Sunday, September 5, 2010

City of Possibilities

I fell in love with the song Empire State of Mind by Alicia Keys and Jay Z. The song speaks about New York City - "concrete jungles where dreams are made of, there's nothing you can't do"

Living in Singapore, I can only sigh at dismay that none of our song writers have written a wonderful song about our country that is as passionate as Empire State of Mind.

After all, Singapore is indeed the City of Possibilities. In recent polls, Singapore is one of the top destinations for people who are thinking of migrating. It is also one of the most liveable cities in the world. The recent congestion on our trains and the skyrocketing population of over 5 million people is also testament to the fact that Singapore is a city where dreams can also come true. It is indeed useful to be reminded that the reason why there is an influx of foreigners to our country is because people WANT to come to our country. This ought to make us proud.

Mercer's Quality of Living Survey:

Singapore is ranked 28th. No other asian country ranked above it.

221 cities were evaluated based on 39 factors including economic, education, transportation, etc.

Cities ranked above Singapore in the region include Sydney (ranked 9th) and Melbourne (ranked 18th)

It is not surprising then that the National Day Rally recently focused quite a lot on the crowding situation that is taking place in Singapore and how the Government is taking action to combat it. Being an attractive city to live in, Singaporeans have to embrace foreigners. The key here is integration and not assimilation. With integration, we recognise that certain groups will remain distinct from us but in a certain sense, we will have to find common ground that will bind us all together.

It is never easy and it remains a challenge. But this is what Singapore has to contend with. I think the measures that the Government has taken is sufficient to see us through in the long run.

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