Apparently, this is what the government pictures Singapore to look like in 2185

Just some questionable future forecasts.

Olivia Lin| April 15, 11:40 AM

Now that driverless cars are a thing, it’s not exactly difficult to imagine what sort of cutting-edge inventions the future might bring us.

If we were to propel our minds 168 years into the future, we would picture stuff like self-washing dishes or even teleportation devices.

“Oh dear, I forgot to change out of my PJs before teleporting to the office. Via Giphy.

Not the filmmakers of The Manifest though.

Directed by Sanif Olek, The Manifest centres around two astronauts who are constantly at loggerheads. Throughout the short film, the reasons behind their disagreements are slowly revealed; with each character divulging a little more about themselves, and why they hold a grudge against each other. Though it’s just 14 minutes long, the short film still manages to pull a twist ending in the final scene.

But storyline aside, The Manifest grabbed our attention because of totally different reasons.

It may be a futuristic film set in 2185, but the people behind it seem to be big fans of nostalgia, with things like plastic spoons and office chairs chewing up scenes.

Here are some of the ancient artefacts we spotted in The Manifest:

1. Office Chair

Considering all the technological advancements that can happen in 168 years, it is quite heartening to know that the humble office chair might still exist in the future.

In fact, it looks set to serve a higher purpose - by being the seat of choice for two honourable astronauts on a space mission.

“At least with him gone, I’ll have two spinning office chairs to play with.”

Perhaps the swivelling is state-of-the-art stuff. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

2. Peranakan Furniture

The most ancient part of The Manifest has to be this flashback scene.

This must be a time warp. Or some black hole.

No futuristic domicile with talking refrigerators and whatnot, just some traditional Peranakan furniture.

But it’s good to know that the filmmakers have strong faith in our descendents to preserve a culture of such long-standing history.  

3. Singlish

Bearing in mind the prevalent use of acronyms in Singapore, it isn’t unfounded to deduce that our country’s vernacular might evolve to just pure acronyms in 2185.

“HT, NTMY.” Via Giphy.

Fortunately, it seems like the Singaporean identity might still be as entrenched as ever, with Singlish repeatedly spoken in the film.

It’s damn easy one leh.

Consider the scene where the two astronauts bicker about who is more deserving of being on the mission, with one declaring, “Wah, you really think you’re damn kilat ah?”

Still kilat lah, our Singlish.

Said conversation is as Singlish as current day Singlish, which means future Singaporeans would have a breezy time decoding historical archives (like this article) when the time comes.

4. Local Cuisine

Phew, looks like we won’t be replacing meals with supplement capsules, or restore bodily energy via wireless chargers anytime soon, because food is likely to exist in the future.

And we’re not talking about those newfangled, organic quinoa/kale things. We’re talking about yummy hawker fare like the comforting Nasi Lemak we all grew up with.

Nasi Lemak served with a plastic spoon, no less.

In one of the old-school flashbacks, the Ang Moh-looking astronaut’s father talks about how his wife (the astronaut’s mum) made delicious Nasi Lemak while she was alive, which means the art of cooking local dishes will prevail - Hooray!

5. Xenophobia

With an extra 168 years of cohabitation with foreign talents, you’d think that xenophobia would be extinct by 2185.

But in the film, the Singaporean is still seen to be resenting his Ang Moh-looking co-worker, and the Ang Moh-looking co-worker is still seen to be socially detached from our country.

Pfft, as if this sort of tension would still be rampant by then.

Or is it? Watch the short film here:



The Manifest is part of an anthology – Together Apart. Watch it in full here:



The three films are part of Project Lapis Sagu, a crowdsourced film initiative which aims to foster social integration between Singaporeans and foreigners, presented by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI).

Top image adapted from video.

This sponsored article helps’s writers fund our dream of directing a futuristic film with high-tech props.

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