Singapore is a city-state formed by one main island and then numerous islets. It is located between Malaysia and Indonesia. The Malay port of Temasek emerged by the 14th century, and the British founded Singapore as a trading colony in 1819. In 1963, the city achieved independence from Britain as part of the Federation of Malaysia, only to split from it in 1965 and become a sovereign state. In the subsequent years, a period of spectacular economic growth has seen Singapore emerge as one of the world’s most affluent countries, at an average of 7.7% GDP per year from independence until 2019.
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Nearly a quarter of land in Singapore is reclaimed, and questions have been raised over the acquisition of sand from neighbouring countries such as Cambodia and Myanmar, in order to feed the reclamation process.