22 Apr 2016
The Singapore Wonder
I first visited this small city state of 5.5million people briefly in 2010 and was amazed at what I saw. I told myself that I will find some time in the future to come and stay longer in order to understand the miracle behind the efficiency, orderliness and cleanliness of this small country.
During our stay in Singapore (3rd to 11th April 2016) Singapore was as hot as Douala where we live. Singapore is pretty far from Douala and the two places are separated by seven time zones. In all we spent 16 hours in the air to reach there from Douala excluding the time for transit in Addis and Dubai.
Some people describe Singapore as a garden city but it is more of a city in a garden. Planting trees and flowers in and around the city is almost an obsession here and a fortune is spent by the state to maintain these plants.
In all my travel around the world, I have seen no city as clean as Singapore. Fines for littering are stiff ($300 to $1000) for first time offenders. Singapore is a low crime open society and a disciplined and incorruptible one. That discipline permeates the whole society. I remember an incident in front of our hotel where we stood on the spot designated for those waiting for a taxi. A taxi pulled up and a couple hurried to go and enter the taxi. The taxi driver refused to take them and instead invited us to come and enter. When we were already seated he signaled them to come. He politely told them that they must queue up on the designated spot before any taxi can take them. We then drove away. I just thought of my own taxi drivers back in Douala.
Singapore has many attractions for visitors. Lovers of nature will be thrilled when they visit such places as Garden by the bay, The Botanic garden, Jurong bird park, the ocean aquarium and night safari at the wild animal sanctuary. The Resorts World Sentosa provides entertainment at a different level https://www.youtube.com/user/rwsentosa. Singapore attracted 15,231,469 visitors in 2015. Out of this number 6391 came from Africa notably South Africa, Mauritius and Egypt.
This small country hosts the second busiest sea port in the world after Rotterdam, largest tropical orchid garden in the world and has an enviable educational, technological and industrial status.
People who aspire to be rulers and intend to govern well may not be wasting their money if they spend some to fly to Singapore and see in practice what good governance is. When you go to Singapore today you will not believe that they gained their independence in 1965 with little or no natural resources. That is about the same time many retrogressing resource - rich states in Africa had theirs.
Roughly 90% of Singaporeans live in public housing flats (not the run down public housing for the poor that you find in many countries). With a small surface area of 682.7 square kilometers, the country still affords to surrender a considerable chunk of this to gardens, wild life parks and other resorts. This small country has the first tropical botanic garden listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The story of Singapore clearly demonstrates that good governance and probity can project any country to unbelievable heights.
Cable car ride https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq1dtbyHC7k
Parrot Entertaining Audience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrcKVcpSuSw
2010 Singapore photos http://s758.photobucket.com/albums/xx222/njei/Singapore%202010/
Njei Moses Timah