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International Political Economy


Teresa Gene V. Dakis March 17 2018
AB Foreign Service/FS302 Professor: Mr. Jumel G. Estrañero

“Lessons the Philippines should learn from Singapore’s Political Economy”

I. INTRODUCTION / ABSTRACT

Effective governance and exceptional leadership are undeniably the two main factors to
attribute for Singapore’s economic success and political stability.

Though it’s not easy to believe, it is true that Singapore and the Philippines started as
equals back in the 1960s1. It was even held that the Philippines was the most developed
country in Asia during that time because of the financial and other forms of assistance
from America after the World War II. But sadly, the Philippines has been surpassed and
left behind by the rest of its neighboring countries as each managed to advance through
the times, most especially, Singapore. Singapore is a model of good governance not only
to the Philippines, but to the rest of Asian countries as well. People from developing
nations where poverty and graft are prevalent have nothing but admiration and awe for
Singapore's clean streets, low levels of corruption and dynamic economy. How did
Singapore do it? How did it become as progressive and developed as it is now?

The purpose of this paper is to have an analysis of the most important things the
Philippines can learn from Singapore, in order to have her own share of economic growth
and political stability.

II.

A. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

1. What are the crucial keys to Singapore’s rise to economic progress


and stability?

2. What are the main points that the Philippines can learn from
Singapore?

3. What are the factors that may be keeping the Philippines from
following the footsteps of Singapore?

1
Ilda, http://www.getrealphilippines.com/blog/2015/08/3-things-holding-the-philippines-back-from-
becoming-another-singapore/
2

B. METHODOLOGY

In this study, basic or theoretical research is used as the methodology. Further studies
and analysis of already existing research papers, articles, and write-ups about the topic
at hand have been made in order to strengthen the presumptions stated in the paper. It
could also be considered a fundamental research because it attempts to improve a theory
or presumption that Philippines could be another Singapore in the making and to further
expand and deepen the analysis of factors involved in this presumption.

III. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Local Articles

1. The Philippines can succeed like Singapore


August 06, 2015

An article written by Ayee Macaraig for Rappler gives insights and inspiration on
the possibilities of the Philippines becoming like Singapore. The writer pointed out
the potentials of the country that may help her overcome the problems besetting
her people and government and thus, further her economic progress. The article
gives 5 lessons on leadership and governance that Asia's sick man-turned-rising
tiger can adopt from the vaunted miracle Singapore2.

2. Singapore in our political imagination


July 20, 2016

Gideon Lasco, a contributor for Inquirer, shares his own story of hearing opinions
and observations from a local in Singapore when he had his monthlong visit at the
National University of Singapore (NUS). He relates his experience of listening to a
taxi driver talk about the Philippines and the current issues in our political arena
(at that time, it was about President Duterte’s potential to be a the Philippines’ Lee
Kuan Yew. The writer mentions LKY’s great contributions in the progress of
Singapore. He also gives the similarities and contrasts of the Philippines and
Singapore in several aspects. The author cites the evolving roles of Filipino
workers in Singapore and the changing views of Singaporeans of us, Filipinos –
that is, on the positive side. The writer also mentions that like any other country,
Singapore has its own share of challenges and problems, which it has been able
and continues to overcome anyway. Thus, the article giving highlights on the
promise of the Philippines becoming a Singapore, reinforces the strength of this
paper.

2
Ayee Macaraig, https://www.rappler.com/world/specials/southeast-asia/101784-sg50-philippines-
lessons-singapore
3

3. Singapore compared to the Philippines


March 28, 2015

This article by Mahar Mangahas written for Inquirer, focuses on comparing the
Philippines to Singapore using objective indicators of wellbeing. The standard
approach, commonly used by international development organizations, is to look
into objective indicators of each country’s state of health, education and income3.
Indicators such as life expectancy, live births, schooling of an average adult, gross
national income per capita, Subjective happiness and satisfaction with life, Gallup
World Poll (GWP) - which asks respondents to rate their satisfaction with life, and
several others, showed the differences between Singapore and Philippines, having
the former (unsurprisingly) dominate the latter in most of the categories.

