Glossary -- Singapore

Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Established in 1967, the book assists in economic development and promotes growth and cooperation in developing member countries. The Bank is owned by its forty-seven member governments, which include both developed and developing countries in Asia and developed countries in the West.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Founded in 1967 for the purpose of promoting regional stability, economic development, and cultural exchange, ASEAN's membership includes Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
Baba Chinese
Descendants of marriages between Chinese men and Malay women, many of whom moved to Singapore from Malacca in the early nineteenth century. Although mixed parentage gradually disappeared through marriage with Chinese immigrants, the Babas usually spoke Malay or English as their first language and identified more closely with Singapore and Malaya than with China. After establishment of Straits Settlements (q.v.) in 1826, their descendants also came to be known as Straits Chinese (q.v.).
Barisan Sosialis
The Socialist Front, a left-wing political party that was the primary challenger to the People's Action Party (q.v.) in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Commonwealth of Nations
Often referred to as the British Commonwealth, the Commonwealth is formally an association of forty-nine sovereign, independent states that acknowledge the British monarch as symbolic head of the association. Commonwealth membership is expressed in cooperation, consultation, mutual assistance, and periodic conferences of national leaders.
Communist International (Comintern)
Founded in Moscow in 1919 to coordinate the world communist movement, the Comintern was officially disbanded in 1943.
Communist Party of Malaya (CPM)
Known as the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) until the 1960s. Founded in Singapore in 1930 with a predominantly Chinese membership, the party carried out armed resistance to the Japanese during World War II. From 1948 to 1960, its military arm, the Malayan Peoples Liberation Army, practiced guerrilla warfare in the rural areas of peninsular Malaya with the support of underground organizations in Malaya and Singapore. In the late 1980s, an estimated 500 guerrillas and the party leadership maintained themselves in the jungles of the Malaysian-Thai frontier.
Confrontation (Konfrontasi)
Indonesia's 1963-66 effort to disrupt the new state of Malaysia, which Indonesian leaders regarded as a front for a continued British colonial presence in Southeast Asia.
The 1948-60 communist insurgency in peninsular Malaya and Singapore; most active between 1948 and 1951.
European Economic Community (EEC)
Originally established by the 1957 Treaty of Rome and sometimes referred to as the Common Market, an association of twelve West European nations with common economic institutions and policies toward trade with non-Community nations. One of three communities; besides the EEC, there are the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community, collectively known as the European Community.
fiscal year (FY)
April 1 to March 31.
Five-Powers Defence Agreement
A 1971 agreement (not a treaty) in which Australia, Britain, and New Zealand promised military support for Malaysia and Singapore if they were attacked by a foreign power.
Generalized System of Preferences (GSP)
A policy promoted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development under which developed countries grant tariff exemptions to imports from developing countries. The United States GSP program was authorized by the International Trade and Tariff Act of 1974 and was extended by the International Trade and Tariff Act of 1984. Singapore "graduated" from the United States GSP program as of January 1, 1989, as it was no longer considered a developing country.
gross domestic product (GDP)
The value of domestic goods and services produced by an economy in a given period, usually a year. Only output of goods for final consumption and investment is included, as the value added by primary or intermediate processing is assumed to be represented in the final prices.
gross national product (GNP)
Gross domestic product (q.v.) plus income from overseas investments and wages minus earnings of foreign investors and foreign workers in the domestic economy.
Group of 77
Founded in 1964 as a forum for developing countries to negotiate with developed countries for economic aid, by the 1980s its membership had expanded from the original 77 nations to include the 127 members of the Nonaligned Movement (q.v.).
Her Majesty's Privy Council
As the final court of appeal for certain Commonwealth (q.v) countries, the Judicial Committee of Her Majesty's Privy Council includes privy counsellors who hold or have held high judicial offices in Britain and present or former chief justices of Commonwealth countries.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Established along with the World Bank in 1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations and is responsible for stabilizing international exchange loans to its members when they experience balance of payments difficulties.
International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT)
Established by two international agreements effective in February 1973, INTELSAT promotes the development of the global telecommunications satellite system. In the late 1980s, there were 109 signatory member nations and 30 nonsignatory user nations.
Malay term for the descendants of marriages between Indian Muslim men and Malay women.
Malayan Communist Party (MCP)
See Communist Party of Malaya.
Chinese term meaning southern ocean and used to refer to Southeast Asia.
newly industrializing economics (NIEs)
A category of cconomies of nations or other political entities that experienced rapid industrial expansion and concomitant growth in their per capita GNP in the 1981s.
Nonaligned Movement (NAM)
Formed at a conference in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1961, the NAM promotes the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nonaligned nations. By the late 1980s, there were 127 member nations.
Organisation for Economic Co- operation and Development (OECD)
Organized in Paris in 1961, the OECD represents developed nations. Its twenty-four-nation membership, originally confined to Western Europe, includes the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
People's Action Party (PAP)
Singapore's dominant political party, which has controlled the government by winning every general election since 1959.
Muslim law, based on the Quran and precedents established by early Muslim jurists.
Singapore dollar (S$)
Singapore's monetary unit, which in late 1989 had an exchange rate of US$1 to S$1.94.
Straits Chinese
Chinese born in the Straits Settlements (q.v.) in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and more oriented to Southeast Asia than to China. They often spoke Malay or English as their first language.
Straits Settlements
Trading ports along the Strait of Malacca that were under direct British rule during the colonial period in contrast to the Malay States, which retained their native rulers. Governed from 1826 as part of British India, the Straits Settlements became a crown colony in 1867. Although the major Settlements were Singapore, Penang, and Malacca, the Straits Settlements also included Dindings, south of Penang, and Labuan Island, off the northern coast of Borneo.
Total Defence
Singaporean national defense strategy calling for a small but well-equipped military force backed by trained reserves and an extensive civil defense organization.
World Bank
The informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The IBRD, established in 1945, provides loans to developing countries for productive projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund administered by the staff of the IBRD, was established in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest countries on much easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance intended to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises in developing countries. The three institutions share a common president and senior officers and are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to the International Monetary Fund (q.v.).