19 October, 2017

Emulating Singapore

By Nishthar Idroos

Nishthar Idroos

Nishthar Idroos

We had a deep sense of mission to establish a clean and effective government. When we took the oath of office at the ceremony in the city council chamber in June 1959, we all wore white shirts and white slacks to symbolize purity and honesty in our personal behavior and our public life. The people expected this of us and we were determined to live up to their expectation.”  – LEE KUAN YEW First Prime Minister of Singapore.

When this writer first read the above he was momentarily choked and could not believe what he was reading. It was doubtless an inspiring piece of information. If white symbolizes purity and honesty, Members of Parliament (MPs) in Sri Lanka must be equally pure if not purer. A record near 95% wear white, a natural question ensues. Is their integrity and honesty as white? Interestingly they not only wear white but go a step further. Some are so white they even take people for free rides in white vans. Isn’t that cool?

In the past, successive governments in Sri Lanka and their leadership had either discussed, envisioned or taken spasmodic small steps to emulate this great country officially known as the Republic of Singapore, also referred as Lion City. Here is a true lion that roared with ferocity, countenanced adversity with tenacity. It wasn’t the docile, satiated and inconsiderate type in hibernation engaging in vain symbolism. Singapore a true lion though famished in its nascent days received healthy sustenance in a disciplined way upon principles. Afforded a live and let live policy to its people and extended equal opportunity to thrive and succeed. Tolerance, respect and egalitarianism were fundamental cornerstones of Singapore.

The English name Singapore is derived from the Malay word, Singapura, which in turn was derived from Sanskrit (Singa “lion”, Pura “city”).Singapore also known as Garden City, is a leading global city in Southeast Asia. Singapore a global commerce, financial and transportation hub. Its standings include: “Easiest place to do business” for ten consecutive years, most “Technology-ready” nation, top “International meetings city” , city with “Best investment potential”, second-most competitive country, third-largest foreign exchange Centre, fourth-largest financial Centre, third-largest oil refining and trading Centre and one of the top two busiest container ports since 1990. The list goes on.

The preoccupation Sri Lankan politicians have had with Singapore is pretty understandable. It had everything they desired for and a favored destination for their escapades. Most of those who visited had an experiential narrative to relate. On the contrary though Lee Kuan Yew said in his memoirs how impressed he was by Colombo when he stopped in the 1950s deterioration, degradation and degeneration soon set in and the rest is history.

Sri Lanka missed the bus in 1977 and once more in 2009. Another frantic push is being mooted this time around in 2016. Whether it’s emulating Singapore or not the opportunity must not be squandered. It seems a formidable team is now coalescing, the political will is telling. Let’s not miss the bus again. Sri Lanka for its own sake just cannot afford to miss the opportunity no matter what the impediments are. How Singapore achieved this lofty status is a story worth studying. It’s a story interspersed with tears, sweat and unparalleled grit. Before one talks about Singapore one should get a fair understanding to the essential antecedents that brought to fruition this transformation.

In the very outset let’s admit one thing. Sri Lanka cannot and should not become another Singapore, nonetheless it can learn profitably from Singapore. First and foremost Singapore spelt out very clearly the ethos to reach its desired destination. That included the need to entrench the idea of upholding the integrity in the Public Service. Followed by zero tolerance policy to corruption. Summoned the required political will to sponsor effective laws to deal with corruption. Ensured the functioning of an independent judiciary coupled with effective enforcement and responsive public service. All of these are great deeds that built the edifice for Singapore “Corruption must never be tolerated. It stunts economic development, undermines public trust and erodes our social fabric. Fighting corruption is an unceasing challenge” – Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong 2012.

Singapore was a vision, a narrative that was indefatigably worked on. Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew were inseparable if not immortal. When Singapore was booted out of the Federation of Malaysia in 1965 she was on her own from that point. The idea of an independent Singapore in a dire social milieu characterized by hostility, ultra-nationalism, confrontation and the escalating Vietnam War were major trials at that time. Guided by Machiavellian principles Lee Kuan navigated the ship like a truly experienced captain.

Here was a man renowned for his intolerance of mediocrity oversaw the transformation of a tropical slum being converted to a thriving mega state. Today with the world’s third highest per capita GDP, Singapore stands testimony to Lee’s skills and vision. The product of Singapore has been constantly reinvented moving on from highly skilled manufacturing outfit to its present day role as a major financial Centre. Lee Kuan Yew the father of modern Singapore, the enviable pragmatist who displayed zero tolerance for those who failed to measure up to his standards.

