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Singapore's territory consists of one main island along with 62 other islets.Since independence, extensive land reclamation has increased its total size by 23% (130 square kilometres or 50 square miles).It gained independence from the UK in 1963 by federating with other former British territories to form Malaysia, but separated two years later over ideological differences, becoming a sovereign nation in 1965.

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The island was then nominally ruled by the Sultan of Johor, who was controlled by the Dutch and the Bugis.This was itself a transliteration from the Malay name "Pulau Ujong", or "island at the end" (of the Malay Peninsula).Historical sources also indicate that around the end of the 14th century, its ruler Parameswara was attacked by either the Majapahit or the Siamese, forcing him to move on to Melaka where he founded the Sultanate of Malacca.The dominance of the PAP, coupled with a low level of press freedom and restrictions on civil liberties and political rights, has led to Singapore being classified by some as a flawed democracy.One of the five founding members of ASEAN, Singapore is also the host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat and a member of the East Asia Summit, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations.