By Ahmad Jawad
The world’s greatest power America takes inspiration from Singapore but our experts on democracy in Pakistan cannot see beyond the US model of 100 years of democratic journey to reach to a stable system. 50 years of Singapore from its independence in 1965 includes 25 years of rule by Lee Kwon & 25 years rule by his son Lee Hsien Loong. The democratic system in Singapore has been customised according to local needs. The system allows controlled elections & family legacy of Lee Kwon. Lee Kwon by nature was a dictator who ruled with tough, independent and ruthless decisions. Singapore is like a showroom of best models of Governance, Business, Trade, Technology, Investment, Civic amenities, infrastructure, Taxation, basic rights, controlled democracy, Community living, Ethics, safety, traffic, Banking & any aspect of a society. Singapore did not achieve this by blind following of western democracy, they achieved it with their own vision & local needs.
Here are the top five quotes from his speech from the South Lawn of the White House.
1. “Singapore is one nation with four official languages so let me just say good morning, selamat datang, vanakkam and ni hao.”
2. “Half a century ago, when Singapore was an island of villages and crowded tenements, few would have imagined a day like today. But Singapore prides itself on being a little red dot. A little red dot on many maps but with a very big impact on the world.”
3. “In this work, we draw strength from our people, two societies built on multi-multiculturalism and on merit. In United States, we call ourselves a melting pot. In Singapore, it is rojak — different parts united in a harmonious whole. Bound by the belief that no matter who you are, you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it.”
4. “As the United States rebalances our foreign policy to the Asia Pacific, Singapore, and Prime Minister Lee in particular, have been rock solid partners. Singapore is an anchor of our presence in the region. We stand together for a regional order where every nation large and small play and trade by the same rules. And we stand together to meet the threats of the 21st Century, from terrorism to the spread of disease and climate change.”
5. “What Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew once said of this country could be said of us — both our populations are triers, prepared to try anything to improve themselves. We have only the future to go in quest of”.