E-Pao! Opinion - My visit to Singapore

My visit to Singapore
- The land of impeccable innocence and justice -

Nikita Sharma Manoharmayum *

The ineffable beauty of Singapore made me realize there is much more in life than speed. I was driving it to my life. Helped me to look upwards to the branches of the towering oak and reminded me that it grew amass and strong because it grew slowly and well...

Since the day I have been there, my world became greener, gave me heart-content to do my duty and serve for the right and justice.

Air India and Singapore Tourism Board undertook a project where winners of Rank (Race for Awareness and Knowledge) and bolt (Broader Outlook Learner Teacher) award were taken for an ambassadorial visit to Singapore from 11th-15th October ’06. Teachers (BOLT awardees), students (Rank awardees), media partners from all over India and AIR India officials were under the same roof for the said days. The motto of AIR India for this project is “Towards responsible and active citizenship”.

I reckon myself to be one of the luckiest people to be honoured by giving this award. Hats off to the daily - Poknapham (media partner of Manipur) and AIR India.

The trip was meant to provide a better perception of knowledge for the students, outside the field of academic excellence. Everything was practical and that created a wonderful impact on all of us for all what we have seen in that short period of time.

The Bolt Award winners, my colleagues, the officials and the media persons were incredible! Albeit we were supposed to have a very unrealistic environment among ourselves as people totally new to each other were in acquaintance, we unexpectedly had a fully jocose and skittish one with co-operation in all possible ways.

At the Aquarium

One thing of the trip that tantalizes me still today is Singapore is a four-ethnic country. Singapore does not have a separate or an original race by its origin. There were Chinese, Malayans, Indians, Australians, etc. But to my surprise, none among them seem to have noticed that.

When we asked the question which race they belong to, everyone would say “I’m a Singaporean”, may it be personally or publicly. They do clearly know the meaning of “Unity and Integrity”. Above all, their Government gives army training to all the male personality of the country.

Anytime if anyone stands against the country, all of them are ready to stand up for the country. This shows their great sense of gratitude and respect towards their country. A stab of deceit comes up to say that this great feature is lacking in our country.

Singapore has no real estate resources. It even imports water from the nearby countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. They recycle it and use it. There is a water recycling centre.

People don’t boil it at homes or filter it at office indoors. They drink directly as tap water. This shows their consent of trust towards the higher authority.

The first day, we visited “Singapore Press Holding (SPH)”. This is a place where all media assembles for the accuracy of their reports before reaching out to the people. This clearly promises the Singaporeans of the news that they receive. This may be one of the strong reasons why this garden city is in burgeoning.

We had a conference with the Editors of four top Asian news agencies. Each one of them gave an oration of their news agency. Three among them were Indians and one among them was an Indian lady. Her position was greatly inspiring and drove me to never ebbing struggle.

She has taut features, incredible looks and sharp as a whip with impeccable instincts and an amiable smile. She seemed to have notch the ultimatum of life.

“Sentosa Island” is the main tourist spot of which the country is famous for. The whole island is made like a wonderland or a dreamland... free from all real life chaos and no shadow of ordained-malevolent environment.

We landed on the island with the help of a cable car through which we could see the overview topography of the country as well as the nearby neighbour countries too.

We then had 3-D rides which was even more magnificent than real rides. We were seated on a four sitter car-like thing inside a fully dark theatre. In the 45 minutes ride we were said to have driven to hell.

It was really imposing and realistic albeit it was just the manipulation of the 3-D effect. By the time the show ended all of us came out with nausea and felt like a loony to have believed the show to be just a theatre-show. We felt as though we just made a hair -thin escape from a logjam.

In the island itself, we even had the opportunity of ascending up to 160 metres above sea level. The tower had circular seats in it. We were rotated slowly as it went up so that we could have a bird’s eye 360 degree view of the topography.

From there we could see Malaysia, Indonesia and other nearby small islands. The provoking thought of stealing my eyes away from that alluring beauty of nature after some time when I reached land surface still annoys me to the core.

We then saw an orchid garden with varieties of well maintained lovely orchids. We also watched a dolphin half-hour show. Finally the last show of the island was during night time. It was “An extravaganza of lights-ballets set into popular tunes”. Water acted as the screen which was in the form of foam. Different colors of light were given from all sides to play a 3-D mega show.
At Singapore Science Centre

We visited Singapore Science Centre the next day. This is a show-case for all the science projects starting right from scratch to the most typical and complicated one; from the basics to the implementation of the latest technology.

