Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Singapore lesson

Strategy Page (in discussing anti-terrorism)  has a one paragraph summary on Singapore that is well worth pondering:
Singapore, in context; pop 5.5 mn, area 278 sq mi,
GDP/cap nom. US$ 56,300, sust. 9%/yr avg growth '60's - 90's
The city of Singapore was founded by the British in 1819, on what was then a thinly populated island at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. The British considered the local Malays rather too laid back and brought in thousands of Chinese and Indians to work the booming port city. Within six years, the population exploded from a few hundred, to over 10,000. By the 1820s Chinese were the most numerous ethnic group. They eventually came to dominate the rich port of Singapore, providing administrators as well as traders and laborers. The British kept the key jobs but otherwise ran a meritocracy. When Malaysia, which Singapore was a part of, became independent in 1963, many Chinese in Singapore openly opposed being ruled by the Malay majority. The Malays also resented the more entrepreneurial and economically successful Chinese. Although most Singapore residents wanted to be part of Malaysia, it didn't work out. In 1965, Malaysia basically expelled Singapore, which become a separate, mainly Chinese, country. Over the next three decades, the Singaporean economy grew an average of nine percent a year, and Singapore became the wealthiest, on a per-capita basis, nation in the region.
Food for thought. END