Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Salute to Singapore

I'm so impressed with the nation of Singapore. The remarkably harmonious diversity of races, cultures and religions in this land is a testament to what can be achieved. Had the incredible privilege of being a speaker at their large Innovation and Enterprise Week held at Biopolis, the massive research center dealing with life sciences. Met so many amazing people from Singapore and other nations and really fell in love with this country and its generous and gracious people.

Singapore is one of the most innovative nations in the world--in fact, it's ranked #1 in several rating systems--and has some of the most visionary and futuristic approaches to economic development and scientific progress. What impressed me as I learned more and talked with some of its people is the commitment of so many people to the long-term good of Singapore. The petty personal politics that hinder progress in so many spheres of human life seemed surprisingly diminished in the scientific and IP-related circles I encountered, and I repeatedly sensed and saw evidence of a widespread commitment to cooperation and the good of the nation. There is a culture of cooperation that really impresses me.

Talented, intelligent, and tolerant people building a visionary future is one dimension of what I encountered. Add to that the Singaporean commitment to excellent food, and we've really got a winning combination. I can't believe how well I can eat for $3 at the "street hawker" sites where you can choose from numerous cuisines such as Muslim Halal and many varieties of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, Korean, etc. Then consider that Singapore offers fresh, never-frozen supplies of the world's greatest plant product, the king of fruit with its foul aroma: durian! Tonight after a spectacular seafood meal with massive chili crab and claypot crab, I was treated to two great varieties of durian: D24X0 and Cat Mountain King. Will one of these species be the official fruit of Zion in the future? Or maybe it will be fresh passion fruit (I got about 20 for just $2!)?

Any of you in Singapore or have you been there? Am interested in knowing more about how members of the Church are treated. I was treated with great kindness, but then again, I'm just a temporary visitor. How is daily life for a Latter-day Saint in Singapore?

4 comments:

Scott Edwards said...

I've only been through Singapore briefly but now I want to experience that much more of it. Just wanted to say that if you enjoyed Singapore, you should definitely visit Penang, Malaysia, someday. It's just an hour flight to the north. Like Singapore, a beautiful, diverse & friendly people & tremendous cuisine. I had the privilege of attending their bustling Branch a few years back. A sweet group of saints. Looking forward to reading others' comments on Singapore.

UtahBoy said...

I vote for the passionfruit. Not only does durian smell bad, it tastes like rotten onions. Gives me enough gas to power a small city. I had to laugh at the restaurants that had signs outside saying "no durian allowed."

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John Jackson said...

Is durian a "superfood"? I guess not after reading the Wikipedia entry. Albeit, in the 1920s someone marketed a product with durian and Allium in it that supposedly contained "more concentrated healthful energy in food form than any other product the world affords."
Now more than 80 years later, many health-conscious souls (including myself) revel in products with acai or gogi berries or somesuch else. Us LDS folks are as much into this as anyone, even at the forefront. As often as not, we vend such products through multi-level marketing.
I would guess it is the Word of Wisdom that catches our attention toward health food. Why we multi-level market, I don't know. I don't find that connection in the 89th Section. (Multi-level marketing might well be fine, but sometimes I wish we would just find stores in which to market our products.) The Word of Wisdom does say "all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man. . . . Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof."
It might be good, however (as herbs and fruits can have side effects just as prescription drugs do) if some resourceful LDS soul -- or someone with Singapore-type ingenuity -- would study the side effects of such foods, for the Word of Wisdom also says "they are to be used with prudence." Some study of side effects is available, but I do wish there were more.