Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fine city not the most suitable name for Singapore

Over the decades, our beloved Singapore has earned for itself the rather unflattering name of Fine City. Well, I think that name has lost its novelty and I find that it is not even appropriate anymore because nowadays, we don’t find many warning signs with the threat of fines printed on it.

Anyhow, Fine City is still better than Sin City or Vice Capital don’t you think? But I think a more appropriate name should be Sign City.

Going for my brisk walking exercise in MacRitchie Reservoir the other day, and eager to try out my new Sony Cybershot phone, I realised that there are lots of man-made objects in the form of signs even in a nature park. Below are some examples.

This rather old one does not have a 'price tag'. It was mounted at the water's edge quite far in, near the start of the cross-country track.

PS – with the full mobile phone number portability thing recently, I switched from Singtel to Starhub. The offer was too good to resist. I got a 3.2 megapixels camera phone ‘free’. I do not have to pay a cent for the next 6 months. Plus being an existing subscriber of their cable vision and broadband services, I get $100 rebate and 15% on my mobile phone bill, plus free phone upgrade after 1 year – whatever that means.

But I am getting into trouble with Singtel. They just billed me $250 for “Eqpt Plan Termination” for terminating my account with them before the contract expires. But I went down to the Hello shop at AMK Hub to check before I switched, and the girl there asked for my NRIC no. did a quick check on her pc and declared that my contract has expired! I called up Singtel to protest; and they are still ‘investigating’.

I am no marketing expert, but I find our phone companies’ marketing antics rather silly and unproductive. Instead of ‘sayanging’ (‘sayang’ is Malay for tender loving care) their existing customers to prevent them from being poached, they go all out to woo new customers from their competitors, making their existing customers feel, what should I say, taken for granted.

With all of them employing such progressive tactics, what do we get in the long run ……. a game of musical chairs of course.

PS: Please remember to vote for me for the OMY awards here


Lam Chun See said...

Peter. It looks like our articles on the Jurong Railway line has inspired some young people at the Hardwarezone forum to go and check the places we blogged about. They even posted a photo of a bridge (must be near International Biz Park) which I have not seen before.

Zen said...

There is really an overuse of signs. I notice there is a metal post in AMK central, carrying many wooden sign boards, pointing at various directions - to library, food centre, polyclinic, cinema, post office ....It is not the signs that are confusing but the directions they point to, wherehy misleading the public. On the other hand, I find those signs located at the end of bus-stand roofs very users friendly. People will know the road name just by looking at the sign.

Anonymous said...

Huh the fine "prices" went up, so much? In 1977 I almost kena fined $500 because I thew a cigarette bud outside Supreme House driveway (now Parkmall bus stop. I went to Subordinate Court and first time saw a magistrate. Of course I "played smart" unlike others who argue about their case. I learn the more u argue in court or wear slippers to court or "no hew" the judge, the more the fine. I addressed the magistrate in the most polite way and said "thousand apologies". Finally he gave me a reprimand (not sure whether they keep the record in the courts up to today). BUT the guy in front of me instead of S$500 got $1,000/- because he really "no hew" the court. So in Singapore sometimes good to swollow one's pride to achieve bigger things in life.

Anonymous said...

BTW reprimand means no need to pay fine. I think the magistrate was Soon Kim Yam.

Anonymous said...

Most of these signs are quite useful, and in publicly-accessible nature reserves they're indispensable. But sometimes when I'm looking for something out of the ordinary, some place that really feels "ulu" I use the lack of signs as an indicator of how ulu the place is. A pity most places I can find that are like that have all but one big sign visible, that sign being the last one posted in this blog entry...

As for that forum thread on teh Jurong Line, I don't go to that forum but yeah, that bridge is near the International Business Park (AYE). The Ulu Pandan Park Connector stops there without warning (suddenly there's a sign saying "this is the end of the connector") but if you cross the bridge there's a park connector on the other side going towards Boon Lay Way.

Victor said...

How come the first sign in your article does not show the amount of fine imposed for having durians? Does that mean that the authorities will just confiscate the contraband durians and then perhaps share them among themselves (as a form of "staff benefit")? :p

Since the theme of this post is similar to that of Frannxis', I just cut-and-paste part of my comment from there to here. (No fine imposed for doing that, I suppose?)

The problem is that we have so many laws but there is lack of effective enforcement of the laws. The police, NEA and NParks officers can't be everywhere 24x7. In fact, you rarely see them around. So offenders find it worthwhile to take a low-risk chance as they are unlikely to be caught. And if they didn't get caught, it won't be them suffering the consequences. Hence, they couldn't care less and they continue with their anti-social and inconsiderate acts.

I suppose that's why we see a gradual shift of policy - there are informative/educational signs instead of "fine" signs. However, it remains to be seen whether public education is more effective in solving the problem than the imposition of fines.

Anonymous said...

You know, your photos suggest Singapore is a fine place (nice and pleasant)- cartoons reminding people not to feed monkeys, nice signs advising people to take care of themselves.

Lam Chun See said...

Hey. Did you guys see last nite's food prog on Channel 8? I caught the last few minutes.

Chen Liping and Cynthia Koh were at the famous Lou Wong Ngar Choi Kai (Bean Sprout Chicken) restaurant in Ipoh that I blogged about earlier. They were so loud. Embarrassing for us Sporeans.

Admin said...

To the question on whether we can pluck fruits in our parks, the answer is no. According to the Trees and Parks Act, chapter 216, 8(1) "No person shall...carry out any of the following activities within any national park or nature reserve:
(a) cut, collect or displace any tree or plant or any part thereof".

the act goes on to state the maximum amount of fine.

Hope this helps.

Lam Chun See said...

Monkeys are privileged in our fine garden city. When you feed the monkeys, they enjoy the food but you get fined. When you pluck the fruits, you get fined. When the monkeys feed on the same fruits, it is fine and they get their photos posted onto blogs like this fellow.