Singapore. Mas Selamat Kastari, former leader of the Singaporean branch of the radical Islamist terrorist network Jemaa Islamiyya, fled in February from the prison he has been in since 2006. He managed to escape in connection with a family visit. Kastari was arrested in 2003 in Indonesia, from where he was subsequently extradited to Singapore via Malaysia three years later. Jemaa Islamiyya struggles to make the entire Muslim part of the Southeast Asian island world an Islamic state. The group was behind the bombing of Bali in 2002, which claimed more than 200 lives.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of SG in general and in geography as Singapore in particular.
In May, the UN International Court of Justice in The Hague granted Singapore the right to the Pedra Branca rock island. Singapore had disputed with Malaysia the right to the island since 1979. The two countries turned to the Hague Court in 2003 to decide the conflict.
In November, Singapore’s economy went into a recession after growth was negative for two consecutive quarters. Singapore is very export-dependent and was therefore quickly hit by the autumn’s international financial crisis and the downturn in the economy.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Singapore in 2008 was 5,131,061, ranking number 115 in the world. The population growth rate was 3.760% yearly, and the population density was 7330.2457 people per km2.