We saw teachers bringing their students to teach them. This method of practical imposition on the children made them feel funny and curious to see what was going on in front of them. Every project was provided with a button. Thus the result is instantly seen. This informal way of learning inculcates a better image in their fresh minds rather than going for classroom teachings.

We were then driven into a Chinese garden- (Haw Par Villa) which looked very elegant with various unbeatable artifacts, each of which following an ancient theme of their culture. They gave Chinese cuisine for lunch which was simply fabulous, then drove us to China town where the whole town was filled with Chinese style-homes with various small windows fixed whole throughout the walls.

As for the night out, we were so much excited to be inside the tram of the “Night Safari”. Before the tram started its 45-minute voyage, all of us were wondering alike what was coming up next but well our enthusiasm never ebbed.

We saw almost all animals throughout the forest, starting right from the smallest birds to the biggest animals as elephants. The tram was secretly and so silently driven into the forest as it was open and cameras with flash were strictly prohibited as it would alarm them of intruders inside the forest and may attack us.

Next day, we were taken to “National University of Singapore (NUS)”. This is the main educational centre of the country and it consists of all fields of study. The University hosts around one million books in its library as to mention one of its elegance.

One important thing to mention is that they reckon equal importance of academic, curricular and co-curricular activities. They promote students’ inborn efortiories and interest in the form of various cultural clubs. I bet it would take anyone days to cover the nook and corner of the campus premises.
A group photo

We finally visited High Commission of India and had a conference with the Commissioner personally. We had a short discussion as to like what is the difference between the fast pace development of Singapore which got its independence in late 1967 and snail-speed developing India which got its independence about 20 years back. We concentrated much on this discussion as the name of the visit itself identifies as “Ambassadorial visit”.

We learned a lot of valuable things from the burgher of the garden city. They have Zebra-crossings. I don’t mean to say India is void of it. My point here is that they follow it strictly to its accord. We observed that even albeit the streets are void of vehicles, passers-by never try crossing it, they move up till the zebra-crossing.

This thus seems little effort and waste of time but the order and the perfection that this small thing brings is enormous and can maintain unique long-term stability of the country.

As to my surprise, we didn’t even see a cop during the whole period of our stay. This was something unusual to me personally, as for us we actually live and mingle with them unfortunately as a matter of fact.

We happen to meet few Indians while having our lunch one day. I asked questions to them like even Indians who come to visit or who got settled there, follow the same rules as imposed by the Singaporean Govt. They strictly act according to it.

But the moment these people lands on the surface of India, they return back to their ancient-old habits. Is it something that the Govt is not efficient or the burghers are not responsible or onus enough?

Well, we learned that Singapore Govt fixes camera whole throughout the country to watch out its burghers. So if anyone does anything against the mighty, the next second cops will be there at his side to accompany him.

This is not practically feasible in India. Size of the country owns the first in the list of excuses followed by the population. But with an onerous dedication and sincerity we can head our way on with a deep sense of gratitude towards the country and for a better comfortable living. It takes a little effort to leave the acrimonious side.

There were also three types of dustbins. Dustbins for paper, plastic and glasses. Every citizen does not confuse themselves with the dustbins. The reason is the Govt sends them for recycling. Thus they make full use of everything to the fullest extent.

After paying a visit and learning well "The Garden City", I feel like to transcend myself and discourse the inner, higher self that is in me. Singapore has really dilated my senses. It let me to dig deep into my insights to realize the truth (acrimonious society) that lay in front of me.

There are still many wonders yet to mention but for that I will need pages on again. Nevertheless like the howling winds, the lovely memories flashed tearing back, pulling at me the way we always were inured to.

I became anew. Singapore has really made a difference in my life...

