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How does Singapore work as SYSTEM?

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omarbinhendi
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Postby omarbinhendi » Tue, 18 Dec 2007 6:29 pm

ozchick wrote:There's a book reccomended to me called 'The Singapore Dilemma' ...


Found it at Kinokuniya, although it is published by Oxford Univ Pr Published, no wonder it requires a dictionary!

Furthermore, I'd luv to have a book published about Singapore and it reflects the whole system. Just to mention, I got a book from KL its called "Information Malaysia 2005" published by Berita Publishing Sdn. It has got everything about Malaysia from AtoZ. Name anything about there, and you got't!

Anyone can highlight ASEAN?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 18 Dec 2007 6:35 pm

omarbinhendi wrote:
ScoobyDoes wrote:...
Singapore thrived because people were prepared to work ...


People of various ethnic groups? What common objective made them submissive to the system? I know that Singapore is no place to dawdle and live with no job. People go there for serious job/career and business and as it is attractive hub it does work for those who have got the cash.

Now, the dilemma, is it a hub or gateway and what it would want to position itself in the coming decade or two?

How does Singapore relate to HK in terms of location and trade zone/hub?


The common objective is food in their bellies, a roof over their heads and the ability to live without living in fear (safety). Once these three things have been satiated the all the dogma in the world starts to have less and less impact/meaning. This is why we do not have many fundamentalists of any of the religions here. Why should they subject themselves to hardship when they are comfortable? Doesn't make too much sense does it. Martyrs are a product of poverty normally but also can be a product of brainwashing as well. This is what happened with the JI here.

In reality Singapore is still trying to become "the" financial hub of Asia, but I still think Hong Kong hold that title and will continue to do so for a while longer. While trying to position itself as a hub I still think it is trying to straddle the fence as it's always tried to do. With no natural resources it cannot help but to try to be all things that don't require natural resources. Singapore is an experiment that is doomed to failure within the next 40-50 years in my opinion. It has already hit it's zenith and will ride on that for a while. But, as the surrounding countries hit their strides, coupled with their manpower and natural resources, they are bound to steal the wind from Singapore's sails. Singapore lost it's largest shipping firm to Malaysia when they opened their port facility just as an example. It's only a matter of time.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Tue, 18 Dec 2007 11:18 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Singapore is an experiment that is doomed to failure within the next 40-50 years in my opinion.

That's what they said 40-50 years ago too. Interestingly, our entire history as a country is based on that exact premise, that we will cease to exist in the very near future. And the best brains are recruited into government with the sole purpose of making sure that doesn't happen. Hence the frantic development, unending improvements etc.

Omar, Singapore doesn't really have a system in the same way the US, for example, has. The system is what the people in charge decide it will be. LKY's autobiographies are a good start to understand the thinking behind what we have today. That is changing though because a different generation of politicians is in charge. What we will have in 50 years, God knows.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 18 Dec 2007 11:51 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:Singapore is an experiment that is doomed to failure within the next 40-50 years in my opinion.

That's what they said 40-50 years ago too. Interestingly, our entire history as a country is based on that exact premise, that we will cease to exist in the very near future. And the best brains are recruited into government with the sole purpose of making sure that doesn't happen. Hence the frantic development, unending improvements etc.

Omar, Singapore doesn't really have a system in the same way the US, for example, has. The system is what the people in charge decide it will be. LKY's autobiographies are a good start to understand the thinking behind what we have today. That is changing though because a different generation of politicians is in charge. What we will have in 50 years, God knows.


40 to 50 years ago, there was no experiment. There was only a port. The experiment was LKY and his beliefs that he could build a place out of a backwater. He succeeded. But like a lot of what he did, he is recanting on a number of things as the thinking process wasn't long enough. His birthing policies were the basic cause of the greying of the population of today which has brought about the incessant drive to bring in foreign labour as there is a shortage of local labour to keep the machinery going. The bilingual policy was a flop. Now it is have 4 or more if you can afford it. Even the "rote" learning policy was a necessity at the time, but he didn't realize the impact in would have until much later. Of course like a lot of things, it couldn't be helped. Singapore is a sprinter. It has to be. Unfortunately, sprinters have high bursts of speed and can rapidly get up and running. It's the distance runners who will eventually win over the long course. This of course are the other countries in the region. Yes, they had a good run I'll admit. But I don't think it's sustainable. Again, my personal opinion only, but one shared by quite a few people today.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 19 Dec 2007 11:26 pm

SMS, I'll wager you $100 that Singapore is still around in 50 years. Let's meet in this space on 19 Dec 2057 to declare the winner. :P

Seriously, if you really believe that you should be preparing your kids to bring up your grandchildren elsewhere.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 20 Dec 2007 11:14 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:SMS, I'll wager you $100 that Singapore is still around in 50 years. Let's meet in this space on 19 Dec 2057 to declare the winner. :P

Seriously, if you really believe that you should be preparing your kids to bring up your grandchildren elsewhere.


