Difference in working culture of Malaysia & Singapore

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What Malaysians must know about working in Singapore?

Singapore is considered to be one of the best places in the world to work. Expatriates from all over the globe are flocking to this international city-state today to work. This tiny region is one of the world's freest economies.  is also highly ranked when it comes to business competitiveness and economic growth, ranking well above countries like the United States. It also beats many western countries in areas like city infrastructure, technology, lifestyle, education, health care, safety, etc., due to which people around the planet want to work and settle there.

 All countries have a different business culture. The history, traditions, past, geography, climate, society, economy and lifestyle affect and form a particular business culture. That is why; the way a business is managed differs so much from nation to nation and continent to continent. Singapore is believed to have a very efficient working population and no wonder they have some of the best companies like Singapore Airlines and Temasek. Let us see how different factors influence the work culture in Singapore.

Singapore gained a historical importance in trade and business because it is a massive port and we all know that cities that were ports have always been major centers for development, be it Dubai, Mumbai, Boston, Rio de Janeiro, Southampton, Hong Kong, Sydney and many more. Singapore is the busiest port in the world, considering the total shipping tonnage. The micro state was formerly occupied by the Japanese, Malay, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and the British. So now we know how many cultures have influenced the culture of Singapore. After its independence from the British, Singapore attracted foreign direct investment on a large-scale and over the years it grew as a trading and financial hub that it is now. It is also the fourth largest forex trading center after London, New York and Tokyo. Furthermore, one needs to be well trained in the area of
 and cross-cultural management to be able to work in a different country.


Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is a  off the southern tip of the , 137 kilometers (85 miles) north of the . An  made up of 63 islands, it is separated from  by the  to its north and from 's  by the  to its south. Singapore is highly urbanized but almost half of the country is covered by greenery. More land is being created for development through .

Singapore had been a part of various local empires since it was first inhabited in the second century AD. It hosted a trading post of the  in 1819 with permission from the . The British obtained sovereignty over the island in 1824 and Singapore became one of the British  in 1826. Singapore was  by the Japanese in  and reverted to British rule after the war. It became internally self-governing in 1959. Singapore united with other former British territories to form Malaysia in 1963 and became a fully independent state two years later after separation from Malaysia. Since then it has had a massive increase in wealth, and is one of the . The economy heavily depends on the industry and service sectors. Singapore is a world leader in several areas: it is the world's fourth leading , the world's second biggest casino gambling market, the world's top three oil refining centre. The  is one of the five , most notably being the . The country is home to more US dollar millionaire households per capita than any other country. The World Bank notes Singapore as the easiest place in the world to do business.

Singapore is a  with a  of  parliamentary government. The  (PAP) has won every election since the British grant of internal self-government in 1959. The  has its foundations in the  system, but modifications have been made to it over the years, such as the removal of . The PAP's popular image is that of a strong, experienced and highly qualified government, backed by a skilled  and an  with an emphasis on achievement and ; but it is perceived by some voters, opposition critics and international observers as being authoritarian and too restrictive on individual freedom.

Some 5 million people live in Singapore, of who 2.91 million were born locally. Most are of ,  or  descent. There are : , ,  and . One of the five founding members of the , Singapore also hosts the Secretariat, and is a member of the , the , and the .


The English name of Singapore is derived from the Malay Singapura (सिंहपुरLion City), hence the customary reference to the nation as the Lion City. Lions probably never lived there; the beast seen by , founder of ancient Singapore, who gave the city its name, was most likely a tiger.


Picture above shows Victorious Japanese troops marching through Singapore City after British  at the .

The earliest known settlement on Singapore was in the second century AD. It was an outpost of the  empire, named  ('sea town'). Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, it was part of the . In 1613, Portuguese raiders burnt down the settlement and the island sank into obscurity for the next two centuries.

In 1819,  arrived and signed a treaty with  on behalf of the  to develop the southern part of Singapore as a  trading post. In 1824 the entire island became a British possession under a further treaty whereby the sultan and the  transferred it to the British East India Company. In 1826 it became part of the , a British colony. Before Raffles arrived, there were around 1,000 people living in Singapore, mostly  and a few dozen . By 1869, due to migration from  and other parts of , Singapore's population had reached 100,000.

During  the  invaded  culminating in the . The British were defeated, and surrendered on 15 February 1942. British Prime Minister  called this "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history". The  of ethnic Chinese after the fall of Singapore claimed between 5,000 and 25,000 lives. The Japanese  Singapore until the British repossessed it in September 1945 after the .

Singapore's first general election in 1955 was won by the pro-independence , leader of the . Demanding complete self-rule he led a delegation to London but was turned down by the British. He resigned when he returned and was replaced by , whose policies convinced Britain to grant Singapore full internal self-government for all matters except defence and foreign affairs.

In elections in May 1959 the  won a landslide victory. Singapore had become an internally self-governing state within the Commonwealth, with  as the first Prime Minister.  Sir  served as the first , and was succeeded by  who in 1965 became the first .

Singapore declared independence from Britain on 31 August 1963 before joining the new  in September along with ,  and  as the result of the .  separated Singapore from the Federation two years later after  between the ruling parties of Malaya and Singapore.

Singapore gained sovereignty as the Republic of Singapore (remaining within the Commonwealth) on 9 August 1965 with Yusof bin Ishak as president and Lee Kuan Yew as prime minister. In 1967 it helped found the   and in 1970 it joined the . In 1990  succeeded Lee as prime minister. During his tenure the country faced the , the 2003  outbreak and terrorist threats posed by . In 2004, , the eldest son of Lee Kuan Yew, became the country's third prime minister.

National Flag

The national flag of Singapore was first adopted in 1959, the year  became self-governing within the . It was reconfirmed as the  when the Republic gained independence on 9 August 1965. The design is a horizontal bicolour of red above white,  in the  (upper-left quadrant) by a white  moon facing a  of five small white five-pointed stars. The elements of the flag denote a young nation on the ascendant, universal brotherhood and equality, and national ideals.

Vessels at sea do not use the national flag as an .  and  fly a  of red charged in white with a variant of the crescent and stars emblem in the centre. Non-military government vessels such as  ships fly a  of blue with the national flag in the canton, charged with an eight-pointed red and white  in the lower .  warships fly a  similar to the state ensign, but in white with a red compass rose emblem.

Rules defined by the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act govern the use and display of the national flag. These have been relaxed to allow citizens to fly the flag from vehicles during national holidays and from homes at any time of the year.

Governmentand politics

Singapore is a  with a  of  parliamentary government representing .  establishes  as its political system.  ranks Singapore as "partly free" in its  report, and  ranks Singapore as a "hybrid regime", the third rank out of four, in its "". Singapore is consistently rated one of the least corrupt countries in the world by . Executive power rests with the , led by the , and the .

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The president is elected through popular vote, and has some veto powers for a few key decisions such as the use of the national reserves and the appointment of judges, but otherwise occupies a ceremonial post. The  serves as the legislative branch of government. Members of Parliament (MPs) consist of elected, non-constituency and nominated members. Elected MPs are voted into parliament on a "" (plurality) basis and represent either single-member or group-representation constituencies. The  has won control of Parliament with large majorities in every election since self-governance was secured in 1959. However, in the most recent parliamentary elections in 2011, ...

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