from becoming a haven for communism.Main article: Singapore in Malaysia. See also: Independence of Singapore Agreement 1965.
Lee Kuan Yew, the then Prime Minister of Singapore. Lee is recognised as the nation's founding father. The 1962 Merger Referendum provided options for a merger with Malaysia, but no option for avoiding the merger. As a result, on 16 September 1963 Singapore joined with the Federation of Malaya, the Crown Colony of Sarawak and the Crown Colony of North Borneo to form the new federation of Malaysia under the terms of the Malaysia Agreement.
Given Singapore's limited size and lack of natural resources, it was felt integrating with Malaya would provide a route to stronger economic development. The merger would also give the PAP legitimacy, and remove the threat of communist government over Singapore.  However, shortly after the merger, the Singapore state government and the Malaysian central government disagreed on many political and economic issues, and communal strife culminated in the 1964 race riots in Singapore.
On 10 March 1965, a bomb planted by Indonesian saboteurs on a mezzanine floor of MacDonald House exploded, killing three people and injuring 33 others. It was the deadliest of at least 42 bomb incidents which occurred during the confrontation.  Two members of the Indonesian Marine Corps, Osman bin Haji Mohamed Ali and Harun bin Said, were eventually convicted and executed for the crime. There were many heated ideological conflicts between the two governments, even on the economic front.
Despite an earlier agreement to establish a common market, Singapore continued to face restrictions when trading with the rest of Malaysia. In retaliation, Singapore did not extend to Sabah and Sarawak the full extent of the loans agreed to for economic development of the two eastern states.
The situation escalated to such an intensity that talks soon broke down and abusive speeches and writing became rife on both sides. Because of this, on 7 August 1965, the then Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, seeing no alternative to avoid further bloodshed, advised the Parliament of Malaysia that it should vote to expel Singapore from Malaysia.  On 9 August 1965, the Malaysian Parliament voted 126 to 0 (with Singaporean delegates not present) to move a bill to amend the constitution providing for Singapore to separate from the Federation of Malaysia. Different types of flags and banners being flown at a structure in Istana Park. The national flag, along with banners, flown at Istana Park.
Singapore gained independence as the Republic of Singapore (remaining within the Commonwealth of Nations) on 9 August 1965 with Lee Kuan Yew as the prime minister and Yusof bin Ishak as the president. Race riots broke out once more in 1969.  In 1967, the country co-founded the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  Lee Kuan Yew became Prime Minister, and the country progressed to a First World country. Lee Kuan Yew's emphasis on rapid economic growth, support for business entrepreneurship, and limitations on internal democracy shaped Singapore's policies for the next half-century.
 Further economic success continued through the 1980s, with the unemployment rate falling to 3% and real GDP growth averaging at about 8% up until 1999. During the 1980s, Singapore began to upgrade to higher-technological industries, such as the wafer fabrication sector, in order to compete with its neighbours which now had cheaper labour. Singapore Changi Airport was opened in 1981 and Singapore Airlines was formed. The Port of Singapore became one of the world's busiest ports and the service and tourism industries also grew immensely during this period. Singapore emerged as an important transportation hub and a major tourist destination. The PAP rule is termed authoritarian by some activists and opposition politicians who see the strict regulation of political and media activities by the government as an infringement on political rights.  In response, the government of Singapore underwent several significant changes. Non-Constituency Members of Parliament were introduced in 1984 to allow up to three losing candidates from opposition parties to be appointed as MPs. Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs) was introduced in 1988 to create multi-seat electoral divisions, intended to ensure minority representation in parliament.  Nominated Members of Parliament were introduced in 1990 to allow non-elected non-partisan MPs.  The Constitution was amended in 1991 to provide for an Elected President who has veto power in the use of national reserves and appointments to public office.
 The opposition parties have complained that the GRC system has made it difficult for them to gain a foothold in parliamentary elections in Singapore, and the plurality voting system tends to exclude minority parties. Current and 3rd Prime Minister.
Since self-government in 1959, Singapore has only three Prime Ministers. In 1990, Goh Chok Tong succeeded Lee and became Singapore's second Prime Minister.  During Goh's tenure, the country went through some post-independence crises, such as the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2003 SARS outbreak. In 2004, Lee Hsien Loong, the eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew, became the country's third Prime Minister.
 Lee Hsien Loong's tenure included the 2008 global financial crisis, the resolution of a dispute over Malayan railways land, and the introduction of integrated resorts.  Despite the economy's exceptional growth, the People's Action Party (PAP) suffered its worst election results in 2011, winning 60% of votes, amidst hot-button issues of high influx of foreign workers and cost of living.  On 23 March 2015 Lee Kuan Yew passed away,  during the 50th year of independence, declaring a one-week period of public mourning. Subsequently, the PAP maintained its dominance in Parliament at the September general elections, receiving 69.9% of the popular vote, behind the 2001 tally of 75.3% and the 1968 tally of 86.7%.
On 12 June 2018, Singapore hosted a historic summit between U. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the first-ever meeting between the sitting leaders of the two nations. The summit took place at the Capella Resort on the island of Sentosa. Main articles: Government of Singapore, Politics of Singapore, Human rights in Singapore, and Administrative divisions of Singapore. Large white building with a red roof, with a palm-lined path leading up to the main entrance.
Singapore's Parliament House, beside the Singapore River. Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government representing constituencies. The country's constitution establishes a representative democracy as the political system.  Executive power rests with the Cabinet of Singapore, led by the Prime Minister and, to a much lesser extent, the President.
 The President is elected through a popular vote, and has veto powers over a specific set of executive decisions, such as the use of the national reserves and the appointment of judges, but otherwise occupies a largely ceremonial post. The Parliament serves as the legislative branch of the government.  Members of Parliament (MPs) consist of elected, non-constituency and nominated members. Elected MPs are voted into the Parliament on a "first-past-the-post" (plurality) basis and represent either single-member or group representation constituencies.  The People's Action Party has won control of Parliament with large majorities in every election since self-governance was secured in 1959.
Although the elections are clean, there is no independent electoral authority and the government has strong influence on the media. Freedom House ranks Singapore as "partly free" in its Freedom in the World report,  and The Economist ranks Singapore as a "flawed democracy", the second best rank of four, in its "Democracy Index".
 The latest elections were in September 2015, with the PAP winning 83 of 89 seats contested with 70% of the popular vote. The Court of Appeal occupies the'disc' atop, representing the highest level of justice, and a modern interpretation of the dome. The legal system of Singapore is based on English common law, but with substantial local differences.Trial by jury was abolished in 1970 so that judicial decisions would rest entirely in the hands of appointed judges.  Singapore has penalties that include judicial corporal punishment in the form of caning, which may be imposed for such offences as rape, rioting, vandalism, and certain immigration offences.
 There is Capital punishment in Singapore for murder, as well as for certain aggravated drug-trafficking and firearms offences. Amnesty International has said that some legal provisions of the Singapore system conflict with the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and that Singapore has... Possibly the highest execution rate in the world relative to its population. The government has disputed Amnesty's claims.  Singapore's judicial system is considered one of the most reliable in Asia. Speakers' Corner in Chinatown provides a public demonstration and "free speech" area usually restricted in other parts of the island. Singapore has been consistently rated among the least corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International.  Singapore's unique combination of a strong almost authoritarian government with an emphasis on meritocracy and good governance is known as the "Singapore model", and is regarded as a key factor behind Singapore's political stability, economic growth, and harmonious social order.  In 2011, the World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index ranked Singapore among the top countries surveyed with regard to "order and security", "absence of corruption", and "effective criminal justice". However, the country received a much lower ranking for "freedom of speech" and "freedom of assembly".  All public gatherings of five or more people require police permits, and protests may legally be held only at the Speakers' Corner.
In 2017, Halimah Yacob was named the first female president of Singapore. She won on nomination day since all other candidates were declared ineligible for the election. Main article: Foreign relations of Singapore.Ambassador to the USA Chan Heng Chee, Lee Kuan Yew, and US Secretary of Defense William Cohen in a room. Then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Ambassador to the US Chan Heng Chee meeting with US Secretary of Defense William Cohen during a visit in 2000. Singapore's foreign policy is aimed at maintaining security in Southeast Asia and surrounding territories. An underlying principle is political and economic stability in the region.  It has diplomatic relations with more than 180 sovereign states.
Partners of AsiaEurope Meeting(ASEM) in blue. As one of the five founding members of ASEAN,  it is a strong supporter of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) and the ASEAN Investment Area, because Singapore's economy is closely linked to that of the region as a whole.Former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong proposed the formation of an ASEAN Economic Community, a step beyond the current AFTA, bringing it closer to a common market. This was agreed to in 2007 for implementation by 2015. Other regional organisations are important to Singapore, and it is the host of the APEC Secretariat.  Singapore maintains membership in other regional organisations, such as AsiaEurope Meeting, the Forum for East Asia-Latin American Cooperation, the Indian Ocean Rim Association, and the East Asia Summit.  It is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth.  While Singapore is not a formal member of the G20, it has been invited to participate in G20 processes in most years since 2010. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong with President of Argentina Mauricio Macri. In general, bilateral relations with other ASEAN members are strong; however, disagreements have arisen,  and relations with neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia have sometimes been strained.  Border issues exist with Malaysia and Indonesia, and both have banned the sale of marine sand to Singapore over disputes about Singapore's land reclamation.
 Some previous disputes, such as the Pedra Branca dispute, have been resolved by the International Court of Justice.  Piracy in the Strait of Malacca has been a cause of concern for all three countries.  Close economic ties exist with Brunei, and the two share a pegged currency value, through a Currency Interchangeability Agreement between the two countries which makes both Brunei dollar and Singapore dollar banknotes and coins legal tender in either country.The first diplomatic contact with China was made in the 1970s, with full diplomatic relations established in the 1990s. Since then the two countries have been major players in strengthening the ASEANChina relationship, and has maintained a long-standing and greatly prioritized close relationship partly due to China's growing influence and essentiality in the Asia-Pacific region, specifying that "its common interest with China is far greater than any differences". Furthermore, Singapore has positioned itself as a strong supporter for China's constructive engagement and peaceful development in the region. In addition, China has been Singapore's largest trading partner since 2013, after surpassing Malaysia.
 Singapore and the United States share a long-standing close relationship, in particular in defence, the economy, health, and education. Singapore has also pushed regional counter-terrorism initiatives, with a strong resolve to deal with terrorists inside its borders. To this end the country has step up cooperation with ASEAN members and China to strengthen regional security and fight terrorism, as well as participating in the organisation's first joint maritime exercise with the latter.
 It has also given support to the US-led coalition to fight terrorism, with bilateral co-operation in counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation initiatives, and joint military exercises. Main article: Singapore Armed Forces. The Officer Cadet School building within the SAFTI Military Institute as seen from the northwest. The Singaporean military is arguably the most technologically advanced in Southeast Asia.  It comprises the Singapore Army, Republic of Singapore Navy, and Republic of Singapore Air Force.It is seen as the guarantor of the country's independence.  This principle translates into the culture, involving all citizens in the country's defence.  The government spends 4.9% of the country's GDP on the militaryhigh by regional standardsand one out of every four dollars of government spending is spent on defence. Singapore Air Force's F-15SG are Strike Eagle variants (24 units).
Pilots also train in Australia, France and the United States due to severe airspace constraints. After its independence, Singapore had two infantry regiments commanded by British officers.This force was considered too small to provide effective security for the new country, so development of its military forces became a priority.  Britain pulled its military out of Singapore in October 1971, leaving behind only a small British, Australian and New Zealand force as a token military presence. The last British soldier left Singapore in March 1976. New Zealand troops were the last to leave, in 1989. A great deal of initial support came from Israel,  a country that is not recognised by the neighbouring Muslim-majority nations of Malaysia, Indonesia, or Brunei.  The main fear after independence was an invasion by Malaysia. Israeli Defense Force (IDF) commanders were tasked with creating the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) from scratch, and Israeli instructors were brought in to train Singaporean soldiers. Military courses were conducted according to the IDF's format, and Singapore adopted a system of conscription and reserve service based on the Israeli model.
 Singapore still maintains strong security ties with Israel and is one of the biggest buyers of Israeli arms and weapons systems.  The MATADOR anti-tank weapon is one example of recent SingaporeanIsraeli collaboration. Republic of Singapore Navy's RSS Steadfast and RSS Vigilance sailing line-abreast during CARAT Singapore 2010. The SAF is being developed to respond to a wide range of issues, in both conventional and unconventional warfare.The Defence Science and Technology Agency is responsible for procuring resources for the military.  The geographic restrictions of Singapore mean that the SAF must plan to fully repulse an attack, as they can not fall back and re-group. The small size of the population has also affected the way the SAF has been designed, with a small active force but a large number of reserves. Singapore has conscription for all able-bodied males at age 18, except those with a criminal record or who can prove that their loss would bring hardship to their families. Males who have yet to complete pre-university education or are awarded the Public Service Commission scholarship can opt to defer their draft. Though not required to perform military service, the number of women in the SAF has been increasing: since 1989 they have been allowed to fill military vocations formerly reserved for men.
Before induction into a specific branch of the armed forces, recruits undergo at least 9 weeks of basic military training. Flag lowering by Singapore troops in Afghanistan. Because of the scarcity of open land on the main island, training involving activities such as live firing and amphibious warfare is often carried out on smaller islands, typically barred to civilian access.This also avoids risk to the main island and the city. However, large-scale drills are considered too dangerous to be performed in the area, and since 1975 have been performed in Taiwan.  Training is also held in about a dozen other countries. In general, military exercises are held with foreign forces once or twice per week. Due to airspace and land constraints, the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) maintains a number of overseas bases in Australia, the United States, and France. The RSAF's 130 Squadron is based in RAAF Base Pearce, Western Australia,  and its 126 Squadron is based in the Oakey Army Aviation Centre, Queensland.  The RSAF has one squadronthe 150 Squadronbased in Cazaux Air Base in southern France.  The RSAF also has a few overseas detachments in the United States, in San Diego, California, Marana, Arizona, Grand Prairie, Texas and Luke Air Force Base, among others. The SAF has sent forces to assist in operations outside the country, in areas such as Iraq and Afghanistan,  in both military and civilian roles.
In the region, it has helped stabilise East Timor and has provided aid to Aceh in Indonesia following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. In 2014, the RSN deployed two ships, the RSS Resolute and the Tenacious to the Gulf of Aden to aid in counter piracy efforts as part of Task Force 151. The SAF also helped in relief efforts during Hurricane Katrina and Typhoon Haiyan.  Singapore is part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements, a military alliance with Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Main article: Geography of Singapore. Map showing Singapore island and the territories belonging to Singapore and its neighbours. An outline of Singapore and the surrounding islands and waterways. Singapore consists of 63 islands, including the main island, Pulau Ujong. There are two man-made connections to Johor, Malaysia: the JohorSingapore Causeway in the north and the Tuas Second Link in the west. Jurong Island, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin and Sentosa are the largest of Singapore's smaller islands. The highest natural point is Bukit Timah Hill at 163.63 m (537 ft). Ongoing land reclamation projects have increased Singapore's land area from 581.5 km2 (224.5 sq mi) in the 1960s to 721.5 km2 (278.6 sq mi) in 2018, an increase of some 23% (130 km2).  The country is projected to grow to 766 km2 (300 sq mi) by 2030.