For sure corruption can stunt economic development. Sri Lanka a living example. Corruption comes in various ways and forms in this land of breath taking beauty. They include bribes, kickbacks, nepotism and cronyism and the list goes on. Public procurement is another area where corruption is most rife. Securing mega public contracts for private companies is a major challenge sans deals. Sri Lanka has a major footprint in all these areas.

When this writer first went to Singapore for the first time in 1986 he was in for a surprise. A country that was dependent on Malaysia for its water had made major headway in water purification technology. One evening the writer was watching the evening news and saw the minister in charge of Water Resources drinking the first glass of purified water for the entire world to see. At that time this was big news. What this demonstrated was the simmering culture of boldness and confidence.

A country without any natural resources had to virtually think outside of the box. That’s exactly what they did. Singapore’s best known global brands include Singapore Airlines and Changi Airport. Singapore Airlines a top luxury airline in the aviation industry. It had received tremendous kudos both from customers and the fraternity. Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong recently told CNN the following; “Competition has always been there for Singapore Airlines. We recognize that the world is changing, the traffic flows are different, we have to compete and function effectively going forward. We are more focused on what’s going to be our next leap in service standard and product offering” If one is able to read between the lines one would surely get the gist of what this Executive is talking about.

In 2014, Changi Airport served about 100 airlines flying to more than 270 cities in over 60 countries worldwide. Changi Airport has stimulated development and employment in the airline and airport-related industry for Singaporeans. In his National Day Rally 2013 speech, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted that Changi Airport and airport-related services provided some 163,000 jobs and account for 6 per cent of GDP. In 2013 54.1 million passengers went through Changi Airport, the most in its 33-year history.

Compare the above with Sri Lankan Airlines, Mihin Air, Hambantota Port and Airport. Where is the vision? Where is the strategy? Where is the collective commitment? Sri Lanka has the resources and the required skill. What she needs is a visionary sans blemishes to inspire and spearhead the road to sustainable prosperity for all. Someone who can truly inspire the team and the nation.

If you have a clear vision, the right strategy will follow. If you don’t have a clear vision, no strategy will save you. Visioning is the first step in Strategic Planning.  A vision shared by all members can help set goals to advance the process. Importantly people must see and share the vision in tangible terms. They should a have absolute confidence and credibility in the leadership to deliver.

Sri Lanka awake.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    4

    I think Singaporeans are good to emulate in certain respects.

    However, its perhaps better to create a composite model gaining from a number of sources. For example,

    – Emulate the Japanese cleanliness and sense of integrity.
    – Emulate American zest for innovation.
    – Emulate UK political systems and standards.
    – Emulate Moor business acumen.
    – Emulate Singaporean law-and-order.

    etc.

    • 5
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      Nishthar Idroos

      RE: Emulating Singapore

      “– Emulate the Japanese cleanliness and sense of integrity.
      – Emulate American zest for innovation.
      – Emulate UK political systems and standards.
      – Emulate Moor business acumen. – Emulate Singaporean law-and-order.”

      Yes, these are very good traits to emulate.

      Unfortunately, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, is burdened with a lot of Racist, Cultural and Religious baggage that distracts people from focus and innovation,

      One more item the Sri Lankans lack is intelligence at the same level as the Singaporeans. Singapore average IQ 108 whereas Sri Lankan Average IQ is 79.

      National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

      http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

    • 0
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      what Singapore did not do is to
      – Emulate Sri Lanka

  • 5
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    If Sri Lanka is to learn from Singapore, let it learn the lessons from when it was growing during the 70s and 80s.

    Some features of that government were the strong and effective laws in protection of people’s life, liberties and properties, and a low corruption public service. Also important was the laissez faire attitude towards business and the economy. With a few exceptions like public infrastructure, education and housing, the government did little to be involved in the people’s affairs. Singapore’s wealth therefore grew primarily through the enterprising actions of its people – the government merely provided the security and framework for them to do the best they can given the adverse circumstances of geography and natural resources.

    Since that time Singapore is now in a state of steady decline in wealth and quality of life for its people. The causes for this is the increasing heavy handedness of government in attempting to distort the economy to what it feels is best for its future. Two of these distortions being as follows:

    1. The forcible adjustment of the economy away from a manufacturing and engineering based economy to one that is financial based and tourist oriented.

