Our visit to Singapore is ending soon. It was a delightful vacation, as all vacations are when I can spend lots of time with my wife, children and loved ones. It really doesn’t matter where we are! However, there were many things I like about this island nation. We had a great last day, spending the afternoon swimming at Palawan Beach on Sentosa Island.
First, in looking at the world today, the three major ethnics groups of Singapore get along well and live peaceably together. On my run this afternoon, I passed a Chinese Buddhist temple, a Malay Mosque and a Hindu temple, all within a couple blocks of each other. The Singaporeans I talked to our proud of being from here, and can look down upon where their ancestors came from, China/India/Malaysia and say that they have a better life. Many Americans pride themselves on saying the same thing. In a world where tribalism and intolerance is growing, it is refreshing to see cooperation and working together.
Singapore is open for business. The government takes care of everyone here very well, even the disadvantaged, unlike we do sometimes in the USA. They have embraced the global economy and it has become a center of commerce in Asia-Pacific, with a super busy airport and shipping port, an impressive financial district and Western expatriates bringing their global viewpoints here. They are a role model for cities.
Coming here during the Japanese winter has been fabulous. I love the sounds of the bird, the Asian Koen every sunrise and sunset, the flocks of chattering parakeets soaring around the building and the lush tropical gardens that cover the city. My sister-in-law has a large rooftop terrace with a shower, hammock and comfortable chairs that is so nice to spend time. Watching the incoming monsoon storm clouds, the rapidly descending sunsets and feeling cool breezes is very relaxing.
There are some downsides however. I would be concerned about their growth if I lived here. I wonder how many more people can fit on the island while maintaining a high quality of life. There will be more traffic jams, less green spaces, etc. They will eventually have to stop migration or at least slow it down. Immigrants, especially the highly skilled ones, have helped Singapore, but it is an island, and space is the issue.