Lee Kuan Yew and the Singapore he built is proof that the Philippines did it all wrong

Rest in peace Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

LKY represents everything latter-day Filipino politicians are not. He had a vision for Singapore and the courage to break ground where lesser folk beholden to the popular sentiment feared to tread. The country LKY built is a stark in-your-face reminder that just about every “contributing factor” Filipinos, their leaders, and their so-called “intellectuals” cite to excuse the chronic failure of their society to achieve and prosper are but sad words coming from a sad people.

lee_kuan_yewWhile the Philippines stood out as America’s “democracy” pin-up girl in the 1950s, Singapore was an outcast. Shunned by the Malay Federation, menaced by Indonesia, and abandoned by the British Empire, LKY took leadership of a state that had very reasonable excuses to curl up on the floor and fail. It had none of the essential natural resources needed to industrialise, was wracked by internal ethnic strife, and lacked an identity beyond its former status as a Malay Federation state.

Filipinos like to think that freedom is a pre-requisite for prosperity. LKY’s Singapore disproved that long before it was even turned into a brand by Filipino activists. LKY 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 one.

Indeed, the best revenge is success. Singapore now dominates the region. The economic output of one Singaporean dwarfs that of a Filipino and his family of eight by a factor of ten. To the Philippines’ ability to “secure” an outlying territory by beaching a World War II era ship, Singapore, a country of just several million, can project hundreds of times the firepower many miles beyond its territory. It also keeps a significant chunk of the Philippines’ work force employed.

What can Filipinos learn from LKY and Singapore?

A lot. Trouble is, they refuse to. One thing’s for sure, democracy certainly cannot be counted as one of LKY’s most favourite things. Yet Filipinos regard their hoplessly chaotic brand of demo-crazy as their country’s crowning “achievement”. To this day, the Philippines’ legions of has-been celebrity “activists” and discredited “intellectuals” continue to sing hymns about by-gone “champions” of “freedom” and lead their flock lighting candles before monuments to their world-renowned voodoo politics. In contrast to the stoic way Singaporeans and their leaders faced the challenges ahead of them, Filipinos routinely wail and rant about the imaginary “anti-progress” bogeymen their revered demagogues put up to demonise giving them big English names that, ironically, defy translation into the vernacular: Corruption, Cronyism, Nepotism, Imperialism, blah blah blah.

You’d think the solution to “solving” Philippine poverty is to “elminate” those “evils” of society. Yet the very leaders Filipino voters foolishly entrust to do just that are, themselves, the sources and embodiments of those “evils”. Indeed, for most Filipino politicians, corruption, cronyism, nepotism, and imperialism are entire ways of life!

What exactly has democracy and the much-touted “freedom” its adherents enjoy delivered to Filipinos? Perhaps Filipinos uphold a misguided notion of what it means to be free. If “freedom” to Filipinos has come to mean being free to elect idiots to top leadership positions, being free to flood an entire consumer market with useless trinkets made in China, and free to feed trashy media products to an already ignorant star-struck population, it is likely that a radical re-evaluation of that notion is overdue. LKY did not pretend to be a big fan of that sort of freedom to gain the global respect he now commands and to build a society every Third World government aspires to build. As such, he is often criticised for his “autocratic” ways.

No. LKY’s Singapore offers a readily-evident freedom that is ironically alien to apologists of failed democracies such as that of the Philippines’.

Yes, Lee Kuan Yew was not a paragon of the kind of democracy that throws up populist political leaders. Yes, his acerbic remarks would never have won a TV debate or an election in the U.S. But he was not one of the self-serving, corrupt dictators that developing countries produce so often. It would be folly to deny him his due credit for building a nation regularly listed as the world’s best place to live.

Spoken like a true Singaporean. LKY would’ve been proud.


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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107 Comments on "Lee Kuan Yew and the Singapore he built is proof that the Philippines did it all wrong"

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And the biggest irony of it all is that the Filipinos are now flocking to Singapore, willing to be subjected and humiliated just for a better tomorrow. Something that the Philippines has failed to become.

It won’t be long before the Philippines falls from the “Mexico” of Asia into the “Africa” of Asia.


better we should get the DNA of LKY and clone him and become our next president so that he could drastically change our country through his iron fist and strong political will.

Sick Amore
When it comes to true leadership, marami pang kakaining bigas ang mga pinuno natin. One maybe intelligent(?), one maybe honest or not corrupt(?), one may have loyal following, but if that guy don’t have high ambition for the country and its people that comes with dependable strategies and strict ambitious plans, same shit will happen over and over again. You hear LKY, Shinzo Abe or Jose Mujica’s name you’ll be filled with pride and sense of security if they were your country’s leader. And their name set you to stick to the rules and work your asses off. You hear… Read more »
Ingo Vogelmann

Don’t give irresponsible people freedom. They have no idea how to handle it, and how valuable this is. Too many people fought and died for a freedom that those idiots will never understand nor value.