    2. The continued devaluation of the SGD in terms of other currencies so that the nation can stay viable as an export nation. The fact that the currency is fiat and not based on any commodity is also an issue.

    In addition some of those old social programs of housing and education and new ones such as deposits insurance, medical insurance and so on, have now come back to cause problems in terms of wastage, corruption, and asset bubbles – as all social programs are wont to do eventually.

    The lesson for Sri Lanka should be, as proposed in Bastiat’s famous essay “The Law”, to have a small government that leaves its economy alone and does nothing except provide legal protections for the life, liberty and properties of its citizens. These were the characteristics of early Singapore that grew and gained wealth and power. Unfortunately it is no longer the case!

    • 3
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      Rizwan, ‘Singapore is now in a state of steady decline….’. The extent to which you have gone to argue the above is inappropriate to the essence of this article. Furthermore, it is not true.

      What Lee Kwan Yew did to Singapore was appropriate to that small island when it got separated from Malaya. Except for Malays,about 15% of the population, the rest were immigrants mainly from China and some from India. Not everything what he did or what Singapore practised, is appropriate other countries including Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka should not imitate Singapore, but could learn from Singapore.

      Prime Minister LKY’s National Day speeches were televised live. During his speeches in 1980’s he used to take Sri Lanka as an example of what Singapore ‘should not do’. e.g., Sinhala only., Switching education from English to native language, using language and religion to win elections etc.

      Singapore has developed so fast that its standard has reached the levels of other developed countries. The rate of growth cannot go on like that for ever. It has reached its saturation level. This cannot be described as ‘steady decline’ as Rizwan describes. Look at China in recent weeks.

      • 2
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        The purpose of my comment is to point out that the Singapore government model cannot be considered to have remained all the same throughout its history. It has changed with the times and this not necessarily for the better. If Sri Lanka is to learn it must distinguish between the then and now.

        • 8
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          Singapore is a small country with no natural resources. What LKY had done, worked for Singapore. This is widely claimed throughout the world as a success story. The Singapore model will not be applicable to other countries. Sri Lanka, lying in the same region as Singapore, with similar colonial past has often been advised to look up to Singapore. Other major reasons: Education in English with mother tongue as second language; racial harmony amongst different communities; eliminating corruption in governance etc.

          Far too many Sri Lankan writers want Sri Lanka to look up to Singapore. Not many in Singapore advice its Government to look up to someone else or some other country. The reason: Singapore is well governed.

          This CT site is a typical example of the amount of Sri Lankans wanting to give advice on how to run Sri Lanka.

          Unfortunately, Sri Lanka had started to go in the wrong direction since 1956 when one of your ‘educated’ leader, wanting to gain political power with his ‘Sinhala in 24 hours’. Since then gaining political clout by any means is the aim of all politicians. It has now worsened with most politicians being either thugs or drug dealers. Majority of the present parliamentarians are there to make money for themselves. There is no room for someone like LKY, who wants to make the country a success. If one emerges he would be either kidnapped or killed.

          I am sorry for your country. Keep writing.

          • 1
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            You have missed my point.

            You keep reiterating LKY’s contribution to Singapore. Yet Singapore’s growth is not because LKY did things, but rather that he did NOT do things.

            In the main what he did NOT do is interfere with the economy. Rather he left it to the free market, and the people, having been given this freedom, utilized it to maximum effect and grew the economy.

            LKY had the vision to leave a nation alone to grow as it can in the best way. He allowed each individual to strive and gain through his or her unique circumstances. He did not force any sort of economic vision down the throats of anyone.

            To say that LKY’s government grew the economy is a popular idea and the media harp on it to no end, but it is also fundamentally wrong! Singapore’s growth was driven by its people with the freedom that was provided and laws that allowed such freedom to take place.

            For Sri Lanka I would wish that laws are put in place to allow the same type of freedoms. This is a far cry from your statement of CT commenters giving advice on how to run Sri Lanka. It is my wish that Sri Lanka NOT be run by any single individual or group of individuals, but to push on its own steam by means of its people.

            As for Singapore now the economy is in shambles and the embers are dying. Nice infrastructure and tall buildings do not make a healthy economy. Protectionism and Socialism has invaded Singapore in all forms. Asset bubbles and financial mismanagement is everywhere. The nation has massive debt. The education system is out of sync with reality. The SGD is getting weaker. The country just avoided a technical recession. The average man on the street is unhappy. First world nation no more IMO.

            • 2
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              I have not missed your point.

