Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Willing to pay price to be Singapore?

Published:Wednesday | March 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Where there is no vision, the people perish. And one person with vision can make a significant difference to the world in which we live.

That's the story of Lee Kuan Yew, who in death has been eulogised as the architect of Singapore's prosperity.

He instituted acceptable, social practices - like not spitting or chewing gum in public - which were reinforced by stringent sanctions.

He is also reported as encouraging his people to smile, and to speak proper English in order to gain a competitive advantage in international commerce.

Lee Kuan Yew knew that economic advancement without the accompanying social skills would simply be a mirage.

The perennial question facing us is, advancement at what price? Is it only the result that really matters?

And in the process of development, would we be prepared to sacrifice all the rights to which we have become accustomed as a people?