This write-up supports the purpose of this paper in such a way that it (numerically,
thus, clearly) defines the differences (and similarities) of the two nations, which
leads to analysis of hows and whys that could further shed light on the hopes and
promise that the Philippines may somehow come near if not duplicate the success
of the “vaunted miracle Singapore”, that the many similarities between two nations
further strengthen the presumption that Philippines can very likely to succeed like
Singapore.

4. 3 things holding the Philippines back from becoming another


Singapore
Ilda, August 14, 2015

The article tackles on the weaknesses of the Philippines that are hindering it from
reaching that elusive progress. This may seem a discouragement and a stumbling
block to the purpose of this paper, but it isn’t. The article actually could open the
eyes of the Filipinos regarding our setbacks that could and would lead to more
radical changes in our own individual ways and in our leaders’ perspectives and
convictions.

5. Lee Kuan Yew and the Singapore he built is proof that the
Philippines did it all wrong
Get Real Post
March 26, 2015

This write up is very much critical of the Philippine government, but it cannot be
denied that his observations and accounts are not without bases. The writer gives
emphasis on Singapore's "managed" democracy in contrast to Philippines’ failed
democracy. He mentions that democracy is not among LKY’s most favourite things.
3
Mahar Mangahas, http://opinion.inquirer.net/83677/singapore-compared-to-the-philippines
4
He, instead ran Singapore with an iron fist. There was no “revolution” to break that
tight grip. The only revolutionary thing that happened in Singapore was economic.
Whereas Filipinos celebrate a political “revolution”, Singapore quietly achieved an
economic one4.

As implied in this article, there is a real need to “revisit” and analyze if the kind of
democracy we have is beneficial or detrimental to the nation.

Foreign Articles

1. Development: Learning from Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew


January 30, 2013

Calestous Juma, the writer of the article, comprehensibly presented Lee Kuan
Yew’s insights as told in the newly released book, Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand
Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World, by Graham Allison
and Robert Blackwill, with Ali Wyne. This is a contemporary account of Lee Kuan
Yew's thinking as told through a series of interviews 5. His insights could inspire
present and future leaders in all parts of the world, much more, the developing
countries, especially his emphasis on the quality of a nation’s manpower resources
as the major determinant of national competitiveness. So much inspiration and
learnings could be acquired from this visionary leader of Singapore who has been
wisely supporting and guiding the country even after his death.

2. Why Singapore became an economic success?


Mar 26th 2015

The economist enumerates the most important factors why Singapore rose to its
present state of progress and stability, also giving emphasis on the not-so
promising state from where it started. This article is an important source of the
important keys of how a nation originally from being a third world country could
become a first world, developed country.

3. Singapore: Asia's model of good governance


March 23, 2015
Rujun Shen, Reuters

The writer discussed that in Singapore, dozens of Asia's best and brightest
government officials each year join what has become known as the "Mayors'

4
Get Real Post, http://www.getrealphilippines.com/blog/2015/03/lee-kuan-yew-and-the-singapore-he-
built-is-proof-that-the-philippines-did-it-all-wrong/
5
Calestous Juma, https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/development-learning-singapores-lee-kuan-
yew-0
5
Class" - studying good governance, economic management and how to make their
countries work like Singapore6. The “Mayors’ Class” are being held at two of the
city-state's top universities (Nanyang Technological University, NTU and the
National University of Singapore, NUS). In their classes, the secrets of what it
takes to make a country efficient, competitive, and rich, are being revealed to the
students7. This attests that learning how to govern “The Singapore way” is very
much possible for any nation. Moreover, the writer mentioning Singapore tackling
issues of its own - from the rapid influx of foreigners to a widening income gap,
gives an insight of how the Philippines can also learn to tackle its own problems.