              You seem intent on distorting facts about Singapore when these are freely available on the internet. You also seem to have some personal grievance against LKY. He is acknowledged by the world as the founding father of a successful Singapore.

              And about your statement on ‘SGD is getting weaker’ please visit http://www.ukforex.co.uk to obtain historical rates for currency comparisons since 1990. I have just checked up yearly averages of SGD against USD and against GBP.
              1USD to SGD: 1990-1.78; 1995-1.58; 2000-1.51; 2005-1.82; 2010-1.54;2015-1.52;2016-1.45(current). From my memory 1USD was 2.40SGD in 1980.

              1GBP to SGD: 1990-3.22; 1995-2.23; 2000-2.61; 2005-3.02; 2010-2.11;2015-2.10; 2016-2.08(current). From memory 1GPB was 6SGD during 1970’s.

              You could see SGD has continued to rise against both USD and GBP over these 15 years.

              Please also read current Forbes country profile on Singapore copied here:

              Singapore has a highly developed and successful free-market economy. It enjoys a remarkably open and corruption-free environment, stable prices, and a per capita GDP higher than that of most developed countries. Unemployment is very low. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly of consumer electronics, information technology products, medical and optical devices, pharmaceuticals, and on its vibrant transportation, business, and financial services sectors. The economy contracted 0.6% in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, but has continued to grow since 2010 on the strength of renewed exports. Growth in 2014 was slower at 2.9%, largely a result of soft demand for exports amid a sluggish global economy and weak growth in Singapore’s manufacturing sector. The government is attempting to restructure Singapore’s economy by weaning its dependence on foreign labor, addressing weak productivity, and increasing Singaporean wages. Singapore has attracted major investments in pharmaceuticals and medical technology production and will continue efforts to strengthen its position as Southeast Asia’s leading financial and high-tech hub. Singapore is a member of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations with the nine other ASEAN members plus Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, and in 2015, Singapore will form, with the other ASEAN members, the ASEAN Economic Community.

              I trust you will learn the real facts about Singapore by further reading.

              • 0
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                LOL. Have you even read my comment?

                You say I have some personal grievance against LKY. Pray tell, WHERE have I expressed ANY grievance against LKY?

                You call yourself Singaporean yet it seems like most of your talk is from text books and a google search. The only genuine statement you have made seems to be: “The government is attempting to restructure Singapore’s economy by weaning its dependence on foreign labor, addressing weak productivity, and increasing Singaporean wages.”

                We can debate to no end the good and bad policies. However as a person who actually LIVES in Singapore I can see the ground situation and can comment on it. I wonder if you actually LIVE in Singapore. Do you?

                • 2
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                  That explains. You LIVE here hah! You and I should not be in this CT forum with our day to day problems in Singapore.

                  Many who live here always complains, like most Singapore taxi drivers. He comes up with such talks as soon as he picks up a fare.

                  In recent years costs have gone up; large foreign labour had created resentment amongst locals. Indian and Sri Lankan traders who usually filled up airlines departing to Singapore during the 1970 – 1990 period are no longer looking at Singapore to buy merchandise.

                  We always recommend that once you retire from working in Singapore take your savings and CPF money and go elsewhere. Many depart to countries like Australia and New Zealand where the Singapore savings would buy more.

                  So Rizwan, if are LIVING in Singapore without working for a living, please move out and go to Sri Lanka. But if you have to live here please write to the Forum pages in Straits Times for the Govt to take corrective measures. They are receptive to good ideas.

                  Recently, the Govt. undertook some severe cooling measures on private property sales as they were rocketing due to foreigners buying up. That, by the way, reflects the confidence in the minds of rich foreigners in Singapore. These measures brought down the prices in the last couple of years. I hope you did not buy a property in the last four or five years and regretting.

                  This forum is inappropriate for your personal grievances about Singapore. This forum/discussion is for Sri Lankans and their authorities to look at Singapore and benefit from their experiences.

                  • 0
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                    I am not making personal grievances. Economics is a deep interest of mine. Based on my understanding Singapore is on the brink of massive and utter financial collapse leading to existing problems worsening ten fold.

                    However aside from this bleak future, the problems in society are already quite bad. Job losses and shrinking of the real economy is happening at a tremendous pace. The tallest building in Singapore may have just been built in Tanjong Pagar, but occupancy will be quite bad.

                    The fundamental problem is the following of Keynesian socialist thought. The idea that the economy must be managed is a false one. You have mentioned cooling measures for housing. Have you considered why house prices arose in the first place? Here’s a hint: it was the government.

