Singapore is an island country off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia. The residents of the main Singapore city (also known as Lion City) are an ethnic blend of Chinese, Malays and Indian and there are some five million inhabitants. This is a major economic hub and a leading tourist destination in South Asia. Good news came out of Singapore in August as the country celebrated its National Day. Prime Minister Lee HsienLoong announced a revision upwards of their gross domestic product (GDP) forecast for the year, upwards from the earlier 2% figure to between 2.5 and 3.5 per cent. The full-year figure was previously forecast at 1 to 3 per cent. He reported that the economy is holding steady amidst global uncertainties with more quality investment coming in and low levels of unemployment. [caption id="attachment_1007" align="alignleft" width="220"] singapore-merlion-fountain[/caption] Singapore has a nice easy lifestyle with good levels of safety and excellent education facilities. The factor that, I guess, would be of most interest to migrants though would be the multicultural nature of life in this country. Singaporeans are generally very comfortable with diversity and have been very welcoming to foreigners. Compared to other countries in this region (for example Korea) it is a very relaxed place to be. Children grow up with opportunities to learn English and Mandarin in a very highly rated educational system. A major advantage for school children in this country is the opportunity to enjoy a drug-free environment due to the zero tolerance policies in place. Penalties for violating these penalties are severe, thus there is very little evidence of drug dealing anywhere. Safety is a key concern for most people when choosing a place to live. This is a place where parents can be confident that their children can safely run around their neighbourhoods with very little fear of them coming to any harm. Children of all races and creeds play happily together and feel that there is very little discrimination around, a situation that is sadly lacking in many large urban areas around the world. Indeed the different nationalities mix so well together that there is little evidence of the ex-pat cliques that you can find in many places. There are so many advantages to living in Singapore – the drinking water technology system, for example, is so good that the country imports very little water from neighbouring regions. For such a tiny country mobile phone and internet facilities are first rate and the architecture of the capital city seems not to affect that. You can experience dizzying heights everywhere, with towering buildings piercing the skyline offering wonderful views as far as Indonesia. Despite all of this high-tech stuff though Singapore still retains its links with a British colonial past, an obvious example being the world-renowned Raffles hotel. This is the home of the Singapore sling drink and, let’s not forget, the best place to enjoy English afternoon tea. Proof, indeed, that this is a truly multi-cultural place to live!
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