Singapore: Cats that Catch Mice – Part 1

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Singapore: Cats that Catch Mice - Part 1

Singapore, the cats that catch mice

Singapore, the cats that catch mice, is known as one of the wealthiest countries in the world. However, there is no trace of democracy and political development in the governance structure of this city-state. Singaporeans have allocated one of the highest per capita incomes among different nations to themselves.

But unlike developed countries, they have no understanding of democracy. Perhaps it can be said in one sentence that Singapore is the same cat that, regardless of its body color, recognizes one duty in all circumstances, and that is catching mice. A mouse that can certainly satisfy the hunger of the hunter’s offspring.

The growth that the Republic of Singapore has experienced from the day of independence until today has caused astonishment and admiration among economists and researchers in the humanities. Perhaps when Lee Kuan Yew, the late leader of Singapore, was shedding tears in August 1965, as his city-state was gaining independence from the Malaysian Federation, he did not even think about it.

There will come a day when the people of Singapore will be known as some of the wealthiest humans on Earth. Perhaps they could not even imagine that their country would transform into the first benevolent dictator of the modern world, who seizes power without any bloodshed and at the same time enjoys an incredible and genuine popularity among Singaporean citizens.

But what really happened for Singapore to reach this point and now be recognized as one of the wealthiest countries in the world? And the more important question is whether Singapore’s successful model can serve as a suitable template for developing countries like Iran. IranGate has attempted to answer these questions in a three-part dossier. The present report is the first part, which introduces the country of Singapore and the path it has taken to achieve success.

The story of a wealthy city-state

When Singapore was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles in January 1819, it was a place where about a thousand Malay fishermen and a few Chinese families lived, making a living through agriculture. But this small fishing village has now transformed into a modern and prosperous city-state, hiding a remarkable and astonishing story within itself.

Perhaps Singapore is the only country in the world that has not only gained independence against the will of its residents but also forcibly separated from its mother country. Singapore was forced to leave the Federation of Malaysia and declare independence as a city-state in Southeast Asia on August 9, 1965, after a long political struggle.

Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime Minister of Singapore, writes in his memoirs, ‘We were asked to leave Malaysia and go into the future without any help. We didn’t have much chance of survival. But on August 9, 1965, while I was in my office crying for the people of Singapore, we embarked on a journey with unimaginable fear along an unknown road towards an unknown destination.’

But over time, it became clear that the residents of this small village not only survived the treacherous road but also, after about 60 years since the day of forced independence, the Singaporeans are considered one of the wealthiest nations in the world.

Problem after problem

1 land

When Singapore was forced to become independent from the Malaysian Federation, it was one of the most densely populated countries in the world in terms of population distribution. Only 137 square kilometers out of its 581 square kilometer area in 1959 were suitable for habitation and work. However, over the past 60 years, this figure has increased to approximately 750 square kilometers, as a result of Singapore government’s efforts in land redevelopment.

2 Overpopulation

Another problem Singapore faced was overpopulation. On one hand, the health and education conditions were very poor, and on the other hand, ethnic, racial, and even religious differences led to serious conflicts in this small city-state. However, over time, the population of this small country has grown from around 2 million people in the 1960s to around 6 million people today. Nevertheless, the smallest traces of racial and religious conflicts are not seen in this country. The level of hygiene has also been very high, and the indicators indicate that Singapore is among the top ten countries in the world with the highest level of public health.

3 Poverty

The most extraordinary transformation of Singapore from a third world poor country to a wealthy nation during the years 1960 to 2016 is that its per capita GDP has increased by about 60 times. This amount has risen from $1,310 to $99,000 in Singapore, meaning that the per capita GDP in Singapore has doubled on average every year for the past 60 years, which is unique and unparalleled. Therefore, it can be said that Singaporeans have transformed from a third world poor nation into one of the richest people on earth over the course of half a century.

These are people who have grown their economy every year and are now standing at the peak. Naturally, when the economy grows larger, the share of citizens and members of society will also increase, which has managed to reduce poverty to one of the lowest levels in the world.

The next section of this dossier will discuss the reasons for Singapore’s success.

The former leader of Singapore


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