Singapore may be just a tiny little red dot on the world map, but it is one of the best first-world cities and one of the most desirable city to live in.
We are so lucky to be Singaporeans, to hold the red passport that the world covets, and to have stability like no other – easy access to water and electricity, crime-free streets, great education systems, lots of good food…
As our nation is celebrating her birthday soon, here’s Why You Should Feel Proud To Be A Singaporean.
WE ARE SINGAPORE
Everyone can sing this national song, and its lyrics speak of how we are a strong nation with resilience and perseverance.
“There was a time when people said that Singapore wouldn’t make it, but we did. There was a time when troubles seemed too much for us to take, but we did. We build a nation, strong and free, reaching out together for peace and harmony.
Singapore, our homeland; it’s here that we belong. All of us united, one people marching on. We’ve come so far together, our common destiny. Singapore forever, a nation strong and free.”
WE ARE IN A SAFE ENVIRONMENT
Our geographical location puts us in a spot where we are protected from natural disasters.
And, we are not at war, nor are we on the verge of it. This may sound complacent to most, but we ought to thank the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, as well as Prime MInister Mr Lee Hsien Loong and his team for managing diplomatic relations well enough.
When you consider our situation, we are considered really lucky to be able to do the things we do. Have you ever felt thankful that you can roam around at night on our crime-free streets? Unlike many cities around the world, the sheer fact that we can walk around at night without feeling threatened speaks volumes. And many countries and cities really do not enjoy such safety.
GOOD PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM
To most, our size puts us at a disadvantage. But when you stop to think about it, we get to travel to almost any part of the country without taking more than an hour and a half. Our public transportation system is efficient, and taxis are ever available.
Singaporeans often complain about Singapore’s public transportation system. But as compared to first world cities such as New York, London and Paris, ours is world-class. Do you know how dirty and stinky trains in New York are? And do you know how often the tubes in London break down, or the drivers go on strike?
Sure, we have breakdowns from time to time. Sometimes, we wait longer than we should for a train. But it is only normal for technical glitches, and Singapore’s system is considerably well-maintained with minimised errors.
The cherry on top? Taking public transport in Singapore is among the most affordable we have experienced. We never understood the complaints and rants about “increasing transportation costs”, because if you would feel the pinch of a £2 tube ride (for just one stop, mind you!) when in London or a A$3 tram ride in Melbourne (for one stop, too)…
OUR LITTLE RED PASSPORT ALLOWS US TO TRAVEL VISA-FREE TO 170 COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD
Singapore’s passport is ranked fifth in the World, and we can easily travel to 170 countries around the globe without needing to apply for a visa.
This huge privilege has facilitated smooth international travels and the Singapore passport has unsurprisingly been ranked globally as fifth best with regards to ease of travel, with exception of just a few countries, of course.
While we do not need a visa to travel most of the time, you might want to know of the list of countries that Singaporeans would need a visa to travel to anyway.
An American friend once told us, “Your country is amazing! I haven’t found any cuisine that is not available here in Singapore yet.”
Indeed, Singapore is a melting pot to different cuisines. We are brought up in an environment where we are exposed to all kinds of foods, and we count our blessings for having accessibility to some of the world’s finest restaurants and famous trends right here in our humble Singapore.
The cost of living in Singapore may be arguably high in some aspects, but all in all, dining out in Singapore is relatively cheap and we do not need to break a bank for a good meal.
Hawker centres and coffee shops are aplenty, and an average dish costs S$3.50. We may be expensive when compared to our neighbours, but on a world index, the cost of an average meal is actually pretty low.
CLEAN AND GREEN
Sometimes we take for granted that we’ve got trees and shrubs lining the streets and highways, but we only notice the difference when we travel to other countries – where the landscape is filled with skyscrapers and dusty buildings, or roads filled with cars leaving trails of smoke behind.
Our Garden City will always stand in trend. So many decades ago, even before becoming green was fashionable, Mr Lee Kuan Yew already had the vision to turn Singapore into a clean and green country. And we cannot be more thankful for his farsightedness, because look what we are today! Few countries and cities in the world can match up, really.
WORLD-CLASS EDUCATION SYSTEM
We have the ability to read, write and discern for ourselves what is wrong and right.
If the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew had not persevered on and instilled such strict rules about minimum schooling; if he had not made education so much more accessible regardless of race, language or religion; if we did not have efficient education systems; we would not be the flourishing nation we are today.
In fact, our education system is so remarkable that we see an increasing number of foreigners relocating and making Singapore their base – just to study.
SO MANY PLACES TO SEE, SO MANY THINGS TO DO
While it is true that Singapore can get pretty boring (how many times can you visit the Zoo or the Singapore Botanic Gardens), we have also learned to adapt.
Penniless or on a budget? Sure, Singapore can still be fun with these free activities.
STRONG AND STABLE CURRENCY
When the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew became our Prime Minister, our GDP was US$428. And we have grew 30-fold to US$12,766 by 1990, the year he left the PM office.
Singapore prospered under his exemplary leadership, and our currency has also strengthened against many. Today, our currency is stable and we are almost on par with USD, and this gives us an edge in so many ways to even speak of.
A TRAVEL HUB
Because of our geographical location once again, we have become the travel hub we are today. With great accessibility to so many countries and cities, complete with an award-winning world-class airport, Singapore is a destination for many travellers – both to stopover and to transit.
This brings enormous revenue to our country, and on a micro level, it also means we get to travel more freely and economically.
COLOURFUL ETHNIC CULTURES
To be multiracial is a beautiful thing. Regardless of our skin colour, we co-exist with equal rights. We receive the same education, we grow with the nation, and we stand equal chances when seeking a job. No prejudices, no discrimination.
And this equality is stronger than you think. Onward, Singapore!
We definitely do not want to suffer under and bear the brunt of a corrupted government.
There is no need to cite examples, but as Singaporeans, in spite of the numerous opposition parties, our government remains stable and corrupt-free. We still share strong bilateral ties, and the friendships that the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew had spent his life forging from all over the world will continue to bless Singapore with many more opportunities.
WHERE THE RIVER ALWAYS FLOWS
This is home, truly.
As the song goes, “There’s a place that will stay within me, wherever I may choose to go.”
“So we’ll build our dreams together,just like we’ve done before. Just like the river which brings us life; there’ll always be Singapore.”