4. The three factors behind Singapore’s success


August 23, 2015
Today Online

The article talks about the three factors behind Singapore’s success: Resolve to
be multiracial, culture of self-reliance, faith between Government and people. This
write up is inspiring and very encouraging as the writer recounts the persuasive
and powerful words of the two leaders, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
and the former Prime Minister (and founder) Lee Kuan Yew. Mr. Lee said “We
believed that before race, language, and religion, we should, first and foremost, be
Singaporean.”
“From the start, everyone had to pull their weight because Singapore could not
afford freeloaders”, said Mr Lee. Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died
in March, had urged time and again that Singapore had to become a “rugged
society”, noted Mr Lee. “We don’t use that term quite so often anymore. But our
people must still be robust and tough, able to take hard knocks, always striving to
be better,” said Mr Lee.7

5. The four pillars of Singapore’s sustainable development success


June 7, 2017
Teo Chee Hean

This article comprises an excerpt of Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and


Coordinating Minister for National Security Mr Teo Chee Hean during the
Ecosperity 2017 conference held in June. Here, he shared how Singapore has
balanced economic, social, and environmental priorities to achieve sustainable
development. Regardless of the many challenges that the nation is still facing, it is

6
Rujun Shen, Reuters, http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/specialreports/457613/singapore-asia-s-
model-of-good-governance/story/
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Today Online, https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/three-factors-singapores-success
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still able work everything out because of these four pillars: Building a sustainable
economy; creating a sustainable living environment; ensuring sustainable
development for our people; and contributing to international collaboration.

These four pillars have been achievable for Singapore and could give the
Philippines insights and inspiration to become a progressive nation, and
sustainable at that.

IV. PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS, & INTERPRETATION OF DATA

A. THE CRUCIAL KEYS TO SINGAPORE’S RISE TO ECONOMIC PROGRESS


AND STABILITY

1. Singapore Attracts Foreign Investment

Singapore is strategically located at the main crossroads of the world. It is at the


mouth of the Malacca Strait, through which perhaps 40% of world maritime trade
passes. It was an important trading post in the 14th century, and again from the
19th, when British diplomat Sir Stamford Raffles founded the modern city. Now it
is at the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic regions. Under Mr Lee,
Singapore made the most of these advantages8. Along with its excellent reputation,
good network and infrastructure, sophisticated banking system, strong legal
framework and attractive tax system have given Singapore the competitive edge
in comparison to other countries. Some of the positive factors which help
Singapore in attracting foreign investment are:
 Trust-integrity, quality, reliability, productivity, a strong legal system
 Knowledge-knowledge-based manufacturing and services, a thought and
information hub, commitment to education and skills
 Connected-physical connectivity as well as people and business networks
 Life-an excellent place to live, work and learn

2. Utmost emphasis on having and honing the best and most


talented people in government service

The city state’s educational system is that of meritocracy: The chance to lead
should be vested in individuals on the basis of talent, effort and achievement.

According to Lee Kuan Yew, “the quality of a nation's manpower resources is the
single most important factor determining national competitiveness. It is the
people's innovativeness, entrepreneurship, team work, and their work ethic that

8
https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/03/economist-explains-23
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gives them that sharp keen edge in competitiveness." He believes in the utmost
importance of the quality of human capital.

In Singapore, outstanding students are given scholarships to study in reputable


universities abroad. In return, they are required to work in government and with
high salaries. In this way, their most intelligent and capable employees get to work
in government, not in private companies. That is called meritocracy: they have their
focus on identifying and developing the very best talent and, equally important,
directing it towards public service. Moreover, their educational system is
unceasingly and intensely forward-looking, always evolving and advancing, unlike
most developing countries whose outmoded educational systems cannot cope
with the entrepreneurial demands of modern times.

