Singapore as a source of inspiration

  

Singapore as a source of inspiration

Sometimes referred to as the Lion City, the Garden City or the Little Red Dote, Singapore is a sovereign city-state in Southeast Asia. Founded by Stamford Raffles in 1819, colonial Singapore was set up as a trading post of the East India Company.

Despite its small size, Singapore has featured on stories and here's a compilation of them. One of the most evocative quotes of Singapore is by Harry de Windt, published in From Peking to Calais by Land (1889): “Singapore: a vision of green hills and red dust, a sickly odor of pepper, cocoa, nut-oil and drains.”
Even Rudyard Kipling mentioned Singapore in his “The Song of the Cities published in 1893. That mention, however, might be a tad dramatic. “No one talks about the unhealthiness of Singapore. A man lives well and happily until he begins to feel unwell. Then he feels worse because the climate allows him no chance of pulling himself together - and then he dies.”
Awash with green spaces, Singapore is sometimes referred to as the “City in a Garden.” Home to 300 parks and four nature reserves, Singapore is one of the greenest cities anywhere in the world. This impressed Harold Nicolson back in 1957, who rote on his Journey to Java: “It is about the greenest place I have ever seen. It is like entering Dartmouth on a muggy August afternoon.” Singaporeans are aware of their status and they are encouraged to support conservation; they are proud of its many environmentally friendly spaces.
The academic Paul Scott described Singapore as “that modern apology for a romantic Eastern port.”
“Getting to places like Singapore was a hell of a sweat. But when you got there it was the back of beyond. It was just a series of small tin sheds.” - Sir David Attenborough.
“Flat, steamy, thickly humid, the island lies there in its hot seas, fringed with mangrove swamps, and from the air it looks as it always did, a slightly desperate place that ought to be inhabited. It looks like an invented place, and so, of course, it is.” - Jan Morris, Travels, 1976.
William Gibson wrote on his Distrust That Particular Flavor that “Singaporeans... loathe to discuss these more intimate policies of government with a curious foreign visitor who was more than twice as tall as the average human, and who sweated slowly but continuously, like an aged cheese.”
Some people have also criticized Singapore's strict rules. In Twisted Travels, Jessica Zafra wrote “Singapore is what your city could become if everyone obeyed the rules, did their jobs diligently, and just shut up. When your city gets to be this paragon of efficiency and discipline, would you still want to live there? Singapore is a model city, which is terrific if you happen to be a model human.”
Also, as to the control over the population, Peter L. Berger said: “Even in a society as tightly controlled as Singapore's, the market creates certain forces which perhaps in the long run may lead to democracy.”
Fareer Zakaria said: “The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai, the biggest factory in the world is in China, the largest oil refinery is in India, the largest investment fund in the world is in Abu Dhabi, the largest Ferris wheel in the world is in Singapore.”
There are also more positive opinions about Singapore. For instance, Romain Grosjean said “Singapore is a pretty fantastic place, and the race is always a challenge.”
Despite being a society with a strict set of rules, Dan Buettner said “Singapore is the happiest place in Asia.”
Other people have also commented on Singapore's multiculturalism. For instance, Nicolas Berggruen said, “Singapore has been incredibly well-managed. It was created out of the swamp, with a strong emotional idea: a safe place for mostly Chinese, but accepting other cultures and other races.”
Some other quotes are quite enlightening. “Nobody in Singapore drinks Singapore Slings. It's one of the first things you find out there. What you do in Singapore is eat. It's a really food-crazy culture, where all of this great food is available in a kind of hawker-stand environment,” sated Anthony Bourdain.
It seems that food in Singapore is appreciated by everyone. The famous Spanish Chef Jose Andres said “I was very impressed with the street food of Singapore. I was very impressed with the dishes that they did.”

 

Top 10 Festivals in Singapore

  

Lantern Festival

From dragon boat racing, spectacular military displays and mesmerizing bazaars, there is always a celebration taking place somewhere in Singapore.

