Video of Jewel Changi waterfall sparks debate about whether nice airport is due to S'pore's death penalty


Andrew Koay | January 27, 2023, 07:08 PM

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In what represents business as per usual, swathes of the internet were up in arms over the last few days.

The latest thing to set virtual fingers wagging?

A 23-second video featuring Singapore's very own Jewel Changi Airport.

Reposted by Twitter user Hayden Clarkin — who goes by the username "the_transit_guy" — the video shows Jewel's Rain Vortex waterfall and the surrounding Shiseido Forest Valley, slowly panning from left to right.

"I'm just in awe of Singapore's airport," wrote Clarkin in the accompanying text.

At the time of writing Clarkin's tweet has been viewed 19.9 million times, while garnering over 7,000 retweets.

Things get political

A good amount of that engagement no doubt came because of a debate sparked by the tweet about Singapore's laws.

"Singapore is able to have nice things in part because they execute drug dealers by hanging and arrest even petty vandals and thieves and beat them with a cane until they bleed," wrote right-wing American political commentator whom nobody asked Matt Walsh, in a retweet blasted to his 1.3 million followers.

"We don't have nice things because we aren't willing to do what is required to maintain them."

Walsh's own retweet has been viewed 14.8 million times at the time of writing, attracting over 10,500 retweets and 5,300 replies as users from all over the political spectrum weighed in on the issue.

"This guy is such a caricature of a conservative," wrote Ben Burgis, an adjunct professor of philosophy who is also a columnist for leftist magazine Jacobin on Walsh.

"He sees a video of 'nice things' built by generous public investment and concludes that if we only beat and killed enough petty criminals the 'nice things' would...what...pop into existence as a divine reward for our righteousness?"

Inevitably, Walsh — himself a columnist for Ben Shapiro's The Daily Wire — had a sharp reply, which (again, inevitably) triggered a public debate between the two.

Others took Walsh's tweet in different directions railing against American government institutions or pointing out that we might have some laws here that American conservatives would presumably shudder at the thought of.

"There's no such thing as gun ownership in Singapore. I think that's a BIG one," wrote one user; "Lol what about their covid policies," wrote another.

So what did the original tweeter, Clarkin, have to say about the whole kerfuffle?

"If you're interested in cities, transportation and good people center infrastructure follow for more."

Just another day on the internet.

Top image from Twitter and from Albert Vincent Wu via Unsplash