LKY was a good friend of Ferdinand Marcos. He got the idea of building HDBs in such a small place like sg from him. What did the filipinos do to him? Ousted him, i’m not a pro marcos but am a filipino who was blessed to have lived in sg for 6 years and moved out to down under. Am afraid that philippines has lost its momentum, it would be hard to get back up, it has become a hopeless ‘save yourself’ nation, people looking out only for themselves, those who are pretending to be nationalists are just attention seekers… Read more »
Not TB
In Singapore, they did one thing (of many) that the Philippines needs to do: enforce laws. Why? Well, according to the tenets of law, justice is (supposed to be) blind. If you hold accountable those in power as well as the lowly of the low, then you give society a chance at progress because now, you have somewhat leveled the playing field for everyone. Does Singapore allow spitting in public? No. And what happens when that happens? Don’t want to find out. In the Philippines, guaranteed daily there will be tens of dozens of men leaning up against walls, posts,… Read more »
Let me recall something F. Sionil Jose said in this article called “Culture as Impediment: Why We Were Left Behind.” “One of the old excuses is corruption. Let us now look at the Western powers—the United States and Britain. How was America built? The robber barons, the Vanderbilts, the Morgans, Rockefellers and Stanfords were not saints—they raped the land, exploited their workers and were pompous and self-indulgent. But they built railroads, steel mills, industries, universities; after they amassed all that wealth, they went into philanthropy. The richest man in the world today — Bill Gates—poured billions into his crusade to… Read more »

read this guys, I like this topic from 8list.ph and this will be a moral lesson to us if we want our country to become the next Singapore: http://8list.ph/lee-kuan-yew-philippines/


Lee Kuan Yew was a good leader. His vision for his country was achieved in his lifetime.

Our country is full of political demagogues and political con people. They have visions; not for the country, or for us; but for themselves and their families.

Look at the political family dynasties, we have. Look at the politicians enriching themselves by stealing from the Pork Barrels, DAP, PDAF, etc…

Pia Pilar Francisco
If LKY were to run for president in the Philippines, he never would have won. LKY is just too ugly and his pockmarked face would never appeal to Filipino voters who tend to favor tisoys or showbiz personalities or people with name recall such as Noynoy. LKY is not eloquent, and would have been no match for the oratorical skills of our forever speechifying Ninoy Aquino or Chiz Escudero. LKY is just too straightforward, sometimes too mataray and abrasive, which will rub Filipinos the wrong way. His expressions are just too unvarnished, which will hurt our Filipino pusong mamon. LKY… Read more »
Dos Equis

Singapore definitely prospered under this guy.Though the country/city/state/island is not for everyone.(He came to power with lots of BIG help from the British). Taxes on foreigners buying condo’s/residences there are just fuckin outrageous.Cops ticket/fine the shit out of people for almost anything.Totalitarianism???
and he had a lot of help too.Singaporeans did not build the place by themselves.Developments in the West benefitted he and his place dramatically.


The same will be said about the Lady in Burma in 25 yrs..Thing is ,why?


I was born in the USA but I attended high school in the Philippines during the 90’s. One of our outdated Philippine history books had some anti-Singapore propaganda (well, anti-abortion). The book mocked Singapore’s population control policy saying it will be bad for it’s economy. I believe the author was Gregorio F. Zaide.


Can this guy win an election here I really doubt he can win here

Singapore, even though is made of many different religions, cultures, is small, so it’s easy to govern the country. It helped that the country’s gov. is parliamentary with 2 branches so laws are passed like a piece of cake. However it lacks a system of checks and balances. A parliamentary gov. has no standard term, so the gov. can announce elections when it has high ratings in surveys. Here, there’s 3 branches making it slow to pass laws (Ave. is 1 year), but it makes up for careful deliberation by all 3 branches and checking for loopholes. Having 3 branches… Read more »

Philippines is proof that Philippines did it all wrong


Hey, if you LOVE Singapore that much, why don’t you just haul your ass over there!!! STAY AWAY FROM THIS COUNTRY, YOU UNGRATEFUL TRAITOR!!!

I stayed in sg for 5 years, i already did haul my ass over there because i was forced by circumstances, my family might have died of starvation f i didnt…. I realized sg is indeed so good, and ph is far cry as comparedbto sg…. I was inspired that i came back here and having a passion fir change and speak up… Oh welll maybe your just being uncivilized and narriow eyed… Why dont you try to haul your ass over there so that you might understand what we are talking about… Youve stayed here to long… Your brain… Read more »

as I hate the government, I also hate those filipinos who talk to much but nonsense. From where do you get your ideas, brain-drain or colonial mentality? yes you blame the government, but do you also blame yourself from what is happening in our country? get real b*tches

K Villaralvo

Spare the rod, spoil the child, as the cliche saying goes. The Philippines is nothing but a spoiled brat who has no stick-bearing disciplinarian parent to beat him with, so it grew up to be the wretch it is today. Meanwhile, Singapore has risen out of its own scars and became the power we will never become.

After reading most of the comments, now I know what is wrong with my country. First of all, we like looking at our negative side. We dont appreciate our positives. Singapore is a great city nation but dont we have the longest coastline in the world and with that some of the greatest beaches. Second is we like comparing ourselves to our successful neighbors, someone is always better than us. Third is we like talking about problems but we dont stand up and do something about it. Bad leaders? Why dont we participate in the electoral process by campaigning for… Read more »