HALF A CENTURY ago when Singapore was granted its independence in 1965, no one could have predicted accurately that today-

It would be - ranked as the third-most competitive economy by the World Economic Forum and termed as a high-income economy with superior infrastructure and exemplary law and order.

Without any natural resources, small members of new immigrants and with a non-existent manufacturing sector at the time, the country's first prime minister, late Lee Kuan Yew, is credited with -

Deploying tactics and strategies to achieve this amazing transformation ''From Third World to First'' according to his memoirs.

After independence, a large number of its three million population was left unemployed as they were mainly employed by the military under the British colonialism.

Moreover, more than two-thirds of its people were living in slums,. There was poor sanitation, inadequate water, no natural resources and improper infrastructure.

In the wake of all these problems, Lee tried to seek help from international donors, but this produced no results, leaving no choice but to take charge of their problems themselves.

For Singapore, to grow it required industrialisation, and labour intensive industries.

However, it was not possible as Singapore had no history of being industry dependent and most of their population was employed in trade and services.

Looking at this, Lee decided to take advantage of the growing globalisation and actively pursued trade well beyond its neighboring countries.

The plan was to attract multinational companies and investors from around the world and especially the West to manufacture in Singapore.

To make the economy more attractive for the future investors, Singapore had to provide a safe, secure and politically stable environment along with a powerful infrastructure, low taxes, and a corruption free government.

This was achieved by deploying an autocratic strategy, involving and implementing drastic measures by the government.

The law was harsh, which led to corrupt or narcotic dealers receiving the death penalty.

Any individuals or groups which posed a hazard to the economy were immediately jailed without any delays, and  labour-unions were repressed and combined under the group called the  National Trade union Congress [NTUC].

All of these harsh investor friendly laws provided a safe haven for the businesses and combined with its accessible location and an already established port system from the colonial times, the economy already had the edge over its neighboring countries.

All of these measures led to the remarkable annual growth of about 13 percent of the GDP by 1972.

The Operational Publishing continues to Part 2. And !WOW! thanks author Umaima Imran.


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!