The island city of Singapore has come a very long way from the once humble trading post it was back in the day. Now, in the 21st century, it is an economic power in itself in Asia. From its cultural diversity to its growing infrastructure and economy, the Merlion city seems to have all these in spades. Just how did it become like this? Here are only a few reasons why it has achieved such.
The Merlion city was once a trading post used by the British Empire to facilitate trade between its many colonies, protectorates and commonwealths across Asia. Because of this, many ethnicities have come to do business in the city, and eventually settle down. From the Chinese to the Malays and Indians, the city has found itself to be a cultural melting pot. From these cultures came cuisine, arts, crafts and many others. Because of this, the city has become one of the many go-to destinations for tourists, especially those looking to sample the vaunted street-food at hawkers plaza. Tourism generates a great image for the country.
The Free Port
The island city had been declared a free port long ago, meaning all traders can bring in their goods without duty. This attracted investors looking to make a fortune to the city. The strategic location the city was on also helped greatly. As a port city in Asia, it linked the resource-rich lands of Malaysia to the trades of China, Indonesia, and other Asian countries. After the Second World War, the citizens of Singapore were dead-set on reviving the economy of the ravaged country, introducing policies that will stimulate economic growth. They welcomed foreign investors, whose business will, in the long run, be adopted and assimilated by the local corporations. Eventually, growth begot growth, and money kept pouring in. Now, the country sports the world’s seventh largest GDP per capita.
Despite the ethnic and cultural diversity found in the city, the Merlion Republic is made strong by the unity and commitment of its citizens to further its interests. Being such a small city of humble origins, its citizens have laboured to ensure that their sovereignty and national interest will never be put second. In fact, the country implements a policy of National Service, whereby citizens are mandated to serve in its Armed Forces. Apart from this, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) maintains a volunteer corps in Singapore made up of naturalised citizens and permanent residents. Apart from the career opportunities and pay, servicemen also gain a greater appreciation for their country, inspiring patriotism that only serves to propel the country to greater heights.
The Merlion City has indeed come a long way, and it is sure to grow further in the decades to come.