Singapore. According to countryaah, the country’s strong but export-dependent economy was noticeably affected by the global economic crisis that had already begun in 2008 and was fully developed at the beginning of the year. Rapidly falling exports caused Singapore to experience an economic downturn during the first part of the year. Industrial production fell sharply during the first quarter. As a result, the economy shrank by 11.5 percent compared with the same period in 2008. The PAP government faced the situation with large financial stimulus packages of the equivalent of just over SEK 100 billion. As a result, there was a clear recovery already during the second and third quarters of the year. However, during the last quarter the economy again recovered, mainly due to weak results for the manufacturing industry. Overall, the economy shrank by 2.1 percent during the year. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for abbreviation SG which stands for the nation of Singapore.
Mas Selamat Kastari, leader of the Islamist terrorist organization Jemaa Islamiyya’s branch in Singapore, was arrested in April in Malaysia. Kastari was born in Indonesia but had Singaporean citizenship. Kastari was arrested in Indonesia in 2003 and then extradited to Singapore. In February 2008, the terrorist leader managed to escape from prison but was arrested a year later in Malaysia. In May, Malaysia announced that Kastari would remain in Malaysian prison for at least two years.
History. – In the last sixteen years, from 1978 to 1994, the government of Singapore has not changed its paternalistic and authoritarian traits, even if Lee Kwan Yew, who had led the country since the latter’s exit from the Malaysian federation, in the November 1990 he resigned as prime minister by transferring the post to his deputy, Goh Chok Tong. Lee, convinced that he was ruling a politically immature country, had instituted strict controls on the population, intervening even on the most irrelevant issues and planning in every sector. However, until December 1992 he held the position of general secretary of the Popular Action Party (PAP), which since its foundation, thanks to an electoral law that rewarded the majority party, had secured all, or almost all, seats in palio. This had happened both in the general elections of 1980 and in those of 1984. In the latter, however, the party dropped from 75% to 62.9% and a constitutional amendment was passed which provided for the allocation of 3 seats to the opposition (with limited voting rights) in the event that the latter has not won any. In August 1985 Wee Kim Wee, former president of the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation, was elected president of the Republic, a position in which he was reconfirmed in 1989. The internal situation remained characterized by substantial stability also ensured by a rigid repressive policy and by almost total information. In August 1986, some amendments to the Parliament Act (of 1974) were approved in this direction: Parliament was authorized to fine, expel, imprison members found guilty of abusing their privileges. A press law also allowed the government to prohibit the distribution of foreign publications that were believed to interfere in the country’s domestic politics. On the basis of these provisions, in November 1986 the general secretary of the Workers’ Party, JB Jejaretnam, one of the two members of the parliamentary opposition, was sentenced to one month in prison, deprived of his seat and barred from running for elections. for five years. In the general elections of September 1988 the PAP dropped to 61% while securing all but one seats. In January 1991, some amendments to the Constitution were passed on the basis of which the President of the Republic was granted a veto power over the proposed financial laws and the role of arbitrator in cases of detention for reasons of national security. The early elections of August 1991 confirmed the downsizing of the PAP which collected 60% of the votes, winning 77 of the 81 seats up for grabs. In August 1993, NGO Teng Cheong, up to then Deputy Prime Minister, assumed the office of President of the Republic, the first directly elected and for a term of six years.
In foreign policy, Singapore developed an active line of regional cooperation and, after the end of the Vietnam War, began a process of rapprochement with China which culminated in October 1990 with the establishment of normal diplomatic relations with that country. As a member of the ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) Singapore was particularly active during the 1980s to foster a peace process in Cambodia and the establishment of a neutral government in that country. In the economic field, Singapore has experienced in the last fifteen years, together with the other newly industrialized countries of South-East Asia, an extraordinary economic growth, driven by industry and made possible also by a careful control of the government on the economic system and on the industrial relations.