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Sin­ga­pore is su­per easy to get around. Cabs are clean and cheap and con­ve­nient. Thir­teen-seat mini-buses go for about $75 per jour­ney. Our group of 10 lined up the driver from our first trip to be our driver the en­tire time. He brought beers with him. He smiled a lot. Cracked gags. He was a dead ringer for Ki­radech Aphibarn­rat. Even when road works meant his GPS be­trayed us, we weren’t lost for long. Our man the ‘Barn Rat’ got us to the church on time ev­ery time.

Our group was in Sin­ga­pore the week­end Don­ald Trump was meet­ing Kim Jong Un. We played golf on the very is­land, Sen­tosa, where they were to meet. Yet apart from the odd mil­i­tary he­li­copter, a flotilla of po­lice boats on the wa­ter, and the oc­ca­sional large build-up of cops in the town, Sin­ga­pore was Sin­ga­pore – one of the safest places on earth. Some peo­ple call it “bor­ing”. But very lit­tle bad hap­pens, which is a good thing.

Sin­ga­pore has its is­sues that might itch a hu­man­i­tar­ian’s pants. Wealth is gen­er­ated on the back of low-paid labour from the sub-con­ti­nent and the Philip­pines. Its one-party gov­ern­ment brooks lit­tle dis­sent. There’s one ma­jor news­pa­per that toes the party line.

Yet ev­ery­thing works. And ev­ery­one’s happy, or looks like they’re happy. They don’t look un­happy. You can Google up yarns about a “dark un­der­belly”, but you can do that for any place. Mostly Sin­ga­pore feels like civil­i­sa­tion run by a be­nign, well-mean­ing, friendly dic­ta­tor.

Bas­tard could lower the green fees, how­ever.

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