Chinese New Year
You can't miss the two-week-long party that takes over Chinatown in Jan or Feb. With its exuberant mix of vibrant colors, sounds and tastes as well as age-old traditions, Singapore's Chinese New Year is one of the biggest events that take place on the island. During this celebration, temples open their doors, stalls sell raw fish salad and decorations glow under lanterns of the night bazaar. The floats and performances at the Chingay parade in Marina Bay are a feast for the eye.
Over weeks of celebration, cheerful Singaporeans get together to exchange mandarin oranges for good luck and feast on traditional dishes. Whether you visit seasonal markets, join the colorful processions or admire the riotous lion dances, there are endless opportunities to soak in the festive mood throughout the island.
Thaipusan Hindu festival of faith
As Singapore is a truly multicultural society, festivals also reflect this reality and this is reflected in Thaipusan, which takes place in February. Each year Singapore's traffic comes to a halt to make way for this large and colorful procession that brings Hindu devotees together to seek blessings, fulfill vows and offer thanks.
The festival honors Lord Subramaniam (also known as Lord Murugan), who is worshipped for being the destroyer of evil, and for representing virtue, youth and power. The chariot procession (with the Lord Murugan statue) sets out from Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road to Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple at Keong Siak Road.
Over two days of procession - give or take - devotees carry milk and wooden ornate frames - kavadis - from temple to temple, some pierce their tongues with skewers and carry a kavadi decorated with flowers and peacock feathers over their shoulders. The faithful who carry the kavadis walk 4.5 kilometers, along with relatives and friends who chant hymns and prayers to support and encourage them. The procession is a demonstration of faith and “kavadi” means “sacrifice at every step” in Tamil.
You don't have to take part in the procession to enjoy the festival. This colorful and interesting procession is an attraction in itself. You can watch the spectacle anywhere between Sri Srinivasa Peruma temple at Serangoon Road and Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road.
Hari Raya street bazaars
Every August and September during Hari Raya, street stalls offering mouthwatering Muslim food line the streets around the Sultan Mosque and Arab Street. If you fancy something sweet instead, head to the Malay neighborhood Gelang Serai, which sells rainbow-colored biscuits.
The Lantern Festival (photo)
Novelty and animal lanterns light up the autumn nights in the pagoda and bridges of Chinese Garden in Jurong. The festival, which takes place in Chinatown, features lion dances and moon cake pastries.
Traditionally a time to give thanks to the gods, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also the time of the year that the moon is at its brightest, which explains why lunar legends have always been attached to this celebration. One of the most outstanding legends is the one that tells the story of Chang Er, a merciless king's wife who saved her people from his tyrannical by pouring the elixir of immortality he had intended to drink. According to the legend, after that heroic act, she ascended to the moon, ever since the Chinese have worshipped her as a Moon Goddess.
When the sun goes down, the night comes alive as festival-goers sit in gardens lit by the soft glow of paper lanterns, sip tea, nibble on moon cakes, and even compose poetry in Tang Dynasty fashion.
Singapore Arts Festival
International dance performances, plays, music and art installations are some of the spectacles in store for those who attend Singapore Arts Festival. Not only local artists but mostly international acts take over the festival to display a great variety of contemporary and avant garde. In fact, approximately 70 percent of the events are put up by international artists. One of the most significant events in the regional arts scene, during the Singapore Arts Festival shopping centers, playing fields and museums transform into theater and gallery venues.
Since its opening in 1977, the festival aims at celebrating local arts from the diverse communities in Singapore. Over the last three decades, the festival has played a key role in transformation of the city's cultural landscape.

 

Chinese New Year 2019 restaurants

  

Mortons  Chinese New Year 2019 restaurants

Chinese New Year Public Holidays for 2019 in Singapore will begin on Tuesday, February 5 and ends on Wednesday, February 6.

