Monday, March 11, 2013

Creative side of Singapore

Came across the following music video created in Singapore. It is a hilarious spoof of many iconic Asian and/or pop culture. How many can you spot?

"Dead Girl Seeks Meaningful Relationships"

I remember Singapore in the early/mid 1990's when the policies were geared towards turning Singapore into a "Knowledge-based Economy" or a "Knowledge Hub" of sorts. There were lots of government funding to encourage people to upgrade to post-graduate paper qualification, e.g. in Information Technology. There were also funds poured in hope of creating a vibrant arts/cultural scene. E.g. That was when "the durians" were designed.

Given that much funding, one would think that Singapore would have a flourishing and world-reknown arts scene by now, almost 2 decades later. What happened? The curious case of Sticker Lady shed some light on some of the things that money cannot buy. As apparent in the video above and numerous other podcasts, videos, etc, from Singapore, the creative talent is there. However, the official tolerance for deviation from the norm has not quite caught up with the current social trend yet. [See related online commentaries here and here.]


What has Singapore become instead? To paraphrase The Wall Street Journal article dated 07-Mar-2013, Singapore is now a playground for the world's richest people looking for a safe haven to enjoy life's luxuries while avoiding tax.

Unfortunately, in this playground unlike the other world-reknown one, its poorer citizens have lost out even despite the supposed "trickle down economic" effects. In fact, coupled with open floodgate approach to foreign labour and immigration (see also appendix A here, for statistics on Singapore's foreign temporary labour), even the middle class suffered -- so much so that the once-docile Singaporean sheep took to the only space earmarked for public protest to speak against the government's plan to further jack the population up to 6.9 million on an already crowded Singapore with public services breaking down. [Click here, here and here for examples.] What did the government do? Business as usual, steamroll policies through. [Note: IMHO, it was strategic of opposition politician Workers Party Low Thia Kiang to ask for a division in the motion.] 

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