Lion Arch

The most diverse and cosmopolitan city in TyriaLion's Arch is a melting pot where all the races gather and trade. Lion's Arch owes no allegiance to any race or nation, but stands on its own – and it does so by virtue of its active navy, its financial strength, and the intelligence and cunning of its leaders.

Looking back, we have been playing Guild Wars for more than half a decade. Currently we are in Guild Wars 2, Borlis Pass aka Borlis Noobs Server. Remember to say hi to my game characters, Daughter of Punggol (necro) or Bukit Timah Ah Lian (mesmer) when you see me running past or shattering your ass off with clones. Needless to say, I often drew the lols whenever a Singaporean player saw my nick. It's great to cheer a countryman up sometimes, since we spend the rest of the time pissing one another off.

There is something I've always wanted to tell the others but never got around to. It is about Lion Arch, one of the most famous cities in Guild Wars. It is one of the only few cities who survived the centuries and continue to exist in the story time line of Guild Wars 2. Other than a differently city layout and architecture, the essence of Lion Arch is still evident. Unlike the other cities, where most of the residents were of the same race, Lion Arch (like the description mentioned) is a melting pot where all the races gather and trade. Not only different races but different motivations, alignments and loyalties. There are the righteous people, the pirates, the holy man, the fool, the scrumptious, the despicable, the public enemy. You get it, a melting pot.

If you follow the story of Guild Wars (or probably any fantasy RPG games in fact), the nature of Lion Arch would be amazing because it is the basic of games (as well as in reality actually) that races stick around with their own kind. Real players actually unconsciously fell to the role play and gathered themselves in Lion Arch for different purposes, making Lion Arch the most populated city everyday.

I'm not sure about my friends but all these years I've secretly liken Lion Arch to Singapore. The similarities are uncanny. Melting pot. Trading city. Populated. Even the name itself, as Singapore is often known as the Lion City. I wonder if the game developers get their inspirations to create Lion Arch from Singapore.

Sometime back I wrote staff about citizenship and was surprised it sparked a discussion in the comments section. After all discussion and asingaporeanson are antonyms. Unlike other blogs, this is just a story book on the tales of the freak. So true red Lion hearted discussions are a rarity. Not too surprisingly, the discussion soon derailed and went into an NS debate. The points of the debate isn't new to me. Over the years, there had been many debates on this. The issues were often iterated, opinions were divided and ended up with the same ending: Both sides of the camp had to end their keyboard war with bruised egos.

Singaporeans fighting Singaporeans. What's new?

A thought when I was reading this description of Lion Arch,

(The city) ... stands on its own and it does so by virtue of its active navy, its financial strength, and the intelligence and cunning of its leaders.

During the course of its long history, Lion Arch has been involved their fair share of wars. Undead dragons, Margonites, Destroyers you name it, they have seen it all. Defenders of the city were never a specific force. Like the way they carry on their usual lives, citizens of Lion Arch fought together. Mercenaries, pirates, Seraph, Vigil, Priory, Whispers, guilds, random militia, civilians of every creed and race joined in and won famous battles. That of course, is the beautiful side of the story. Behind the scenes, there must be people who desert their armies, betray their people, loot and fled instead of fight.

This isn't any game-fantasy delusion. In reality, it will be the same. In fact, more often than not, there are more reality in the virtual world than the perceived reality in our minds. I'm sorry if I offend any Singaporean son with my comments. Many of you seem to think that if Singapore goes to war, we the Singaporeans sons will book in, draw arms and wack Malaysian or Indonesian ass while the Singaporean daughters cook dinner and wait for your return. In reality, our army will FAIL. Big time. We might not be even able to reach our camp in time, much less organise a counter attack like what we are told to believe in NS.

If you disagree, then fuck you. Wake up and smell the vegemite. One single car broke down on the PIE, you can be late for work and some of you living in Jurong West have to book in at Selarang Camp. And we think our enemies will declare war and allow us a few hours to prepare for it. Get real. All the enemy has to do is to denote light hand-made bombs in 8 major roads of Singapore and the traffic will come to a stand still. Which of you guys can walk to camp? Did SAF strategically assign us to the closest camp to our residences? Book in, draw arms, deploy, fight in their lands, fire and movement in plantations.

Fucking bull shit.

We never learn from our previous and only war experience in modern history. Buggers who didn't and couldn't flee in time took up position and defend their ass off to save their families and loved ones. Indians havoc forces. Chinese ad-hoc forces. Because the British Military failed Singapore. And the SAF will fail us the same way. Paper generals will screw us up. Just imagine someone Chan Chun Sing leading the line. "Who wants to fight jiuhu-kia, kee chiu?" LOL! We cock up even in peace times, all you Singaporean Sons KNOW so let's not kid ourselves we will operate like a well-oiled machine in war. I hope our fighter planes can even take off when pilots are stuck in traffic jams.

We'll ended up fighting the same way during the Japanese Occupation. Expectations will fail reality, the rich will flee, brave men (end up will be the Ah Bengs among us) stay to fight, MIWs nowhere in the battle field with us, the treacherous will work with the enemies and become Prime Ministers after the war, The people we love to hate, pissed poor Bangladeshi, Indians, Pinoys and PRCs who cannot mutter a sentence in English or understand your, "Cover me!" will fight along with us because they have to. Because that is the reality of war. Because animals fight when survival is at stake. Even the golden pussies who have been relying on maids to cook a meal will have to react.