Not fair! You'll be here but at a 110 years of age, I doubt if I will.

Seriously, that's why I never gave up their dual citizenship - they need the ability to be able to jump when they feel it's necessary or desirable. I've been preparing them for 18 & 23 years now. I have put the tools at their disposal and extracted the best from the system that I can. But I am under no illusions here. I don't want them to be stranded like so many here already are, with no real way to go except down with the ship.

I hope that I am wrong, believe me, but I have to look at it from a purely logical view and not from a patriotic perspective. Sure the think tank guys are trying their darndest to stay one step ahead, but at the end of the day you have comments like the SM/PM & MM all saying, as an example, on the new Johor Technology Park and Johor Technovation Park, that Singapore will not be able to compete head to head so therefore they have to engage (invest) with those who will be going into the Parks.

This bodes well for the Investment/Financial Sector but will it help the man in the street? Maybe eventually the traffic flow will change direction with Singaporeans having to ride their motorbikes to Johor to go to work everyday for MR instead of SGD. Far fetched? I hope so. But seriously, one has to open ones eyes and see the facts (just like I do with the US and all it's warts).

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Postby phil30k » Mon, 07 Jan 2008 12:36 pm

I grew up here in Singapore.

I feel a little threatened by your project.

I don't want to be understood. I don't want to know what it took to get me where I am. I don't want to be accountable.

Still, best of luck on your project.

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Postby omarbinhendi » Mon, 07 Jan 2008 3:03 pm

phil30k wrote:I grew up here in Singapore.

I feel a little threatened by your project.

I don't want to be understood. I don't want to know what it took to get me where I am. I don't want to be accountable.

Still, best of luck on your project.


Well, anyways thanks for your contribution :o

One little thing! How do you feel threatened by my project? Mind you that the purpose of my post is to find out from xpats & Singaporeans how they find Singapore as a place for life.

Once again, thanks for your comments :)

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Postby tamarind » Mon, 07 Jan 2008 3:59 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:But, as the surrounding countries hit their strides, coupled with their manpower and natural resources, they are bound to steal the wind from Singapore's sails. Singapore lost it's largest shipping firm to Malaysia when they opened their port facility just as an example. It's only a matter of time.


You think too highly of the surrounding countries. You should do more research about the level of intelligence of their government. If they can steal the wind, they would have done so already. Like LKY said

“We are a standing indictment of all the things that they (Malaysia) can be doing differently.”

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Postby Asian_Geekette » Mon, 07 Jan 2008 4:06 pm

omarbinhendi wrote:
phil30k wrote:I grew up here in Singapore.

I feel a little threatened by your project.

I don't want to be understood. I don't want to know what it took to get me where I am. I don't want to be accountable.

Still, best of luck on your project.


Well, anyways thanks for your contribution :o

One little thing! How do you feel threatened by my project? Mind you that the purpose of my post is to find out from xpats & Singaporeans how they find Singapore as a place for life.

Once again, thanks for your comments :)


I've always believed that in order to move forward and build a better future, one has to remember her past. This is because we should learn from our mistakes and find smarter ways of coping with new challenges. So it's quite interesting to note that some people would rather not understand things... Oh well, such is life! ;-)
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 07 Jan 2008 4:12 pm

[quote="tamarind"]
“If they would just educate the Chinese and Indians, use them and treat them as their citizens, they can equal us and even do better than us and we would be happy to rejoin them.”

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Postby phil30k » Tue, 08 Jan 2008 3:41 pm

Uh,

I have experienced enough feedback from well meaning people that I can't help wincing at any offer, no matter how well intended, to introduce me to a point of view that is supposed to broaden my mind.

Whatever the experience is, I have no expectations that it is going to be a candy floss marshmellow soft chocolate ice cream sandwich dream.

It's probably going to involve drilling and lots of heavy machinery.

Forgive me for wincing.



:)

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Tue, 08 Jan 2008 4:07 pm

phil30k wrote:I have experienced enough feedback from well meaning people that I can't help wincing at any offer, no matter how well intended, to introduce me to a point of view that is supposed to broaden my mind.


Then perhaps you should stop listening and start doing.

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Postby phil30k » Tue, 08 Jan 2008 8:07 pm

*sigh*

I'm going to hate myself in the morning for responding.

Very well, here's my five minute rambling impression of singapore history (for what it's worth).

Early days after Singapore's separation from Malaysia, we basically got as much foreign investment in as possible. My impression was that we left because we didn't like the bumiputra system and because Singapore had a large chinese community. I think a lot of the money Singapore made was going back to malaysia.

Infrastructure was pretty poor so a lot of development on that was necessary immediately.

The land acquisition act was introduced to remove property from the hands of private owners and placed into the hands of the government so that city planning was possible. The act exists to this day and is still being used. This gave the Government a great deal of freedom in their efforts to develop the infrastructure.