Chinese New Year Singapore is one of the biggest celebrations on the event calendar. Chinese New Year is one of the most significant holiday seasons in Singapore. Marking the first day of the year on the Chinese lunar calendar, the date fluctuates from year to year. The celebrations can last for two to three days, and they are colourful and abundant.
The Chingay Parade is one of the important events in Singapore with street floats, dancers, acrobats and other performers. Also the street lights in Chinatown are not to be missed. Gardens by the Bay's Flower Dome also welcomes the Lunar New Year with its first floral display of 2019.
Despite many places closed for holidays, there are still lots of restaurants that will be open during Chinese New Year 2019 including
Baristart Coffee Singapore - Hokkaido based concept cafe that focuses on Hokkaido dairy in all their food, beverage and desserts.
Famous Treasure - Located at Capitol Piazza (level 2), Famous Treasure offers guests a feast of local Chinese favourites and seafood signatures. Open daily till 10.30pm.
Fatburger 238 Thomson Road - An all-American, Hollywood favorite, Fatburger is a fast-casual restaurant serving big, juicy, tasty burgers, crafted specifically to each customer's liking. With a legacy spanning 70 years, Fatburger's extraordinary quality and taste inspire fierce loyalty amongst its fan base, which includes a number of A-list celebrities and athletes.
Jai Thai Restaurant - Delicious! Authentic! Affordable! Thai!
JiangHu Hotpot - Located within Bedok Point, Jiang Hu offers those craving steamy hotpot delights an experience of both gastronomy and ambience. Upon entry, one would be greeted with a Chinese autumn courtyard-themed interior embellished with traditional tableware and furnishing, as well as decor which includes overheading autumn trees. A galore of Szechuan-style, yum!
Morton's The Steakhouse (in photo) - Morton's The Steakhouse in Singapore is located on the 4th Storey of Mandarin Oriental, which is situated in the heart of the Commercial and Central Business District. The restaurant is also nestled at the Marina Bay waterfront and nearby to the newly opened Marina Bay Sands integrated resort, world-class Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay and Singapore Flyer. Every detail, from the succulent steaks and seafood and vast wine selections to the seamless service, makes Morton's the classic dining experience. The Bar at Morton's is also a popular destination with local bar-goers and travelers, becoming an institution on the local bar scene over the years.
Putien Restaurant - 2006 - Voted as one of Singapore's best 50 restaurants by The Sunday Times. 2009 - Won the "Press Ad Single/Campaign - Chinese" in the SPH Ink Award

 

Google Cloud Platform in Singapore

  

Google Cloud Platform in Singapore

After a 100 percent growth of paid customers in the region in from 2016 to 2017, Google Cloud Platform launched regional center in Singapore. Called “asia-southeast1”, this is the first Cloud Platform region in Southeast Asia.

According to the search giant, this initiative means improved latency speeds for developers in Southeast Asia. In fact, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) customers in Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok have seen 51 to 98 percent reductions in round-trip time latency, in comparison to its services delivered from Taiwan or Tokyo. The improved issuance speed across the region is thanks to the opening of Singapore's Google Cloud Platform, as previously the closes Google cloud center was in Taiwan.
Thanks to the Google Platform regional center in Singapore, customers in the region have access to Google's core services, such as Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, App Engine Standard Environment, Container Engine, Cloud Datastore, Cloud Dataflow, Cloud DNS, Cloud VPN, Cloud Router, and Cloud IAM products.
GCP customers are also able to combine any of these services deployed in Singapore with other GCP services around the world such as DLP, Spanner and BigQuery.
This initiative is also aimed at getting more startups in Southeast Asia on board. “With startups, we always find that the demand comes from their developers - there's no big procurement department or what have you,” said Tariq M. Shaukat, Google Cloud president for customers. This explains why the company offers such a strong tech support to its customers: to educated them about the service and help them tailor it to their needs.
Shaukat said the company aims at increasing the scale of such collaboration: “We find that startups value the ability to sit down with a solution architect and just map out what they want to do - they value it as much as, if not more than, more traditional companies because in many cases they're trying to do things that are harder, more innovative, different.”
“Google is dead serious about the cloud,” said Diane Greene, the Chief of Google Cloud, at the launch event. Therefore, the company is setting up new regions quite swiftly.
Singapore is not the only new Google Cloud Platform center. GCP, which connects more than 1 billion individuals users on a global scale, has also expanded to other APAC regions, including Sydney and Mumbai.
Google is expanding its products across the world as a response to the tough competition amongst tech giants. According to Google representatives, some of the tactics for keeping up with competition include grabbing market share and the ability to leverage G Suite - Drive, Docs, Gmail, etc.
“The things we care about are the number of customers working on our platform, and how many of their workloads are with us versus with one of our competitors,” Shaukat said. “We're probably the most public in talking about how much of the world will end up being multi-cloud. So we don't see this as a zero-sum game by any stretch, we see it as something where there will be multiple winners.”
Addressing one of the key concerns large customers have about the cloud concerning how sensitive data is handled, Google presented a new data loss prevention API for GCP. API identifies personally information such as email addresses and allows customers to choose to have the information classified or redacted.
Customers are also able to grant access to applications based on certain risk factors thanks to new feature the search giant introduced for GCP, which is the Identity-Aware Proxy.
Some of the large clients Google Cloud Platform has include HSBC, Deloitte, Netflix, Avaya, Adidas, Verizon and the New York Times, among others.
Its customers, which include BBM Messenger, Carousell and Go-Jek, have expressed their excitement with the launch of GCP in the region. In a statement, Ajey, CTO, Go-Jek, said: “We are extremely pleased with the performance of GCP, and we are excited about the opportunities opening in Indonesia and other markets, and making use of the Singapore Cloud Region. The outcomes we've achieved in scaling, stability and other areas have proven how fantastic it is to have Google and GCP among our key service partners.”

