Singapore – on safety and security
Safety is a big thing in Singapore. I was impressed by the amount of security cameras and massive conglomerations of hanging city surveillance, the most I have counted were eleven in one place. I was reminded of my student times in England, where almost every inch of the university city of Manchester is watched through video cameras. Walking in Singapore means that you will have to circuit around a lot. Residential areas are fenced in, display warning signs and seek protection through high tech bollards to keep unwanted persona out.
With a top literacy rate, almost no unemployment and a small proportion of low income earners – who is to be kept out? Immigrants? Surely not the business immigrant bringing foreign investment into the country since Singapore’s economy relies on capital inflow and skyscraper office renting. The average income tourist? Unlikely, every Singaporian warmly welcomes sightseeing expenses from the touristy crowds. Is it the country neighbor national with immigration issues? Not sure. Singapore is originally a land of immigrants, most are the offspring of Chinese and Indian people, Singaporians grew up in the midst of religious and racial diversity and show a wide understanding of cultural variety.
In Singapore it felt like visiting three countries with the dominating Chinese population, the Indian community and the Muslim quarter, each occupying a neighborhood. Maybe all those security precautions are just the logic need to protect their wealth applying safety measures that were influenced by British rule – the country gained independence in 1965. Nowadays, it seems that Singaporian fear is more bound to immigrants that enter the workforce at a middle or lower end, taking jobs that pay them less than a Singaporian would receive, the incomes being worth more nevertheless, once the Singapore dollar is exchanged into the laborers local currency.
“Be Vigilant” videos are screened at the Singapore MRT to keep Singapore safe from a terrorist attack. Apparently an Indonesian terrorist that was killed in May 2010 was planning to attack a train station in Singapore’s main shopping district. The main terrorist threat to Singapore comes from Jemaah Islamiah (a militant Islamic organization) which has been planning to attack Sinagapore’s embassies. You will hear announcements while on the MRT to report any suspicious activity or person or unattended bag. That was a bit daunting and puts a strain on trust to the people that surround you. There are posters that depict bags as possible bomb threats that made me a prime suspect with my big black backpack. Luckily, I wasn’t reported :)
Singapore is prepared to defend its religious and cultural freedoms showing off army parole in the shiniest part of town and ‘ready to strike’ phrases. There are public army drills, soldiers show their presence by guiding you safely across the road – at junctions with traffic lights :) We have seen a lot of army awareness activities, like army-drill-sergeant-shouting, formation practice and painting childrens’ faces with muddy army colors.
To avoid congestion and road accidents Singapore uses the high tech Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) congestion control system that scans all vehicles, regulates traffic and monitors speeding (luxury) cars, which are involved in tragic accidents on a weekly basis. We saw a big sign that was put up after an accident looking for witnesses. Singapore’s infrastructure and road safety are nevertheless well taken care of. We did not have to apply the usual Asian pedestrian rules: cross the road by running for your life. Strolling through Singapore is stress free.
|Cost effective worker on duty 24/7.||Caution – two birds on road.|
Construction is going on behind well secured walls and passages for pedestrians.
One is usually nicely shield of the construction sites.
Tomek testing big brothers blind spot.
One of numerous security alert signs.
|Watch out for suspicious bags.|
Army appearance at an Singapore road crossing.
Singapore’s army training seen from giant Ferris wheel.
Singapore’s army is ready to strike.
Convenient and safe travel with the Singapore MRT.
Video of potential terrorist attack on a train at the MRT.
‘Appeal for witness’ sign at road side.
Enjoyed walking around Singapore a lot due to its rich vegetation.
Easy strolling through town.
Beautiful tropical trees everywhere in the city.