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Singapore is a city and state in Southeast Asia. Its main territory is a piece of land that would be an island, if it was not connected to the Malay Peninsula by man-made causeways to the north and west. It also has dozens of small islands.

To the west and south of Singapore is the Indonesian island of Sumatra. To the north is Malaysia. To the east is the island of Borneo.

Modern Singapore was founded in 1819 as a British settlement. It was captured by Japan during World War II, and returned to British administration in 1945. In 1959, self-government was granted, and in 1963, Singapore joined Malaysia. It was expelled from Malaysia in 1965, and re-instituted as an independent Republic. See History of Singapore.

Singapore has a Westminster-style constitution. In practice, politics is dominated by the People's Action Party, which has ruled since Independence. The mode of government is perhaps closer to authoritarianism than true democracy. Paradoxically (for political scientists), Singapore has a highly successful, corruption-free, and transparent free market economy.

From the CIA World Factbook 2000. Not Wikified.