By Diana Liedloff, BSc Marketing and Management
Half of the group spent the weekend visiting Singapore, which has an entirely different atmosphere compared to Kuala Lumpur (KL). They place a lot of emphasis on cleanliness, as there are restrictions on chewing gum, throwing litter on the street and even on carrying durian (a strong smelling local fruit) on public transport, resulting in a nearly litter-free city. As for the city’s architecture, it has many futuristic skyscrapers with eccentric design features. Just like KL, Singapore has a mall at nearly every turn and some of them are connected via viaducts and underground tunnels. Singapore’s GDP per capita is higher than its neighbouring countries, and this was never more evident when we saw all the luxurious shops and the extensive and very well maintained public transport system.
As for their attitudes towards sustainability, Singapore is one of the leading nations in terms of self-sufficiency and efficacy. Public water treatment in Singapore has been revolutionised by introducing a sustainable and highly advanced water purification system. This innovation reached Malaysia with the recent water plants in Johor Bahru. Singapore is a highly globalised and modern city but there is still some room for improvement in terms of sustainability, such as strengthening the existing laws to cap carbon emissions.
Seeing the sights
We took an exhausting six-hour bus ride to Singapore. As soon as we arrived, we started wandering around the Gardens by The Bay with our backpacks before our hotel check-in time. Not having had much sleep on the bus, we certainly were tired but we had to make the most of our limited time in Singapore. We were impressed by their public transport system as with MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) we could get around easily and affordably. Over the two days, we visited many sights including Fort Canning Park, Masjid Sultan Mosque and Haji Lane.
Celebrating Hari Raya at TIME open house
On the return journey, we were surprised to see that the highway was heavily congested in Malaysia even late at night on a Sunday. The following day, Monday, we could have a lie in as TIME was having Hari Raya open house celebrations, which marks the end of Ramadan. The whole office did very little work that day as there was a huge feast from mid-day onwards with lots of delicious Malaysian food such as meat skewers, and live music performed by TIME employees. We were lucky to mingle with other employees and experience the open house celebrations. Afterward, we went back to our condominium for a dip in the pool and enjoyed the sunshine.