Willian Gibson traveled to Singapore in 1993, to explore whether the future of technology would be coming the small city state south of Malaysia . He summarized his impressions in the Wired Magazine in an article under the title: "Disneyland with Death Penalty". He starts: "It's like an entire country run by Jeffrey Katzenberg," the producer had said, "under the motto 'Be happy or I'll kill you.'"
Yes, Singapore is a strict place. But perhaps Mr. Gibson, at the time he wrote his article, never really experienced how to live in chaos and corruption. It is definitely not making you more progressive. I admire Singapore for firstly for surviving at all, and for becoming a prosperous place to live for everybody who wants to contribute. On the other hand it has no tolerance to people who do not want to contribute or disturb the system which has proofed to be successful. This is why, I was told, there is a lack of "creative destruction". I know what this term is meant to say. But most destruction I have seen, was simply destructive - and not creative at all. This is why I understand, a place like Singapore is only experimenting carefully with it.
I enjoyed escaping Beijing for a few days, breathe clean air, eating un-poisoned food and meeting nice people. Like in Hong Kong, most people who come to Singapore have an interesting story to tell and experiences to exchange. And also like in Hong Kong, the local people, are very much occupied by making money - and that's it. Singapore in contrast to Hong Kong, has not beed a refugee for people escaping from Chinese Communism. It has attracted people by the model itself and offering an alternative not just contrasting one big oppressive neighbor. There are many other differences between Singapore and Hong Kong and the closer you look at it that the often made comparison between these two places is comparing apples and oranges.
I was also looking at Singapore from the perspective of moving there myself one day. And of course, I am just at the beginning of my exploration of terms, but it is definitely on my short list.