2,038 Words Short Essay on Asia Shocked

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Bangladesh, once known as East Pakistan, condemned the “barbaric act.” Reactions were also strong in East Asia. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said his country was “shocked and strongly condemns the terrorist attack.”

Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said: “It is absolutely unacceptable to try to solve something by the means of violence.”

South Korea said on Friday that “cannot hide its bitter shock over” Bhutto’s assassination and expressed hope that “Pakistan will be stabilized through peaceful means”.

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Meanwhile, the Vatican said the assassination was “terrible and tragic”.

The world’s busiest port, the modern nation of the Republic of Singapore, was founded as a British trading post on the canal of Malacca in 1819. Singapore’s location on the major sea route between India and China, its excellent harbor, and the free trade status conferred on it by its visionary founder, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, made the port an overnight success.

By 1990, the international population attracted to the island had grown from a few thousand to 2.6 million Singaporeans, commonly referred to by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as his nation’s greatest resource.

If Raffles had set the tone for the island’s early success, Lee had safeguarded the founder’s vision through the first quarter-century of Singapore’s existence as an independent nation, providing the leadership that turned it into a global city that offered trading and financial services to the region and to the world.

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Singapore is one of the smallest island city-states of Asia. It holds a Sanskrit name. Singapore means the City of the Lion [Sing derives from the Sanskrit Sinmah and Pore from Pura meaning city].

Singapore is ancient in name only; otherwise it is a striking mingles of the ancient and modern elements of culture tradition and civilization. Transparency International has marked Singapore as the “corruption free” state – a notable contrast to India that is counted among the most corrupt countries of the world.

This island city – state of Southeast Asia, is situated on the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, south of the Malaysian state of Johore and north of the Indonesian Riau Islands. Its coordinates are 1° 17.5832 N 103°51.3332 E, just 137 km north of the Equator.

The first records of Singapore in Chinese texts date back to the 3rd century. It was an outpost of the Sumatran Srivijaya Empire and had the Javanese name Temasek, which became a significant trading city, but later declined. The odds and ends of old Temasek are no longer extant in Singapore but its archaeological evidence still remains.

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In the 15th and 16th century, Singapore was in the Sultanate of Johore. During the Malay-Portugal wars in 1617, Singapore was burnt down by Portuguese troops. Thomas Stamford Raffles is recognized as the modern founder of Singapore.

In 1819, he, a British East India Company official, made an agreement with the Sultan of Johore and established Singapore as a trading post and settlement, later to become a crown colony in 1867. It soon grew into an entrecote town due to its strategic location on sea routes connecting Europe to China.

During World War II, on February 15th 1942, the Japanese forces covered Singapore after the British surrender despite the latter’s numerical dominance. The Japanese renamed Singapore as Syonan-to (“Light of the South”) and ruled it until they got defeated in September 1945.

In 1959, Singapore became a self- governing crown colony with Lee Kuan Yew from the People’s Action Party (PAP) as the first Prime Minister. In 1962, Singapore was admitted into the Federation of Malaysia but ideological clash buildup between the state and Federal government in Kuala Lumpur. On August 7, 1965 Singapore was debarred from the Federation. On August 9, 1965 Singapore became an independent nation.

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Around 1970s, Singapore experience enormous economic development under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew under Lee Kuan Yew’s Prime minister ship from 1959 to 1990. It conquer problems of unemployment, infrastructure, housing, social stability and national defense. This elevated Singapore to a developing and then developed nation.

On 26 November 1990, Goh Chok Tong assumed the office of prime minister. Under his tenure, the country attempt the 1997 Asian economic crisis, the SARS outbreak in 2003 as well as terrorist threats posed by the Jemaah Islamiah (JI). Lee Hsien Loong, the eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew, became the third prime minister on 12 August 2004 after securing the confidence of a majority of PAP- dominated Parliament.

Singapore was “Established as a trading port by the British in the early 19th century” and it became a centre of British influence in Southeast Asia. Upon accomplish independence from Malaysia in 1965, Singapore rapidly developed into a triumphant free- market economy with one of the uppermost per capita gross domestic products [GDP] in the world, and is a major finance and transport hub in the region. Singapore has a low crime rate.

“Practices such as the forbid on imports of chewing gum and serious fines for littering, spitting, and not flushing in public toilets have led some to label Singapore a ‘nanny state’. National service in Singapore is obligatory for all male citizens and male children of permanent residents.

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Even though it has not been engaged in any military variance, the Singapore Armed Forces maintain a 100,000-strong active force and 350,000-strong reserve force. Singapore has comparatively warm relations with Malaysia especially since the recent changes of leadership in both countries. However, disputes still exist over issues such as the sale of water and territorial claims over Pedra Branca.”

Singapore has played a significant part in India’s march to Independence. Many Indian revolutionaries sought a haven here in their fight against the British Raj. Rash Bihari Bose, Netaji Subhash Bose, General Mohan Singh, K.P.K Menon, Lakshmi Sehgal of Rani Jhansi Brigade all gathered to Singapore and carried their anti-British activities.

Netaji’s famous radio broadcast forecasting the fall of the British Empire after the British surrender to the Japanese and the formation of the Indian National Army are all connected with Singapore. It was Padang, a part of Singapore, where Netaji first gave the Indian National Army (INA) its war saying of “Chalo Dilli”.