3. Valuing Honesty/Relentless Fight against corruption

In order to keep the best people in government service, Lee imposed a


controversial policy that fixed the salaries of ministers and senior civil servants to
the top of the corporate world. Giving public servants competitive pay helped
minimize corruption. In addition, tough legal code and heavy fines also make
Singapore consistently rank as among the least corrupt countries. They have the
independent and effective Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) directly
under the prime minister's office which leads in carrying out Lee’s “zero tolerance”
approach to corruption. Very strict implementation of penalties and policies help
fight corruption effectively and efficiently.

With a strong political will as the foundation, the framework of corruption control
consists of four pillars --

 Effective Anti Corruption Acts (or laws)


 Effective Anti Corruption Agency
 Effective Adjudication (or punishment) and
 Efficient Government Administration.

4. Strict implementation of laws/balance between democracy and


discipline

Singapore is known for its low crime rates as well as strong penalties for what are
usually considered minor offenses in other developed nations. It is often called a
“Fine City”. Strict implementation of punishment and/or fines is being practiced with
regards to chewing gum, littering, spitting, vandalism, smoking, drug use, and
others – thus, helps fostering a culture of discipline that even Filipinos working
there appreciate.
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Although it has a parliamentary representative democratic system of government,
many Singaporeans don’t hide the fact that they have “less democracy,” but they
see it as a small price to pay for stability and economic prosperity. Here, people
are free to move around at any time of the day or night without being anxious for
their safety. It shows that "right reason" and "moral laws" prevail here. Having a
hybrid regime, it practices partial or low intensity democracy in which they are able
to grant their citizens more freedom while maintaining a tight grip on power. The
Government is determined to keep the right balance between democracy and
discipline.

5. Long Term Planning and building strong institutions

From being a modern city, a Garden City, and now a Smart Nation, Singapore's
leaders pushed the country forward through vision and long-term planning. Even
succession is done way in advance. Lee's handover of power to former Prime
Minister Goh Chok Tong in 1990 was a decade-long process. Singapore's first
prime minister, Lee gave up the job voluntarily and unprovoked, but stayed on as
an influential senior minister and minister mentor9 .

Lee and the first generation of leaders built strong institutions, like the public
housing board – the Housing Development Board – that was able to house 80%
of citizens in a matter of 20 to 30 years.

Singapore has had to be resourceful to make a living for its people, having no rich
natural resources to rely on. The government persevered to find ways to create
and add value, producing goods and services, making careful use of their available
resources. This has required integrated and long-term planning to optimise
resources such as budget, land, manpower, energy, and more recently, carbon
emissions, to ensure sustainable growth.

5. Singapore welcomed foreign trade and investment.

Multinationals found Singapore a natural hub and were encouraged to expand and
prosper.

Singapore has put all its economic efforts into attracting foreign direct investments
(FDIs) and creating a suitable trade environment. All its strategies have turned
Singapore in one of the easiest cities in the world to do business in. Among these
strategies one can find the advantageous loans for foreign investors, the tax
incentives and exemptions, the pro-business legislation and the city’s financial
stability. In 2013 Singapore was nominated as the eighth largest city in the world
as recipient of FDI by the UNCTAD Global Investment Report and the third among
Asian countries. The countries investing the most in Singapore are the United
States, the Netherlands and Japan.

9
Ayee Macaraig,https://www.rappler.com/world/specials/southeast-asia/101784-sg50-philippines-lessons-
singapore
9

Singapore maintains a heavily trade-dependent economy. It is characterized by an


open investment regime, with some restrictions in the financial services,
professional services, and media sectors. The World Bank's Doing Business 2017
report ranked Singapore as the world’s second-easiest country in which to do
business after New Zealand. The 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Report ranks
Singapore as the second-most competitive economy globally. The 2004 U.S.-
Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) expanded U.S. market access in
goods, services, investment, and government procurement, enhanced intellectual
property protection, and provided for cooperation in promoting labor rights and the
environment.