* Nikita Sharma Manoharmayum wrote this article for The Sangai Express . This article was webcasted on 20th August , 2007.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #14 :: Book
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • 174th Anniv Maharaj Narasingh #1 : Gallery
  • Ensuring Fair Voting in Hills of Manipur
  • Dr Irengbam Mohendra's latest book :: Rvw
  • NDA has the advantage in both
  • Lok Sabha polls in Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • L Rup's Robot 'Kangleinganbi' in Manipuri
  • Art- means of connecting hearts in Manipur
  • Is it Living Alive or Living Death ? :: Poem
  • Rabies - A preventable zoonotic disease
  • April 19, 2024: The blackest day of all
  • Ugly turns on voting day
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • The chasm between TB & HIV continues
  • Parliament and its Members
  • Kimchi for health and glowing skin
  • LS election with a difference
  • To vote, or not to vote ?
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Lamjao, Kakching
  • The Power of Poppy - 27 :: Poem
  • Mother Language based education essential
  • Modi's warriors wear regional hats
  • Nest Asia promoting Northeastern Cuisine
  • Now look beyond LS poll
  • The rot in the system
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laitonjam Warjeet
  • Community seed bank @Umathel : Gallery
  • 10 candidates cracked Civil Services Exam
  • Milk of Paradise: History of Opium : Rvw
  • How plastics find their way into our bodies
  • Condemning attack on Trucks along NH-37
  • Cong looking to buck the trend
  • Saving Manipur
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #2
  • Election Duty :: Travellog
  • 1st Nagas' Meet in Punjab
  • How to select right MP to represent Manipur
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Tejpur
  • Bats are Keystone species for the Planet
  • The '15 days' conundrum
  • Free but not so fair
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #30: Download
  • Before You Vote : My Rumbling Thoughts
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Kakching
  • Meiraba wins All India Sr tournament
  • Finding light in dark through my daughter
  • Navigating life's unreasonable expectations
  • Test of people's character
  • BJP's election manifesto
  • Athoubasingi Numit #1 : Gallery
  • Black rice & Glycemic Index
  • What Nadda should speak at Dimapur rally
  • Open Letter to CM Office Manipur
  • Meghalaya unveils Strawberry festival
  • Benefits of maths newspapers for students
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta #1 : Gallery
  • Are you a good person ?
  • Physics Academy of NE : Executive Body
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Moirang
  • Cherrapunji Eastern Craft Gin launched
  • Cong on cautious path
  • Botox for Hair
  • Posers voters should raise now
  • The lull before the storm
  • 80th Anniv- Battle of Kanglatongbi @UK
  • Vir Chakra Ngangom Joydutta's bust unveiled
  • Hun - Thadou Cultural Festival : Gallery
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Singjamei
  • Election Eclipses: Ballad of Battle & Loss
  • Our voices are equal at the ballot box
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • Urgent Call for Solidarity in Manipur
  • Meitei Nongsha #2 :: An Artwork
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Waikhong
  • About NPF-BJP-NPP alliance & why ?
  • World Veterinary Day, 2024
  • The heavy stake behind the LS polls
  • The politics of lying & deception
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Hun-Thadou Cultural Fest @ Delhi: Report
  • Appeal to Parties & Candidates
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Wangoo
  • Establishment of community seed bank
  • Awareness Programme on new Criminal Laws
  • Make a right choice at the Lok Sabha election
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #1
  • RIST talk-58 : Support systems of elderly
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • Vote, do not boycott !
  • Lok Sabha election: A new dawn in politics ?
  • IIT-Guwahati Half Marathon report
  • Taking ST demand to the election ring
  • Lesson to be learnt from across border
  • Mirabai: Poised for Paris Olympics
  • Legal position for protection of environment
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Keisamthong
  • Heterocyclic compound & biochemical science
  • Inner, torn between two lovers
  • Certification Music Therapy Workshop
  • NOTA as a choice
  • Caesar's wife must be above suspicion
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #29: Download
  • World Health Day 2024
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Pangantabi
  • The Power of Poppy - 26 :: Poem
  • Fulbright Fellowship Outreach at Arunachal
  • Id-ul Fitr da namaz nattana..
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #13 :: Book
  • Lok Sabha election is coming, be prepared
  • 6th Hun-Thadou Cultural Festival
  • Let There Be Free & Fair Election
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Lamlong
  • Science magazines are important for student
  • Interesting choice of candidates
