How does an island country with limited natural resources, almost 5 million people and a land area of only 247 square miles thrive when the rest of the world is in economic crisis?
It’s easy to see upon arrival that Singapore is a prosperous, modern and clean country with one of the world’s highest standards of living.
They host one of the best public MRT transport systems in the world. Their banking system has emerged from the global financial crisis as one of the Top 4 in the world . Globally, they have one of the top airlines. Their education system from Kindergarten to Post-Graduate ranks among the best in the world. They are generally acknowledged as having one of the most successful healthcare systems in the world, in terms of both efficiency in financing and the results achieved in community health outcomes. And the list goes on.
Administering a country can be likened to managing a corporate entity. If the management is effective, dedicated and know what they are doing, the company will prosper. The reverse will happen if management has poor leadership skills, lack of vision and discipline. The company will falter.
Singapore is run like a fine-tuned machine. Making it not only a profitable model for businesses in the financial sense but also a prosperous country for many to live.
A Corporate Model of Effectiveness with Good Governance
With steady GDP growth, and unemployment under 2% what makes Singapore’s model so effective?
Singapore’s Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, who is Modern Singapore ‘s founding father, has been noted as being a tough and uncompromising pragmatist who simply wanted to bring development and welfare to the Singaporeans. His plea was to do everything based on national interest first. He wanted Singapore to be efficient and to be the best in the region.Thus his goal was to eliminate all the elements like corruption, lackadaisical attitude towards work and putting self first and place top priority in its pursuit to achieve what is best for its people.
This seems to be the major difference between this county and many around the world. Putting the best interest of the people first. Simple yet effective.
The foundations of economic freedom in Singapore are firmly sustained with strong protection of rights and effective enforcement of anti-corruption laws. Their government is extremely efficient not only with competitive tax rates and but also with low government expenditures. The regulatory environment is flexible and transparent, encouraging vibrant commercial activity. There’s a strong tradition of openness to global trade. Investment continues to boost productivity while facilitating the emergence of a more dynamic and competitive financial sector.
With the diverse population of Singapore, consisting mainly of Chinese, Malay and Indians, there isn’t one single dominant national identity. Yet Singapore’s strong leadership has brought development and growth to its citizens allowing them to draw on their own traditions and considering them integral parts of the diverse society of Singapore.
Singapore is far from perfect. But by setting high standards, having strong leadership and putting the best interests of their people first Singapore has become the prominent leader in the world. Many naysayers passed on this small island country. They said Singapore would never survive let alone thrive on its own. Especially with limited resources. But they forgot the most important resource of all – it’s people.
A Inside look at what Life is like in Singapore
Check out Rick Macomber’s fabulously shot short film which captures the daily idiosyncrasies of living in Singapore, filmed with his DSLR and his VideoMic Pro from Rode.