Since 1993, there has been a gush of activity between India and Singapore, both recognizing each other’s magnitude and role in the South East region of Asia. In February 1993, the two countries signed an MOU for co-operation in the Arts, Archives and Heritage, renewable biannually.

Under this harmony, several civilizing events have been organized both in India and in Singapore. The Hindu, one of India’s leading English dailies, has a resident stringer based in Singapore. Apart from government to government proposal, the Singapore Fine Arts Society, Nrityalaya, Kalamandir, the emigrant Indian Women’s Club and other similar societies actively proliferate Indian culture.

Indian films and music are widely distributed in Singapore on a commercial basis, targeted at the Indian-origin community and resident NRIs. There is no regular educational swap programme between India and Singapore, though Indian students are studying on individual initiative. Many of them enjoy scholarships offered by local institutions, including Singapore Airlines.

The increasingly close relations between India and Singapore in recent years are radically reflected in expanding mutual trade and investment. The major items of Indian exports to Singapore are textile manufacturers including attire and fiber, precious stones and pearls, parts for office and data machines, aluminum, electrical machinery, fish and fish products, fruits and vegetables.

India’s imports from Singapore are petroleum products, electronic valves, telecommunication equipment, electrical machinery, office and data processing machines, metallic ores/ scrap, organic chemicals, primary plastics and scientific instruments.

The Singapore public and private sectors (including NRIs) have invested in a wide variety of projects in India such as logistics, electronics, software, health services, construction, industrial parks and other real domain linked projects.

Several MNCs are routing their investments in India through their Singapore auxiliary. Major international investment banks, chartered accountancy and management consultancy firms have made Singapore their regional headquarters for servicing the Indian market. Singapore’s Trade Development Board and Economic Development Board have offices in India. Task forces to facilitate general economic co-operation and co-operation in information technology have been set up.

Besides seeking investments from Singapore, India looks to Singapore as an access to the whole Asia- Pacific region. Many Indian trading and software companies have set up joint scheme and subsidiaries in Singapore to promote their business activities in the region, covering diverse product areas such as automobile ancillaries, precision tooling, enameled wires, concentrates for soft drinks, fake juice powders, palm kernel processing, micro and mini computers, etc.

Air India, Indian Airlines, STC, MMTC, SCI, four Public Sector banks and two insurance companies have branches in Singapore. CII opened a representative office in September 1994. Other government agencies represented in Singapore include EEPC, EXIM Bank and the Tourism Board.

Air India and Indian Airlines also have offices there and operate bilateral flights, as do SIA and SilkAir. In October 2001, the Economic Development Board of Singapore opened an India Centre to help Indian companies, especially software and IT companies, set up shop in Singapore.

Realignment in global politics after the break-up of the erstwhile Soviet Union and the impact of the Gulf War on India’s economy ushered in a sea change in India-Singapore relationship. India’s “Look East” policy and its economic liberalization efforts coincided with Singapore’s regionalization strategy of investing in emerging economies.

Since then, there have been many high-level visits exchanged between the two countries, including Head of State and Head of Government visits. Bilateral agreements on Avoidance of Double Taxation, General Economic Co-operation and Co-operation in Shipping, Tourism, Civil Aviation, Information Technology and Science and Technology have been signed between India and Singapore.

On behalf of the private sector, CII signed a co-operation agreement with the Singapore Confederation of Industry in 1994, and subsequently opened an office in Singapore.

On the international front, Singapore has played a leading role in ensuring India’s inclusion in ASEAN, first as Sect oral Dialogue Partner (Singapore, 1992) and then as Full Dialogue Partner (Bangkok, December 1995), which in turn ensured India’s membership in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Singapore has also supported India’s participation in the APEC Working Groups and India’s candidatures in other multilateral fora, including UN organizations.

The Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement (CECA) between the Prime Ministers of India and Singapore in New Delhi in June 2005 will overlay the way for the two countries to enhance their two- way trade to over $ 10 billion by the end of 2005-06 and to $50 billion by 2010. The pact on easy movement of professionals is a part of the Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement (CECA).

India and Singapore agreed to ease visa restrictions for professionals in a wide range of areas including IT, medical/nursing, engineering and pharmacy as also metallurgists, surveyors, botanists, zoologists, university lecturers, accountants, financial and advertising executives. India and Singapore would recognize the degrees of specified universities and technical education boards of each country for the purpose of issuing multi-entry/job or stay visas.

The new mutual agreement would exempt Indian professionals seeking Singapore visas from submitting a separate proof for their educational qualifications. Both India and Singapore are; however, free to deny visas under the new regime on grounds of national security. As many as 127 professional categories are included in the list for grant of easy visas.

India and Singapore are playing vital roles in transforming Southeast Asia, one of the world’s most economically dynamic regions, into an ASEAN Economic Community – a single market and production base with free flow of goods, services, investment and skilled labor, and a freer flow of capital. ASEAN has provided India with a new focus for projecting its trade and commerce possibilities in its eastern neighborhood.

The lethargy of the SAARC, because of the obstructive attitude of Pakistan, has lent the ASEAN urgency and higher priority in India’s ‘Look East Policy’. India is planning to reach out to this 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations for enlarged economic and trade activity and cooperation.

Before the end of 2005, ASEAN and India are expected to sign a free trade area [FTA] treaty. Singapore is a small country but opens a big door for India’s entrance to the comity of world’s major economies in the coming decades.

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