I've spent quality time in Singapore. Mostly shot video there. You deal with the humidity by storing cameras (and keeping all other electronic devices) in relatively dehumidified areas, preferably in cabinets containing dessicants within those areas.
The gum thing is exaggerated. Not that the government doesn't sometimes behave in an authoritarian manner—it does—but the current leadership has a lighter touch overall than in the past. Singapore is a place where you can go anywhere at any time of day or night and feel safe...but at the same time you know there are security eyes watching you. Unlike, say, in the West where you know you're being surveilled but in a manner and for a purpose that has nothing to do with your particular well-being.
Gum. Perhaps things have changed. When I was there - only once for about ten days - there was no gum visible on the pavements. I see no exaggeration: that's a huge advance on western pavements black with that crap; you should see Mallorca: gum and dog poop rule.
As for the purposes of surveillance techniques, I would question the views of anyone - self much included - on the ways of another land than one's own. How can we possibly know? For myself, I dreaded Florida, convinced I was going to be car-jacked or simply shot for being in the wrong place at the right time. Why do few people walk?
If Singapore requires cameras to read the streets in order to keep the citizen safe, doesn't that indicate that there really is a threat?
We were sitting one night in an open public place with a very British name, which I can't remember, where there are lots of stalls selling food. There was a commotion, and a chef ran out into the crowd, a pot of something boiling in his hand, chasing another guy running for his life... so much for calmness in the night. There was also the phenomenon of high littter: tv sets and other lethal litter chucked out of high-rise apartments.
It's the modern world: very often a case of no respect for anyone and no manners taught at home before kids even start to go to school. And then they say it should be the teachers'
responsibility! Yet something else that some parents don't feel inclined to do. But yeah, a year off work for new parents - both of them! We inhabit a world of political madness.