Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Jamaica must learn Lee Kuan Yew lessons

Published:Wednesday | April 1, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society (JCHS) notes with regret the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore.

We extend condolences to his family and the nation of Singapore.

It is to be noted that Lee succeeded in moving Singapore from the status of a developing country in the 1960s to a per-capita GDP of US$62,400 in 2013, according to data from the 2015 CIA World Factbook.

With a labour force of 3.444 million in a country the size of the parish of Trelawny, Singapore has an unemployment rate of 1.9 per cent and an inflation rate of 2.4 per cent. Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.

In 2011, its intentional homicide rate was 0.31 per 100,000.

Admittedly, Singapore has restrictions on freedoms that may be intolerable to many in the West. Nonetheless, Jamaica can learn much from Lee, particularly what gave him the greatest satisfaction. In his 2013 book, One Man's View of the World, Lee said: "In the end, my greatest satisfaction in life comes from the fact that I have spent years gathering support, mustering the will to make this place meritocratic, corruption-free and equal for all races - and that it will endure beyond me, as it has."

The JCHS would like to challenge Jamaicans to leave this legacy to our children. Meritocracy and the absence of corruption are key ingredients if Jamaica is to achieve Vision 2030.

WAYNE WEST

Kingston 6