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Singapore | Safety

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The excellent SMRT

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Singapore Safety




There is probably no safer place on earth. I wouldn't be at all concerned wandering around any part of Singapore at any time of the day or night carrying valuable possessions. The poverty that sometimes leads to crime elsewhere in the world doesn't really exist in Singapore and the severe punishments that exist provide an effective deterrent.

Singapore's harsh justice system occasionally makes the world news and puts a strain on international relations. The hanging of a Filipino maid and the American teenager, Michael Fay, who was caned for vandalising cars are two incidents that spring to mind.

My views on Singapore's system of capital and corporal punishment are mixed. Why is it that these punishments exist in Singapore when they have been abolished elsewhere in the developed world? The answer lies with Lee Kuan Yew, as do many things in Singapore. LKY has experienced many things in his life and has taken what he believes to be the most effective of these as a model for modern day Singapore.

I think that deterrents are a good thing if they reduce crime but the reality of these punishments seems quite Mediaeval in today's world. I am thinking in particular of some photos I saw of a person being caned in Singapore - I don't know what his crime was. He was strapped to what looked like a ladder and protective pads were placed on his lower back and upper legs just leaving his buttocks exposed.

His buttocks were lashed with a rattan cane using severe force. The picture of the wound was horrific. Around the outside of his buttocks was bruising. On the buttocks there was very little skin remaining, just deep lacerations and exposed flesh. I am told that the excruciating pain causes the victim to pass out, which is probably not such a bad thing.

It is one thing having a view on crime and punishment but seeing evidence of the reality of that punishment is something else.

He lived through the Japanese occupation of the island where the Japanese army inflicted a brutal regime of law and order, especially against the Chinese. Singaporeans were murdered for the slightest offences. Some were decapitated and their heads left on display by the side of the road as a warning to others.

It was brutal and inhumane but despite the brutality and disregard for human rights, LKY saw that such severe punishments did have a deterrent effect which does not exist in many liberal developed countries.

It seems to work but doesn't mean that Singapore is completely without crime. Burglary, muggings and murder do still occur but they are relatively rare. A burglary will often be reported in the local paper whereas in other parts of the world they are so common nobody cares any more. The occasional murder is committed but it is normally some kind of conflict within ethnic groups, Chinese against Chinese or Malay against Malay. For the average person visiting or living in Singapore it is very safe.

The safe nature of Singapore has affected its own citizens. They have got used to how safe Singapore is but many Singaporeans seem quite paranoid about leaving the safety of their island and travelling elsewhere. It is my perception that Singaporeans are quite paranoid travellers as a result.

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Get The Best Deal On Your Singapore Hotel Room

Listed opposite are some suggestions for hotels in Singapore based on budget. Each link will take you to the relevant page on the Agoda website where you can see photos, read reviews, and book on-line. I use Agoda to book all of my own hotels in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Agoda hotel rates are usually always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people. Here is some analysis I did regarding booking hotels in Southeast Asia. used to be more expensive than Agoda, but when I have checked hotel prices recently I have found their rates to be quite competitive. Unlike Agoda, you don't need to pay at the time of booking with - you can simply pay at the hotel when you check in. Also, show you total prices whereas Agoda show you a price and then add on 17% for tax and service charge.

If you wish to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined.

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Images of Thailand