Stirrings in Singapore
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  • Anthony

    “Singapore is outgrowing the one party system….Change is unlikely to come quickly. Singaporeans are naturally and perhaps appropriately cautious about sudden moves in volatile region” – as with Singapore (Asia in general) WRM, Americans need to know more about entire geo-political stirrings as our influence, power, and economic interest are directly or indirectly effected by ongoing acclerated changes.

  • Scott

    I’ve seen Lee Kwan Yew interviewed by Charlie Rose a couple of times. While he is an impressive man, he is unapologetic about rejecting some freedoms we hold most dear, such as freedom of speech. (Yet Heritage ranks Singapore as the second freest country, behind only Hong Kong?)

    He defends restrictions on speech on the grounds that Singaporean society is ethnically diverse and composed mostly of Chinese, Malay, and Indians. He doesn’t want one ethnic group to offend the others, which would stoke racial tensions. It’s also why they force all three ethnic groups to live in the same communities/buildings and attend the same schools. The theory is that if they live, work and go to school together, they are more likely to respect each other and greater racial harmony will emerge. No ethnic ghettos will spring up.

    On the other hand, he wants Singapore to adopt an even more free market oriented economy. He rejects out of hand the Tom Friedman Utopian fantasy of state sponsored capitalism.

    He struck me as very aware that what he has built rests on a very fragile foundation and he worries about Singapore’s future once he’s gone.

  • A Canadian fan

    Prof. Mead,

    You have written extensively in your blog about the challenges to the “Blue Model” and what might replace it. The health care system in Singapore is one option that would be worth exploring for your readers. It is not perfect, but they seem to be able to achieve health and longevity comparable to North American and European standards with health care spending at under 5% of GDP.

    Changing routines and patterns of doing, so that you are able to do better with less, is the goal of all innovation. Understanding real-world alternative ways of achieving public policy goods is the first practical step to figuring out what will replace the Blue Model. Real examples from around the world (and not just the Canadian and European examples in the health care context) should be a bigger part of this discussion.

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