Bird feeding: fine of 1000 SG$ (around 500 €). Smoking in non-specified places: fine of 1000 SG$. Littering: fine of 1000 SG$. Selling, buying or chewing gum: fine of 1000 SG$. Urinating in public: fine of 1000 SG$. Using public toilet and not flushing: fine of 1000 SG$. Picking a flower from parks and gardens: fine of 1000 SG$. Water wasting: fine of 1000 SG $. Spitting on the floor: fine of 1000 SG$. For those who have already paid the same fine and repeat the same mistake: fine of 2000 SG$ and obligatory community cleaning service. Drug involvement (selling or consuming): death penalty!
Where is this place? This is the one city-state that has 3 million inhabitants on only 618 square kilometers. This state is one of the smallest, but richest countries in the world. I would like to introduce this city-state to you: Singapore.
There are some people who complain about lack of freedom in Singapore and severe punishments imposed by the law (usually, people who complain are wild and ignorant individuals). However, the truth is that this country has become one of the most prosperous, clean and safe countries in the world – thanks to its visionary founder, the British Sir Stamford Raffles.
Despite its very strict laws, Singapore attracts millions of tourists each year, and not only those who decide to take advantage of their flight connections and make a stopover in one of the most dynamic cities in the world (by the way, Singapore Airlines has already received the crown of the best national flight carrier in the world many times). Singapore also attracts many people who wish to experience first hand what it means to live in a perfect city.
Those who think that I am exaggerating, please name any other city in the world where crime is practically non-existent, where the temperature is tropical all year round, where the beaches of the small and most of the time deserted islands surrounding the city are paradisiac, where modernity is present in all aspects of the infrastructure, where the subway and the green streets are immaculately clean, where all the public places are well kept, and still where the inhabitants are disciplined, tolerant and good humored… A tiny Swiss village might have this or that speaking in its favor, maybe Dubai as well, but the truth is that Singapore is the only city in the world that can boast all the qualities mentioned above.
In Singapore, a foreigner feels welcome because all speak one language, respect the beliefs of their neighbors, and still celebrate each other festivals, when for example the Indians hit the streets of Chinatown to celebrate the Lunar New Year or when numerous Malays and Chinese participate in the Divali, the Indian lights festival.
I even dare to say that the world should look up to Singapore, taking it as an example, making a few unscrupulous inhabitants pay in order to educate them and punishing the criminals severely. Freedom of speech and action is indeed a very good thing, but only when it does not hurt other law obedient citizens. My dear readers, shall we applaud the city that deeply impressed me and will certainly impress all of you when you get a chance to visit this city.
For all that you are, Bravo Singapore!
Luciana B. Veit