The world knows the value of Singapore and how good of a country and city it is. It’s known for its ease of doing business and it is the business capital of Asia. It attracts a lot of expats and talent from other countries and it has a multi cultural mix of Chinese, Indians and Malaysians. This is how Singapore is perceived worldwide. But can we delve in deeper and try to actually find out how Singapore is.
There have been a lot of conversations lately around the cost of living in Singapore. Singapore is a very expensive city. It’s probably more expensive than many of it’s European counterparts. But can it be helped? No. Singapore is one of the most crowded city in terms of density all over the world. Singapore attracts the best of talent from all over the world and because of this demand, there is an increase in cost of rental and other costs. This makes it hard for a lot of people who are trying to make it here.
But why is Singapore expensive?
Singapore is expensive because it is easy to start and set up a business here. The government provides a lot of grants and benefits to Singapore based companies. The International companies also set up their Asia offices in Singapore because of its ease of doing business, the negligent corruption and the access to talent. When everybody finds a place perfect in almost every way, it’s granted that people are going to come in droves. Take an example of the Bay Area in the Silicon Valley that has the most expensive rent in the world. In India, Bangalore has close to 100,000 people making it their home. New York’s central area does not have any land left for construction.
A great place attracts a lot of people and in turn raises the price of accommodation and rental properties. This cannot be helped because it’s a great city to live in.
Without a doubt, the culture of Singapore has been one of the best and will continue to be the best. The country itself is so multicultural that it can give competition to some of the top democracies in the world. Singapore has brought about people from all over with different countries and different cultures and provided harmony for all. This is a very rare achievement in the world where even the greatest democracy in the world, United States struggles from different racial cultures. I want you think about some places in the world for a second, where people of their own religion fight with each other because of some small differences in beliefs. People are sidelined in many countries because of their race and religion.
Take Singapore’s national languages for example. It’s English, Malay, Tamil, Mandarin. For those of you who don’t know, Tamil is a language spoken in a state called Tamilnadu is South India as well as Srilanka. India has many national languages, in fact in the highest in the world, but they were all part of the democracy and identified themselves as Indians. Singapore had to be created from scratch and these languages were included. Where else can you find such multi cultural diversity and toleration?
Singapore is truly a cosmopolitan, that many countries will take hundreds of years to get there.
You cannot talk about Singapore without talking about Lee Yuan Kew. LKY as he is popularly known is the founding father of modern Singapore and he may not be as popular as many international leaders like Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi, but his impact is not any less. I want to talk about LKY because his DNA is still present in the Singapore DNA.
LKY set up a Singapore that was rational, smart and cut throat when it came to certain matters. A lot of people might criticize him for controlling the media or setting up a state where it seems Freedom of Expression is less, but that isn’t true. LKY set up a Singapore that was just, meritocratic and effective.
He ruled with an Iron fist but without any inefficiency, corruption, red tapism that is expected from a dictator.
The strict Capital Punishment that was adopted by the Singaporeans from the British helped in deterring crime. The punishments for possession of drugs and serious offences like rape and murder are met with a death penalty. These stringent rules are seen as a colonial rule still followed by agencies like Amnesty, but they are required to keep harmony, peace and a happy state.
The stringent laws for drugs are an absolute requirement some countries in the world are consumed by the power of drugs. In some countries, the drug menace is so much that the politicians are involved in providing drugs to voters to vote them to power in the next election. Being strict with very dangerous things like this is what keeps Singapore safe and the youth clean. After all the youth are the future of the country.
Caning was it’s highest in Singapore in 2007 at around 6,400 but it plummeted to 2500 in 2012. This shows that Singapore is relaxing it’s rules to follow the International norms.
To answer the question, is Singapore one of the best places to live in? The answer is a resounding YES. Singapore is a city of the future and it is a pioneering city that shows the way to other countries in the world. Singapore shows the world that the bad can be eliminated from a society by breeding good. Singapore also shows the world that people with complete different religions, habits, beliefs can all be put in a single place and be happy and progress together. Isn’t that good for the world? It is excellent. The cost of living is a topic is a negative, but the ease of doing business is what keeps companies coming here and makes it a financial capital of the world. To me Singapore will always be one of the best cities in the world.
You might have heard of jokes like
“An Englishman, An Irishman and an American went into a bar…”.
I want to change that a bit and say “A Chinese, A Malaysian and an Indian went into Singapore and lived happily ever after.”