From the way it looks Singapore is struggling to maintain an identity within the melting pot. Going by the xenophobia recently, it is possibly impossible to keep the Singapore identity and be radically cosmopolitan at the same time. Singapore has to decide to give up one. Giving up our identity might not even be an option anymore. The country is operating like a corporation already as it is, societal cracks have widen so much even the government is making a serious study on it. Our flags were no more 'a flying high' for the last few years, other than those grassroots facaders doing their North Korean stunts. In future, Singapore may very well be a trade city instead of permanent home to anyone. Many of us would move overseas, to JB or even Batam due to expensive living. It may be hard to imagine this a decade back but today it is already happening in a small scale. The question is not will it or not but when.

That isn't a problem really. Every city expands outwards. If you look at the Perth map just seven years ago, there was virtually nothing but bush land below the 32.5 parallel  (roughly where ROE highway is running across today). Since then, suburbs after suburbs such as Success and Hammond Park, Canningvale, Southern River, Harrisdale, Piara Waters, Atwell, Aubin Grove in the middle and Byford, Hilbert and Haynes in the east. In terms of space expansion, Perth is growing faster than Singapore is. So it's only a matter of time Singaporeans have to stay out of the main island, since we cannot expand outwards.

But the question is, who shall defend the land? Who is holding a stake if the city-state becomes a mere trading hub, the most cosmopolitan society of the world? The 'original Singaporeans'? I know some of you guys really love NS and are very proud of your sacrifices to the nation. Not holding you back from that. It is indeed a great feeling to feel that we are doing our part for our country, our families. We have to put our shoes into the younger batch of Singaporean sons though. The demographics of Singapore has changed so drastically over the years that serving the NS feels like being an exploited security guard of the foreigners more than defending the country. This mentality can only worsen, manifesting into something even more undesirable if the government simply ignore the telling signs and pretend nothing is happening.

It is obvious that Singapore is not doing any U-turn on the 6.9 million population goal. It'is also apparent that our national birth rate is not going to reverse anytime soon. So the rest of the projected population will have to be foreigners. Will Singaporeans be contended to be the only defenders of the state being the minority race by then? It is a joke if any of us think this will work in the long run. If we do not address this issue early, we will end up with a lot of surprises and "we did not foresee this" excuses in future. Procrastination and denial. Perhaps some of the MIWs should play Guild Wars 2 with me and I shall personally show them a tour around Lion Arch. Perhaps they will be inspired.


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    1. Hi Bro,

      It doesn't matter what equipment we have. Even if we have Gundam buried deep below Bukit Gombak, it doesn't mean anything in war time if the man who was authorised to use and the man who is doing the authorisation have the balls to carry on the plan before we are thoroughly routed. That is, if you are assuming people are standing by with their fingers on the red button every moment and the guy who calls and says 'push it' will not have his comms cut off during war. All too rosy on paper.

      Singapore can be possibly conquered over-night if the enemies plan and carry out their strategies. A war plan can take years or even decades to carry out. We have grossly overestimated our intelligence if we think we can preempt any threats quick enough to defend the country if the enemies really have intent to take the miserable 700 square km.

      Missiles are there as deterrent to war. If anyone believe we can defend the island because of them, it's probably due to "national education".

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    1. Bro,

      If you are aware how much the SAF pay for an ordinary mild steel screw or simple common plumbing tape to ST Logistic and how much we pay for a meal for every solider to Singapore Food Industries, coupled with your assumption that Singapore may never ever go to war again, you will understand where I am coming from.

      Believe me, I am not exaggerating. I don't exaggerate anything bigger than what my own eyes can see. I respect any other views and opinions because everyone sees differently. I don't need to lie to get a point across.

      I do not like the way the Government like to indoctrine the masses to believe that Singapore does not have resources and therefore our working lives suck. If we have metals, they'll say we don't have water. If we have water, they'll say we don't have oil.

      Our geographical position is godsend. Many countries with rich resources, such as Afghanistan, will love to be situated where we are instead of where they are. Our deep waters is godsend. We would love to think our super-scale sea trading hub is the result of our hard work. But this would be nothing if we do not have the natural deep waters in the first place. Till today, our trades brings in the majority of our revenue. Or do we still not agree we do have natural resources? Is this not as good as the limited ores that Australia can dig up from their ground, only to lose more revenue importing them through vast distance due to the isolation of the country to the next civilization?Talk about taking things for granted.

      No, the government says we do not have resources and we swallow that word for word. Then in the 1980s they coined the term human resources and claimed that the people are Singapore's most precious resources. And then they can't even come up with a proper medical system to protect its most important resource whereas Australia, another country which runs like a business like you said, is willing to.

      What's the next excuse, high tax? That's what the government said again. So think from here and see if you can spot the farce. I've already helped you with one.

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  5. asingaporeanson and A Blessed Singaporean

    It will not take much to neutralise Singapore: Good intelligence and a several well placed accidents affecting roads, electricity, and electronic network will paralyse Singapore enough for several days. Interdict open waters with minefield and the only land route is left.

    And frankly do you think that our neighbours are as predictable as you think? It is only a generation ago when neighbouring government chose not to stop ethnic violence within their country and they will always use Singapore as the scapegoat for their woes.

    In the last real financial crisis for South East Asia (no, not the GFC in 2007 but 1998), Indonesia was really rudderless and could have been taken over by a more extremist religious group than what we ended up with. Malaysian politics had a wakeup call in the last election, and really who knows if BN will continue or not or will the UMNO trow in their lot with PAS since we know PAS can never work with DAP in a ruling coalition.

    Like Blessed Singaporean, I believe SAF have a capacity to win a limited battle but like SIngapore Son I also think that the Singaporean leaders will not have the flexibility or the confidence to use the required force in time when it matters.

    At the end I will agree with all of you on one thing, I prefer to see some angmo babes shaking their butts at the beaches. Boobs also can