Date
28 July 2017
Singapore apartments are twice the size those in Hong Kong. People have to follow many rules and free speech is not really free. But in general, it stacks up well against Hong Kong. Photos: Bloomberg, singapore-guide.com
Singapore apartments are twice the size those in Hong Kong. People have to follow many rules and free speech is not really free. But in general, it stacks up well against Hong Kong. Photos: Bloomberg, singapore-guide.com

Is it me, or is there too much fawning over Singapore?

Whoever thinks Hong Kong is a cool place should take a look at Singapore because it is a mini paradise and an efficient one at that.

Yes, the heat is unbearable, which is odd when you think of Christmas in Hong Kong, but it didn’t ruin our family holiday. We were happy. No sweat.

But it seems nothing is “free” in Singapore. I mean free speech, for instance, is not really free.

There are too many rules but compared with Hong Kong in general, Singapore stacks up rather well.

It’s also smart.

Catching an air-conditioned double decker is a pleasant experience which is multiplied when you see a digital display of how many seats are available in the upper deck.

Driving in Orchard Road, you’re struck by digital signages that show the number of available parking spaces in major malls.

These conveniences are just some of the little things you’ll fall in love with.

I know some Hong Kong startups that are planning to develop an app that shows this kind parking data but they’re being hampered by difficulties including a lack of a proper business model.

In Singapore, these apps are free.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Singapore, already a popular stop in the Formula One circuit, will be the cradle of the driverless car.

I’m sure the Ferrari and Lamborghini drivers I happened to bump into at the South Beach Hotel would have no objections.

Big data works best in a small city.

Look at how well Singapore organised itself to farewell its founder, Lee Kuan Yew, when he died in March.

Lee left behind a proud nation which is often compared with Hong Kong, with its can-do spirit, but often comes out on top.

Singapore taxi drivers, unlike many of their Hong Kong peers, have so much positive energy to share about their city.

One of them asked us if we had seen a beggar.

No, we said, why? Because the government knows when people are unemployed, he said.

The government helps them find shelter and a job that pays S$800 (HK$4,385) a month.

Singaporeans can use their pension fund to pay for a public housing flat, which in general is about twice the size of a Hong Kong apartment.

If you’re curious if mainlanders cause any trouble there, the short answer is no, according to two drivers we spoke to.

We haven’t seen any obscene things either in the five times we have spent a holiday there.

Yes, Singapore is small, smart and super.

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BK/JP/RA

EJ Insight writer

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