Wonderful World

Singapore. Secrets of Success

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in this aerial photograph taken over New York, U.S., on Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

On the Internet, you can often see pictures of the countries “before” and “after” implementation of various reforms. You cannot talk about the states that made a significant leap in their development without mentioning Singapore.

Its example clearly demonstrates the transition from a colony state to a highly developed country with a strong economy and living principles.

Changes became possible due to the appearance of a wise manager in the political arena of Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. His active work for the good of the homeland began in 1965, immediately after the city-state emerged from the “wing” of the British Empire and set out on its own path.

Independence made Singaporeans think about finding their own place in the international arena. However, this issue caused a lot of difficulties: nature has deprived the country of resources so much that even water for citizens has to be imported. Resigned to such a state of things, Lee Kuan Yew built his own development strategy based on three key elements.

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First of all, he started promoting such a trendy concept nowadays, “globalization”. Lee Kuan Yew allowed various transnational corporations to operate in Singapore. This way he drew the attention of leading companies to the potential of the state, and also established sales channels for products, manufacturing which became possible due to rapid technical advances.

Particular attention was paid to the formation of an effective, incorruptible and competent administrative apparatus in the area of finances. Although this reform brought a lot of criticism from the capitalist West due to excessive restrictions, it brought significant benefits at the stage of improving the lives of citizens.

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For example, domestic saving accounts, profitable both for the state as a whole and for each individual citizen, became very popular. There is a Central Savings Fund in the country, where 20 percent of each citizen’s earnings are transferred every month. The employer transfer the same amount to the account as well. As a result, all forty 40 percent deposits have a tidy sum by fifty-five birthday of a Singaporean.

When retiring, they can withdraw a third of the money to purchase their own housing. The fourth part is left for health-related emergencies. And by the way, the population here is considered as the healthiest in the world due to the introduction of compulsory insurance and promotion of a healthy lifestyle. The Singaporeans have running groups in national parks in the evenings. The tropical park Gardens by the Bay in Singapore will impress you with its futuristic landscapes. 18 giant, 25-50 m high “trees” turn into a luminous forest after dark. Innovative park has tree crowns twined with flowers and greens made of iron rods and illuminated with coloured lights.

The third powerful pillar that supports the success of Singapore is the beach nourishment programme. For the purpose of mapping out and reclamation of the land, huge housing estates with multi-storey houses sprung up on the seashore. Their construction is one of the elements of the housing and communal reform of the state. To date, 90 percent of the country’s citizens have moved to high-rises, of which 80 percent have become happy owners of comfortable apartments like this.

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Urbanization of Singapore is managed by the Housing and Development Board.

It includes only twelve thousand workers engaged in the construction and distribution of housing, servicing apartments, etc.

In fact, during the 43 years of independence, about 800,000 apartments were constructed and commissioned in Singapore. This tendency to sprawl has played into the hands of those wishing to work in the hotel business. After all, Singapore is visited by a huge number of tourists. Therefore, there is an urgent need to build hotel buildings to replenish the country’s budget, promote the state, create new jobs and provide opportunities for citizens to work and earn money.

Today, one of the “four small Asian dragons” has one of the highest GDP per capita in the world, manufactures electronics, as well as makes considerable investments into shipping and construction.

Such an “economic miracle” was made possible thanks to one wise man, Lee Kuan Yew, who never tired of repeating, “The crucial thing is: do not be afraid to innovate.” The leader of the state with forty years of experience died on 23 March 2015. After him, the leadership was taken by his son, Lee Hsien Loong. He masterfully supports the image of the state created by the father, while bringing his own ideas to its development processes.