Monday, March 23, 2015


Singapore has lost its creator.  Asia has lost a giant.  Lee Kuan Yew made Singapore into a success story, creating the "Asian Values" model: a benign authoritarian model, different from the individualism of the West.  He propelled the "Asian Tigers" mantra and found followers, mostly in Taiwan, the SAR Hong Kong and China.   But I remember President Mubarak saying that Singapore was the example to follow...if only!

The Sage of Singapore had a voice which resonated worldwide and was even heeded in the corridors of Beijing.  He was able to navigate the contradictory choices of Asian Confucian values and a pro-Western strategic option.  Before the pivot made Asia "fashionable," he was the first to see it coming.  Compared to the unbalances everywhere else, Asia looks like a more desirable, manageable alternative for the future, despite some political roadblocks.
Unfortunately, there is no comparable heir-in-waiting.

China will continue to be the charmless Behemoth, while little Singapore will continue to be the place where one wants to live. Quite an achievement!

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