The Government of Singapore (GOS) is strongly committed to maintaining a free


market, but it also takes a leadership role in actively planning Singapore's
economic development, including through an extensive network of government-
linked corporations (GLCs)

6. Innovations, Conitinuous Learning and changes

More often than not, success gives a disinclination to change, to take risk. But not
Singapore. In the way that this small nation has been actively innovating, find
better ways to improve the people’s lives, better ways to do things, better ways to
manage their country, teaches this good lesson: “No matter how successful one
has been through the years, the willingness and ability to keep surveying their
circumstances, and keep learning from other people must still be there. There
might still be better ways to do things”, said Kenneth Paul Tan, Vice Dean at the
Lee Kuan Yew School.

“Country envy” is not bad at all, if it could help a nation become progressive, like
how Singapore learned all the best practices from other countries. And so it has
been very successful in improving its living standards so quickly and so
comprehensively. Vice Tan added: “Whatever Singapore has copied from the other
countries, we invite other countries to copy from Singapore.”

The role of learning is a very important ingredient in Lee Kuan Yew's leadership
style and conviction. His vision of workers of the future reflects greater autonomy
"to manage their own control systems, supervise themselves, and take upon
themselves the responsibility to upgrade. They must be disciplined enough to think
on their own and to seek to excel without someone breathing down their neck." In
addition, he argues for a leadership style that can "convince the majority of people
that tough reforms are worth taking, that decide a country’s development and
progress."

B. THE MAIN POINTS THAT THE PHILIPPINES CAN LEARN FROM SINGAPORE
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Learning more about the success of Singapore somehow gives most of us,
Filipinos, the thought that “it might be impossible for our country to even come
close to the success of this small nation which has always been a center of
“country envy”. We have the same tropical climate, and similar colonial and
wartime pasts, but why did our political and economic outcomes turn out to be so
different? It is very encouraging though, that Singapore's former Ambassador to
the United Nations Kishore Mahbubani sees great potential in the Philippines,
according to Rappler. He said “If there's one country that will definitely succeed
with meritocracy, pragmatism and honesty, that's the Philippines. I say this
because Filipinos are among the most talented people in the world today.” Can
we really do it? Is it possible?

Although not everything that Singapore did and has done could be applicable to
the Philippines, still there are a number of important points that we can learn and
adapt.

1. Meritocracy – Singapore’s quest for finding the brightest, the best, the most
talented people and educating them, honing their talents and skills, optimizing
their potentials, -- and have them work for the government with competitive
wages, even higher than those of the private companies.

2. Track down corruption – The Philippine government can form one like
Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB). It should be also one
that is efficient, dependable and reliable to track down corrupt practices and
prosecute corrupt officials. Difficult it may seem, but we should aim to have “zero
tolerance” approach to corruption.

3. Strict Implementation of Laws – The Philippines has so many laws but most
are not well implemented. The authorities are not consistent and religious in
catching the violators and their standards are easily swayed by a lot of factors:
bribes, connections, favoritism, etc. --- that all boil down to low moral standards.
The government should painstakingly think, devise, and come up with the most
effective means of strictly implementing the law starting from the Barangay level.
Our leaders in the local and national levels should work hand in hand to get the
citizens adhere to the laws of the land.

Though frequently called a “Fine City”, it wasn’t so much the stiff penalties
involved in violating Singaporean laws that really forced them to shape up, but
the consistent and persistent implementation of it.

We need a chain reaction to start somewhere. We need leaders who have


political will to enforce the law.
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4. Emphasize education – It is high time to have our educational system evolve is
in such a way that it will cater to the demands of the industries in the Philippines.
The leaders of education should work together to help create a system which will
make the lessons, subjects and courses relevant to what the society needs –
those that will make the young people land on areas of work that are readily
available in the jobs market.