  • The power of We, the voters
  • Inspirations from Scientists of Manipur #1
  • The Case for Amendment of Article 371-C
  • Meitei Nongsha #1 :: Artwork
  • Link between forest & conflict in Manipur
  • Final Call for Application MFA - Phase-2
  • ST for Meiteis call before elections
  • Passing the buck
  • Beating of the Retreat #1 : Gallery
  • Life of our Lives in Ethnic Strife Era! :: Poem
  • IIT-Guwahati annual Half Marathon
  • Follow up: European Parliament on Manipur
  • Yoga & Kegel exercise: Pelvic floor workout
  • Opting for the NOTA button
  • Yearning of the displaced people
  • Kenedy Khuman (Singer) : Gallery
  • 5th NE Women's Peace Congregation
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2024
  • Election fever grips Manipur despite unrest
  • Looking for a decent election hustings
  • Clock ticking towards voting day
  • An exemplary directive
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Memo to Election Commission of India
  • Easter & Holi echo in Nilgiris
  • Holiday Camp for children at JNMDA, Imphal
  • Zero waste is our moral responsibility
  • Elections & loyalty vis-a-vis Manipur crisis
  • Show of strength without unity
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #2 : Gallery
  • Panthoi Chanu : 1st to play in Australia
  • Intensive labs in film preservation
  • Building bridges with books
  • Need of the hour: Political maturity
  • Accepting defeat before the election
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #28: Download
  • April Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Natural packaging from bamboo : Gallery
  • The Power of Poppy - 25 :: Poem
  • Everyone has their own Bharat Ratna
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #12 :: Book
  • Demand- Manipuri as classical language
  • The Drummer from Odisha
  • Beauty benefits of lemon
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur's original Ponies : Gallery
  • Yaoshang & Dance of Democracy loom
  • Symposium on Jagadguru Shankaracharya
  • Choosing ITI as a campus after X
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang @Nabadwip Dham : Gallery
  • How oral health affects your pregnancy
  • Two faces of Holi
  • Prawaas 4.0, Multimodal Transport Show
  • A decade of development of higher education
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba #1 : Gallery
  • Our Eternal Kangleipak :: Poem
  • Micro-livestock for livelihoods: For NE States
  • The fun of Holi used to be monotonous
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • About the "Meitei" community from Manipur
  • Unveiling the medicinal benefits of honey
  • The incalculable value of wildlife
  • Promises of true love
  • Trends, Alliances, & Challenges in Elections
  • Meitei Goddess Ngaleima : An Artwork
  • Water is the most precious gift of God
  • Bharat needs a strong 'India'
  • Transformation of railway stations
  • Not quite the final countdown
  • Missing of 'The Saffron' from electoral colour
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #27: Download
  • 3rd North East Games: Manipur champion
  • The Power of Poppy - 24 :: Poem
  • EBTC & JCRE signed MoU
  • Early Detection Program at Toubul
  • How Holi affects our mood & mental health
  • Lamta Thangja @ Imphal : Gallery
  • Manipur cinema legacy shines at ARCUREA
  • The pulse of politics amidst conflict
  • Forest is most important vital organ of Earth
  • Tips to play safe Holi
  • Politics of naming candidates
  • Disappearing of spring from season cycle
  • Meira Paibis of Manipur
  • Demand for ST status by Meiteis
  • Project Personal Opening @Assam University
  • World Poetry Day at Manipur University
  • Green skills for sustainable world
  • Supportive interventions during exam time
  • Interesting run up to LS polls
  • Onus definitely on PM to restore peace
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #11 :: Book
  • Water, water everywhere ...
  • 21st March - A special day for Forest
  • RI imprisonment to Rapists at Silchar
  • Arrests threaten fragile ceasefire
  • The Valor Within :: Poem
  • Monitoring the rehab centres
  • True colour of politicians
  • North East Film Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Linthoingambi- 'Jury Honourable Mention'
  • Meitei Goddess Phouoibi : An Artwork #3
  • Formation of Wesean Student Federation
  • 20th March- International Day of Happiness
  • A call to first time voter youths
  • Playing the card close to its chest
  • Targeting FOCS and ITLF
  • Students @ Class X Exam : Gallery
  • Saroi Khangba @ Kangla : Gallery
  • Special scholarship scheme for girls
  • Imphal Book Fair 2023 #3 : Gallery
  • Protest for scrapping SoO #2 :Gallery
  • Maharaj Narasingh Statue @Kangla :Gallery
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri : Gallery
  • N Tombi Equestrian C'ships #1 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #1: Gallery
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Save Manipur : Protest [Feb 15] #3 : Gallery
  • Naorem Roshibina- Wushu Medallist : Gallery
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD