Saturday, October 24, 2009


A CITY-STATE TO EMULATE

Facebook friend Micaela Fransesca T. Rodriguez today announced to all her Facebook friends, including myself that she loved being in Singapore. But why not? Singapore is paradise on Earth.

Remember when former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew kicked up a national debate after he criticized the way the Philippines had been mismanaged by its leaders and observed that American-style democracy wasn't exactly the best form of government for us?

"The Philippines needs a competent and determined leadership that will instill discipline in the people," Lee said, even as he bluntly told our leaders that they had to improve the infrastructure, the energy capability and the communications system.

Some people hailed the tough PM for giving us some wise advice and urged our leaders to follow it. Still, others criticized Lee for meddling in Philippine affairs and dismissed his advice as irrelevant because it was based on the experience in Singapore - which is smaller in size than Quezon City and has a population under 5 million people.

Still, the way Lee transformed Singapore into one of the world's most stable and prosperous countries should make our leaders cock an ear to what he says.

Why, everything works in Singapore. There is no poverty, the government is run efficiently and honestly, and the key element is discipline.

Pinoys who visit Singapore come back with glowing praise for that city-state. They also talk about the stiff fines for traffic violations, littering, spitting in public, and even failure to flush a public toilet.

I recall a staff member of our embassy there mentioned that he had been fined once by a health inspector who found a puddle of water in his garage. The inspector said the puddle could become a breeding place for mosquitoes.

Lee Kuan Yew has come and gone, but he has left behind words of wisdom that our leaders and people should ponder on.

2 comments:

Dean Jorge Bocobo said...

kawawa naman si Tsip Tsao! i heard he's very depressed, lost his job, got divorced, no more Pinay maid! Seems he's still getting hate mail from Facebook harpies. He's suicidal na yata! Kawawa naman si Tsip Tsao. Bakit si Lee Kuan Yew bilib ka?

merl_md said...

nobody smiles in Singapore