By: B Goode
The report by the Committee on Future Economy (CFE) is already out. It was old news I know. But I had to spend a few days just to google all the big words and phrases used within. If the late Goh Keng Swee had vetted the report, he would have given it a big fat zero for the lack of brevity.
And maybe a 2/10 for substance.
You see, behind the gobbledegook is the same old strategy worded in a more contemporary way. It is like walking along the same path that has been newly paved. It will still lead to the same place. A good place perhaps, but still the same place.
The strategies put forward in the report are too safe. There is nothing out of the ordinary and certainly nothing out of the box. It is Singapore’s own version of a safe space.
And most importantly, the strategies, because they are too formulaic, are also being pursued by other countries relentlessly and unless we can offer an edge, we will lose out or at best, just getting the crumbs. Take the plan to re-invent Orchard Road for instance. The fact of the matter is, Orchard Road will never be another Dubai. And as far as digital thing is concerned, we will never be another Silicon Valley.
So why not do something that will always be in high demand but other countries will not dare to follow.
To get a better view of what I am driving at, here is the list of the Bold Alternatives:
Who doesn’t like sex? The sex industry is worth billions of dollars globally. But it is an industry that is mostly hidden under the heavy blanket of pretend prude. In fact there is already a thriving sex industry in Singapore. Why not monetise it? Make it into an international attraction with the same safeguards we had for the casinos.
Find a good place. I suggest the abandoned Tang Village. Refurbished it, expand it but retain the high walls surrounding it. We need to change the name though or people might flock to Tang’s shopping mall instead. How about Sin City? I’ve already got a tagline for it:
Welcome To SIN CITY™ where the Angels wear thongs and the Devil is YOU!
Clean up Geylang and other areas once and for all and move all the vice activities to Sin City. Have an age restriction of 21+. For uncles (and aunties) aged 70 and above, they have to produce a medical cert to certify that they are healthy. We do not want people dying of heart attack, yo!
Have gogo bars, strip joints, sex shows, massage parlours, dirty bars, saunas, sex shops, parades, lemon parties (don’t google it. Just don’t!), pharmacies that sell real sex medicines, four floors of whores and more! For those of you who have gone to Patphong, Bangkok (I have not), you might say that it would be similar to that place. It is not because chewing gum will still be banned so visitors will have something more to chew like edible panties for instance.
Slap a hefty entrance fee. I know my friends will pay regardless of the amount. For Singaporeans, they have to pay $100 extra.
And while we are at it, attract the porn industry as well to produce their films here.
Of course the prudish religious community will be up in arms. Well, just tell them that sex is good because if it is bad, God would not have blessed us with sex organs and orgasms.
Let’s see if the Gulf Arabs dare to copy us.
- DEFENSE INDUSTRY
There will always be wars. It’s in our DNA. Wars need weapons, bombs and it is worth trillions of dollars. So apart from attracting the safer industries like aerospace, IT, zzzzzz, etc, we should also attract the big Defense Industry players to set up shops here. We might not want their production plants here because you know, KABOOM! But they can have their R&D here and maybe factories that make parts that will not explode.
Yes I know. We already have Chartered Industries but compare them to Deloitte….
Hold on a sec. I am not advocating the legalisation of recreational marijuana consumption, no siree Mr CNB.
But increasing number of countries are legalising marijuana for medicinal use. Some of them are going even further towards decriminalising recreational marijuana use.
There is a strain of marijuana that originated from this part of the world that is considered as the crème de la crème of marijuana. It is expensive and highly sought after. Don’t ask me how I know except to say that I have a friend who is a rastafarian.
So why not be the global producer for this strain of marijuana to feed the cancer sufferers and stoners around the world? Marijuana is not difficult to grow. It is actually considered a weed. We just have to give licences to farmers to grow marijuana and to have in place stringent security checks to ensure that none of the marijuana grown goes out into Singapore streets. We can even have it packaged in easy to use zip-lock bags with the stamp `Organically grown In Singapore’ on it. Given the choice between growing kangkong and ganja, the farmers will gladly choose the latter, giggling whilst tilling the land. Happy farmers. Who would have thought?
We can also attract pharmaceutical companies to set up their R&D facilities for marijuana research. Heck! Let’s be bolder and be the global trading centre for legalised marijuana.
I doubt any country in the world would want to follow suit.
And there are other industries that we could consider such as GM foods. Why have normal cows when we can have them the size of a house? Or a padi that grows from a tembusu tree? But you got my drift.
What I was trying to say was that we should traiblaze our way to where angels fear to tread.