Moving to Singapore
A safe harbour for a variety of cultures, religions, languages and ethnicities Singapore is just one of three sovereign city states in the world, the other two being Monaco and Vatican City, and the only one that exists on its own island. Formerly a British colony - evidenced by the colonial architecture of many civic buildings as well as the world famous Raffles Hotel - the importance of the city state to global trade grew astronomically after the opening of the Suez canal.
It’s no wonder then that the island was invaded and occupied by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. The defeat of the British in the Battle of Singapore was described by Winston Churchill as the "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history". Singapore finally gained full independence from the United Kingdom in 1963. Integration with Malaysia was unsuccessful due to cultural, linguistic and religious differences between the largely ethnic Chinese population of Singapore and the mostly Malay Malaysians - that arrangement lasted just two years.
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But not being part of Malaysia has worked out rather well for Singapore. Autonomy over economic and political decisions helped Singapore to become one of the original four Asian Tigers and has allowed the government to attract huge foreign investment with low tax rates and free trade agreements.
All of which has resulted in Singapore being ranked the second freest economy in the world in the Wall Street Journal, playing home to the world’s fourth largest financial centre and having the world’s third highest per capita income. An already sizeable expat community has been growing in recent years as large multi-nationals gravitate towards Asia. This has boosted interest in the island’s many high quality schools, sports clubs and entertainment venues as well as pushing up property prices in an already densely populated city.