Wednesday, January 9: Today we attend lectures at the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
As Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) promotes sustained, non-inflationary economic growth through appropriate monetary policy formulation and close macroeconomic surveillance of emerging trends and potential vulnerabilities. It manages Singapore’s exchange rate, foreign reserves and liquidity in the banking sector.
MAS is also an integrated supervisor overseeing all financial institutions in Singapore — banks, insurers, capital market intermediaries, financial advisors, and the stock exchange. With its mandate to foster a sound and progressive financial services sector in Singapore, MAS also helps shape Singapore’s financial industry by promoting a strong corporate governance framework and close adherence to international accounting standards. In addition, it spearheads retail investor education. MAS ensures that Singapore’s financial industry remains vibrant, dynamic and competitive by working closely with other government agencies and financial institutions to develop and promote Singapore as a regional and international financial center. (Monetary Authority of Singapore: About)
Ryan, who became a close friend of mine during our Mexico Study Abroad trip (notes from north america) in May of 2007, arrived a couple of days late to Singapore. He hasn’t had a chance to explore the city outside of our lectures. Since we finish early today, the two of us head to Little India and Clarke Quay to explore. I want to drop back in at Madan’s to see if I run into the owner. We stop for a little lunch, but sadly Madan isn’t here today.
Later we sit outside at Clarke Quay and have a drink. Lying near the mouth of the Singapore River, the site of Clarke Quay was the center of commerce during the late 19th century. Today, Clarke Quay is still buzzing with life and activity, including a kaleidoscope of restaurants, wine bars, entertainment spots and retail shops. The bustling market atmosphere of bygone days comes alive amidst the rows of charming shop houses and pushcarts (Clarke Quay: About).
In the evening our group goes on the Night Safari. We take a tram ride around the park and then walk along three trails in the forested park past 120 different spot-lit nocturnal species.
Opened in 1994, Night Safari is the world’s first safari park for nocturnal animals. Visitors can see over 2,500 animals in their naturalistic nighttime habitats.
The guided tram ride takes us across 7 geographical zones of the world. From the rugged Himalayan Foothills to the swampy banks of the Asian Riverine Forest and more, our tram guide shares facts and tales about the animals and habitats.
On the walking trails, we stroll into two giant aviaries where we can see Malayan flying foxes and giant flying squirrels. The aviaries are along the Leopard Trail where we get within a whisker of the beautiful leopards from their dedicated glass observatory. Along the Fishing Cat Trail, we can see fishing cats as they engage in their nightly river-side hunt. (Night Safari Singapore)