This article is about a topic from a region where British English is used; as such, British spellings should be used in the article. Singapore ( i / ˈ s ɪ ŋ ə p ɔr / ), officially the Republic of Singapore , is a Southeast Asian island city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula , 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator . An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia 's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. The country is highly urbanised with very little primary rainforest remaining, although more land is being created for development through land reclamation . Part of various local empires since being inhabited in the 2nd century AD, Singapore hosted a trading post of the East India Company in 1819 with permission from the Sultanate of Johor .