Vine Vera Singapore
The most densely populated country in the world is an immaculately run city state sitting just south of Peninsular Malaysia. Though one of the smallest countries in the world, Singapore exerts an impressive level of regional and global influence as a business capital and highly pragmatic global actor. It has the highest concentration of millionaires in the world and one of the most business-friendly economies. A highly international population further distinguishes Singapore, with almost half of all residents foreign born due largely to government-encouraged immigration as a result of a low birthrate. This hyper-advanced free market, hyper-globalized culture in a hyper-compact package results in a truly unique experience of human society and civilization, with an economic structure that allows for some of the most sophisticated luxury activities and accommodations available worldwide.
Singapore’s early history was always characterized by Malay and Chinese settlement. The area was usually dominated by nearby empires based in the Malay Peninsula or elsewhere in the region. In the 19th century, the British took control of the island to compete with Dutch claims to the entire Malay Peninsula and surrounding region. The British set the tone for Singapore’s radically free market economy by opening the city as a free port charging no duties on trade. This made it an easy choice for traders from around the world over any Dutch ports in the region, and as a result Singapore rapidly grew. Tin and rubber production caused a further rapid expansion of the population, but also an increase in disorder, as the city’s growth was hardly planned and British administration remained extremely lax. The colonial period also produced some of Singapore’s prettiest architecture, with many Victorian structures still standing.
The British paid more attention to Singapore in the latter half of the 19th century, establishing a separate colony there and giving it a dedicated administrative apparatus. In the lead-up to World War II, the British built a formidable fortress in Singapore as a bulwark against potential Japanese aggression in the Pacific. The elaborate fortifications proved unprepared for the eventual Japanese invasion in December 1941, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Singapore suffered under three years of brutal Japanese rule. This remains the largest capitulation of British-led forces in history.
After World War II, Singapore moved toward self-rule, but first had to survive a period of multiethnic turmoil and political uncertainty. In 1958-9, Singapore became an independent country and set about establishing the foundation of a prosperous economy. In 1963, the country joined with Malaysia. This rocky union would end just two years later, and Singapore would become fully independent again, once again forcing proactive and imaginative solutions to create self-sufficiency. These policies included public housing development for a majority of residents, the lack of a minimum wage, intensive and dedicated industrial projects, high education standards, a high-tech and Westernized military, low taxes, large-scale urban greening projects, and other initiatives to reduce squalor, attract international investment, and ensure stability in a condensed, highly diverse area.
Singapore’s smashing success is truly remarkable, and the city is a one-of-a-kind wonder for visitors. Vine Vera Singapore supplements the brisk business of this modern metropolis with much-needed attention to the balance between beauty, success, and health.