 Some projects involve merging smaller islands through land reclamation to form larger, more functional islands, as has been done with Jurong Island. Main article: Wildlife of Singapore. Singapore's urbanisation means that it has lost 95% of its historical forests,  and now over half of the naturally occurring fauna and flora in Singapore is present in nature reserves, such as the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, which comprise only 0.25% of Singapore's land area.  To combat this decline, in 1967 the government introduced the vision of making Singapore a "garden city" aiming to soften the harshness of urbanisation and improve the quality of life.  Since then, nearly 10% of Singapore's land has been set aside for parks and nature reserves. The government also has plans to preserve the remaining wildlife. Singapore's well known gardens include the Singapore Botanic Gardens, a 150 year old tropical garden and Singapore's first UNESCO World Heritage Site,  and Gardens by the Bay, a popular tourist attraction. Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen: Af) with no distinctive seasons, uniform temperature and pressure, high humidity, and abundant rainfall. Temperatures usually range from 22 to 35 °C (72 to 95 °F). While temperature does not vary greatly throughout the year, there is a wetter monsoon season from November to January.
From July to October, there is often haze caused by bush fires in neighbouring Indonesia, usually from the island of Sumatra.  Although Singapore does not observe daylight saving time (DST), it follows the GMT+8 time zone, one hour ahead of the typical zone for its geographical location.
This has caused the sun to rise and set particularly late during January and February, where the sun rises at 7.15am and sets around 7.30pm. During July, the sun sets at around 7.15pm, similar to other cities at much higher latitudes such as Taipei and Tokyo.
The earliest the sun sets and rises is November, where the sun rises at 6.45am and sets at 6.50pm. Source #1: National Environment Agency climatological reference period: 19812010; records: temp. 19292017, rainfall 18692017, humidity 19292017, rain days 18912017. Source #2: NOAA (sun only, 19611990).Main article: Economy of Singapore. Singapore Skyline at Dawn (8037966047). Singapore Central Business District viewed from UOB Plaza 2. Marina Bay Sands in the evening - 20101120.
Aerial view of Marina Bay Financial Centre, Singapore, at night - 20121010. Singapore has a highly developed market economy, based historically on extended entrepôt trade. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan, Singapore is one of the original Four Asian Tigers, but has surpassed its peers in terms of GDP per capita. Between 1965 and 1995, growth rates averaged around 6 per cent per annum, transforming the living standards of the population.  The Singaporean economy is known as one of the freest,  most innovative,  most competitive,  most dynamic and most business-friendly.
 The 2015 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Singapore as the second freest economy in the world and the Ease of Doing Business Index has also ranked Singapore as the easiest place to do business for the past decade.  According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, Singapore is consistently perceived as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, along with New Zealand and the Scandinavian countries.  In 2016, Singapore is rated the world's most expensive city for the third consecutive year by the Economist Intelligence Unit.  Singapore has the world's eleventh largest foreign reserves,  and one of the highest net international investment position per capita.  There are more than 7,000 multinational corporations from the United States, Japan, and Europe in Singapore.
There are also approximately 1,500 companies from China and a similar number from India. Roughly 44 percent of the Singaporean workforce is made up of non-Singaporeans.  Over ten free-trade agreements have been signed with other countries and regions.
 Despite market freedom, Singapore's government operations have a significant stake in the economy, contributing 22% of the GDP. Singapore is the second-largest foreign investor in India.  It is the 14th largest exporter and the 15th largest importer in the world.
Economy Statistics (Recent Years) : Year 2011 To Year 2014. Sources:. Singapore Airlines celebrated the nation's Golden Jubilee with its Airbus A380 in SG50 livery.Singapore Airlines celebrated Golden Jubilee with its Airbus A380 in'SG50' livery.  It is interchangeable with the Brunei dollar at par value since 1967, owing to their historically close relations. This is different from most central banks, which use interest rates to manage policy. Australian millionaire retailer Brett Blundy and multi-billionaire Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin are two examples of wealthy individuals who have settled in Singapore (Blundy in 2013 and Saverin in 2012).  In October 2016, the Monetary Authority of Singapore admonished and fined UBS and DBS and withdrew Falcon Private Bank's banking license for their alleged role in the Malaysian Sovereign Fund scandal. Singapore has the world's highest percentage of millionaires, with one out of every six households having at least one million US dollars in disposable wealth. This excludes property, businesses, and luxury goods, which if included would increase the number of millionaires, especially as property in Singapore is among the world's most expensive.  Singapore does not have a minimum wage, believing that it would lower its competitiveness.
It also has one of the highest income inequalities among developed countries. Main article: Employment in Singapore. Singapore traditionally has one of the lowest unemployment rates among developed countries.The unemployment rate did not exceed 4% from 2005 to 2014, hitting highs of 3.1% in 2005 and 3% during the 2009 global financial crisis; it fell to 1.8% in the first quarter of 2015. The government provides numerous assistance programmes to the homeless and needy through the Ministry of Social and Family Development, so acute poverty is rare. Although it has been recognised that foreign workers are crucial to the country's economy, the government is considering capping these workers,  as foreign workers make up 80% of the construction industry and up to 50% of the service industry.  The Immigrations and Checkpoints authority publishes a number of criteria for eligibility for permanent residence. A view of the cityscape and anchored ships from Singapore's Eastern Anchorage off the East Coast Park.
