Lee Kuan Yew: What, me worry?

Singapore’s King Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew wants to assure everybody there’s no cause for alarm and that, although all the jobs are going to China and India, things will be rosy again:

In two, three years, if we make the right decisions now, we will see sunshine through the clouds.


Let me assure you that the ministers have thoroughly studied all the options and know that the best approach is to meet the challenge head-on, even if this calls for painful measures. They know what they are doing.

As always here, it is the ministers, the government, that will take care of it. This isn’t criticism, but an acknowedgement — it’s just the way things are done here, and as I’ve said before, it’s worked amazingly well, at least so far.

Lee didn’t make any reckless promises, and he made it clear that there will be periods of reduced wages and fewer jobs, but that there will also be light at the end of the tunnel. And the government, of course, will be holding the flashlight.

As a relative newcomer, I still marvel at how everyone’s fate is in the hands of the government, and at how happy the citizens are to have it that way. It’s worked so far, so why shouldn’t they be? It’s just such a far cry from Hong Kong where, at least when I was living there, no one cared much at all about the government and wanted it to be as laissez faire as possible. An interesting and dramatic contrast.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

Think of it this way: what *can* we do? The few dissenters who dared make noise (or a whisper, rather) have been jailed, exiled, or made bankrupt. For the majority of us, the general feeling is “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. Property ownership in Singapore is one of the highest in the world, taxes have been kept low for decades, crime rate has been… wait, what crime rate?

Yeah… It has been pretty smooth sailing……

Challenge for the government is to keep Singaporeans happy even when the economy takes a beating, and hey, so far so good.

[Really, and despite all those strict censorship laws we still manage to get our hands on porn. What’s there to complain? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ]

July 24, 2003 @ 9:45 am | Comment

Where do you get the porn? ๐Ÿ™‚

July 24, 2003 @ 10:05 am | Comment

Malasyia and Kazaa!

July 24, 2003 @ 10:58 am | Comment

Thanks, I’ll make a note of that!

July 24, 2003 @ 1:13 pm | Comment

Censorship here is infuriating – thankfully, the government has chosen to take a light hand in regulating the internet.

The authorities symbolically block access to certain websites (i.e. Playboy.com) but other sites are wide open. Discussions about current topics also take place on a wide range of online forums (Sam’s Kopi Tiam at http://www.sammyboy.com)

Ben above has mentioned Kazaa – with unlimited broadband access (approx. S$70/mth) you can leave your pc on all the time and download all the pr0n you want as well as tv shows and movies that aren’t shown here (e.g. Sex and the City is a big favorite of my fiance.)

If you want VCDs or DVDs, you can also cross the causeway to Johor where you can get pretty much anything you want.

July 24, 2003 @ 2:13 pm | Comment

Well, my idea is you can’t stand it here, move out. You want to change the world or country? – anyone heard of ISA and stuff.

Basically, the economy is in shits, jobs are getting scarce and I can’t speak any mandarin and first thing I hear is “Ke yi jian hua yi?”

Someone get me a H1-B visa, I’m getting out of here the moment I can.


Slowly improving my english.

July 24, 2003 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

After reading Lee Kwan Yew’s autobio, I got the impression that he’d turned Singapore into the world’s first successful socialist country. Partly by minimizing the class antagonism aspects, and taking advantage of some Confucian elements in society.

He seemed to think of himself as a socialist, at least in his youth.

Or maybe that’s a naive point of view. I’ve never lived there, don’t know.

July 25, 2003 @ 2:13 am | Comment

This country is a nice place to live, work and play but no FUND.

August 19, 2003 @ 3:35 pm | Comment

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