The Government used to practice the pension system left over by the Colonial British. This was scrapped and the Compulsory Contribution to the Central Provident Fund was introduced. This was like a compulsory retirement fund managed by the Government. This also gave the government funds to continue it's development. To this day no one is able to say with certainty how the CPF has been spent or on what and the Government resists attempts to audit their accounts.

The Singapore Port became a free port to attract business. It had a natural harbor, was centrally located and was successful. Another advantage was that produce and goods were available here from ships stopping over and usually at cheaper rates (where our original shopper's paradise reputation sprang from).

This also made it easier for foreigners to live here as they still had access to the types of goods they were used to. Many Indian merchant families set up home here (kind of tagged along with the British) and most of the dock workers were chinese immigrants who came to work the docks.

The Indians basically vanished from the scene. Maybe they decided to move out when the British did, maybe they didn't believe Singapore could hack it. Maybe their property was acquired by the Government. I dunno. But you don't hear much about them now.

Singapore was basically a servant country at that point in time. You'll hear a lot about the Colonialist attitude, like singaporeans looking up to the Ang Mo (Red hairs.. ie british). Oh yeah, there was a time when Singapore started kicking expatriates out after they had trasferred some of their manufacturing expertise to the locals. That was when Singaporean started to rise in the local businesses. Didn't last long though, with the advent of the multinational companies and I suppose Corporate secrecy/security or whatever, we saw the reintroduction of expatriates. And they're with us to this day. Can you spell Patents? Ha ha.. my little joke.

The port and stopovers meant business requiring banks, this was controlled by the Government and to this day we don't have that many banks although I think this is set to change so we can become more competitive. We do have a fair number of off-shore banks though. I suspect that the local banks don't have the kind of connections or clout the foreign banks may have so they are, in a sense, being protected.

The local economics entered the manufacturing phase of singapore just in time for foreign businesses to take advantage of our cheaper labor. This phase came to and end some years ago with manufacturing moving out of singapore. The Government is trying to get us into another phase, which they have identified as tourist destination (not helped by all the redevelopment that eradicated a lot of our cultural heritage) Aviation Centre (didn't quite work out), Medical Hub (seems that's going to be thailand), Educational centre (not sure where this is heading but it's looking promising). Offhand I don't remember if there are others.

The Government did face some instability in the early days when the Malays, used to the malaysian bumiputra system tried to demand preferential treatment. This sparked the race riots, the ISA was introduced and kinda put an end to that. The majority of the population was chinese and they wanted to have a better life then they would have if Singapore was under Malaysia. This kinda ties in to the first part about foreign investment.

We also introduced National service, it had 2 side effects, it broke up a lot of the gangs that were running rampant and put them in an environment where their loyalties could be realigned. Also having some family member in the government's grasp, I'm sure, made some families think twice about .. well.. stuff.

To this day our public housing policy has quotas of how many of the different ethnic races may buy homes in each estate, ostensibly to prevent the creation of minority enclaves where... who knows what.. may breed.

Lots of money was spent on schools, librarys, public buildings etc. The majority of the people were happy with what was being done and they were hard working. They saw the landscape changing and progress was the buzzword. That was Singapore's golden era I guess.

Things have changed a bit since then. The population is growing older, the constant pushing back of the retirement age and the impression that the CPF retirement funds may not land in our hands before we die is becoming a grassroot grumble.

Our port is facing competition. Our airport is really good and Singapore is trying to negotiate more travel routes or else it may become just a white elephant.

There have been press about the outflow of talent from Singapore. I believe that emigration is how the population shows their discontent with the country and their belief that other countries would offer them a better future. I don't think I need to say more.

Singapore tried to invest in China, the attempt is now recognized as a disappointing venture, doing what it did best, building infrastructure. I suspect we had plans to build another singapore vision there, funded by this singapore's money. I'm not going to comment on the morality of that, seeing how this singapore's population was not going to benefit directily. I suppose there were plans for some other indirect synergies.

Singapore also tried to set up some now defunct trade triangle scheme. I think burma and Indonesia were involved. I can't remember the details but it was supposed to be the next big thing, way back when.

I kind of agree with Staples that the golden era is over however, I don't think it's the end of Singapore.

Okay, I went all over the place and lot of it was not in chonological order and I'm sure I missed out a lot of stuff and a lot of it was unsubstantiated opinion.

I stopped reading the newspapers about 10 odd years ago when I was becoming an alcoholic so I'm probably one of the more out of touch Singaporeans you're likely to meet. Plus I may have lost a fair bit of brain function.

However, I hope you can use some of this Omar. Maybe when you're reading all those books with all the facts and dates in the right order, my ramblings will help you sort out the information.

Cheers.


: )

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Postby phil30k » Tue, 08 Jan 2008 8:11 pm

[quote="sundaymorningstaple"][quote="tamarind"]
“If they would just educate the Chinese and Indians, use them and treat them as their citizens, they can equal us and even do better than us and we would be happy to rejoin them.”


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