I have heard about the infamous “No chewing gum” rule in Singapore so in my mind, there was a perception that the whole island is cleaner than clean. Therefore, the exact moment I stepped foot in Singapore, I have been judging the streets, the roads, everything. We were using public transportation the whole time we were there, except when we were walking so it was really easy to keep my eyes on the road. And let me tell you, it was very hard to see trash on the streets of Singapore. Even the smokers were nice enough to hide their butts in the bushes after they were done and not flick it onto the pavements where they are allowed to smoke. Maybe I was walking around the city, close to the tourist attractions so it might not be an accident that the places were clean but I continued my assessment when we were walking around Little India (which is kind of like our Chow Kit Road or Jalan Masjid India in Kuala Lumpur) too. I found big green trash collectors (? I mean trash bins?) but I did not smell anything too disturbing and no trash was on the street around the big green bins (haha green beans). Imagine our Jalan Masjid India, Deepavali is tomorrow, the streets are packed with Indians rushing to do their last Deepavali preparations. Can you imagine the trash? The smell? I don’t want to and I can honestly say I don’t remember the last time I was in Chow Kit Road and not disgusted by the trash. They may not be created by Malaysians, but it shows how little we care; not enough to enforce our law on every one – citizens or residents. I hate that the rumour was true – Singapore is clean.
Singapore was, for a brief time in history, a part of Malaysia. We went our separate ways when our leaders could not reach an agreement about the way we were heading. So we shook hands and said our goodbyes. For some families in Johor and Singapore and maybe even further, this meant goodbye for their families too. To visit each other they would need passports, when they are literally just over the Strait. It was sad for a while but over time, we got over it and we went towards our own destinations. Today, in some ways, Singapore is way better than Malaysia but in other ways, Malaysia has the lead. We can’t lose all, we’re way bigger than them. I was looking forward to how Bahasa managed to hold its own on the island and sadly, it’s at the third place (I realise the irony but I’m teaching English as a Second Language so deal) and sometimes at no place. The first would be English, second is Mandarin or Cantonese or other and the third is Bahasa Melayu. For the purpose of this post, I looked up the First Language in Singapore and sure enough, it’s English. As long as I was looking, I saw that Singapore does not have an official religion and tolerates all religions equally. It would explain why it was very hard to find a musolla.
That’s about it, my observation while I was in Singapore. Most people act very civilized around public transportations. They que, they let people out first, they help people in need, etc. but I did encounter some people who acted rudely and sure enough, they did not sound Singaporean. I’m hardly praising Singaporean. The no musolla occurrences were deeply upsetting and there is no point bigger than that. We went to the Universal Studios Singapore and they only gave us a space with no real walls and speakers blasting Madagascar’s theme songs in every corner of the space. It was disrespectful and quite shocking for first-time travellers like us. However, public transportations especially the MRT were excellent. Very efficient.
|at the USS, Sentosa Gateway|
If you have the chance, go. It’s a first-world country that feels a lot like home. I mean, if you’re a Malaysian. Otherwise, you’ll feel like it’s a pretty great South-East Asia country.
|at the Woodlands MRT bus station|