Utopia

I never really could imagine what Utopia could be like, but having
stayed in Singapore for more than a week, I can say I don’t need to
imagine it, it’s already here.

To be frank, it’s spooky, it’s eerie. I think it’s something taken
straight from ‘Demolition Man’ script and something’s going to happen
now. But it’s for real, and I can’t stop wondering WHY!? Why and how
can things work so smoothly here?

Actually, a better description is the last scene in Ajnabee movie
where Bobby Deol exposes Akshay Kumar’s password (in big bold
letters): “EVERYTHING IS PLANNED.”

For example, let’s just consider the online component to Singapore
which is jarring for the sheer depth of information available.

Want to visit Singapore? Sure, just head out to their Itinerary
Planner
,
tell them how long you want to visit and who you’re coming with, and
they’ll tell you what you can explore each day! Uniquely Singapore,
indeed.

On the same note, everything has a website here:

Phew.

Oh, and the simplest best way to get around is to consult the Street
Directory
and it’ll tell you the best
way to reach from anywhere to anywhere (including the exact building
number) via the bus, metro, walk or driving directions.

That brings me to the topic of the well-planned metro which they call
MRT (Mass Rapid Transport), you just need to check out the MRT
map
to figure
out how to get to any place and since every train has a frequency of
6-8 min, you can always get there fast.

You can travel by bus as well and you’ll reach there fast too. In
fact, the roads are so good that there will be a Formula 1 race in
Singapore on the public streets. This is going to be the first ever F1
race in the night
!

What I still do not understand is how such cleanliness, discipline
(especially traffic) and order is maintained when there are no cops
around! (I have seen them only once so far in the past 9 days).

I guess it has got something to do with this
fact
:

Singapore legislation requires every able-bodied male Singaporean
citizen and second-generation permanent resident to undertake
National Service for a minimum of 2 years upon reaching 18 years of
age or completion of his studies (whichever comes first), with
exemption on medical or other grounds. After serving the two years,
every male is considered operationally ready, and is liable for
reservist national service to the age of 40 (50 for commissioned
officers). More than 350,000 men serve as operationally-ready
servicemen assigned to reservist combat units, and another 72,500
men form the full-time national service and regular corps.

That is amazing. In case of any kind of emergency, every Singaporean
man can face the problem and solve it then and there instead of
wasting time waiting for “a cop”. Probably also explains why they are
all so fit!

All this for just an island which is 42×28 km in size. It is one of
the 20 smallest countries in the world and at the same time they are
the second most densely populated country in the
world
.

And they’re still charging
ahead
.

Published by swaroop

www.swaroopch.com

8 replies on “Utopia”

  1. @james: your sarcasm is telling … but 1k sq-km is small enough to qualify as no-where :)

    Honestly, I found Singapore a dystopia of the brave gnu world genre … you don’t have to worry about anything, everything just works and there’s nothing to do but go about your perfectly legal lives.

  2. hmm..
    i was wondering what happened to you?? so when are you back. and coming to utopia!!
    i agree but then there are downsides to that? Would love to see you write about them.

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