Saturday, September 3, 2011

Why Singapore is ...

Why Singapore is called lion city?

Classic answer : According to the Malay Annals, while prince of Srivijaya, Sri Tri Buana was hunting on the island, he saw a lion. The prince took this as an auspicious sign and he has founded a settlement on the island and called it Singapura. Singapura means "Lion City" in Malay. This also answers another question, why Singapore is called Singapore? Singa = Lion, Pore (Pura) = City. Alternative answer : Look at the Singapore map of old times, it looks like a male lion with a mane. Since scientist believe that lions have never roamed on Singapore, the name may be coming from this shape of the island.

Why Singapore is so successful? Why Singapore is so rich?

I have been here many years and I would single out 3 factors: Openness to global economy, determination to create perfect conditions for private sector to blossom and a multicultural environment. These factors not only draw prosperity to Singapore, they draw quality businesses companies and talented minds around the world to here. Harward economics don Dale Jorgenson was in town recently and he explained the first two perfectly in an article in The Straits Times[1]:

“… Singapore is a tiny market but it is very open to competitive forces that are associated with a completely globalized economy – it is almost a model of what an open economy should be. That is why it is closer to US rather than Europe.

.. While there are deficiencies in the Government policies, which are not unique, one aspect of the Government’s approach that I find very reassuring is its reliance on the private sector, which means the Government does not create economic activity; it creates conditions for the private sector and it has to rely on that sector to respond.”

Why Singapore is very safe?

Simple, there are laws, there is a strong enforcement of these laws, the fines and punishments are applied to all. But very safe does not mean entirely safe. As a Police banner says here in Singapore “Low crime does not mean no crime”.

Why Singapore is so clean?

Although many big cities look like they need a long, throughout pressure wash, Singapore is very clean. Because there is an army of people keeping it clean and there are fines for those polluting it. One lasting effect Singapore leaves on you is to look for a dust bin for minutes when you are back in your country although before you probably just tossed the dirt on the street. Unlike other South East Asian countries, hawkers on the streets are not allowed in Singapore which makes street more clean.

[1] - To boost productivity, make the most of IT

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