                    LKY’s policies grew Singapore because he distinctly avoided (as much as he could) Keynesian socialist thinking opting rather for free market capitalist policies. The present government is the complete opposite – they have built the welfare state to huge proportions, and this will be Singapore’s downfall.

                    Sri Lanka must distinguish between the two. My message is that simple.

                  • 0
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                    Further to my last comment. I wish to clarify what I said about housing. Housing prices climbed. The government was at fault. However it was the unintended consequence of well meaning policies.

                    Furthermore writing about these issues have not historically yielded good results. Search for Jesse Colombo’s (of Forbes) article on Singapore housing (circa 2013) and MAS replies on the same. Denial is what pervades the Singapore government.

                    Also my advice would be that the government privatize housing, privatize education, privatize healthcare. Most locals would disagree – they have become too addicted to the idea that the government must provide. You would likely disagree with me too.

                    But the right medicine is not popular and so, as this government is trying to do as best at it can at elections, is unlikely to be implemented.

                    • 1
                      0

                      So you have the solutions for Singapore’s economic ills. As I have said before this forum is inappropriate to discuss your economic advice to Singapore Govt. Please put your ideas to Singapore Govt.

                      I hope Singapore Govt. will offer a good hearing to your ideas. As you probably know the Govt. hunts for good brains to give top positions in decision making. One never know.

                      In the mean time don’t burden Sri Lankans who are the visitors to CT site, with your advice to Singapore.

  • 5
    3

    The lesson we should learn from Singapore is that after running the country with a tight fist with no room for an opposition party, Lee Kwan Yew handed over the country to his Son.

    • 3
      2

      Singapore is an elitist meritocracy. LKY and the people around him were comfotable with his son succeeding him because he “graduated [from Cambridge] in 1974 with first class honours in mathematics and a diploma in computer science (with distinction). In 1980, he completed a Master of Public Administration at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.”

      If LKY’s sons were dunces like the clown princes he would have told them to get lost. And look at the backgrounds of the current cabinet https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CJN_7O9UwAI0XqW.jpg

      If Sri Lanka should adopt other countries models let us take the good and the bad. If we want a single powerful ruler, then let us get one who promotes the best and the brightest. Not one who appoints his ex-planter, o-level qualified BIL to run the national airline.

      • 2
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        Yes Nishan:-

        What Qualifications or Attributes do our Crown Princes Have to take over the running of a Country?

    • 3
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      Patriot, you are not talking about MR are you, over the previous ten years?

      MR failed but LKY succeeded.

      What LKY did was appropriate to Singapore at that period. The only intention was the welfare of the country and its people. He had often said that the western style of democracy does not suit Singapore. He had his own style of democracy that ‘worked’ for Singapore.

      • 0
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        “He had his own style of democracy that ‘worked’ for Singapore.”

        which, if memory serves, included throwing his political opponents in Jail so that they would not stand in his way

        • 2
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          Yes, if he found that their ‘political intensions’ were to de-stabilise the country.

          His ‘style of democracy’ had served well for the country and people at large. He often said that most other countries in SE Asia fall for Western style of democracy as ducks to water, not realising that it only suited highly civilised countries in the west.

          • 0
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            @Singaporean

            By your response, I am assuming you are OK with having an authoritarian regime, provided it leads to reasonable economic growth ?

            Singaporeans are famously supposed to be among the most miserable in the world despite their economic prowess etc. Is it worth it ? Have they lost something along the way or is it only the Bottom Line that matters ?

            As an aside I would take issue with your term “highly civilised countries in the west.” – non-Western countries had high civilisations at the time the inhabitants of “highly civilised countries in the west.” were painting their faces and bottoms blue and were bonking each other over the head with stone axes.

            They became “highly civilised countries in the west” because they perfected and became very skilled at the art of applying organized violence to any situation they encountered. This is still true today as you can see – the first reaction to any problem is to drop bombs on it !

            • 2
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              maalumiris

              “were painting their faces and bottoms blue and were bonking each other over the head with stone axes. “

              Come on as recently as in 2009 VP was bonked on his head with an axe. I was told that the high ranking officer who hacked VP to death boasted to his friends how he applied VP’s blood on his head and face.

              And the commandos on both sides applied black paint on their faces when they went on their killing mission.

              Please refer to THE HISTORY OF TORTURE IN ANCIENT SRI LANKA by UCP PERERA which will enlighten you with how creative were the ancestors in administering torture and murder.

