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Shake it off, Southeast Asia, and accept Singapore is just better for Taylor Swift Little Red Dot offers political stability

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Pop superstar Taylor Swift performs in Sydney during her Eras Tour.
Pop superstar Taylor Swift performs in Sydney during her Eras Tour. (PHOTO: David Gray/AFP)
ON behalf of a giddy, grateful Singapore nation, thank you, Taylor Swift. A Little Red Dot stands on the shoulders of hundreds of thousands of Swifties, as we prepare for six sold-out gigs, shameless media commentaries (like this one) and the best putdown in decades.

Suddenly, albeit briefly, Taylor Swift has elevated a small nation with a bit of an inferiority complex (let’s be honest, we have a tendency to wet ourselves whenever an obscure travel blogger gives us a poor review.) But it doesn’t matter because Taylor Swift is the burn of all burns, a name to throw out in defence at every opportunity, like a temperamental teenager with an answer for everything. Because Taylor Swift really is Singapore’s current answer for everything.

Malaysia has cheap petrol and keropok? Yeah, but Taylor Swift. Thailand has miles of golden beaches and sunburnt backpackers with dodgy dreadlocks? Yeah, but Taylor Swift. Indonesia has sandy islands offering cheaper golf courses and cheaper homes for mistresses? Yeah, but Taylor Swift.

Collectively, we’re like a geeky Jho Low who can’t quite believe he’s managed to get Paris Hilton to attend his exclusive party. If only there was a reason or two (million), why such an invite was accepted.

It’s the cash, obviously. Swift isn’t on a philanthropic tour to bring music to the poorest souls, appearing on stage with an acoustic guitar and a pair of sandals and promising to heal the world through the power of song. (We’ve already had Coldplay for that.) She’s here to make money and Singapore is extraordinarily agile when it comes to making money from international pop stars and football franchises. (It’s less successful at producing international pop stars and football franchises, but let’s not digress.)

Much more than geography, stability, convenience
For days now, experts have been trotted out to deliver the usual soundbites. Singapore’s geographical position, its political stability, its convenience and efficiency are the reasons why everyone from Taylor Swift to Liverpool Football Club are eager to pop in, which again makes our home sound more like a 7-Eleven than a country. On world atlases, it’s always difficult to squeeze the word “Singapore” across the Little Red Dot. Maybe the 7-Eleven logo might be easier.

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