The economy is diversified, with its top contributors financial services, manufacturing, oil-refining. Its main exports are refined petroleum, integrated circuits and computers  which constituted 27% of the country's GDP in 2010, and includes significant electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, mechanical engineering and biomedical sciences sectors. In 2006, Singapore produced about 10% of the world's foundry wafer output. In 2011, amidst the global financial crisis, OCBC, DBS and UOB were ranked as the world's 1st, 5th, 6th "strongest banks in the world" respectively by Bloomberg surveys. The nation's best known global brands include Singapore Airlines, Changi Airport and Port of Singapore, all three are amongst the most-awarded in their respective industry sectors.
Singapore Airlines is ranked as Asia's most-admired company, and world's 19th most-admired in 2015, by Fortune's annual "50 most admired companies in the world" industry surveys. It is also the world's most-awarded airline, including "Best international airline", by US-based Travel + Leisure reader surveys, for 20 consecutive years.  Changi Airport connects over 100 airlines to more than 300 cities.
The strategic international air hub has more than 480 "World's Best Airport" awards as of 2015, and is known as the most-awarded airport in the world. Tourism forms a large part of the economy, with over 15 million tourists visiting the city-state in 2014.  Singapore also promotes itself as a medical tourism hub: about 200,000 foreigners seek medical care there each year. Singapore medical services aim to serve at least one million foreign patients annually and generate USD3 billion in revenue.  In 2015, Lonely Planet and The New York Times listed Singapore as their top and 6th best world destination to visit respectively.
Singapore is an education hub, with more than 80,000 international students in 2006.  5,000 Malaysian students cross the JohorSingapore Causeway daily to attend schools in Singapore.  In 2009, 20% of all students in Singaporean universities were international students the maximum cap allowed, a majority from ASEAN, China and India.
The Port of Singapore, one of the top two busiest container ports in the world since the 1990s. Sentosa island in the background. Information and communications technologies (ICT) is one of the pillars of Singapore's economic success.When Singapore first came online, Singaporeans could use Teleview to communicate with one another, but not with those outside of their sovereign city-state. Publications such as The Wall Street Journal were censored.
The'Intelligent Island' is a term used to describe Singapore in the 1990s, in reference to the island nation's early adaptive relationship with the internet.  The term is referenced in William Gibson's 1993 essay Disneyland with the Death Penalty. The World Economic Forum's 2015 Global Technology Report placed Singapore as the most "Tech-Ready Nation". It is the most comprehensive survey of the pervasiveness and network-readiness of a country, in terms of market, political and regulatory infrastructure for connectivity. Singapore has also topped Waseda University's International e-Government rankings from 2009 to 2013, and 2015.
Singapore has the world's highest smartphone penetration rates, in surveys by Deloitte and Google Consumer Barometer at 89% and 85% of the population respectively in 2014. Internet in Singapore is provided by state owned Singtel, partially state owned Starhub and M1 Limited as well as some other business internet service providers (ISPs) that offer residential service plans of speeds up to 2 Gbit/s as of spring 2015.Main article: Transport in Singapore. Exit A of Stadium station. Automatic tolling gantry of Singapore's Electronic Road Pricing scheme. As Singapore is a small island with a high population density, the number of private cars on the road is restricted to curb pollution and congestion. Car prices are generally significantly higher in Singapore than in other English-speaking countries.
 As with most Commonwealth countries, vehicles on the road and people walking on the streets keep to the left. Singapore MRT trains parked at the bay of the SMRT Trains Bishan Depot. A Crystal Mover on the Punggol LRT system at Punggol Station in Singapore. Singaporean residents also travel by bicycles, bus, taxis and train (MRT or LRT).
Two companies run the train transport systemSBS Transit and SMRT Corporation. There are six taxi companies, who together put out over 28,000 taxis on the road.
 Taxis are a popular form of public transport as the fares are relatively cheap compared to many other developed countries. Singapore has a road system covering 3,356 kilometres (2,085 mi), which includes 161 kilometres (100 mi) of expressways.  The Singapore Area Licensing Scheme, implemented in 1975, became the world's first congestion pricing scheme, and included other complementary measures such as stringent car ownership quotas and improvements in mass transit.
 Upgraded in 1998 and renamed Electronic Road Pricing, the system introduced electronic toll collection, electronic detection, and video surveillance technology. Singapore Changi Airport, Control Tower. Changi Airport continues to expand with a 4th Terminal and mixed-use complex Jewel by 2018.
Singapore is a major international transport hub in Asia, serving some of the busiest sea and air trade routes. Changi Airport is an aviation centre for Southeast Asia and a stopover on the Kangaroo Route between Sydney and London. There are eight airports in the country. Singapore Changi Airport hosts a network of over 100 airlines connecting Singapore to some 300 cities in about 70 countries and territories worldwide.
 It has been rated one of the best international airports by international travel magazines, including being rated as the world's best airport for the first time in 2006 by Skytrax.  The national airline is Singapore Airlines.
