We cannot dismiss the fact that we’re in one of the safest countries in the world

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In Singapore, I do stop my car at the road, leave the car and engine running, walk out and buy my food. If anyone wants to steal it, it takes just one step and one second: get in and drive off.

In Singapore, when I’m tired in school, I do leave my handphone and wallet around me and drop my head on the table for a nap. You just need to walk past me and you’ll own my handphone and wallet.

Think about it: Why am I so daring? Well, not really.

When I’m in Malaysia, I lock my car even when I’m driving. I don’t even bring my main wallet in. 99% of the time, my handphone is in my pocket.

See the difference?

I’ve a friend who told me that in the Philippines, he won’t take out his handphone and message on the go. “People would just snatch it,” he explained. I thought he was referring to the sub-urban area. “No,” he said. He was referring to the city, Manila—a developed city much like Singapore.

While we can complain about the high living expenses and the lack of opportunities, we cannot dismiss the fact that we’re in one of the safest countries in the world with the least corruption. Do I dare to eat anything being sold in Singapore? Yes, because I know AVA and HSA have them covered. Do I dare to do that in other countries? No, I don’t.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of the high living expenses are justified because of this efficiency. You pay for what you get.

But have we taken things for granted?

Despite such a safe environment and a system to prevent corruption, people still want more. Car prices increase and people want COE to drop (though not all). ERP is built and people complain. MRT breaks down and for some reason, we bring it to the top.

As we complain, have we even thought of why we do that—is it because Singapore has become too good that we’re not used to a little mistake like flooding?

Have we become so complacent that we can’t tolerate small mistakes and expect drastic improvement?

Have we become so used to such a quiet environment that a wind gushing is considered noise?

I don’t speak for anyone, so I don’t know. But what I know is that when I lock my car, I’ve just appreciated Singapore a little bit more.

by Low Kay Hwa

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