 

Singapore top city to do business in Asia

  

Singapore top city to do business in Asia

Recently Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made a working visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the 13th G20 Leaders' Summit (photo).

Singapore and Hong Kong are the eternal competitors to be Asia's ‘Best Place to Do Business'. Rivalry comes naturally to these two places which are both thriving former British colonies in Asia that heavily depend on foreign investment for economic development. That is why it is so important for both of them to be seen among foreign companies as the best place to start or expand a business in Asia.
In the past decades, Singapore and Hong Kong have gone head-to-head when it comes to being the best places in Asia to do business in.
Looking few years back in time The World Bank's 2014 Doing Business report, which measures each country's regulations on 11 business life-cycle events such as starting a business, permits, contracts, credit and taxes, Singapore and Hong Kong top the Asian countries to do business in. Meanwhile powerhouse China ranked lower than several African nations.
According to the report, “around the world, starting a business takes seven procedures, 25 days and costs 32 percent of income per capita in fees.”
Singapore ranks so high because of its early adoption not only of electronic filing for public administration but also of a “trade single window” aimed at easing trade by allowing cross-border traders to submit customs data through a single gateway. According to the report, “trading across borders has been easiest in Singapore since 2007.”
The latest trend is that Singapore is beating Hong Kong as the best place in Asia to do business. According to economists, the island-state leads in innovative thinking, length of the welcome mat for foreign businesses, and proactive management of potential economic issues, like aging populations. There are other governmental reasons. While Singapore runs itself, China runs Hong Kong. Despite Hong Kong's autonomous status, China is known for its legal inconsistency.
Singapore's economy is also more capable of containing shocks, according to Marie Diron, associate managing director in sovereign ratings with Moody's Investors Service. In that category, Moody's gives Singapore a “very high” mark, while it gives Hong Kong a “very high minus.” According to Diron, Singapore earned that distinction through “proactive economic management” such as planning ahead how to accommodate an aging population and on introducing measures to help core sectors such as finance and asset management. As countries with few industries are more prone to succumb to shocks, Singapore is more capable to absorb shocks thanks to their diverse industries.
According to the World Bank's ranking of the easiest places to do business, “Singapore continues to be the economy with the most business-friendly regulation.” Additionally, “efficient dispute resolution is paired with good institutions (such as specialized courts), effective case management and sophisticated court automation tools. And litigants can submit their claim online, pay court fees online and serve the initial summons electronically.”
According to the report, “economies that rank well on the ease of doing business also score well on such measures as the Global Competitiveness Index and Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index.”
While Singapore offers world class transport infrastructure, language skills and overall economic freedom, it also comes in with lower “unit labor costs” making more cheaper and efficient for a foreign company to do business there.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong's salaries are higher, but this also translates into more productivity and cooperation in employee-employer relations. There are other reasons why Hong Kong is the right place for an investor to start a business. According to Healy Consultants, Hong Kong has a lower corporate income tax and is “strengthening its stronghold within the region. Despite its relative lower placing across the various categories of rankings, Hong Long could well still be the most ideal location for a certain investor to set up a company.”
What makes people nervous about Hong Kong is its dependence on China. Under a weaker Beijing system set of rules, patent protection, fair arbitration and other legal backing investors might rely could become harder to obtain. According to the Asian Century Institute, Singapore ranks world number 9 in rule of law and Hong Kong holds the 17th position.
“Singapore has been climbing up positions and is now generally considered a better offshore financial center than Hong Kong,” said Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia economist with Natixis. “I would tend to agree and it can only get worse as Hong Kong rule of law is under threat.”

