S’pore’s best-kept secrets: Its virtues | The Straits Times (Feb 2013)

By Parag Khanna SINCE relocating to Singapore six months ago, I’ve continued my travels to the Middle East, Africa, South America, Europe, the United States and elsewhere in Asia.

Unlike in the past, however, when asked where I come from and where I live, I answer “Singapore”. Imagine my shock when so many people around the world respond with almost Pavlovian reflex: “Ahh, chewing gum!” Or: “Of course, caning!”

It’s striking how the image of Singapore lags two decades behind the reality. While the monikers of trivial incidents are passed down over generations, many of Singapore’s virtues remain its best-kept secrets.

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