Singapore’s founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, passed away in hospital earlier today, 23 March 2015.
1923 – 2015
He knew that since the 1970s.
Fast forward to the 2010s, Singaporeans are still a champion grumbler.
Sad that he has passed on.
But, he was of age and was in bad health for some time.
A lot of Singaporeans (older generation) have a lot of respect for him, even with his sharp tongue and controversial topics.
I’ve heard a couple of negative remarks on him being against certain races and religion (from the older generation).
But yet, none could ignore the fact that he has made Singapore to what it is today.
If one were to compare Singapore with another country (no disrespect), most things are in order.
Thanks to Ganesh’s post and will be adding a few points as well.
USD 1.00 = SGD 1.38
£ 1.00 = SGD 2.06
Neighbouring countries are having it tough with much lower currency depreciation.
- A lot of countries are opening their regional Asia hub here (apart from Thailand).
- Cars are expensive to own because the island is so small that overcrowding of vehicles aka traffic congestions were looked at.
- Government-owned houses are expensive, getting smaller and the loans.. oh.. yeah. At least, everyone has a roof under their head. Rarely see homeless people around. I said rarely. Although, non-locals seem to have more options. You’d have to be on extremely higher-than-average salary scale to own a private-owned apartment and a millionaire to own a private landed property. Other Asia counterparts have it worse with even smaller quarters and lots of people without homes.
- Electricity is always present. A lot of countries are using generators as backup due to constant blackouts.
- We have clean water, drinkable out of the taps.
- High speed internet, although, it is getting worse by the month. Not comparable to places like South Korea though.
- Safety and crime rate. There is crime happening here, even more than so. But, girls can have it easy to go out any time of the day or night and I can still see naive people still placing their things around and still be there when they’re back.
- Response time of the ambulance, fire fighters and police. 5 mins. There are shortcomings, but, overall, still a good job.
- The West (of the world)’s tax are very high compared to our tax and CPF. Although we can’t take out the money from the CPF earlier or more. Plus, it’s used to pay off things such as the expensive housing loan, so, it goes around.
- The strict ruling and possible fines on a lot of things, a fine of $1000 if you’re smoking at a non-smoking location and no eating and drinking on a public transport, else there is a fine of $500, for example. Chewing gum was banned in 2004.
- Except for the influx of non-locals taking over a lot of the jobs and causing overcrowding. In addition to the annoyance caused by them, such as being rowdy and acting in such uncivilised manner.
- We have our own language that others (even the govt) don’t fancy called Singlish, which is a mixture of English, Chinese (Mandarin), Malay and Indian (Tamil) language, which most of us have grown so accustomed to.
- Singapore has neither “extra” land nor other forms of resources to produce currency, except for its own people.
- Also, the reasoning behind the high salary of those in the govt, that’s a little tricky.
I might not agree on everything that has been said and done, but, I know that I wouldn’t have the intelligence and guts to pull off what he and the older generation have done for the rest of us.
Unfortunately, the younger generation is unable to comprehend that, since they were born into a place where they’ll experience nothing of being extremely poor or being afraid of non-petty crimes.
Some people become hardy and who they are (what they’ve said and done) due to the circumstances of the life they’ve lived.
At times, ideologies clash, but…
We’ve not been in their shoes aka living in that era.
Our grandparents have (the older generation I was talking about).
Our parents, maybe a little.
But no… not with the current governing bodies.. those people have different things in mind.
Short history of Singapore.
- Was called Temasek (“Sea Town” in the Malay language) – is an island after all.
- In the 13th century, Sang Nila Utama landed on the island and saw a lion. Believing this to be an auspicious sign, he decided to found a settlement called Singapura, which means “Lion City” in Sanskrit.
- In the early 1910s, became under the Johor Sultanate, while the maritime region and trade was under the Dutch control.
- In 1819, Stamford Raffles signed a treaty to develop the southern part into a British trading post.
- In 1824, the entire island became under the British possession.
- During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army invaded British Malaya and the British surrendered on 15th Feb 1942.
- In September 1945, British repossessed after the surrender of Japan.
- In 1955, Singapore’s first general election was won by David Marshall, but rejected by Britain for a complete self-rule and taken over by Lim Yew Hock who convinced Britain to grant Singapore full internal self-government for all matters except defence and foreign affairs.
- In May 1959, the PAP won the election and Singapore became an internally self-governing state within the Commonwealth and Lee Kuan Yew became the country’s first Prime Minister.
- During the 1950, a Communist Insurgency War occurred, which led to numerous riots.
- In August 1963, Singapore joined and formed the new Federation of Malaysia, but, the riots continued.
- In 1965, Singapore was expelled from Malaysia and gained independence on 9th August 1965 with Yusof bin Ishak as President and Lee Kuan Yew as Prime Minister.
- In 1967, co-founded ASEAN, together with Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.
Update, 24th March: