Obscure Western academic says Singapore is a model for the world

Prof. Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, was told to write “something nice about Singapore” in the Straits Times, so he searched long and hard to find a top, Western academic who might say that Singapore’s system is one of the best in the world. Although his search was unsuccessful, his August 9th article was ultimately published, and he made due by quoting one of his friends, Peter Schwartz, a former Philadelphia-area high school teacher whom he described as “one of the leading futurologists of the world.” While Singapore Donkey’s editors (in two months of searching) could not find any academic credentials for this Westerner beyond a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering, what is clear is that Mr. Schwartz has nice feelings about Singapore. According to the official Straits Times editorial policy, any Westerner who has something nice to say about Singapore should be quoted. Mr. Schwartz’s comment will, without doubt, leave Singaporean readers with a lasting and completely accurate portrayal of Western sentiments towards Singapore (as published): “So the model around the world is increasingly Singapore, not the United States. Go learn from Singapore.”

5 Responses to Obscure Western academic says Singapore is a model for the world

  1. expatbrian says:

    Interesting article. I am new to your blog but get a feel that your not too sure that Singapore is “all it could be”. I’m an American, lived there for 54 years and here for 4. I’m not sure that Singapore has the best political structure in the world, but I am sure they are way ahead of the US. The US government is corrupt from the president, who was fraudulently elected, to the congress, who are more concerned with collecting lobbyists dollars than saviing lives. That government operates (and always has) on the assumption that Americans are the greatest people on earth, are smarter than everyone else, and the world should automatically bow down to them. Americans are an arrogant people and everyone in the world knows it except the Americans.

    As its credit based economy crumbles and the American people become desperate to maintain their ultra consumeristic way of life, the rest of the world had better watch out. As with Iraqi oil, the US will stop at nothing to “aquire” all of the natural resources it requires to keep the masses believing that they are a free, wealthy and independent people.

    Freedom is expensive and easily abused. It is also easily corrupted and the US is a prime example of freedom gone bad. I’ll stick to Singapore.

  2. Dave says:

    The responder misses the whole point of this blog and the differences between Singapore and, in this case, the US. In Singapore there is no freedom of speech, assembly or religion. In the US you can fail and start up again many times. That’s not possible in Singapore. You live on a small island that is nothing more than a city with a few parks. The US is a vast country with so much more to do in terms of geographies, culture, job opportunities.

    Singaporeans, despite their relative affluence still need Visas to visit many of the countries that US residents do not. It is a benevolent dictatorship but a dictatorship at that.

    I have lived in Asia and Singapore is the last place that I would pick because of the stifling life that the Donkey here writes about.

    Hope you are enjoying Orchard Road and whatever other few “things to do” there are in Singapore.

  3. Tim says:

    I have to admit I don’t like the way the americans throw their weight around. They prattle on about democracy as if they’ve had it for ever. But ask yourself, “When did their blacks first get the vote?” You also need to ask whether the absence of democracy denotes an uncivilised country. It is crass stupidity to impose democracy on countries that don’t want it, eg on Iraq by the US.

    On balance, I prefer the Singapore system. I trust it. For transgressors, the penalties can seem quite harsh to outsiders, but I’d wager most Singaporeans approve.

  4. pyang says:

    in response to dave’s post that states singapore does not give its people freedom of religion. have you really checked? because there are several religions here that exist actually. Singapore is such a nice place that ISLAM and CHRISTIANITY live in harmony

  5. expatbrian says:

    I’d like to know how much time Dave has spent in the US and why he thinks the size of a country contributes to its greatness. It doesn’t. It only contributes to its chaos. Don’t be victimized by the crap you read about the US in traditional media and school books.
    And I agree with Pyang. There is at least as much religous freedom here as there is in the US and a great deal less racism.

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