IT WAS a week in which Singapore was uniquely Singaporean - electing a president without an opposition candidate, adding a mandatory death sentence for gun users to its tough criminal code, enforcing a smoking ban on citizens under 18 and barring an entertainer from dressing in drag and singing bawdy songs. Amid all this serious activity, there was something odd about the presence of one of the world's megastars at a time when he was under an international media spotlight because of allegations of child molestation - a caning offence in Singapore. Not too long ago in staid Singapore, Michael Jackson's pelvis-thrusting and crotch-grabbing stage act would have been banned. In the past, just a whiff of what has been emerging in the Los Angeles allegations, which he has denied, would have made him unwelcome. But Singapore, which used to ban long-haired visitors, be they rock stars or tourists, has presented a more friendly face to world entertainers as part of a plan to make the island republic a money-spinning regional entertainment hub and a ''global arts centre''. Moreover, the media could hardly ignore him. His two concerts were sell-outs, with 90,000 Singaporeans and visitors from neighbouring countries snapping up tickets as soon as they were available. The establishment media chose to accentuate the positive. It waxed enthusiastic about the spinoffs from the Jackson tour. In an allusion to the title of his Thriller album, the Business Times said the influx of fans from neighbouring countries was ''thrilling airlines and Singapore's hotels''. The Straits Times said Jackson ''helped generate at least S$1 million [about HK$4.8 million] in tourist dollars for Singapore''. According to a hotel source, all rooms in the major hotels were booked. The star's production crew took up 150 rooms at the Westin Stamford and Westin Plaza, while visitors from Indonesia and Malaysia on package tours occupied more than 700. The postponement of his second show an hour after it was due to start because he was reportedly suffering from a migraine - a brain scan showed he was ''absolutely normal'', it was reported - gave hotels an ''extended bonanza'', the Business Times said. But visitors who could not afford to stay on were furious with Jackson and his promoters. Jackson, who was treated to a police motorcycle escort usually reserved for visiting foreign dignitaries on his arrival from Bangkok, checked into the S$6,000-a-night Sir Stamford Raffles suite of the legendary Raffles Hotel, which was refurbished two years ago to its Edwardian splendour. Raffles, which normally attracts only fans of nostalgia, became a Beverly Hills-style magnet for teenagers and tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of the entertainer. Jackson spent most of his stay in his 260 square metres of living space, with its stained teak floor, reproduction antique blackwood furniture, chandeliers, marble-lined bathroom with turn-of-the century brass fittings and a master bedroom with a king-size four-poster bed. He left the hotel only to go to the Singapore Stadium for his two concerts and to the zoo for a private after-hours tour. For companionship in the hotel, he had close friend Elizabeth Taylor and her husband and his sister Janet, who flew in to boost his morale after either the heat of Southeast Asia or the heat from the police probe in Los Angeles affected his health and forced a postponement of one of his Bangkok concerts. Lips were not surprisingly pursed among some Raffles executives, who had to cope not only with the screeching of scores of teeny-boppers but also some unusual visitors in the shape of six orang-utans, with whom Jackson cavorted for an hour. Raffles, which prides itself on its fine cuisine, allowed the special guest's personal chef into its kitchen at the behest of his minders, where the most exotic dish prepared was chicken noodle soup, apparently a Jackson favourite. But Singapore did succumb to Jackson fever to a degree by filling the newspaper lifestyle sections with pictures and articles on the entertainer together with adulatory reviews of his two performances. While the foreign news pages chronicled the allegations from Los Angeles of child molestation it did not affect the positive tone of the entertainment writers. Reviews of his concerts were ecstatic - ''a spectacle not to be missed'' - although groupies who have attended dozens of his shows said he did not perform at his peak. The government-owned television station, which normally relegates show business reports to the tail end of news programmes, surprisingly led its main evening bulletin with a clip of Jackson's first performance. It looked distinctly out of place in a programme otherwise devoted to heavier news, including the passing of the new ''go bang and you'll hang'' law, as the new gun law is being called. The tabloid New Paper spread a picture across its front page of a 16-year-old fan kissing a picture of Jackson under a banner caption, ''Jacko kissed me''. It reported how she was hugged, squeezed and kissed by Jackson, while he sang She's Out of My Lifeat his Sunday night performance. ''It was the most beautiful experience I've ever had and the most incredible moment in my life,'' Samira Melissa Siddique said. While Melissa can be expected to savour her experience for some time to come, one suspects the Singapore establishment will be relieved that its experience in extending hospitality to Jackson at this particular moment in his career has come to an end.