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Monday, April 1, 2024

Singapore Success Story

Singapore - A Success Story

I have made two quick visits to Singapore (Lion City) in my business career and my interest in this remarkable tiny city state has been revived after watching a documentary presented by former MP, Michael Portillo. It makes a change to talk about something positive - and Singapore most certainly is - a remarkable transformation from a swampland to one of the wealthiest countries in the world in a relatively short period of time.

The facts go like this:

Sir Stamford Raffles established Singapore as a trading post of the British Empire
Singapore falls to Japanese occupation - Winston Churchill called the defeat "the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history". Tens of thousands were slaughtered.
Japanese surrender and the rebuilding of Singapore commences
Singapore becomes independent under Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew following a brief spell as part of Malaysia
Population almost 6 million
GDP per capita $87,884 - 5th highest in the world
HDI value of 0.935 - 9th in the world (Human Development Index - UK is 15, USA 20, France 28)
Largely democratic

Portillo visited the Port of Singapore, currently the second busiest port in the world. Work is underway to double it's size. The new fully automated Tuas Mega Port will be extended onto reclaimed land and will free up other land to be used for other purposes.

Raffles Hotel in Singapore

The famous Singapore Sling cocktail in the Long Bar

Today many people associate the name Raffles with the luxurious Raffles hotel. I popped in there on one of my visits and of course ordered a Singapore Sling cocktail at the Long Bar! My daily commute to school in Mill Hill as a child took me past Highwood House where Raffles and his wife lived in their later years.

Highwood House today - divided into flats and with a Raffles blue plaque 

Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), was the first Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. He is widely recognised as the founding father of the modern Singaporean state, and for his leadership in turning it into a highly developed country.

LKY in 2005

Quote for the Month

"It's not who votes that counts, it's who counts the votes" 
Vladimir Putin wins another term on March 18th 2024 with '87%' of the votes.

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