We all know Singapore is safe. We’re constantly topping “World’s Safest” lists and boast some of the lowest crime rates in the world. But one content creator was willing to bet his laptop just to prove the premise (although it may also have something to do with the fact that he also has a paid sponsorship deal with the Singaporean Tourism Board).
In a TikTok video posted yesterday, Uptin Saiidi (@uptin) decided to test the (safe) waters of Singapore by leaving his laptop unattended in a Starbucks store for an hour while he went to another place for brunch.
Unsurprisingly, the video ends with Saiidi finding his laptop exactly where he left it.
To support his confidence with carrying out the experiment, the content creator cited government statistics from 2021 saying the city-state went 250 days without having any common crimes reported (specifically snatch thefts, robberies or home break-ins). Great research!
According to Saiidi, there are three reasons why Singapore is so safe. Are you holding your breath yet?
In his video, he said that Singapore’s culture of honesty and fairness, our basic needs being met so “people don’t feel like they have to resort to crime”, and surveillance are why we’re able to maintain our near zero-crime status.
He also mentioned that “you will never see a homeless person” in Singapore, a claim that is simply false.
Saiidi’s points were met with a barrage of snarky comments from other users.
Some went into wanderlust mode and compared it to other countries.
The laptop experiment is just one out of a series of videos Saiidi has done on Singapore, with others covering national initiatives that sound too good to be true like the childbirth subsidy and housing grants given to people who opt to live near their parents.
This style of overhyping Singapore a little too much is reminiscent of another once-popular content creator, Nusseir Yassin – better known as Nas Daily – whose videos wax lyrical about cities and countries while glossing over less-savoury details or facts. Many later accused Nas of being a sellout.
It’s unclear which of Saiidi’s videos praising Singapore’s policies are part of his paid sponsorship deal with the Singapore Tourism Board or if it’s just this one where it’s clearly labeled on Instagram, but it certainly leads one to similar questions as people had about Nas.
While we are happy to celebrate the fact that Singapore is safer than most countries, it does give us secondhand cringe to see statements like there being no homeless people in Singapore or that surveillance keeps us off crime, particularly when things like Singapore’s limits on freedom of speech and upholding of capital punishment are left unmentioned.
But we guess that isn’t the kind of stuff you can mention when Singapore’s Tourism Board is funding your videos.
Help video journalist Uptin Saiidi debunk stereotypes about Singapore! Comment with your recommendations on where to go and what he should explore! #SingapoReimagine #VisitSingapore— NBCUniversal Catalyst (@nbcucatalyst) September 20, 2022
Paid post by @visitsingapore pic.twitter.com/WPURKWfIud