Lee Kuan Yew contribution in making Singapore democracy what it is today is immense and there cannot be another say about it. He served Singapore for 31 years as PM and after a painful separation from Malaysia made it the country recognised by the world. Singapore became independent from UK in 1963 and united with recently freed Malaysia, but after 2 years Singapore got separated from Malaysia. It gave absolute autonomy and fast policy taking spirit to Singapore.
What happened with Singapore Democracy?
Managed democracy model, and no Coalition government which ultimately led to take difficult but decisive steps.
No tolerance for corruption: Lee Kuan Yew practically eradicated the corruption and no one was left, even some of the ministers were given the severe punishments.
No tolerance to corruption which ultimately led to Leakage free benefits transfer and low health burden.
Promoting the PPP model, various tax concession and favourable environment for Business.
Workforce: There were no freebies, everything was based on productivity linked. Provident Fund systems assure that post-retirement life is peaceful.
Singapore’s National Trades Union Congress is a perfect example of Tripartism – tackling the challenges by forging common goals for employers, workers and government.
Strong Economic policies: There were strong economic policies followed with controlling inflation and which focussed on skill development and productivity growth which helped in competitiveness.
Internal Security: Security was another field which was given significant focus.
Education: Good schools in addition to good teachers to make the foundation for better higher education was done.
Infrastructure, excellent infrastructure, a work culture that discourages more talk and less work, a no free lunch philosophy.
Ideology was altogether different from other nation. Believed in ” If this ideology works we will take it, then replicate it, if it doesn’t we will follow something else.” This Quick and agile, swift decision making in processes caused Red carpet and no Red tapism.
Promoting public transport by high fuel prices [artificial] modern transport infra which gave employment and lowered the emissions too. Also used congestion charge, fuel charge and private vehicle charge to fund the public infra/rail/metros. Thus such money followed the golden rule of investment rather expenditure of consumption
Post WW2 many 3rd world went under 2 blocks and mostly under Soviet block. While Singapore allied with the US, which gave way to investment inflows, technology transfer etc
Respect for individual freedom to pursue one’s religion on the understating that politics should be kept far away from religious discourse.
Singapore is a modern city-state island nation comprising of 60+ islets giving natural deep water harbour. Such natural harbour made it the busiest port of the world. More Production led to more exports.
High FDI, highly monitored financial flow, strict laws for labour and union to suppress strikes led to fast progress.
In sum it wasn’t the resources which helped to build Singapore, it was the will of a leader which resourced all. All this helped in making this transformation possible for Singapore and other countries should also learn from it. Singapore has achieved the developed nation status in the shortest time period through streamlined policy and strict regime. Though there are many dissents and opinions toward oppressive violation of free press mandates of WTO and UNHRC, the progress of Singapore has dwarfed all.