 

Speed cameras

  

Speed cameras

Behind the wheel's motorists have a strong believe that night time the percentage of been caught as a result of high speed is very low. They say that to be seen is not easy because the lights are as clear as during the day. Others also think that when they are approaching the cameras they will just lower the lights so that they will not be caught by the camera due to' malseeing'. Nevertheless, the drivers are shocked to hear their names with letters as a result of over speeding of which they are not aware what and when it happened. Thepolice are now dealing with them in accordance to the law. The new laser cameras are on to work. They were given to traffic police last Thursday May 19th. They have features which are more powerful and they are the places which are at risk of accidents at all time, be it night or day, they are constantly monitoring all the activities on the road.

The cameras are capable of detecting the vehicle's number plates even in the places where there is no enough light. They have flash which is infrared and no one can even see the flash using the eyes. They are also in a position to captures some videos and images without any limitation as far as light is concerned. These new cameras are very strong in the way they function, for instance their battery is seven times more compared to the cameras which were used before these new ones. On 19th Thursday briefing the media, Sam Tee who is the traffic police commander said that they have reviewed the areas which are prone to accident so as to enforce strategies which are to be developed. He also said that new cameras which are digital are the ones which are now used instead of the old cameras. He farther said that where the cameras are operating varies as per the locations.
On this same note on the new cameras. They can also be located in different areas especially the areas which are at a high risk of accident like Changi Airport, East Coast and Adam Road. The traffic police goal is to eliminate the road accidents. He said that the cameras are not fixed hence they can be carried anywhere. According to the reports there is a decline in accidents which are as a result of over speeding. In February last year the traffic police recorded a decrease in number of accidents from one thousand three hundred and sixty-three to one thousand one hundred and ninety-seven. This is a difference of twelve point two percent. This means that there are more lives which have been saved as a result on new cameras which are constantly monitoring the careless driver and those who are over speeding as well. The deaths which were recorded as a result of over speeding vehicles went up to forty-eight this year forty-three from the previous year.
There are also motorcycles which are black in color. They are also used to track and catch the motorists who are using mobile phones as they drive. These black motorcycles were introduced so that they may ensure maximum safety and obedience to the road signs. These was said by the police spokesman. However, he did not talk more about these new motorbikes to avoid the great concern of the operation. The commander of police said that the operation in which they ensure monitoring and safety differs in that the traffic police can use cars and motorcycle which have radar guns and laser altogether, but to enforce is all the same way during the night as well as day time.
The comparison of the new and old cameras is that: Old cameras have flash which is visible and captures the images which are near and the battery of the old cameras can last only for a duration of four hours while the new cameras have flash which is modular and infrared which is invisible to the eyes and can capture clear images even during the nigh their batteries can function at a duration of seven hours.

 

Finest singers in Singapore

  

Olinda Cho and Ng Chee Yang

The battle for the finest singers in Singapore for China TV show, featuring Olinda Cho and Ng Chee Yang.

