NAPO - CEPA - Reading Type 3 - Text 1


     According to legend, many years ago an Indonesian prince decided to set sail to search for new adventures. His ships were caught in a storm and were finally blown ashore on a beautiful island with a white beach, plants with bright flowers, and chirping birds. As they were walking the prince suddenly saw a strange creature in the jungle, a magnificent animal which he had never seen before. When his servant told him that the animal was a lion, the prince decided to name the island Singa Pura, or Lion City, and declared himself the ruler. This is the legend of Singapore.

      Singapore was a quiet trading port, part of the Malacca Sultanate, until 1819, when Stamford Raffles arrived from Great Britain and established it as a British trading post and a base for the British Navy. Many traders followed, and Singapore grew quickly.

      During World War II, Singapore was occupied by the Japanese. After the war, it reverted to British control, but slowly became independent. Lee Kwan Yew became Prime Minister in 1959, and held this position for the next 31 years. Mr. Lee was a strong leader and very popular. His government maintained strict social order and invested in education and health. Singapore grew to become one of the world's most prosperous countries with strong international trading links (its port is one of the busiest in the world) and with people’s incomes equal to those of the leading nations of Western Europe.

     Singapore has been a model of success for small countries in Asia, although its economic growth slowed in 1998, when all of Asia experienced an economic crash. To battle these problems, Singapore did two things. First, it cut salaries, and secondly, it decreased the value of its currency. These steps helped it to grow again, and by 2003 its economic growth had risen to 6% annually, with foreign investment creating new jobs. Singaporean workers are typically well-educated, knowledgeable about technology, hard working, and loyal to one company. The high quality of the Singaporean worker is said to be the key to growth in Singapore.


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