What makes Singapore different?

Whenever I visit Singapore, where I have relatives and many friends, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I am amazed by the growth, advancement and the hygiene that this tiny nation-state has achieved; yet on the other hand, it makes me think how long can this wonder last, when will the other nations copy what they do?

Asking this question to himself, the Singapore Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong in this interview for National Geographic Magazine (08.18 issue) answers it eloquently as below:

There are any number of cities in Asia which have three or four million people in them; probably dozens, many dozens. Why are we different? It’s because of the way we have been able to make our people work together and to make the system work, it doesn’t mean we’re smarter than other people, I think we work as hard as others but we work together more effectively and so you produce something special.

In the above, the key phrase was “work together”, in other words, it is the “networking”. Even more impressive for me was this statement that he adds:

We only have four subjects – English, Mother Tongue, maths and science. We take STEM very seriously.

In my view, the main reason why Singapore continues to succeed is the investment the Government there as a whole makes on thinking about the future – the risks and the rewards, then preparing a plan for it and lastly (the most important) executing that vision meticulously.  The world needs a microcosm like Singapore to be a role model for other nations to learn from and emulate.

Long live, Singapore!

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