In my attempt to give you a sneak preview of my life here I have listed a few pointers about the functioning of the government in this country. It’s purely from a layman’s perspective though!
- Government is involved in almost all spheres of life here. It owns companies that build houses, roads and bridges, run retail stores chain, provide insurance and investment opportunities, provides healthcare services and this list goes on and on.
- Singapore is a democratic country. We just got a flavor of national elections here (General Elections got concluded this month only). The election campaigning scene is quite similar to that in India, add a little bit of sophistication here and there – autos get replaced by nice vans, decibel levels are under control and party symbols are respect worthy.
- Government is efficient and hard working – I know it sounds difficult to believe – but they work hard and smart like any private organization employees!! They respect your time, maximum waiting time won’t be more than 15 minutes (on the maximum side) in any government office
- The way government shares information, about its decisions, with general public is exemplary. Press releases, hoardings, emails, etc are used to ensure that all and sundry get to hear from the government. I don’t think anybody will get up and say ‘Oh crap when did this rule came into place, I have no idea’
- Use of technology by Singapore Government takes you by surprise. E mail communication prior to any appointment, online appointment fixing, finger print scanners, bio metric cards, face recognition, etc
- Security is one area because of which Singapore ranks very high in quality of life indices –Credit goes to the government here – strict rules which are never bent for anyone, transparency and much more
- Government also at times, I think, crosses its areas of jurisdiction. A case in point is special fees that has to be paid only by Singaporeans should they wish to go to the casinos – foreigners, expats, tourists can walk into these casinos without paying anything!! Although such examples are far and few in between!