Singapore. Politically, this year was dominated by the weak opposition’s attempt to break the ruling party’s PAP power holdings and the effective, often criticized, methods of the government to respond to these. The prominent opposition man, the leader of the Labor Party, JB Jeyaretnam, was denied his appeal by a defamation judgment. Jeyaretnam was sentenced to pay high damages to PAP’s strong men, former Prime Minister and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and current Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, after accusing them of questionable loans to Indonesia. The judgment left Jeyaretnam in bankruptcy. With the unsuccessful appeal, he definitely lost his seat in Parliament and also resigned as party chairman. The PAP, which has ruled since 1965, had previously been accused of eliminating opponents by bankrupting them.
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On November 3, the PAP won the expected election in Parliament, which was announced in October. PAP got 82 out of 84 seats. Opposition candidates were only 29 of the seats. The two remaining mandates were won by the Singapore Democratic Alliance and the Labor Party. Accusations were made that the opposition’s poor results were due to harsh restrictions on political activity and the media. 16 people were arrested by police for illegal political activity before the election.
Singapore’s formerly thriving export economy was hit by a severe recession, the worst in 30 years. It was mainly the decline in demand for electronic products, Singapore’s main export commodity, that caused the decline. The terrorist attacks against the United States, Singapore’s largest market, on September 11 shattered hopes of a speedy recovery.
In August, the government presented a ten-year economic plan called “New Singapore”. A type of government bond, “New Singapore” shares, was introduced that would be distributed among citizens to increase consumption.
According to Countryaah, the population of Singapore in 2001 was 4,265,576, ranking number 120 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.150% yearly, and the population density was 6093.8386 people per km2.