Other than London, singapore is the other city that I could claim to have lived in. As a young kid, I had the opportunity to be immersed in the Singapore of Shaw Brothers, P Ramlee, Madu Tiga, Si Tora, the remnants of colonial singapore. I had the opportunity to see the early years of singapore, as a separate entity. I saw relatives moving houses from kampong houses to flats or rumah pangsa. I saw kampongs making ways for HDB flats. I saw Pasir Panjang being engulfed by reclaimed lands.
In the 80s my first job required me to be in Singapore. Having completed my university days in London, visiting Singapore was like going to Manchester. Bugis street was a heaven for sailors, with transvetites plying the trade, the days when AIDS meant first aid, being associated with the Red Cross. THe Port of Singapore was like Hamburg or Amsterdam., another city port.
Over the years, Singapore is the city I visit most frequently, mainly for business and exhibitions.
After that job in Woodlands and Sembawang, I had never spent more than 3 days in singapore not until now. I decided to take the family to Singapore for a holiday. What a wonderful experience had it been. What 20 years have done, tales between two cities.
Singapore is now an Astropolis. I define astropolis as a modern city which is out of this world. If I have to name another city of the same calibre as singapore, I could only think of switzerland. The rest of the cities in this world could only claim to be metropolis at best. And kuala lumpur? KL now, is like singapore 20years ago.
The Esplanade would put the istana budaya to shame. The riverfront is no match for bukit bintang. The Asian MUseum was a real museum, not the belly gazing Museum negara. The restorations of old buildings have been impressive. THe city Hall would rate Dewan Bandaraya as the municipality for Air Hitam.
Pak lah was saying that malaysia has a first world facility but with a third world rakyat. I could still come across third world Singaporeans but why is it singapore is in the first world?
The reality is that malaysia is infested with third world leaders. I have been trained in this doctrine that there are no bad soldiers but bad officers. Unless and until all local councils leaders and all leaders of political parties in mlaysia become more educated and world class, the gap between singapore and KL would just be between an astropolis and a municipality.
THe future of singapore? LOndon would soon become Manchester or Liverpool to singapore.
Singapore is out of this world. Migrate to Singapore anyone?