Located off the south of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore is an island measuring 710 sq km.
Temasek (“Sea Town” in Javanese) was the name of an early settlement on the site of Singapore.
From the 14th century, the island is also known as Singapura (which is derived from Sanskrit, meaning “Lion City”). Founded as a British trading post in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles, Singapore became a major port of call for ships between Europe and East Asia. During WWII the Japanese occupied Singapore for three and a half years; later returning to British administration until it attained self governance in 1959. A merger with the Federation of Malaysia followed, before Singapore became independent in 1965.
Today, Singapore has state of the art communications, and world class infrastructure. Important financial institutions, banks and recognized law and accountancy firms have a presence in Singapore. It is one of the top global financial centers in Asia.