The Johor Strait separates Singapore's borders from Malaysia, its closest neighbor. Singapore enjoys civil relations with its neighbor, although a few rifts were observed since Singapore's independence in 1965. Singapore has been expanding its borders by dumping sand into the sea and reclaiming land to carry out its development projects.
In 2002, the Malaysian government expressed its displeasure when Singapore continued its land reclamation project and environmentalists from
Malaysia and Indonesia warned that these projects could cause changes in tidal patterns and vulnerable ecosystems and fishing villages. Malaysia also alleged that Singapore was trying to get too close to its borders and affect the shipping potential of southern Malaysia.
Singapore is the most developed country in the Asia Pacific region and superior to its other neighbors Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.
But it maintains cordial relations with all Asian countries and also plays an active role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Singapore is also helping the new members of the Association of ASEAN in public management and English, and in granting fellowships to a good number of ASEAN students to study at the nation's universities. As Singapore is a global hi tech hub and has numerous multinational companies operating on its shores, the country also attracts labors from other parts of Asia. Other ASEAN members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
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