It is also the world's second-busiest, behind Shanghai, in terms of cargo tonnage with 423 million tons handled. Main article: Water supply and sanitation in Singapore. Access to water is universal, affordable, efficient and of high quality. Integrated water management approaches such as the reuse of reclaimed water, the establishment of protected areas in urban rainwater catchments and the use of estuaries as freshwater reservoirs have been introduced along with seawater desalination to reduce the country's dependence on water imported from neighbouring Malaysia.Singapore's approach does not rely only on physical infrastructure, but it also emphasises proper legislation and enforcement, water pricing, public education as well as research and development. Main articles: Demographics of Singapore and Singaporeans. Chinese and Malay women in Singapore, circa 1890. As of mid-2015, the estimated population of Singapore was 5,535,000 people, 3,375,000 (61%) of whom were citizens, while the remaining 2,160,000 (39%) were permanent residents (527,700) or foreign students/foreign workers/dependants (1,632,300).
 According to the country's most recent census in 2010, nearly 23% of Singaporean residents i. Citizens and permanent residents were foreign born (which means about 10% of Singapore citizens were foreign-born naturalised citizens); if non-residents were counted, nearly 43% of the total population were foreign born. The same census also reports that about 74.1% of residents were of Chinese descent, 13.4% of Malay descent, 9.2% of Indian descent, and 3.3% of other (including Eurasian) descent.  Prior to 2010, each person could register as a member of only one race, by default that of his or her father, therefore mixed-race persons were solely grouped under their father's race in government censuses.From 2010 onward, people may register using a multi-racial classification, in which they may choose one primary race and one secondary race, but no more than two. High-rise HDB flats in Bishan overlooking Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. 90.3% of resident households i. Households headed by a Singapore citizen or permanent resident own the homes they live in, and the average household size is 3.43 persons (which include dependants who are neither citizens nor permanent residents).  However, due to scarcity of land, 80.4% of resident households live in subsidised, high-rise, public housing apartments known as "HDB flats" because of the government board (Housing and Development Board) responsible for public housing in the country. Also, 75.9% of resident households live in properties that are equal to, or larger than, a four-room i. Three bedrooms plus one living room HDB flat or in private housing.  Live-in foreign domestic workers are quite common in Singapore, with about 224,500 foreign domestic workers there, as of December 2013. The median age of Singaporean residents was 40.5 in 2017,  and the total fertility rate is estimated to be 0.80 children per woman in 2014, the lowest in the world and well below the 2.1 needed to replace the population.  To overcome this problem, the Singapore government has been encouraging foreigners to immigrate to Singapore for the past few decades.
The large number of immigrants has kept Singapore's population from declining. Main article: Religion in Singapore.
Religion in Singapore, 2015. Buddhism is the most widely practised religion in Singapore, with 33% of the resident population declaring themselves adherents at the most recent census. The next-most practised religion is Christianity, followed by Islam, Taoism, and Hinduism.
17% of the population did not have a religious affiliation. The proportion of Christians, Taoists, and non-religious people increased between 2000 and 2010 by about 3% each, whilst the proportion of Buddhists decreased. Other faiths remained largely stable in their share of the population.  An analysis by the Pew Research Center found Singapore to be the world's most religiously diverse nation.There are monasteries and Dharma centres from all three major traditions of Buddhism in Singapore: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. Most Buddhists in Singapore are Chinese and are of the Mahayana tradition,  with missionaries having come into the country from Taiwan and China for several decades. However, Thailand's Theravada Buddhism has seen growing popularity among the populace (not only the Chinese) during the past decade. The religion of Soka Gakkai International, a Japanese Buddhist organisation, is practised by many people in Singapore, but mostly by those of Chinese descent. Tibetan Buddhism has also made slow inroads into the country in recent years. Main article: Languages of Singapore. A multilingual sign in Singapore's four official languages: English, Chinese, Tamil, Malay. The Teochew Building houses a prominent Teochew clan association in Singapore, the Ngee Ann Kongsi. Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil.  English is the common language, and is the language of business, government, and the medium of instruction in schools.
 Public bodies in Singapore, such as the Singapore Public Service, (which includes the Singapore Civil Service and other agencies),  conduct their business in English, and official documents written in a non-English official language such as Malay, Chinese or Tamil typically have to be translated into English to be accepted for submission. The Constitution of Singapore and all laws are written in English,  and interpreters are required if one wishes to address the Singaporean Courts in a language other than English. English is the native tongue for only one-third of all Singaporeans, with roughly a quarter of all Singaporean Malays, a third of all Singaporean Chinese, and half of all Singaporean Indians speaking it as their native tongue. Twenty percent of Singaporeans cannot read or write in English. Singaporeans are mostly bilingual, with English as their common language and usually the mother-tongue as a second language taught in schools, in order to preserve each individual's ethnic identity and values. The official languages amongst Singaporeans are English (80% literacy), Mandarin (65% literacy), Malay (17% literacy), and Tamil (4% literacy).
 Singapore English is based on British English,  and forms of English spoken in Singapore range from Standard Singapore English to a colloquial form known as "Singlish". Singlish is discouraged by the government.Language used most frequently at home. English is the language spoken by most Singaporeans at home, 36.9% of the population, just ahead of Mandarin.  Nearly half a million speak other varieties of Chinese, mainly Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese, as their home language, although the use of these is declining in favour of Mandarin and English.  Singapore Chinese characters are written using simplified Chinese characters.
