Societal Situation in Singapore
Most people in Singapore are considered well to do, as compared to many parts of the world. For a country of this size, Singapore is considered as very successful and rich. However, as Singapore continues to grow much economically, inflation is inevitable; hence, the cost of living has been on the rise and will continue to grow. Most people in Singapore live in HDB (Housing Development Board) flats, which was an initiative started years ago when Singapore was still a very young country. The leaders of that time foresaw a great need in space in the future. Due to the small size of Singapore, the HDB decided to start building high rises which would provide cheap and efficient homes for the people of Singapore. The transport system in Singapore is now also very efficient. The trains are situated at every main region in Singapore, providing fast and efficient transport for all at a very reasonable price. Also, there are bus stops which have been situated very strategically to provide convenience for all. Taxis are also available. Other than this, all other transport is personal. Most people in Singapore do not use bicycles as transport as the roads are usually crammed with cars and public transport is so easily available. As for food, Singapore is very stringent as to healthcare and hence, food in Singapore is relatively good. The environment is one of the many things Singapore is proud of. Being named the ‘Garden City’, Singapore pays a lot of attention to the natural environment in Singapore, embarking on many projects to maintain, and improve the environment is Singapore.
Cost and Standard of Living
Singapore has a very advanced and well developed economy, having grown much over the years since Singapore was first founded in 1965. The government tries its best to give everyone in Singapore a chance to make a living, providing jobs through mass projects which would open many opportunities. Hence, the standard of living, thanks to the government, has improved from a dirty run down area in the 1920s to the successful city it now is. Most, if not everyone has been provided with a shelter over their heads, with many avenues poor people can go to for help. However, a general opinion is that Singapore is going to get more and more expensive to live in. Plus, the government worried at the number of people migrating overseas to make a living, who had found Singapore more expensive than they could manage.
Singapore's transport is comprised of two main components: public and private transport. For private transport, many people in Singapore are able to afford cars and motorcycles, which are the main form of private transport in Singapore. There are also trucks, vans and many other heavy duty vehicles used to transport heavy items such as materials used for construction. As land in Singapore is very limited, it is very expensive and hence, all users of private transport have to pay much to acquire the use of a transport vehicle such as a car. Hence, the car prices in Singapore are much more expensive as compared to countries such as USA. In order to cope with the number of cars going through an expressway and causing jams, the government imposed the use of the ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) system, which charges a fee for people who use this expressway.
The second main component of Singapore's transport is public transport. Singapore has 3 main forms of public transport: Buses, Trains and Taxis. These forms of transport are quite reasonable priced, with the taxis being a little expensive.
Buses - one of the cheapest forms of transport in Singapore, is very convenient, due to the strategic situating of the bus stops. There are many buses which are available to all commuters at a very affordable bus. The people in Singapore who do not use private transport can easily use this form of public transport to almost any place in Singapore. The rates for students are priced at SGD$0.45 cents per ride (using the EZ-link card, which is used much like a cash card or an ID for students), while without the EZ-link card, is S$0.55. For adults, the price differs according to the number of stops and which regional zones the commuter has passed. The ride, however still would not cost more than S$2.00. Buses are a very easy way to get around in Singapore which also allows tourists easy access to the many places in Singapore.
Trains - this is another form of transport in Singapore and it is named the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). This is a very efficient and convenient way to get around in Singapore, as it is very strategically situated in almost every region in Singapore. Trains are usually considered a little faster, as there is very little waiting time involved (at most 7 minutes). The trains are priced about the same as the buses in Singapore. It reputedly transports 1.2 million people everyday, which is a large number, considering that Singapore has a total population a little over 4 million.
Taxis - taxis in Singapore are a little expensive but the prices are very fair impartial, as the prices of each ride depends on a certain meter which is inbuilt in every taxi in Singapore. These taxis are like free lancers, going wherever they want to, hoping to pick up a few passengers throughout the day. The prices could range from S$3 to S$20 or even more, depending on how far the passenger wants to go.
