Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Andre Vltchek - Few Admiring Words for “Crypto-Socialist” Singapore

Andre Vltchek says Singapore is a social democracy where its citizens have one the highest standards of living in South East Asia, if not one of the highest in the world. It has subsidized healthcare, state educating, and subsidized, very efficient public transport. The countries around Singapore are turbo capitalist, much approved of by the West, but they have very high levels of poverty.

Andre Vktchek says that Singapore has very low corruption, and excellent social policies. It has superb infrastructure, beautiful parks, art galleries, libraries, museums, and is a centre of culture.

“Singapore shall forever be a sovereign democratic and independent nation, founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of her people in a more just and equal society.” These were the words of the “Proclamation of Singapore” by Lee Kuan Yew on 9 August 1965.
Now, more than 5 decades later, Singapore is acknowledged as the country with the highest quality of life in Asia, and one of the highest in the world. It has strong and effective government, extremely low corruption rates, and some of the best social policies on Earth.

Yes, the country is ‘transparent’, ‘open for business’, a great ‘magnet for foreign companies’. But investment does not disappear in deep pockets of local elites, instead everyone benefits here. And the government decides who is welcomed and who is not, and in which direction the country should be developing. Singapore is a curious hybrid of a controlled and planned economy, and of what is known as ‘free market’.
I have some 25 years of history with Singapore. I do research in its libraries and archives; I admire its world class art institutions, brilliantly diverse food. And I simply enjoy healthy brisk walks through its vast public spaces.

Sometimes I am not hundred percent sure what precisely Singapore is, but I always know what it isn’t – it never succumbed to that brutal, heartless, primitive and uneducated turbo capitalism of other Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.
It educates, heals, and houses its citizens, and it gives them time, space, health, culture and perhaps the best public transportation on Earth, so in summary, they can enjoy some of the highest quality of life on Earth.
It does not rob its own people.
Is it ‘enough’? I am not sure. But it is a lot, more than almost anywhere else on our planet Earth.
Off -Guardian

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