              • 0
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                @Native Vedda

                Thank you

                However, I am referring to “Singapore” Not VP + “High Cultures of the West”

                I really dont want to make EVERY topic in the world about Sinhala-Tamil-VP-MR

  • 3
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    Nishthar Idroos:-

    Everything that you have said is true. Except that the Majority in Singapore are Chinese, who are willing to be Disciplined! That is a characteristic of the Chinese.

    The minorities of Malays, Indians and Tamils had no option but to fall in line with the ‘Benevolent Dictator’ LKY, who had one goal in view; The Development of Singapore! He set an example of Honesty and Hard Work, which was an Inspiration for others to follow.

    Can you imagine the difficulties Sri Lanka will face if the Government tries to Discipline the Sinhalese?

    • 1
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      Hamlet

      Singaporeans and Lee Kuan Yew has to be very grateful to the first Prime Minister of Federation of Malaysia (Negri Sembilan) Late Tuanku Abdul Rahman the great Statement. When Lee Kuan Yew asked for a cessation from the Federation of Malaysia the Late Prime Minister Tuanku Abdul Rahman did not hesitate, by that decision Malaysia as well as Singapore developed in every field exceeding the expectations had the late Prime Minister declined the request the result would have been Chaos.

  • 1
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    Unfortunately, we can never be another Singapore until corruption, nepotism, and greed, by Sri Lankans top to bottom are halted. Everyone seems to be holding out their palms, to do the job they are paid, and expected to do. No one does anything for nothing anymore. The previous regime paved the way for commissions and bribery, and you will find the same bad behavior in all ranks. It is sad that a great country like ours, with so much beauty, potential, and educated people, cannot get out of this rut. Lee Kuan Yew was able to eradicate corruption, but no Sri Lankan leader can, because most probably they are corrupt too.

    Sri Lankans must first change their attitude, only then will this country be a nation we can be proud of.

    • 1
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      Manel;
      All the people who did “anything for nothing anymore” have left the Country in Disgust.

  • 2
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    One of the reasons Singapore progressed well in the 1970s and 1980s was LKY & his team was firm and made sure those who wants to come into politics do not hide behind any religion.That policy still continues.

    Look at Sri Lanka, after Jan 8th 2015 and after the GE 2015, some politicians are using religious places for their political propoganda with the aim of coming back to power at any cost.Future of the country is not important to them.

  • 2
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    In the good Old Ceylon and good old Malaya in the fifties administration was flawless and was carried out by Ceylonese in almost all the Departments including the Navy and Air force. Tungu Abdul Rahman was selfless and was able to do the right by dividing the Administration for the good of the Country. He was aware of the resources of Singapore and diverted resources from Malaya for the development of Singapore. Both Lee Kwan Yew and Tuangu Abdul Rahman never had any bad feelings for those worked under the British Administration in their respective Countries. They therefore developed from a good foundation and did what is good for development. Where as what happened in the good old Ceylon is well reflected in the History of new Sri Lanka! What you reap is nothing different from what you sew! It is not strange for people to compare the benefits reaped by neighboring countries as example and as a role model. When Tuangu Abdul Rahman contested for Premiership he promised the people to develop Malaya like Ceylon if they voted for him. Similarly Lee Kwan Yew too promised Singaporeans he will develop Singapore like Ceylon if they voted for him. And both the leaders did more than they promised the people. They were Leaders for their Countries and felt responsible of the promises they made.

  • 0
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    I am now a Singaporean migrated from Sri Lanka forty years ago and now retired for the last 11 years moving with common people,in the market, hawker centers and buses.I have read the negative comments about singapore and pl allow me of my thought.In Singapore every things works effectively.You land at the airport and you are out of the airport in fifteen minutes even clearing customs and immigration.The people are honest and hard working which can be seen by an eighty year old Chinese lady still collecting used boxes and refuses the money if any body gives her.
    Honesty ,integrity and justice every where and if U leave a dollar coin or fifty cts at the eating stall, the old lady will chase after you and return it.Singapore ,will survive, because it has the brightest people every where which can be seen by world class contest on mathematics,science and robots and the incorruptible Govt. Standards set by LKY.
    Singapore has the best education system,best airport and best port and fore most best people and hence it will survive.Even LKY said that Singapore will survive 100 years if there is no corruption.Singaporeans are knowledgeable and educated enough to ensure that.

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