If You Were Overseas, How Would You Describe Singapore to Foreigners?

Readers share their thoughts!

Editor: We had many entries using food to describe Singapore. Guess we're indeed a food-loving nation!

Winning Entry - Barkathnisha Begum Binte Abdul Razzak, MOE

salad bowl

Singapore is like a garden salad, and its people like the different ingredients that retain distinctive flavours to make up the salad’s overall taste. We are made up of Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians and increasingly, people of other nationalities with their own cultural distinctiveness and strengths, yet we maintain good relations with each other. The ingredients in a garden salad must be fresh, as depicted in our ‘new’ Cabinet formed after a watershed election and a ‘new’ Singapore for the future. It is apt to use a food item to describe Singapore as it is known as a ‘Food Paradise’!

Congratulations Barkathnisha for sharing with us how you’d describe Singapore! We are sending you a $100 voucher from Straits Kitchen at Grand Hyatt Singapore so you could treat your foreign friends to a meal when they visit.


Singapore is like chilli padi, small and short, yet beautiful and attractive. When you first bite it, what hits you is its fragrance, later its ‘power’ surfaces behind your throat after you have swallowed it, forcing you to re-think about it. We are a small country, with a short history, but boy, do we have a surprise for you!

Yit Chin Chuan, NLB


Singapore is like yoghurt. It may appear plain and simple, but deep inside... it is full of live and active cultures. Just like yoghurt, once you’ve had a sampling of Singapore, you’ll feel good inside.

Sanjiv Vaswani, AGC


Singapore is like a doughnut – best defined by what’s not there. If you visit Singapore, you won’t have problems finding tasty food, potable water, convenient transport, memorable sights and plenty of shopping. If you work here, you won’t have problems finding world-class infrastructure, business opportunities, fair competition and a frustratingly fun time trying to understand Singlish. If you come here to set up a home, you won’t have problems finding religious freedom, racial harmony, decent healthcare, education opportunities, and understanding the joys and pains of home karaoke systems. If you are a Singaporean, you won’t have problems finding long queues, sales to take advantage of and, of course, something to complain about endlessly.

Kristy Lim, CNB


I would describe Singapore as the king of fruits, the durian, which is sharp, thorny and dangerous on the outside but juicy and delicious inside. Similarly, Singapore might look unattractive with its ‘harsh’ and ‘strict’ rules but once a foreigner gets to taste the real Singapore, he will love its delicious taste. To taste the durian, some effort is required. To see the beauty of Singapore, one needs to get to know its people, places and food. Good-grade durian is expensive and Singapore is expensive. Welcome to one of the most expensive places in ASEAN.

Zahri Kasir Mohamad, PUB


Singapore: Asia for beginners!

Goh Chee Hoh, PUB


Singapore is an island of a country and a babe of a nation.
It is miniscule in size but Herculean in aspiration.
Their natural resources are scarce and their babies even scarcer.
Singaporeans speak many languages but they converse in one tongue.
They are wonderfully heterogeneous but the climate is woefully same-same.
They’ll stand up for Singapore but they can’t stand standing in the train.
Singaporeans may dine at the Michelin-ed but they all swear by their Maxwell Road.
Singapore was once an Asian Tiger but it will ever be the Lion City.

Lim Suet Ching, CSC


I would say Singapore is like a Japanese Marimo – the rare green algae that are now protected under law after having been ravaged by tourists trying to bring them home. Likewise, Singapore is this cute little green dot, replete with flora, that ekes out a living in this harsh world. We are unique and we thrive in basic environmental conditions, without natural resources but bursting with energy. We are a microcosm of more complex societies but we still manage to present a homogeneous whole. We are so cuddly cute and successful till other countries trip over themselves to try to replicate our economic and social harmony success.

Joshua Lau, MICA


It’s always easy to judge a place when you’re on the outside, looking in.
Just a little quirk about Singapore – we love acronyms.

Safe. No qualms about roaming the streets at night!
Incorruptible people.
Nutrition. Food paradise.
Global. Think ‘HUB’, think Singapore. Medical, Transport, Economics, Sports.
Action. People walk fast, talk fast, even buildings change – there’s always something new to see, or do.
Protected. No natural disasters. Phew.
One People, One Nation. With four main races, and many religions.
Really small. We are a little red dot. But good things often come in small packages.
Entertainment. Watch a movie, watch a play, play a sport, go shopping, drinking, to the beach, zoo, bird park.

Beverly Snodgrass, MCYS


Singapore is a well-sheltered country. Rain or shine, there is no need to worry. There are covered walkways from MRT stations to HDB flats and shopping centres. Singapore is well-sheltered and safe. One can wander around any part of Singapore at any time of the day or night carrying valuable possessions. Singapore is well-sheltered naturally too: there are no fault-lines nearby, although Indonesia's earthquakes can sometimes be felt, and other landmasses shield it from typhoons, tornadoes and tsunamis. Yes, Singapore is well-sheltered!

Marfia Banu, PUB

Next, on Your Say...

Gen Y are known as the internet-savvy who love to multi-task but tend to make decisions based on emotions. They also prefer their bosses to engage them as friends.

Do you agree? Share your views with us. P.S. Do tell us which generation you're from.

Tell us at:
psd_challenge@psd.gov.sg

The best entry will win an attractive prize worth up to $100! All other published entries will win shopping vouchers worth $30 each. Please include your name, agency email address, agency and contact number. All entries should reach us by July 27, 2011.

  • POSTED ON
    Jul 18, 2011
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