June 04, 2007
Perhaps Singapore's biggest handicap is its lack of famous sights: it has no Angkor Wat or Taj Mahal. For many years, it prided itself on its innumerable shopping malls, and promoted its annual "Singapore Sale".
Abroad, it is often better known for its authoritarian ways -- it canes vandals, executes drug offenders, crushes political opposition, and bans the sale of chewing gum. Culturally, its development has been crippled by restrictions on freedom of expression and censorship of films and plays.
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "Not exactly the celebratory messages we get all the time from the local media."