Competition is the order of the day when it comes to selections in TV shows. The heights of competition are high and very unpredictable as new talent steps into the bloc each and every day. It is therefore the reason former crown bearer of idol in Singapore and a fellow young man who is a former superstar for campus are in the list of personalities comprised of 12 singers are battling out to ensure a spot in a glamorous China TV Show.
The duo will be given a chance to showcase the talent in singing as a routine procedure for selection to travel to China for the china super vocal. The show is moderated by experience judges in the music industry amongst other icon singers. The show is showcasing to improve its branding following a legal settling from its former Dutch owner, which was normally referred by another name.
The show brings pride to the singer's audience while giving them the nationalism and patriotism of bringing out the best talent from one of the smallest nations. The desire to showcase their talent is building on the audience confidence of the value of their precious resources being time and money. It does not come easy as the music idols such as Olinda Cho has to receive instructions and critiques during the newly started vocal lessons to bring out the best in her.
Olinda Cho is confident ahead of the show, stating that communication barrier is a non-issue in the meantime. She can communicate fluently in mandarin. The singer has stated that she will be performing a song by Wu Bai's Wanderer's Love song.
Na Ying, a Chinese singer and a judge in the China TV show is the hopeful mentor for Ng Chee Yang, hopefully if he makes it to the stage. Nurturing, supportiveness and critical abilities of the judge is what Na Ying believes he will gain from his mentor. The singer who is 26 years of age, won the campus superstar crown back in 2006 declined to reveal the song he has chosen.
The New York based artiste who wants to develop his singing career in the USA has been camping in Singapore for two fortnights ago for some singing projects before making the crucial decision of participating in the events vocal auditions. Na Ying is set to tour the United States with an American based acapella group known as the vocalosity in the coming years.
Veteran Taiwanese singers and rockers are some of the celebrity mentors that will pick the best showcased singing competence and prowess for further mentorship into the singing career.
In a previous show, a couple was among the contestants in the china based show but unfortunately mentors did not pick them. Over 2,000 concert tickets have already been given out for the event taking place at a major hotel in Singapore, where the 12 singers will battle it out.
Music producer and song writer Billy, Paul L. who is a singer as well a song writer and Mr. D. Lee are some of the personalities in the industry that are also judging in the show. The proprietor of Eeva productions, the company responsible for organizing and facilitation of the auditions, a renowned radio disc jockey Mr. E. Hsiang is also an outstanding judge in the show.
At the age of 52, Mr. Billy Koh who lives in china states that he is participating in the event for an update of the scenes of the music industry that is currently being controlled by the young generation of youths and young adults making up the population of Singapore. A personality with a human touch has an added advantage for gaining more credit from Mr. Paul Lee who is aged 47, whose argument raises the expectation bar of the contestant to a whole new level.

 

The atheists of Singapore

  

think freely for yourself

Like many of the growing kids, following the church teachings and laws is a norm, a way of life for all the kids in the neighboring. The kid will follow the parents and guardians to the church proceedings and will even at times be involved in church activities at their own call. The trend continues until the kid has grown up and has moved to the world, and starts to question the eligibility and authenticity to question the religious faith that has of the time been inculcated into his system.

It becomes even harder to contemplate, when the actions and orientation that the kids pick from the world are not the teachings they attained in church. Some turn into gays, others lesbians while others basically walk out of the church. We are not being judges here , rather trying to benchmark the extent to which the people and most often the young are being exposed to and ends up turning away from the teachings of Christianity, Muslim and all the many other faiths.
It brings much perspective into the nature of the so called Christians who lead a double standard life. These are the people that know the clear red line between what is accepted as right and what makes it a wrong. There are those that despite the orientation of sexuality of a person, they are still part of the church. Not all but some.
Being optimistic of standing out as being different may not last long. As people will from time to time question the reasons behind the move you made. Feeling left out or sidelined from the affairs that you are being involved are some of the predicaments that are likely to occur unto such a person. Being normal to Christians is having all qualities that can one can relate and point out from the bible. Being gay, according to the bible is not normal, it is as a result of wildly influence.
When such people decide to come out and declare their stand on some issues contradicting with the church values, chances are high that even the government authorities will come in and start probing them for other offences that they think they might have committed for the time that they had served.
There is an organization in Singapore that seeks to amend, cater and fight for the rights of recognition as being non-religious. It is a registered organization and members seek to register more when they create awareness of their existence to further their interests. At the moment, there are two such organizations, representing both the gays and those that are lesbians.
It is very alarming that most of the young people in Singapore are also taking deep roots into the gospel of a non-believer. People aged at below 15 years of age are also having a stand that they don't have the faith in the existence of God. This is probably due to the radicalization by the pioneer members of the sect.
Each day, each week and each month there are people that continually come out in the public limelight to declare their paganisms. There are those people that were raised in religion based homes and later left those believes to be non-believers. While for others, there were already communities in Singapore that had been pagans since time in memorial, they were therefore raising a generation of people that had no standards , morals and believes in any of the believers religions per say. These communities were very strict as there were consequences of not doing what was required for them, they were punished severely. To the worst of things some of the non-believers have at one point attempted suicide as a means to find refuge in being them.
 
In Singapore, we start with the irrefutable proposition that the alternative to multi-racialism… is genocide in varying degrees.
– Mr S. Rajaratnam, then Minister for Culture (1959–1965)

Singapore culture strives to be unbias to any or no religion. All people are equal before the law regardless of race, language or religion. Today, despite differences in ethnicity, religion and culture, people in Singapore live together as one united people.

 

The Legacy of Lee Kuan Yew

  

The Legacy of Lee Kuan Yew

 

Best known as the founding father of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew is credited with turning an insignificant island in Southeast Asia into a booming global metropolis.

Once Singapore gained its independence from the UK in 1963, Lee Kuan Yew became the first Prime Minister of the sovereign city-state. After governing Singapore for over three decades, he is also the longest serving prime minister.
A visionary thinker and transformational leader, Lee Kuan Yew is widely considered to be one of Asia's most influential political figures and credited with leading Singapore to transition from the third world to first world in a single generation. Thanks to his overwhelming parliamentary control at every election, Lee oversaw Singapore's transformation from a British colony with a deep harbor to an Asian Tiger economy.
As he instilled the principles of meritocracy and multiculturalism into the city-state, Lee made English the common language with the purpose of integrating its immigrant society and encourage trade with the West. Under his rule, Singapore became more a more cohesive nation since promoting bilingualism in school allowed students to preserve their mother tongue and identity while not favoring any language over another.
Here are some of his most memorable quotes from different points of his career.
“Even from the sickbed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel that something is wrong, I will get up. Those who believe that after I have left the government as prime minister, I will go into a permanent retirement really should have their heads examined.” - National Day Rally of 1988, two years before his rule ended.
Lee's rule was criticized for curtailing civil liberties - such as media control - and bringing libel suits against political opponents. Despite the protests, Lee argued that such measures were necessary to achieve political stability and rule of law which are essential for economic development.
“I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yes, if I did not, had I not done that, we wouldn't be here today. And I say without the slightest remorse, that we wouldn't be here, we would not have made economic progress, if we had not intervened on very personal matters - who your neighbor is, how you live, the noise you make, how you spit, or what language you use. We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think.” - National Day Rally of 1986.
“I'm no longer in active politics. It's irrelevant to me what young Singaporeans think of me. What they think of me after I'm dead and gone in one generation will be determined by researchers who do PhDs on me, right? So there will be a lot of revisionism. As people revised Stalin, Brezhnev and one day now Yeltsin, and later on Putin. I've lived long enough to know that you may be idealized in life and reviled after you're dead.” - “Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going.”
“If Singapore is a nanny state, then I'm proud to have fostered one.” - “From Third World to First: The Singapore Story - 1965-2000,” written by Lee and published in 2000.
“At the end of the day, what I cherish most are the human relationships. With the unfailing support of my wife and partner I have lived my life to the fullest. It is the friendships I made and the close family ties I nurtured that have provided me with that sense of satisfaction at a life well lived, and have made me what I am.” - A speech in 2003.
“I always tried to be correct, not politically correct.” - “From Third World to First: The Singapore Story.”
“So when the graduate man does not want to marry a graduate woman, I tell him he's a fool, stupid. You marry a non-graduate, you're going to have problems, some children bright, some not bright. You'll be tearing your hair out.” - “Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going,” written by Lee and published in 2011.
“When I visited Madame Tussauds as a student in the 1940s... there were two groups of figures: the famous and the notorious, either British kings and famous leaders, or notorious murderers. I hope Madame Tussauds will not put my likeness too close to the notorious.” - “The Wit and Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew,” a collection of his quotes published in 2013.

