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Jun 10, 2004


Andy Ruff

Have a good trip Shel... FYI, Wrigley recently lobbied Singapore to legalize gum as part of the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. As of mid-May, gum may be purchased for "medicinal" purposes. Dentists and pharmacists are allowed to sell gum but are required to record the names of individuals who purchase packs.

Also, don't spit in a public place or even hint at littering, both result in a hefty fine as Singapore has a very strong respect for preserving commons.

Aik Hong

you don't know me but I read your blog occasionally. Anyway, I'm a 24 year old Singaporean and the title of your entry caught my eye. So I thought I'll give my two cents worth. I think Singapore can be justifiably proud of it educational system although it has been criticised in recent times as been too focused on rote learning. As such, huge changes have been made to introduce more creative learning, so much so that a native Singaporean like me can't really recognise the high school system anymore, as it is radically different from what I went through about 8 years ago. Both the anti-littering and spitting policies are a little overrated. The odds of being caught are pretty low and most people don't do it simply because of the abundance of rubbish bins and common courtesy. While I did know about the Biosphere investment, I didn't know Singapore was so highly regarded as a research center. If you think Americans judge Singapore harshly, you should check out the Forum page in the national daily, the Straits Times and you can see how much harder Singaporeans are on themselves and the country. Its far more common to see a foreigner or expat arguing the case for Singapore. And yes, we all think the entire chewing gum saga is ridiculous, both the original ban and the subsequent backtrack. Hope my comments add a little to your understanding of Singapore!

Bob Peworchik

I just returned from a trip to Singapore, I was really impressed. As an ex-pat living in the Philippines and turned off after two years here, it was a like a new awakening to find order, clean air, streets, laws and people that obey them. It is a real pearl of the Orient and I am looking into moving from here to there. The only negative comment I have to make is I stayed in the red light district, OK to take a look but don't stay there.

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