If Churchill was right in his judgment that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others, what about Singapore? Thus Lee Kuan Yew leaves students and practitioners of government with a challenge. All of this has made me think about the impact of ourselves and our executives in leading the organizations and corporations that we are part of. ‘I Never Thought China Could Ever Be This Dark’. And in 2012, less than 1 percent of Singaporeans reported that they struggled to afford food or shelter, by far the lowest percentage in the world. It is based on interviews with Mr. Lee by the authors—Graham Allison, a professor of government at Harvard's Kennedy School, and Robert Blackwill, a former U.S. diplomat—to which the authors add a distillation of Mr. Lee's speeches, writings and … In current dollars, the average Singaporean’s income grew from $500 a year in 1965 to $55,000 today. “Democracy is one way of getting the job done, but if non-electoral procedures are more conducive to the attainment of valued ends, then I’m against democracy. A leader who protects his country’s interests is not necessarily a tyrant. We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. In the Philippines, 23 out of every 1,000 children born die in infancy. Now, the Americans and their NATO friends claim they are introducing democracy in Libya. He lived through both the Japanese occupation in the 1940s and British colonial rule. It lost points mainly for Lee Kuan Yew’s People’s Action Party’s tight management of the political process. When he took over as Prime Minister, Singapore’s annual per capital income was $400; today it is estimated at $56,000. Subscribe here. In contrast to Lee’s strong sense of nationalism, India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was completely delusional. 53. Would it have been less prosperous? The death of the founding father of Singapore last Monday is an appropriate occasion to reflect on nation building. Thus Lee Kuan Yew leaves students and practitioners of government with a challenge. Singapore scored in the bottom half, behind South Korea and the Philippines. When democracy arrived in Russia after the collapse of communism in 1991, it was pretty much free for all. As the table above shows, over the past 50 years, real per-capita GDP in Singapore grew 12-fold. In … But in the case of Singapore, it is hard to deny that the nation Lee built has for five decades produced more wealth per capita, more health, and more security for ordinary citizens than any of his competitors. The number of families living below the poverty line decreased from 30 per cent in 2000 to 14 per cent in 2008. What matters is good government.” According to the Singapore strongman, the government’s primary duty is to create a “stable and orderly society” where “people are well cared for, their food, housing, employment, health”. Visionary, perhaps, but Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew was not democracy's friend. A citizen is 24 times more likely to be murdered in the United States than in Singapore. As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. Such a system may seem fair but in reality can create unfortunate outcomes. Let’s start with performance, since it is easiest to measure. In the 1950s, Lee Kuan Yew and his colleagues in the PAP outmaneuvered a violent Communist party to emerge victorious in the election of 1959. March 20, 2013 Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, attends the Standard Chartered Singapore Forum in Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015) was a remarkable and brilliant man. Real GDP per Capita by Country: 1965-2013. This is not a game of cards! During his long rule, Singapore became the most-prosperous country in Southeast Asia.. Lee was born into a Chinese family that had been established in Singapore since the 19th century. Singapore scores in the top 10 while the United States ranks 20 countries lower on the list, with the Philippines and Zimbabwe in the bottom third. And yet in the western view, “God was in his heaven and everything was right with the world.” The suffering of the Russian people didn’t matter to them. The IMF, which worked overtime to destroy Russia’s state-owned corporations and banks, admits that from 2000 to 2006, the Russian middle class grew from 8 million to 55 million. Lee’s believes the culprit is uncontrolled democracy. If Singapore had taken the democratic route, would it have been as chaotic as India? He imposed western democracy on a poor and divided country, causing chaos that slowed economic growth and caused numerous caste and religious conflicts. During Putin’s first stint in power (from 1999-2008), the Russian economy recorded an average growth of 7 per cent annually. … Opposition campaigns have typically been hamstrung by a ban on political films and television programs, the threat of libel suits, strict regulations on political associations, and the PAP’s influence on the media and the courts.”. The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was a lifelong admirer of the United States, but not an uncritical fan of the superpower, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday.. Read more at straitstimes.com. The West treats democracy as religion – so sacred that it will bomb countries into the stone age in order to sow the seeds of democracy in those places. "—Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of Brazil, 1995–2003 As for its healthcare services, Singapore’s infant-mortality rate has fallen from 27.3 deaths per 1,000 births in 1965 to only 2.2 in 2013. Lee Kuan Yew at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur in 2001. Around 2300 years ago, Chanakya, the original master of statecraft and policy and the mentor of the greatest empire in Indian history, wrote in the Arthashastra: “The foremost duty of a ruler is to keep his people happy and contented. This has happened most starkly in India where the Congress party ruled India for over five decades despite not getting the majority of the votes. Remembering Lee Kuan Yew: Iron Fist Rule That Made Singapore What It Is Today.. « on: April 17, 2016, 12:08:42 AM » Si Lee Kuan Yew ay kamay na bakal ang pina-iral, disiplina, strikto kaya umunlad ang Singapore, Ayaw mo bang umunlad? Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew had opinions on topics as diverse as nationalism to terrorism to his late wife. Many observers saw a contradiction between Singapore's free markets and its lack of democracy… Whatever the eulogists of Lee Kuan Yew told you about the Singapore he created or the Asia that seems resurgent, the praise of him says just as much about America. Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World forms a kind of last testament of the ailing, 89-year-old Mr. Lee. The economy, remote controlled by the IMF, was in free fall, without the bottom in sight. Indeed, because of the dramatic economic growth of Russia, China, Singapore and other South East Asian countries, authoritarian prosperity rather than democracy is now a viable governing option for developing countries. Earning your place in history … “A nation is great not by its size alone. Copyright: Swarajya. Freedom is the woman who can ride buses and trains alone; freedom is not having to avoid certain subway stations after night falls.” Lee Kuan Yew always insisted that the proof is in the pudding: rising incomes for the broad middle class, health, security, economic opportunity. Lee spoke against such imperfect election tools during an interview in 1999: “My view is that people’s preferences matter, but I don’t define the people’s preferences as merely the views of existing majorities. Swarajya - a big tent for liberal right of centre discourse that reaches out, engages and caters to the new India. The contrast between Singapore’s ranking in the first two categories, and the third, reminds us of a fundamental question of political philosophy: What is government for? It is yet another example of the rejection of western ideas by the emerging world. ‘The people’, as I see it, includes future generations, and governments have a special responsibility to resist popular pressure for tax breaks and welfare measures that undermine the prospects of future generations. On these criteria, how has Singapore performed over the course of its first five decades versus the United States; or the Philippines (which the U.S. has been tutoring in democracy-building for a century); or Zimbabwe (an African analogue that declared independence from the United Kingdom just a few years after Singapore, and where dictator Robert Mugabe has been as dominant a national force as Lee Kuan Yew has been in Singapore)? From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right. He has been cited in books on counter terrorism and society in the global south. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever. —Kishore Mahbubani, National University of Singapore, founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, author of Has the West Lost It? It is the will, the cohesion, the … Each year, the World Bank produces Governance Indicators metrics on government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, and control of corruption. Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister of Singapore, speaks during an interview at the Istana in Singapore in this December 9, 2008 file photo. How did Putin achieve that? In the US, western democracy could not prevent the theft of the 2000 Presidential elections where Al Gore got more votes than George W. Bush and still lost. As the Singapore Prime Minister was fond of saying, “I do not believe you can impose on other countries standards which are alien and totally disconnected with their past.” In his view, “to ask China to become a democracy, when in its 5,000 years of recorded history it never counted heads” was completely unreasonable. In Lee’s … I believe that what a country needs to develop is discipline more than democracy” were taken. Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Rakesh Krishnan Simha is a New Zealand-based journalist and writes on defence and foreign affairs for Russia Beyond the Headlines, a global media project of Moscow-based Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Our business model is you and your subscription. Instead of raising living standards, Nehru spent his time and energy on the chimera of world peace. Singapore's late leader governed undemocratically but effectively. Contemporary Western Europeans and Americans tend to answer that question by emphasizing political rights. History offers few examples of benevolent dictatorships that delivered the goods—or stayed benevolent for long. A decentralised system would have allowed more centres like Bangalore and Bombay to grow and prosper….India is a nation of unfulfilled greatness. He is on the advisory board of Europe-based Modern Diplomacy. Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore Political stability and social order were part of the attraction. In this book, Lee says in his no-nonsense style: “India has wasted decades in state planning and controls that have bogged it down in bureaucracy and corruption. All Rights Reserved. When comparing the United States and Singapore, it is important to note that Singapore was essentially catching up to America. SINGAPORE, March 23 — Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who died on Monday aged 91, was renowned for his sharp tongue, quick wit and controversial remarks. “Furthermore, populist democracy makes Indian policies less consistent, with regular changes in ruling parties.”, During a rally in 1980, Lee described what it took to transform a small, dirty colonial trading post into one of the wealthiest nations in the world: “Whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him, or give it up!

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