Peak Singapore


By: B Goode

It was Singapore’s 51st birthday but what should have been a day of celebration, like many of us, I had nothing to do.

So as with tradition, I had wanted to write something nice about my country but I stumbled upon the dreaded writer’s block. It wasn’t because of the lack of nice things to write about. Platitudes were aplenty. But I found myself repeating what others had written and ended up being Captain Obvious.

I felt so jaded this year. Maybe because I am getting older and rose-tinted glasses don’t look good on me anymore. So despite what Bloomberg had claimed, I was feeling miserable.

Then after watching the National Day Parade live on TV, it crossed my mind as to why I was feeling the National Day blues.

I could have been watching the reruns of previous years’ parades and I wouldn’t be much the wiser. For the past few years, the National Day parades had been the same old thing repeated ad nauseum.

We had in fact reached Peak Singapore where it would be very difficult to top our present achievement. We could maintain it for sure but if we were not careful, it would be downhill from now on.

Even the PM’s National Day speech against the backdrop of Punggol left me with the impression that we are living in the golden age of Singapore. No more promises of a prosperous future. No more vision of better tomorrow. In their places were the abstract bullcrap of unity, diversity and…I fell asleep.

Remember back when our political leaders used to promise us the moon? Of the Swiss living standard? Of peace and prosperity? Guess what? We have arrived!

We are living in Peak Singapore.

And I for one am glad to experience it and equally glad that I’ll be dead in fifty years’ time. Because ceteris paribus, the future doesn’t look good.

In the very near future, this little red dot will have 6.9 million citizens. Coupled with a few million more migrant workers, and a few million tourists, at any given day, this small island will have to contain more than 10 million people.

As it is now, this country is so damn freaking crowded. Have you been to the shopping malls or the parks or any public places during the holidays lately? You could hardly move. And forget about going on a short sojourn across the causeway. The jam will kill you.

And the infrastructure is just cracking at the seams.

And with global warming and environmental degradation, we are in for a very tough ride. Year after year, the temperature is rising. We are like crabs sitting in a pot of water with the temperature slowly being raised to boiling point. We will not realise it until we are all dead.

And the thing is that, there is nothing much we can do about it. In order to progress, this is the price we have to pay. Unless the government can think of better alternatives, and unless Singaporeans realise that the price is too much to bear, we are seeing the end of Singapore’s golden age.

So welcome to Peak Singapore! Where in fifty years’ time, it will just be a distant memory.

Enjoy whilst it lasts!

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