The Republic of Singapore is an city-state in Southeast Asia, situated on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, south of the Malaysian state of Johor and north of the Indonesian Riau Islands.
The name Singapore was derived from Malay word singa (lion). Singapore was originally a small Malay settlement until 1819, when the British started a trading post that developed into an important commercial and military imperial base.
Except for the interruption for the three years that the Japanese occupied Singapore during World War II, it was a Crown Colony from 1867 until 1963, when it declared independence from Britain. Singapore joined the Federation of Malaysia shortly afterwards. On expulsion from Malaysia in 1965, Singapore was separated from its traditional markets and faced economic degeneration. In resolution, government-led rapid industrialisation and business-friendly policies stimulated some of the fastest economic growth in the modern world. Singapore now has one of the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita rates in the world; it is a major financial, transport and medical hub. Crime is low, and Transparency International consistently rates it as one of the least corrupt countries in the world.