I have visited Singapore and China several times in the last 15 years and studied both countries. I read books on various aspects of China’s success and I read with great interest Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, how these two countries developed the world’s most successful model.
Charlie Munger is one of the richest people in America and he is a partner of Warren Buffett. He is of the same age as Mahathir, he called Singapore a perfect example and he praised China who learned from Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew and created a success story in the shortest period of history.
That is why I have repeatedly focused on China and Singapore.
Singapore is one of the few small countries in the world
China is one of the few big countries in the world
Both are demonstrating a power through a strong economic, social and political system that has been unshakable and stable for the last 40 years.
Most people make the mistake of not wanting to take Singapore as a learning model because of its small size. Think if China can learn from Singapore. So there must be a good reason. We don’t have to look at size and volume to learn, we have to look at its design and utility.
Deng Xiao Ping, during his visit to Singapore in 1978, he had decided that China had to learn from Singapore. Since then, about 50,000 Chinese officials have undergone training of public administration in Singapore’s institutions. Singapore has been China’s top school for the past two decades. But now that China is where it is, it needs to learn from itself. China is now the best model in the world.
The interest rate in Singapore is almost non-existent. Even, as a foreigner, I took out a housing loan in Singapore years ago on the same terms. Every Singaporean has the right and access to own their home. So imagine that this is very similar to the Islamic system where every citizen should have a shelter and should not go to bed hungry. The crime rate is almost zero. Literacy is 100%. The country of 6 million people is leading the “Far East” region. Every future technology in the world is presented in Singapore so that it can be marketed. A few years ago, I could download an application during a visit to Singapore and instantly access an electric car in the city, all without a driver.
Bicycle rental with the App Commission Bar Code was started in the same country and later used all over the world.
World’s second oil refinery is in Singapore. Despite the fact, country grows nothing, not even have their own water, their progress is a world’s best show case of governance & development.
Unfortunately, Malaysia did not become like Singapore because, after Mahathir, it suffered from the same chaos and corruption as most Islamic countries. In Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew ensured continuity when his son succeeded him. Two generations of continuity and stability have made Singapore the most successful example and encouraged other major economies like China to follow.
Charlie Munger sees China’s success as an unstoppable storm and expresses a positive view of the Chinese system, which is unique in becoming an industrial power or lifting 350 million people out of poverty. A famous quote from Charlie Mangers
China learned from a Chinese man in Singapore who was Lee Kuan Yew.
Long ago, I believed that why we should not follow the example of the American and European models, instead, we should learn and adopt the Chinese and Singaporean models.
If I had to mention a third country to learn, it would be Japan. Lee Kuan Yew learned a lot from Japan and Singapore’s initial success was greatly influenced by Japan.
So learning cycle goes like this: Singapore learned from Japan and China learned from Singapore and now the world is accepting Chinese success.
South Korea also learned from Japan and can be considered as the fourth success story.
China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines are certainly making progress.
Due to internal and external instability, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Iran have lagged behind. Perhaps now is the time for these four countries to reconsider their strategies, systems and visions. There was industrial development in India but it did not improve poverty and the system.
Imran Khan is an opportunity for Pakistan. But this would not be possible without major surgery. Mafia and cartels do not present their power on the plate. Power is snatched from them like China, Singapore, Turkey, South Korea did. Bangladesh was our part, but separated from us and went ahead of us. Why? We want to know the answer but we do not want to face the reality behind it.
In most of these countries, strict accountability, political stability, peace and justice formed the basis of their system. Pakistan lacks these four. New Pakistan is not possible with the rotten lessons of the old bureaucrats. Changing the engine oil of this rotten system will not fix the system. The engine will have to be replaced. Obsolete experts will have to be sent home. The workshop needs to be changed. How can those who have been part of our problems in the past, be part of the solution today?
Peace must precede economic stability. China, Singapore, Malaysia, Turkey, Europe, South Korea, Germany, Japan, UAE, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand all have one thing in common. All of these countries have not fought a war since World War II. China has not fought a war after 1964. In 48 years since Bangladesh was formed, they have not seen any war. All of these countries have border and political disputes, but none of them have turned their disputes into wars.
Jang 7 July.