Singapore: the Little Red Dot
Occupying a measly 277 square miles on the southern tip of the Malay peninsula, Singapore has blossomed over the past century, growing from a small British trading post to a global economic super-power. Known by several nicknames, Singapore places as a top-5 country on just about every list that matters.
With a population of 5.5 million people, Singapore is the 3rd most densely populated country in the world, and boasts a GDP of $78,000 per person, the 3rd highest in the world. Singapore is also home to more millionaires and multi-millionaires than any other country. In 1998, the President of neighbouring Indonesia shrugged off Singapore’s importance as a global player, pointing to a map of his large territory, home to his large population and referred to Singapore as a “Little Red Dot”. The name stuck, and Singaporeans – thinking of themselves as a small force of global import – refer to themselves this way with pride.
Singapore credits its amazing modern transformation to Lee Kuan Yew, who died in March 2015. Referred to as “the world’s greatest politician”, Yew’s vision catapulted Singapore into the spotlight with his emphasis on entrepreneurship.
Banking, Freedom & Privacy
It’s really no wonder why the world’s wealth is migrating to Singapore.
Banking System: Singapore’s well-capitalized banks focus attention on their investment portfolio, not on where every customer deposit originates. The country has never had a bank failure.
Strict Privacy Laws: if there’s one thing the ultra-rich despise, it’s having their affairs blasted across the tabloids for all to see. Singapore strongly discourages snooping, going as far as criminalizing paparazzi.
Simple Tax Code: chock-full of rebates for small business development, Singapore’s tax system is low and easy to understand. Tax payments can be made at kiosks located throughout the city. Need to make a capital investment in new efficiency-improving infrastructure? No problem – the Singapore Inland Revenue Authority will rebate up to 60% of it in cash, or provide a 400% tax credit – your choice.
No capital gains tax: think you should be able to put your money at risk and keep all the earnings? Singaporeans agree! Once you’ve paid your inversely-progressive tax (the rate decreases the more you make), feel free to invest in any business, stock, fund, real estate or other venture and look forward to keeping all of your gains. The downside? If your investment doesn’t pay off, don’t go crying to the government for help.
No VAT on gold and silver purchases: unlike most other Value-Added Tax jurisdictions, Singapore has been steadily decreasing the taxation and regulation of gold and silver until 2012 when they finally threw in the towel and ended the VAT on precious metals altogether. Between this, banking privacy and the state-of-the-art private wealth storage facilities like Freeport, Singapore has quickly eclipsed Switzerland as the best place in the world to store gold, silver & other valuables.
Safety: stumbling down a dark alley at 3am? You’ve got just about nothing to worry about. Severe punishment for disorderly conduct, theft & other petty crimes serve as an excellent deterrent, leading Singapore to be ranked as the 2nd safest city in the world. The message is loud and clear: if you want to cause trouble, do it somewhere else.
The City in a Garden
But alongside the glitz and glamour, Singapore’s natural beauty can be seen intertwined throughout the city’s landscape.
Located merely 85 miles north of the equator, Singapore is lush and full of life. Home to a world-class zoo, aquarium and botanical gardens, the tiny country features lush green spaces and an amazing natural habitat for indigenous species of flora and fauna.
The Merlion Silver Proof
To provide a purposeful backdrop for stick-carrying selfie aficionados, Singapore constructed its famous attraction – the Merlion – in 1971. The concrete structure contains more than 70 tons of material, and was constructed in only 7 months!
Though the nation proudly boasts five Merlions scattered throughout the city, the largest stands at 37 meters tall on the resort island of Sentosa. Although the Mer (of the sea) Lion (lions are not indigenous to Singapore) bares no nostalgic meaning for the city’s history, it has become its official mascot, requiring authorization from the Singapore Tourism Board for commercial use.
The MerLion Silver Proof is minted with authorization from the Singapore Tourism Board, featuring one ounce of .999 fine silver, crafted with strict adherence to quality and purity standards one would expect of a first-class city. The design features a depiction of the Merlion, intertwined with an artistic border with styling queues from the base of the Merlion itself. The reverse of the coin features the beautiful orchid, which can be found growing naturally across the city.
The Marina Bay Silver Proof
Serving as the epicenter for Singapore’s incredible tourism industry, the Marina Bay region’s opulence and beauty is hard to believe without seeing.
The centerpiece of the attraction is clearly the 2651-room Marina Bay Sands Hotel, officially opened in 2011 at a cost of more than $8 billion USD. The monstrosity continues to hold several records, including the most expensive hotel ever built. The property features one of SE Asia’s few casinos, two movie theaters and an ice skating rink.
Taking queue from Singapore’s over-the-top attitude, the crown jewel of the Marina Bay Sands is clearly the 150-meter long infinity pool, situated on the hotel’s 55th floor, and if that’s not quite enough – the pool spans acrpss three independent structures. It’s clearly an engineering feat unmatched worldwide.
The Marina Bay Silver Proof pays tribute to Singapore’s majestic tourism district, featuring one ounce of .999 fine silver, minted with strict adherence to quality and purity standards. The obverse design features a unique view of the incredible hotel and world-class science museum, while the reverse of the coin features the beautiful orchid, which can be found growing naturally across the city.