First, it is a myth that democracies (read: dictatorship of the masses) by definition offer more benevolent living conditions. In my experience, democracies have seeds of self-destruction. Singapore, on the other hand, is more like a family-run corporation — a political system I prefer over democracy.
Here I don’t see any busybodies around. Bureaucratic interferences in your life are minimal. They focus on governance and they do it relatively well. They are nowhere close to an ideal government, but compared to what you get elsewhere, Singapore is a treat.
Second, while it is true that they do have tough drug and gun laws, they are effective. Singapore is one of the safest cities on the planet and a young girl here can feel comfortable walking by herself just about anywhere, even late at night. Since I have no reason to own a gun nor do I consume drugs, Singapore fits in my life design plan just fine.
Third, while this may sound quite shocking, to me, caning as a mode of punishment looks quite appropriate in many situations.
For example, I recently saw a video of three teenagers beating an old man for fun in the U.S. The teenagers likely went unpunished. I would prefer that they had to slog for several years to make monetary retribution to the old man. But lacking that, I certainly think caning is a better form of punishment than letting the culprits go.
Lastly, freedom of speech is limited only in the arena of politics. Quite honestly, if more freedom of speech were allowed in Singapore, it would likely also degenerate into a “dictatorship of the mobs”, in which Peter lobbies or protests to steal what is Paul’s. Personally, my only reason for participating in mass protests is war. But since Singapore does not participate in attacking other countries, there is no need for antiwar protests anyway. So again this is acceptable to me in my life design plan.
If it weren’t for the gun laws…
(Hat tip to Foseti.)