SINGAPORE: Acknowledging the risk of “committing social media suicide,” one woman talked about how much she loves Singapore in a social media video that has gone viral. While Ms Caitanya Tan joked, “This might be the end of me,” at the start of the video she posted on TikTok on Nov 9, she went on for nearly six minutes to enumerate the benefits of being Singaporean—adding that viewers “might actually gain a new global perspective on our country.”
Ms Tan tackled the cost of living in Singapore, a topic that was debated for several hours in Parliament this week, with many Singaporeans feeling the impact of high inflation rates since last year. But for her, as someone who travels overseas quite a bit as part of her job as an actress/host, she gets to talk to “a lot of locals” or people who live in other countries for work. “Whenever they get to the subject of their government, everything I want to complain about seems too ridiculous,” she said, noting that Singapore consistently ranks high in terms of quality of living, stability in its political environment, low crime rate, and efficiency in public services.
These conversations interested her in why many people worldwide think highly of Singapore while Singaporeans don’t often share this opinion. Ms Tan then cited Singapore’s low-income tax rates—with people earning the median monthly income of S$5888 only paying 3.8 per cent per year, compared to Japan, where income taxes start at 15 per cent.
She also cited Singapore’s homeownership rate of 89.3 per cent, higher than in Thailand, Malaysia, and the United States. “This also means that the Government is doing something right by emphasizing the importance of saving and forcing savings through CPF for us,” she said.
Ms Tan acknowledged, however, that there is no perfect state. However, going on to tackle how expensive it is to have a car in Singapore, she noted the high quality and low prices of public transport compared to the rest of the world, saying that she had once taken a 20-minute taxi ride in Seattle that cost US$80 (S$108.60) during non-peak hours.
She explained that COE (the certificate allowing someone to drive in Singapore) prices are high because the country is so small. “So cheap public transport, comparatively less taxi prices, less cars on the streets than we already have, on the grand scheme of things, this sounds like a good thing.”
The TikToker also talked about CDC vouchers per household and other benefits from the government, having one of the strongest passports in the world, safety, and healthcare in Singapore. Ms Tan ended her video by saying, “Sure there’s always going to be a place better than here depending on what you’re looking for in life… I hope through this video you’ll understand that we are really lucky to be born Singaporean.” /TISG