The March Forbes Magazine ( my Dad gave me a subscription this year) has an article giving advice to the new president from Lee Kwan Yew. For those who do not know he was the Prime Minister of Singapore and is now the Minister Mentor-which is Singaporean for, ” the man behind the curtain pulling the strings”.
I found it interesting that LKY would have anything to say to Obama at all. After all, he is the father of a dictatorship one party state, that persecutes and drives opposition into the dirt. I mean what advice can he give that is relevant to America’s problems?
Maybe things like:
1) Pay your serving class nothing. After all it worked in Singapore, as E @ L noted, “Such a practice has kept Singapore the clean, well-lighted golf-course that is is. Pay the maids and the building laborers and accountants and clerical staff and radiographers absolute SHIT money!”
2) Resist open discussion. Write your laws such that newspapers, bloggers, and other malcontents can be prosecuted and bankrupted at the whim of the party in power.
3) Make sure the Chinese are allowed to make lots of money.
Actually, that last bullet is what the good MM’s point really is. ( He did not say the first two-except by his actions both in and out of office). After eight paragraphs of fluff about not leaving Iraq ( Like Singapore ever made a great contribution there), Israel and Palestine-he comes to his real point:
After a short period, though, both China and India will resume their spectacular growth. With their huge populations spread over two subcontinents, these two giants can prime their economies and grow through their domestic markets. They will become heavyweight actors on the world stage. Though they will not displace the U.S. as the preeminent world power, the U.S. will no longer be able to take their views and interests for granted, as it has in the past.
My dear Mr. Yew, this good for America how?
But that is not LKY’s real point now is it? It is good for the Chinese and so by extension it must be good for those who launder their money do their banking.
I love the city state of Singapore dearly, and this little diatribe is probably not helping my chances for a work visa. However unless Obama is ready to adopt a policy of trying to marginalize 40% of his population-LKY is the last man anyone should seek advice from.
Maybe the US should start a Gweilo stimulus plan for Singapore………………. and thus give guys like me work.
Till that happens-mind your own business Mister Mentor.