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Feng shui’ed city

According to IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2007,
•    Singapore is on the 6th place as for the ranking for the richest countries (per capita GDP), it is also ranked as on the
•    2nd position in the World for Global Potential Competitiveness according to Japan Center of Economic Research 2007,

•    2nd Most technologically ready nation in Asia according to Economist Intelligence Unit, 2006,

•    3rd place World Business Environment rankings according to World Bank report, 2007,  2nd  place as for World’s most “Network Ready” country 2008,

•    1st in the World for quality of air transportation, IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2005

•    1st for best quality for port infrastructure, Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007

•    3rd for overall competitiveness,

•    2nd most competitive economy, IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2008

•    1st most cost-competitive place for business, KPMG Competitive Alternatives Study, 2006

This is just a few of many rankings that Singapore has secured first places.

It is also one of the safest countries and definitely one of the cleanest.

It deserves mention for its successes despite having little in natural resources.

Singapore is one of the world’s most prosperous places and it is one of Asia’s wealthiest economies though it is only a “Little Red Dot” in the South China Sea shelf. This country success is built on export with minimum restriction and low taxes.

Singapore is the second smallest country in Asia, consists of Singapore Island and several smaller islands.  The area of Singapore is 693 sq km and has 4.4 million inhabitants.

In rankings of the wealthiest countries, Singapore places itself at either 5th or 6th position with the foreign exchange reserves of more than US$177 billion.

But it was not always like that. Let me write a bit about Singapore’s history.

History of Singapore began as early as the 3rd century, when a Chinese account described the island at the tip of the Malay Peninsula. Singapore became more significant during 14th century under the rule of Srivijayan prince Parameswara, than it was an important port until 1613 when it was destroyed by the invasion of the Portuguese.

In 1819 Englishman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles established British port on the island and Singapore became British colony.

During the World War II Singapore was conquered and occupied by the Japanese Empire. After the war, it again reverted to a British colony, but in 1963 Singapore merged with the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia, though only for a short time.

Disputes and social unrest between Malaysia’s Action Party and Singapore’s People’s Action Party resulted in 9th of August 1965 when Singapore became a republic.

In 1965 Singapore was one of the poorest countries, facing severe unemployment and a housing crisis. That is why during independence, the international media was very sceptical of prospects for Singapore’ survival. They were facing unemployment, issue of sovereignty, lack of natural resources and land.  Singapore embarked on a modernization program that focused on establishing a manufacturing industry, developing large public housing estates and investing strongly in public education.

By the 90’s Singapore had become one of the most prosperous countries.

Singapore’s good fortune has been attributed to the persistent practice of feng shui by Singapore’s then Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew. He became Prime Minister just after the Singapore became Independent, when it was one of the poorest countries.

With the help of one of the best feng shui masters in the world, he helped Singapore’s stunning growth.

The story has it, that when building the Mass Transit Railroad systems in the 80’s the construction caused a decline in the economy.

At that time, the feng shui master after doing all the readings said that the proposed plan of MRT’s tunnels, and a grand amount of metal being put so deep inside Singapore land will severely damage the Singapore’s Dragon. To protect Singapore and its good fortune every Singaporean need to carry a Pa Kua, an 8 sided feng shui symbol.

Singapore is a multi-cultural nation and the government did not want to impose on people the placement of such a Chinese symbol.

The cabinet came up with an idea to create a 1 dollar coin with a shape of Pa Kua, which is till now being used in Singapore.

After doing so, the economy still did not recover; it was the 85-86 recession.

Mr. Lee consulted the master again. The problem was that though the Pa Kua symbol was carried by every Singaporean, it was in their pocket. For the Pa Kua to work it would need to be seen, when carried as a coin it was not. So, the government created a road tax disks (there is a road tax in Singapore) in the shape of Pa Kua (before it was round) and after everybody was using it (on the windscreen) the economy finally recovered. Until now it is being used there.

Some time later the feng shui master gave another advice to Mr. Lee. It was to place a dragon looking over the mouth of Singapore River to protect the Merlion (a half fish/half lion mythological symbol), a Singapore symbol of wealth and prosperity, that was placed there initially at the early period of Singapore’s independence, this would ensure Singapore’s continued good fortune.

That is why on the left-hand corner of the Singapore’s 50 dollar bill you can find the dragon safeguarding the Merlion.

The single most prominent symbol of Singapore’s dedication to feng shui is undoubtedly, Suntec City (from Chinese “suntec” means “new achievement”). It was built according to feng shui principals to bring fortunes and success. It consists of 6 buildings (4 tall, skinny ones, 1 short and 1 wide convention centre) are intentionally positioned that way to resemble the shape of the human left hand. Left hand being the symbol of authority, pointing towards Singapore’s financial district at Raffles Place, commanding all of Singapore’s good financial opportunities to come forward…

Right at the “palm” of the “left hand” is the world’s largest fountain, called “The Fountain of Wealth”. It was built there to retain water, which represents money in feng shui, which means to retain money in the country.

On February 2008, the world’s biggest observation wheel began turning in Singapore. It is called Singapore Flyer. It is about 42 storey high (165 meters) and taller than the “London Eye” by 30 meters. It offers a 360-degree view across the island. There are stories which say that actually it was also positioned in the right place, advised by a feng shui master.

Unfortunately the turning of the eye at the initial direction brought problems and the whole wheel on the Singapore Eye needed to be turned opposite direction as to avoid disasters in Singapore and to protect Singapore’s fortune.

Singapore’s government understood clearly that in order to retain their authority, the importance lay primarily on the good welfare of the inhabitants. As we know on February 2004, the period had changed and it would be very beneficial if all the buildings would be renovated to suit the period.

In Singapore, this advice was of great significance, shown due to the fact that all public housing and government establishments and buildings made serious makeovers as advised by the philosophy of this science.

These are not all the examples of using feng shui principles that Singapore’s have committed to or undertaken but the facts are clear, a government that believes and having the acumen and understanding to accept and apply means to achieve prosperity, well being of her citizens and the fortitude to face the uncertain tomorrow…

The government is doing their best to help the country and as you can see they are succeeding.

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