Malay was chosen as a national language by the Singaporean government after independence from Britain in the 1960s to avoid friction with Singapore's Malay-speaking neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia.  It has a symbolic, rather than functional purpose.  It is used in the national anthem "Majulah Singapura",  in citations of Singaporean orders and decorations, and in military commands. In general, Malay is spoken mainly within the Singaporean Malay community, with only 17% of all Singaporeans literate in it and only 12% using it as their native language.  While Singaporean Malay is officially written in the Latin-based Rumi script, some Singaporean Malays still learn the Arabic-based Jawi script as children alongside Rumi,  and Jawi is considered an ethnic script for use on Singaporean Identity Cards.Around 100,000 Singaporeans, or 3% of the population, speak Tamil as their native language.  Tamil has official status in Singapore and there have been no attempts to discourage the use of other Indian languages. Main article: Education in Singapore. Singapore Management University is one of six public universities in the city-state. Education for primary, secondary, and tertiary levels is mostly supported by the state. All institutions, private and public, must be registered with the Ministry of Education.  English is the language of instruction in all public schools,  and all subjects are taught and examined in English except for the "mother tongue" language paper.  While the term "mother tongue" in general refers to the first language internationally, in Singapore's education system, it is used to refer to the second language, as English is the first language.  Students who have been abroad for a while, or who struggle with their "Mother Tongue" language, are allowed to take a simpler syllabus or drop the subject. Education takes place in three stages: primary, secondary, and pre-university education.
Only the primary level is compulsory. Students begin with six years of primary school, which is made up of a four-year foundation course and a two-year orientation stage. The curriculum is focused on the development of English, the mother tongue, mathematics, and science.  Secondary school lasts from four to five years, and is divided between Special, Express, Normal (Academic), and Normal (Technical) streams in each school, depending on a student's ability level.
 The basic coursework breakdown is the same as in the primary level, although classes are much more specialised.  Pre-university education takes place over two to three years at senior schools, mostly called Junior Colleges. National examinations are standardised across all schools, with a test taken after each stage.After the first six years of education, students take the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE),  which determines their placement at secondary school. At the end of the secondary stage, GCE "O"-Level or "N"-level exams are taken; at the end of the following pre-university stage, the GCE "A"-Level exams are taken.
 Some schools have a degree of freedom in their curriculum and are known as autonomous schools, for secondary education level and above. Post-secondary education institutions include 5 polytechnics, institutes of technical education (ITEs), 6 public universities of which the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University are among the top 20 universities in the world. Singapore students excelled in most of the world education benchmarks in maths, science and reading. In 2015, both its primary and secondary students rank first in OECD's global school performance rankings across 76 countries described as the most comprehensive map of education standards.  In 2016, Singapore students topped both the Program International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
In the 2015 International Baccalaureate exams taken in 107 countries, Singapore students fared best with more than half of the world's 81 perfect scorers and 98% passing rate.  In the 2016 EF English Proficiency Index taken in 72 countries, Singapore place 6th and has been the only Asian country in the top ten.  Singapore literature students have won the Angus Ross Prize by Cambridge Examinations every year since 1987 (except in 2000), awarded to the top A-level English literature student outside Britain, with about 12,000 international candidates. Main article: Healthcare in Singapore. Singapore has a generally efficient healthcare system, even though their health expenditures are relatively low for developed countries. The World Health Organisation ranks Singapore's healthcare system as 6th overall in the world in its World Health Report.  In general, Singapore has had the lowest infant mortality rate in the world for the past two decades.  Life expectancy in Singapore is 80 for males and 85 for females, placing the country 4th in the world for life expectancy. Almost the whole population has access to improved water and sanitation facilities. There are fewer than 10 annual deaths from HIV per 100,000 people.
There is a high level of immunisation. Adult obesity is below 10%.  The Economist Intelligence Unit, in its 2013 "Where-to-be-born Index", ranks Singapore as having the best quality of life in Asia and sixth overall in the world. The government's healthcare system is based upon the "3M" framework.
 Public hospitals in Singapore have autonomy in their management decisions, and compete for patients. A subsidy scheme exists for those on low income. In 2008, 32% of healthcare was funded by the government. It accounts for approximately 3.5% of Singapore's GDP. Main article: Culture of Singapore. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. (October 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message). The Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery is a widely visited Buddhist temple in Singapore.
Despite its small size, Singapore has a diversity of languages, religions, and cultures.  Even though English is the first language of the nation, according to the 2010 census, 20% of Singaporeans are illiterate in English. This is however an improvement from 1990, when 40% of Singaporeans were illiterate in English.From 1819, it served as a trading port for British ships on their way to India. Being a major trading hub and its close proximity to its neighbour Malaysia, Singapore was prone to many foreign influences, both from Britain and from other Asian countries. Chinese and Indian workers moved to Singapore to work at the harbour.