In reflections, the transport in Singapore is very diverse and well planned. With the extensive road systems and convenient services, albeit not so cheap prices for some forms of transport, Singapore’s transport is more or less considered to be very good. This can also be attributed to the fact Singapore is, indeed, a small country and a little easier to plan and provide transport. Public transport in Singapore is very easy and convenient for all, including tourists who do not know much.
Well, food is probably the most interesting topic about Singapore which tourists simply love. Singapore is a country of many different origins, as its inhabitants came from many countries and wanted to seek out a new and better life. With the migrants, culture was also brought in from their home countries, inevitably bringing all sorts of interesting food. Hence, being in Singapore is like being in a 'Food Paradise', one of the many nicknames of Singapore.
Singapore, having its origins from three main countries: China, India and Malaysia. These 3 regions have brought in their diverse cultures and foods. From China, we have the renowned Hainanese Chicken Rice and other foods such as Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles (yellow and white noodles with prawn, pork and various ingreadients), or Dumpling Noodles and the like. From India we have interesting spicy foods such as Roti Prata (a mixture of flour, egg, fat and other ingredients) or different curries (spicy sauce). From the Malays we have Malay Rojak (a great mixture of interesting ingredients up to the maker’s discretion, usually having sweet black sauce and other condiments such as cucumber, turnips, fried stuff and bean sprouts). As seen from these many interesting foods listed, Singapore has much culture displayed in its food. Of course, there are a few dishes which originated in Singapore. One such example is Char Kway Teow, or fried flat noodles, is a popular dish in Singapore and Malaysia and is of local origin. This dish is usually fried with bean sprouts, black sauce and usually cockles.
As for the hygiene of the food, that is one concern that the Singaporean government has seen to, having taken precautionary measures. For the hawker centres (public and usually open-aired food courts), ratings as to how healthy and clean the food sold is (A, B or C), and placing little reminders in every stall. These reminders are in the form of stickers which say things such as, "Ask for more vegetables." or, "Ask for less oil."
In reflections, Singapore has taken pride in the food its citizens sell. With the diverse cultures and reasonable prices, the food in Singapore is indeed very interesting and multicultural. The conditions of the food, in terms of cleanliness and health, are also quite good. Hence, it is safe to conclude that the food in Singapore is great.
Singapore has invested much money in housing, having set up the HDB (Housing Development Board), specifically for maximizing the amount of people that can stay in Singapore. It all started 40 years ago when our leaders realized that Singapore’s population is going to grow very fast. They also realized that the living conditions were not very good as many people were living in the streets with no money to buy houses. As Singapore had and still has very little land area, the leaders at that time went for a very ideal solution: High rise flats. Now, forty years later, we see high rises everywhere which can provide citizens with a reasonable priced housing with fine quality. These flats include many different numbers of rooms, ranging from 1 to 5. Hence, flats are and have been the most practical, though not as comfortable, choice for most Singaporeans.
Of course, for the ones who can afford it, terrace houses, Semi-Ds (Semi-Detached Houses), Condominiums and Bungalows are another option. These houses are more expensive, but much more comfortable with the provision of facilities for condominiums and such.
Every house in Singapore has access to clean water from their taps, a relatively rare sight in the world. Once again, because Singapore is small, a huge network of pipes has been set up, with numerous reservoirs which are meant to provide clean water for the country. Hence, tap water from most homes in Singapore is potable.
As Singapore is grows to become more technological, and with the great rise of the number of cars in Singapore, its environment is inevitably affected. Fumes excreted by various industries and transport vehicles do affect the environment in Singapore. As a result, the government has tackled this problem and treated this problem very seriously.
The solutions the government has come up with are much of which people in Singapore take pride in. One of the solutions was the plantation of trees everywhere. No exaggeration here. In almost every part of Singapore, one glance and there will definitely be the sight of trees, earning a few of Singapore’s many nicknames: ‘Garden City’ and ‘Green City’. With this, many other countries are very impressed with the determination of the government and how effective it has been in tackling this problem.
In reflections, the social lifestyle of most people in Singapore is relatively good. With easily available transport, great food, good housing conditions and a relatively good local environment, the lifestyle of the people is undoubtedly good. With the exception of rather expensive cost of living, the social lifestyle of people in Singapore is not hard.