The Singapore government just banned e-scooters on all footpaths. This stacks on top of the existing e-scooter road ban. The regulation was announced and enforced the very next day. In one fell scoop, e-scooters are banned while the nation pitches a society with fewer cars.
I wish the e-scooter ban were an exception. But it is not. The same shit happened to bicycle-sharing, a product which made a lot of sense. Then the regulations kicked in, and then it stopped making sense because it turned a seamless experience picking available bikes parked alongside sidewalks into a shitty experience.
Come January 2020; all drones will meet with a mandatory registration requirement. According to someone in the industry, the same shit is coming to drones.
The inability of Singapore to condone chaos is why a company like Uber will never be birthed here. As the jews of Southeast Asia, we are surrounded by Muslim nations. As the jews are, we Singaporeans are wealthy because we were good with money and investments. Unfortunately, unlike the actual jews in Israel, we are doomed to be nothing more than derivatives, like Grab. (Grab is not even Singaporean to start with.)
Chaos as a mandatory ingredient in a startup capital
Growing up in sunny island Singapore, we are always told to think outside of the box. And I did that a lot. Often during academic examinations, I answered questions in my own words. And as a result, I was marked down because I did not regurgitate what the lecture notes wrote word for word.
My teachers omitted the fact that we are ONLY allowed to think outside ONE side of the box. The side that they deem to be "positive."
It does not work that way.
For Uber to overhaul the taxi industry, it has to undermine the licensing process of taxis.
For Airbnb to challenge the incumbent hospitality industry, it has to allow homeowners to rent out their rooms for a short time. (Airbnb is illegal in Singapore).
Singapore's one right way of doing things
The best investment in Singapore is property. The best job in Singapore is to be a minister. The best party is PAP. The best degrees are law or medicine. Wealth means success.
Come on! There are other pathways to success.
I am so angry at my government
In banning e-scooters, they demonstrated laziness in thought. They showed that they favor absolute peace over some chaos. But governments wield the means to temper chaos -- the law. Regulate it, not ban it.
Give us innovators a chance to fail, so we can try again, and again, and again. Don't tell us we suck and give up on us. I hope my son and other Singaporean sons and daughter will learn to embrace chaos and even practice some mild form of civil disobedience -- for Singapore's sake.