Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Monday, September 05, 2005

An Outsider's View of Singapore

I came across this article on Wired 1.04 yesterday night and it amused me. It's always fascinating to see how outsiders view something and I am increasingly an observer every time I return to this island-city-state which was my home for 6 years. My father and his family still live here but I'm just a visitor in transit to see them and my old school friends.

The writer's characterization of 'Singapore Ltd' is very true. So is the social engineering present in the form of all manner of government campaigns and incentives. I've always said the country was run like a large MNC... However, having just heard the tragic news of a family friend in South Africa who has been shot 5 times in the body and who is now struggling for his life (this being his second shooting), I have to say the safety and security of life in Singapore is something to be valued and all the inconveniences and idiosyncracies may well be the price of being able to have your teenage sister come home alone after midnight and not need to worry about her safety!

The writer refers to Singapore as "Disneyland with the death penalty". This may be the case for a tourist who knows few Singaporeans, who has no friends in the city and is only taken in by the sophisticated, slick veneer of life here... Singapore even has a fantasy creature called the 'Merlion' (above) concocted for tourism's sake as a symbol of itself, like Mickey Mouse! But what I can also say is that like the 'Magic Kingdom', this is truly a unique country and one that has to be experienced. There are many benefits to being here; my favourite is the fact that my friends are all 20 minutes away and a get-together can organized with relative ease! There are also a few cons, such as the sense of claustrophobia one can get... there are so many people on the island, sometimes one just wants to be able to drive away into the open country within half an hour, as in Manila. No such luck in Singapore and the government plans to double the population of the country!

But no country is perfect and there are so many people I know who live here inspite of the difficulties (like my family!) because it's really better than many other cities of this size... But why not check out an insider's view? Read Mr Brown, Singapore's 'Best Blog.'


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