We should also have a big budget for education. At present, 20% of Singapore’s
annual budget is allocated for education. Couple this with the fact that their
system is considered one of the best in the world, and you have a very educated
citizenry with a high level of competence. The Philippines followed suit in 2014,
with the Department of Education getting the lion’s share of the budget.

C. FACTORS THAT MAY BE KEEPING THE PHILIPPINES FROM


FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF SINGAPORE

There are a number of hindrances to the Philippines from becoming another Singapore,
but the three major ones will be discussed.

1. Lack of discipline

People ignoring the pedestrian lanes; jeepney drivers loading and unloading in
the middle of the road; children tossing their candy wrappers everywhere; and so
many more scenes around describing how disciplined we are. The question is,
“why do so many Filipinos lack discipline?”

First, the people developed an over-democratized lifestyle. After the Martial Law,
the Philippines embraced and practiced democracy so much so that some have
forgotten that their rights end when the rights of others begin. People do not
seem to realize that democracy has limits. For Lee Kuan Yew, Filipinos need to
develop discipline more than they need democracy. He was right. Democracy is
effective only when the majority are informed and educated and that is not the
case in the Philippines. Most of the Filipinos seem to misunderstand that
democracy means freedom to do whatever they want including breaking the
law10.

Another reason for Filipinos’ lack of discipline is lack of discipline at home.


Parents these days lack control on their children. Most parents lack the time and
effort to sit down with their kids and correct them whenever they do something
wrong. For these reasons, a lot of Filipino children grow up into adults with less
regard to rules and regulations.

10
Ilda, http://www.getrealphilippines.com/blog/2015/08/3-things-holding-the-philippines-back-from-
becoming-another-singapore/
12
Another reason why Filipinos do not take discipline seriously is because they do
not see most of the authorities as role models. They see that even government
officials themselves do not follow the rules they have implemented. In their young
minds, they are already aware of the rampant corruption in the government. Law
enforcement agencies including the police and justice department do not or
cannot do their jobs properly. This causes people not to be motivated to follow
rules.

The lack of strict law implementation is also one of the reasons why there are
many undisciplined citizens. No matter how good the regulations made are if the
implementing body does not have the determination and tenacity to make the
society follow them, then nothing will happen. As long as people do not see any
danger of not heeding the law, they will not obey it. On the other hand, in other
places/countries, people are observed to be compliant to the rules where
violators face serious penalties.

2. Patronage politics has perverted democracy.

LONG CITED as a major drag on the Philippines’ development, political


patronage is defined as the allocation of favors or rewards such as public office,
jobs, contracts, subsidies or other valued benefits by a patron (usually an elected
official) to a client (usually a donor or campaign contributor) in return for the
client’s service, such as voting for the patron or providing money for electoral
campaigning. Political patronage has also been mentioned in many studies as a
major factor why industrialization did not happen as planned, why manufacturing
degenerated, why land reform failed, and why the Philippines has been
economically overtaken by its neighbors. It will be almost impossible for the
Philippines to progress as long as patronage politics is present.

3. Lack of Knowledge

The apparent “bahala na” attitude of most of the Filipinos is the main motivator
for this problem. They did not know the truth behind stories or even care about it.
The ones that always captivate their attention are showbiz news and “chismis”.
They are like sheep. They easily believe that allegations and hearsay (haka-
haka) are true. Why? Because the Media is a powerful weapon for manipulating
public opinion.

We can clearly see in several debates that Filipinos will rather prefer top attack
the messenger but not the message. Why? Because they do not know the
content of the text, or even care reading it to understand the point of the author.
Rational thinking is really lacking.

One of the main reasons of the apparent lack of rationality amongst Filipinos is
they are always riding the bandwagon. Riding the bandwagon is not always
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unfavourable, but the Filipinos are riding often. We can summarily condensate it
to one word: pakikisama.

Pakikisama is not unfavourable, in fact it is sometimes essential and beneficial.


