This National Day, I would like to give thanks to the fact that I’m a Singaporean.
I’m going to cut to the chase. Singapore isn’t perfect, but it’s a pretty darn good country to live in compared to most places in the world. Some might argue that Singapore’s greatest quality is its multiculturalism. Others might say it’s the food.
I beg to disagree. I love Singapore because it’s so safe.
Late last year, a US-based start-up called The Swiftest named Singapore the safest country in the world for international travel. Sounds familiar? Of course it does. Because we have been named as such in many, many other polls over the years.
For a country where tourism accounts for about 4 per cent of its annual GDP (yes, that’s a lot), safety is of utmost importance in Singapore because, well, I reckon most travellers would be rather apprehensive about travelling to a place where crime is rampant.
Safety also means we can go ahead and experience life to the fullest without having to worry about whether our existence is in jeopardy. Look, the only kind of problem you will get after a big night out drinking in Singapore is not an existential threat but an existential crisis.
No, you won’t be the one experiencing the existential crisis. Your wallet would.
I think Singapore’s reputation for being a country with corporal punishment has also contributed to it being a super safe country. In fact, I recently learned that some of my foreign friends have a gross misconception of our laws regarding corporal punishment.
“You know, I was so afraid of the police when I visited Singapore. Once, a piece of tissue fell out of my hands and I immediately picked it up because I thought a policeman would appear out of nowhere and spank me because I littered,” said a friend of mine from China.
“Spank you?” I laughed.
“Yes! Don’t you guys spank people in Singapore?”
“I think you mean ‘cane’. And no, the cops don’t simply cane people in public!”
“What’s the difference between caning and spanking?”
“Erm, let’s just say spanking is not a form of punishment.”
“Ah ok, so it’s okay to spank people?”
“No. I’m pretty sure spanking people in public is a crime.”
Another reason why Singapore is super safe is because of our geographical location. Yes, it can get ridiculously hot here at the equator, but at least we don’t have to deal with earthquakes and tsunamis and other kinds of natural disasters.
In fact, the only natural disaster in Singapore you would find is bad hair. Because it’s impossible to have a good hair day with this crazy humidity.
I remember the only time I didn’t have this problem was when I was an NSF. Because I didn’t have much hair to begin with.
Furthermore, Singapore is safe from external threats because of – you guessed it – the SAF. Yes, we may be small, but having a technologically advanced armed forces equipped with hi-tech weapons like ████████ and █████████ means that an aggressor is going to get hurt real bad trying to over this little island by force.
I know you’re probably wondering why would anyone even want to take over Singapore?
I can think of a few reasons. We have one of the busiest ports in the world. We also have the infrastructure to host major events like Formula 1, and concerts by the likes of Coldplay and Taylor Swift.
Speaking of concerts, I’m really excited to see Tay Tay next March.
My favourite song of hers?
You guessed it – Safe and Sound.
Did you know that Singapore is so safe that even our virtual realms are safe? Last year, we launched Southeast Asia’s first National Quantum-Safe Network (NQSN). I don’t know what this thing does, but I really hope it means we stop getting spam from scammers.
I recently received a whopping five unsolicited messages and one scam call in the span of a week. The call didn’t last very long because it started with the scammer asking, “Hello, do you know who I am?”
“No,” I replied. “Why? Your mother didn’t tell you?”
Yeah, he never called again.
LOL Mondays is an ongoing series of slice-of-life stories from freelance writer and NSman Alywin Chew. Look out for the humorous tales which will be posted every first Monday of the month, to help you drive away your Monday blues!
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