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A country in Southeast Asia that consists of the island of Singapore (linked by a causeway to the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula) and about 54 smaller islands; population 5,600,000 (estimated 2015); capital, Singapore City; official languages, Malay, Chinese, Tamil, and English.
Established as a trading post under the East India Company in 1819, Singapore came under British colonial rule in 1867. Singapore rapidly grew to become the most important commercial center and naval base in Southeast Asia. After World War II, it became first a British Crown Colony in 1946 and then a self-governing state within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1959. Federated with Malaysia in 1963, it declared full independence two years later. In terms of tonnage handled, Singapore's port is the world's busiest
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