Policy Proposals To Fix a ‘Hollow City’ Like Singapore
Top Image: Tey Liang Jin / RICE File Photo

Complaints about Singapore’s dreariness haunt me because I simply don’t get it. Singapore’s such an interesting place to live in. Just last weekend, I took my family to look at some nice lift lobbies at an HDB estate in Tampines. So fun!

Every so often, a Singaporean boldly proclaims that the country is far from perfect. The latest Singaporean in the long line of Singaporeans to do so did in the form of a Reddit post

Take a queue number, buddy.

“Singapore just feels like a hollow city compared to Malaysia,” this Redditor proclaims. “It’s just a harsh reality of materialistic cities.”

Image: Marisse Caine / RICE File Photo

It doesn’t end there. According to the Redditor, Singaporeans are relatively unfriendly and colder compared to Malaysians. They also point out that Malaysia is a “proper-sized” country. Doesn’t this person know how much sand we’ve drained from the rest of the world to expand our land?

Nonetheless, we’ve taken this Redditor’s concerns under consideration. As responsible citizens tasked with the duty of marketing Singapore to the world, I believe the following proposals will make Singapore a better place to live in. After all, we want Singapore to be a world-beater in virtually every aspect. And if we can’t beat Malaysia, we’ll die trying with our new ideas.

– Anxiety and depression will be outlawed in the country. The mental health crisis among the nation’s youth is solved.

– To reduce congestion and minimise our carbon footprint, we’ll install waterslides running parallel to our major expressways. Singaporeans can opt for transport by water slides instead of congested MRTs. NEWater will be used to operate these slides. Having fun is great, but it’s also about being sustainable.

– We know that food prices are a concern. Even budget meals might burn a hole in your wallet. So we’re now introducing ultra-budget meals: Cricket rice. They’re much cheaper for both hawkers and customers. Everyone wins.

– From mouldy exteriors to failed applications, housing has been a much-debated issue over the past few months, but we have a solution. Get this: We’ll convert old-school hostels into apartments for low-income individuals to live in. Rest assured, the hostels will be a conducive and homely environment for those in dire need of a place to stay. A double-bedder room is magically converted into two single rooms with a thin partition. Occupants get half a window. But also, a full roof over their heads.

– Yes, I know Singapore is small—that’s why we love going to Johor and Japan. Inspired by double-decker buses, we’ll initiate a plan to build a second layer on top of Singapore inspired by double-decker buses. If that’s not enough, we’re also in talks to reclaim land equal to the size of Singapore in the Indian Ocean.

– Singaporeans often attribute our unfriendliness to our hypercompetitiveness. I think that elite brand schools turn us into monsters. To reduce this competitive spirit, we’ll introduce a Sorting Hat for students to be randomly allocated to schools. Students will be randomly distributed because all schools are good schools. If that’s not enough, we’ll make sure every neighbourhood has a co-ed Anglo Chinese School.

– Materialism is often called a core Singaporean trait. Money-mindedness is often used to describe us. And because of this, we pour our time into work and rarely have time to have fun. The root cause of the problem must be done away with. Singapore will use a barter trade system instead. More money more problems? No money no problems.

– Let’s fix our lack of culture. A mandatory probiotic vaccination will be introduced. Every Singaporean newborn will be injected with cultured milk from any brand (but we’re sure that they won’t pick Vitagen).

– To reduce the level of unfriendliness, a $500 fine will be imposed for any Singaporean caught not smiling. Along with a monetary penalty, offenders will have to perform community service—20 hours of standing in an assigned HDB elevator to make small talk with aunties and uncles.

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