Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The Island in the East

The "Lion City": Literally translated from the Malay words Singa (lion) and Pura (city)

Creation: 9 August 1965 - 51 years since independence

Compact city-state: 50 km East to West, 26 km North to South, Area 719.1 km²

Strategic location: Perfect bridge between East and West offering world-class logistics and supply chain management using its 193 km long coastline

Vertical development: Highly urbanized society with sustainable and compact high-rise buildings that sensibly make use of the limited city space

3rd Highest GDP per capita: One of the most prosperous, efficient and advanced economies in the world

No natural resource and yet a winner! Even water is scarce and imported

Key industries: Electronics manufacturing, machinery, chemicals, financial services, tourism

Major exports: Machinery & equipment, electronics, semiconductors, consumer goods, food & beverages, pharmaceuticals & other chemicals, refined oil

Primary resource: Human capital

Pro-business economy: Tax-friendly policies, easy company incorporation, excellent infrastructure, banking system and communication facilities

National ideology: Shared ideals and shared aspirations

Tolerance and harmony: Chinese, Indians, Malay co-existing without discrimination

4 official languages: English, Chinese Mandarin, Malay, Tamil

Singlish: Colloquial Singaporean English created through optimal use of English words and unique slangs

Shopping extravaganza: Exquisite shopping malls dot the landscape especially around Orchard Road

Cultural integration facilitated by ethnic housing quotas: Ethnic Integration Policy implemented to keep different ethnicities together and avoid formation of ethnic enclaves

Cultural Celebrations: Chinese New Year and the Lion Dance, Christmas festivities and Christmas trees, Deepavali Festival of Lights, Halloween costumes, New Year fireworks, Hari Raya Festivals and Hari Raya Bazaar, Vesak Day, Thaipusam, Mid-Autumn Festival, Hungry Ghosts' Festival

Good governance: Meritocracy and checks & balances to prevent abuse of power

Strong leadership: One political party leading effectively since 50+ years

Minimal corruption: 5th least corrupt country in the world advocating a clean system and condemning "social lubricants" to get things done

Impressive transformation in 50 years: From mud shacks to sky scrapers, from dirty waters to clean streams, from homeless to home owners

Home ownership: 80% people live in public housing flats with 95% owning their flats

Safe haven: Effective law enforcement with a robust monitoring system in place

Clean and green: "The Garden City" thanks to its extensive greening policy and strict implementation of fines

Reclaimed lands: Walking on what used to be water beds not so long ago

Simple people, simple living: Process-oriented with a determined can-do attitude and simple lifestyle

Exceptional public transport: Bus and MRT networks form an impressive, affordable and accessible transport system

JB and KL weekend getaways: Nearby Malaysian towns offer an easy respite for the travel hungry

Must see: Marina Bay, Clarke Quay, Gardens by the Bay, Universal Studios Singapore, Orchard Road, Henderson Waves, Sentosa, Merlion, Singapore Zoo, Botanical Gardens, National Museum of Singapore, Bugis Street, Night Safari, National Gallery Singapore, ArtScience Museum, China Town, Arab Street, East Coast Park

Food diversity from hawker centres to chic restaurants: Chilli crab, sushi, seafood, bbq chicken, tofu, fried carrot cake, laksa, chicken rice, rambli burger, roast duck, fish noodle soup, kaya toast, rojak, lobsters, satay, fish curry, biryani, porridge, fast foods and more Malay, Indian, Thai, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, continental cuisines

Fruit frenzy: Dragon fruit, avocado, guava, durian, rock melon, honey dew, star fruit, pineapple, mango, grapes, watermelon, chiku, coconut, papaya, banana, peach, oranges, plum, pear, nectarines, kiwi, strawberry, rambutan, longan, tangerine, melon, mangosteen, custard apple, lychee, apples, cherries

Tropical rainforest climate: Predominantly warm humid weather sticking around all year round making t-shirt, shorts and slippers a popular dress code. Rain and shine may alternate in a day with umbrella being a trusted companion

SINGAPORE: A clean, safe, comfortable, multicultural place to experience authentic Asian living amidst traditional values, cuisines and cultures.

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Friday, 1 January 2016

Wise Pledge for the New Year

Do not live your life according to what everyone else wants. Live your life according to what you want or what God wants!

Even God can't please everybody. Only a fool would try to do what even God can't do.