The country remained a British colony until 1942. When Singapore became independent from the United Kingdom in 1963, most Singaporean citizens were uneducated labourers from Malaysia, China and India.  There was also a sizeable minority of middle-class, locally-born peopleknown as Peranakans or Baba-Nyonyadescendants of 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants. With the exception of the Peranakans who pledged their loyalties to Singapore, most of the labourers' loyalties lay with their respective homelands of Malaysia, China and India.After independence, the government began a deliberate process of crafting a Singaporean identity and culture. Each Singaporean's behaviours and attitudes are influenced by, among other things, his or her home language and his religion. Singaporeans who speak English as their native language tend to lean toward Western culture, while those who speak Chinese as their native language tend to lean toward Chinese culture and Confucianism. Malay-speaking Singaporeans tend to lean toward Malay culture, which itself is closely linked to Islamic culture. Racial and religious harmony is regarded by Singaporeans as a crucial part of Singapore's success, and played a part in building a Singaporean identity. The national flower of Singapore is the hybrid orchid, Vanda'Miss Joaquim', named in memory of a Singapore-born Armenian woman, who crossbred the flower in her garden at Tanjong Pagar in 1893.  Many national symbols such as the Coat of arms of Singapore and the Lion head symbol of Singapore make use of the lion, as Singapore is known as the Lion City.
Major religious festivals are public holidays. Singapore has a reputation as a nanny state.  The government also places heavy emphasis on meritocracy, where one is judged based on one's ability. You can help by adding to it. Main articles: Singaporean literature and Dance in Singapore.Domed performing arts centre with spikes reminiscent of a durian fruit. Esplanade performing arts centre fronting Marina Bay. Since the 1990s, the government has been promoting Singapore as a centre for arts and culture, in particular the performing arts, and to transform the country into a cosmopolitan "gateway between the East and West". The Esplanade, a performing arts centre opened in October 2002. The national orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, plays at the Esplanade.
The annual Singapore Arts Festival is organised by the National Arts Council. The stand-up comedy scene has been growing, with a weekly open mic. Main article: Sport in Singapore. The Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay. The history of sports in Singapore began in the 19th Century, when the Colonials turned to sports as a way to pass time as they waited for news from back home in the United Kingdom.
This led to the development of private sports and recreation clubs such as the Cricket Club, Singapore Recreation Club, Singapore Swimming Club, Hollandse Club and others. Singapore sailors have had some success on the international stage, with their Optimist team being considered among the best in the world. Some notable sailors include Colin Cheng and Kelly Chan. Singapore's football league, the S.League, launched in 1996,  currently comprises nine clubs, including two foreign teams. The Singapore Slingers, formerly the Hunter Pirates in the Australian National Basketball League, is one of the inaugural teams in the ASEAN Basketball League which was founded in October 2009. Singapore began hosting a round of the Formula One World Championship, the Singapore Grand Prix, in 2008. The race takes place on the Marina Bay Street Circuit and was the inaugural F1 night race,  and the first F1 street race in Asia.  Singapore will remain on the F1 calendar until at least 2021, after race organisers signed a contract extension with Formula One Management on the first day of the 2017 event.
 The previous contract extension was signed in 2012 and lasted until 2017. Kranji Racecourse is run by the Singapore Turf Club and hosts several meetings per week, including international racesnotably the Singapore Airlines International Cup. Singapore also hosted the inaugural 2010 Summer Youth Olympics.
Singapore is home to the biggest Mixed Martial Arts promotion in Asia,  ONE Championship. Notable fighters on the promotions roster include Ben Askren, Roger Gracie, Brandon Vera and Shinya Aoki. Main article: Media of Singapore. Companies linked to the government control much of the domestic media in Singapore.
 MediaCorp operates most free-to-air television channels and free-to-air radio stations in Singapore. There are a total of seven free-to-air TV channels offered by Mediacorp.  Starhub Cable Vision (SCV) also offers cable television with channels from all around the world,  and Singtel's Mio TV provides an IPTV service. Singapore Press Holdings, a body with close links to the government, controls most of the newspaper industry in Singapore. Singapore's media industry has sometimes been criticised for being overly regulated and lacking in freedom by human rights groups such as Freedom House.  Self-censorship among journalists is said to be common.
 In 2014, Singapore dipped to its lowest ranking ever (153rd of 180 nations) on the Press Freedom Index published by the French Reporters Without Borders.  The Media Development Authority regulates Singaporean media, claiming to balance the demand for choice and protection against offensive and harmful material. Private ownership of TV satellite dishes is banned.
 In 2016, there were an estimated 4.7 million internet users in Singapore, representing 82.5% of the population.  The Singapore government does not engage in widespread censoring of the internet,  but it maintains a list of one hundred websitesmostly pornographicthat it blocks as a "symbolic statement of the Singaporean community's stand on harmful and undesirable content on the Internet". As the block covers only home internet access, users may still visit the blocked websites from their office computers. A hawker centre in Lavender, Singapore. The diversity of food is touted as a reason to visit the country,  and the variety of food representing different ethnicities is seen by the government as a symbol of its multiculturalism.
In popular culture, food items belong to a particular ethnicity, with Chinese, Malay, and Indian food clearly defined. However, the diversity of cuisine has been increased further by the "hybridisation" of different styles e. The Peranakan cuisine, a mix of Chinese and Malay cuisine. The item "RARE Real Photo Postcard Singapore 1920s Temple of the Marble Buddha RPPC" is in sale since Wednesday, August 1, 2018. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Postcards\International Cities & Towns\Southeast Asia".The seller is "dalebooks" and is located in Rochester, New York. This item can be shipped worldwide.