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Founded as a british colony in 1819, Singapore became part of the Malaysian Federation in 1963. Two years later, Singaporeans opted to become independent. In the 21st century, Singapore is a thriving economy with a real growth rate of 5.7 percent and a per capita income of $29,900, making this southeastern Asian nation the 25th-richest country in the world. Governed under a “dominant-party” system that many have argued is somewhat repressive and undemocratic, public environmental movements in Singapore have only recently begun to emerge. Made up of the main island of Singapore and 60 islets, the country is surrounded by 120 miles (193 kilometers) of coastline that borders the Singapore, Main, and Jahore Straits.

Singapore has two distinct monsoon seasons that last from December to March ...

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