Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Singapore's strategy

Singapore strategy is very simple. Go for economic growth at all cost because that fuels everything in the dictum that although money is not everything, everything is money. Next we will not compromise on national security given our vulnerabilities of not just a small state but one of the smallest in the world. Besides our neighborhood always has the potential to change suddenly. After these twin objectives are satisfied, the rest of the priorities are then optimally allocated along priorities that are not always clear and often quietly changing. Investors do not mind as long as their business interests are protected, and they are very well given economic growth is numero uno.

So what is in for citizens? That hopefully the government would always have a package of sweet and bitter fruits such that you will return them to power. From here we get the disconnect that what is good for Singapore is frequently not good for its citizens. Anyway nobody discuss, much less define and agree what is good for the people. As I said earlier, "priorities are not always clear and often quietly changing" Those who aren't happy, they have quietly make plans and left.

So is there an alternative to this arrangement? Not in the past when we were very vulnerable and fragile, but as we become wealthier, better educated and more resourceful, alternatives should be possible.

How long can the current strategy last? It is quite easy to tell. When voters no longer buy into it, and hopefully when alternatives are floated and can be chosen. If they vote in protest, that is not good for anyone.

At this point, it is not clear what some of these alternative strategies might be.

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