But if you used it too much, it will result to your lack of independent decision
making because you will always conform to the decisions of the majority.

Some say that maybe changing the form of government into parliamentary system can
change the development course the nation. However, the system is only as good as the
people. There is very little chance a good system will be designed by a society that is
lacking in discipline, is anti-intellectual, and is imprisoned by patronage politics. Sadly,
such a society is guaranteed to either remain stagnant or become worse in the decades
to come11.

V. SUMMARY, CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATION

THE PROSPECTS OF CHANGE TOWARD A BRIGHT FUTURE:

The Future Looks Dim.

Again, what can the Philippines learn from Singapore? A lot. So much. So many. More.

But it will take so much in order to learn and apply all those things. It will probably take
many, many years, or even decades, before the Philippines can evolve from what it is
now. Before aiming for economic progress and stability, many things that hinder
development should be fixed first, two of these are corruption and lack of discipline. The
roots of corruption have been so deeply embedded that it would take bold efforts to
completely eradicate it from our system. It is saddening to note that corruption is not only
prevalent in the higher ups but also in the barangay level. The lack of discipline in (sadly,
most of) Filipinos seem to be already “in the blood” that even the simple traffic rules
cannot be adhered to. Singapore’s successful governance does not only include
capabilities of the leaders and a very efficient system of managing its people and
resources. It involves discipline and high moral standards. It includes the motivation to
always persevere to be at his/her best, to always move forward, to learn and be better. It
will probably take one Filipino version of Lee Kuan Yew to get the country moving, to lead
us to a good, steady starting point. But ONE crucial factor that we need is this: PEOPLE.
Yes, honest, well-disciplined people who have high moral standards.

The Future looks bright.

There is hope. Three most important ingredients are needed.

11
Ilda, http://www.getrealphilippines.com/blog/2015/08/3-things-holding-the-philippines-back-from-
becoming-another-singapore/
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1. Bold leadership

We need the kind of leadership that’s assertive and willing to make choices that
may be unpopular, but prove to be for the better in the long run.

To achieve success, these leaders must have Lee Kuan Yew's determination,
consistency, and persistence. They must set out to do something concrete and
cannot just focus on the trappings of statesmanship. His advice is simple: "Anyone
who thinks he is a statesman needs to see a psychiatrist."

2. Less Democracy, more discipline.

The Filipinos’ favorite quote from the late Lee Kuan Yew remains: “What a country
needs to develop is discipline more than democracy.” Singapore supposedly
traded its freedoms for strong governance and economic progress, while post-
Edsa Philippines was built on the opposite choice. The evolved Singapore has both
discipline and democracy. Lee Kuan Yew remains optimistic about the economic
future of developing countries: "There is no reason why third world leaders cannot
succeed…if they can maintain social order, educate their people, maintain peace
with their neighbors, and gain the confidence of investors by upholding the rule of
law."12 It is the firm and responsible leadership of the government combined with
the citizens’ respect to the law and rights of their fellows.

3. Become better Filipinos.

Instill these values to all people, especially the young generation.

 discipline at home, work, public place, anywhere, everywhere


 respect for all people regardless of social status, position, gender, age,
etc.
 obedience to the laws and local ordinances
 love and genuine concern for one’s community and country
 uphold high moral values

12
Calestous Juma, https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/development-learning-singapores-lee-kuan-
yew-0
15
VI. REFERENCES

Get Real Post (2015, March 26). Lee Kuan Yew and the Singapore he built is proof that
the Philippines did it all wrong. Retrieved from
http://www.getrealphilippines.com/blog/2015/03/lee-kuan-yew-and-the-singapore-he-
built-is-proof-that-the-philippines-did-it-all-wrong/

Hean, T. C. (2017, June 7). The four pillars of Singapore’s sustainable development
success. Retrieved from http://www.eco-business.com/opinion/the-four-pillars-of-
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