 

Green lungs beyond the concrete

  

Boats at Pulau Ubin

Singapore, tiny island state is filled with skyscrapers and multistory flats and malls. There are green belts directly in the heart of Singapore.First spot would be Pulau Ubin. It is an offshore island especially for those who fancy nature reserve. It is a village like area with dusty tracks and bike trails. Going to the place reminds people of the 1960s Singapore landscape. It is a cycling haven filled with mangrove at ChekJawa. It is easily accessible by first taking MRT green line till Tanah Merah Station. Hop on a bus to reach Changi Village. From Changi Village proceed by walking to Changi Point Terminal for Ferry to catch one of the 15-minute boat ride to arrive at Pulau Ubin.

Another green lung is Canning Fort Park. It was once a British administration site and first ever Botanic Gardens launched by Sir Raffles. It was occupied by Sultans and British military. It is the perfect quiet getaway dotted with colonial era structures. Tours are free which runs every month. Getting to Fort Canning is easy, by just taking MRT to reach DhobyGhaut. From there walk towards Singapore National Museum and the park would be right behind.
Bukit Timah Reserve for Nature is the highest peak in all of Singapore. It has diverse flora species and fauna species, close to 40% for all of Singapore. Be sure to reach early for a leisure hike up to the peak. Beware of cheeky monkeys encounter where they might snatch away your food. It can be reached by taking the MRT train right to Orchard Station. Proceed to hop on Bus 75/171 heading Bukit Timah. The park will be right opposite BktTimah Shopping Complex at the road end towards Hindhede.
PasirRis Nature Park has green flora on the backdrop of a beach. It is tiny but filled with interesting sights. It has a mangrove forest accessible via boardwalk and a triple storey tower for birdwatching. Kids can ride on ponies at the Gallop Stables. Renting a bicycle to get around is a good choice as well. End your day with a drink at the breezy bars at the beachside. It can be reached via walking from PasirRis MRT Station across Drive 3.
Bishan and AngMoKio Park is another green belt worth mentioning. It is 62 hectare hug smacked in the middle of suburbs and is complete with beautiful green tracts, sparkling water streams, green flora and boardwalks for human access. Café bars are all strategically located within the walking trail. Grub is a hot spot for coffee and brunch. Aramsa Spa is highly recommended for massage seekers looking to wind down after a tiring walk. You can reach the park from Bishan MRT Station. Proceed to take the bus No. 53, 58 or 55 from the Bus Interchange and drop off at Bishan Park.
Kusu Island is located south from Singapore Island and has iconic blue lagoons for swimming enthusiasts. It has also one Chinese temple as well as one Malay shrine on a hilltop. Massive amount of visitors throng the island during September and October months every year for the annual 9th lunar calendar month pilgrimage. Other period will not see any visitors. Food and water are best self-prepared. If you want to reach Kusu Island, head to Marina Bay MRT Station and hop on bus 402. You will arrive at Marina Cruise Centre. You can then take any 2 ferry rides offered daily. 3 rides are available on Saturdays and 5 on Sundays.
Southern Ridges is another hot hiking spot encompassing Mt Faber, Kent Ridge, TelokBlangah and Hortpark. It has 10km long of lush greenery, with canopy walks across Henderson Waves. History buffs can visit the WWII info centre, Bukit Chandu Reflections right in the mid-point for Kent Ridge parks. It is to commemorate the PasirPanjang battle which saw 1400 Malays ethnic soldiers staving off 13,000 Japanese military men. Getting there is easy as you just need to arrive via MRT to reach Harbourfront station. The park would be right across an expressway with the trail beginning at the mountain leg.

 

  
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