Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819. It joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963 but separated two years later and became independent. Singapore subsequently became one of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is one of the world's busiest in terms of tonnage handled)
The name Singapore is derived from the Malay Sanskrit words. In Tamil, one of the official languages of Singapore, Singam means Lion and Puram means City. Hence, Singapore is also known as the Lion City. It is an island city-state and the smallest country in South-East Asia. It is located on the southern tip of the Peninsula Malaysia, south of the Malaysian state of Johor, and north of the Indonesian Riau Islands. It lies just 137 kilometres north of the Equator.