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.

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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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Ricardo_Diaz
Guest

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.

Dos Equis
Guest

it already has.

cwoz83
Guest

A weak comparison there, with Mexico being a single country and Africa being a continent with 53 – very diverse – countries. And, in case you hadn’t noticed, parts of Africa are actually doing very well.

pt
Guest

Even the better parts of Africa (e.g. South Africa, still astronomically high crime/murder rate), I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole.

Marcos is NOT a hero, So is Noynoy
Guest
Marcos is NOT a hero, So is Noynoy

True! Noynoy fans got it all wrong!

mrericx
Guest

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.

EelYerbie
Guest

The clone will just get “People Powered” out by its ignoramus population.
Discipline and accountability are such foreign concepts to Filipinos that once apprehended for committing offenses, they cry out that their “freedom” is being taken away.

Filipinos rally behind the name of democracy as a lame excuse to escape responsibility. They want all that “freedom” but care not about what such freedom entails.

Amir Al Bahr
Member

That is assuming that the DNA of LKY will not get rejected by the Filipinos. But it will; count on it.

anonymous
Guest

No need to do that.

We already have Richard Gordon and/or Rodrigo Duterte.

annon
Guest

An yet those leaders will never will the presidency. The problem is not the countries leaders. Its the people that elected thats the problem.

annon
Guest

n yet those leaders will never win the presidency. The problem is not the country’s leaders. Its the people that elected thats the problem.

mrericx
Guest

Duterte-Gordon tandem will be better for 2016 election but will the Filipino people gonna vote for them? Hopefully…

heraldo
Guest

“the government is only as good as the people who put them there”

monkeys electing monkeys. this will happen in 2016 as it did in the past. can’t expect much. don’t get your hopes to high or don’t even have any hope at all. much of the Filipino population don’t even try hard to think who to vote for. they’re contented by just watching their favorite noon time show or their favorite soap opera. they like to claim other people’s achievement and love to say “Proud to be Pinoy”.

andrew
Guest

mukhang hindi mangyayari yan adre. baka ang magkalaban next year ay binay at roxas. malamang suportahan ni mayor duterte si roxas. mag-tropa ung dalawa eh. kung ganun, baka go ako kay roxas. Liberal Party ako. pero malayo pa naman. magkakaalaman next year.

Empty
Guest
Gordon is not a clean politician. He was one of the politicians raking it in during the Subic Bay heydeys. Like Binay recently, he barricaded himself to not be taken out office simply because there was so much money in the tax-free zone back then. He is corrupt but very intelligent and disciplined hence he was able to fool people into thinking he is clean. He does not flaunt his wealth which could incriminate him. (Imagine how much he needed to run for president 2x.) And he always positions himself smartly – like now as the Red Cross head. (A… Read more »
anon
Guest

Sadly, nobody is clean.

sphynx
Guest

there might be clean politician that has a potential to be a President but the thing is, even if our president is good enough, the corrupt people is in the lower position. that’s how sad it is.

Sick Amore
Guest
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
Guest

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.

Not TB
Guest

Well put Ingo!!!

Truth is, the people in the Philippines don’t have a CLUE what to do with their freedom and independence! Corruption runs rampant, anarchy rules and if it weren’t for a predominantly Christian population conditioned by religion to be peaceful, I would venture a frightful guess as to how the society would likely resemble those in the rogue countries in Africa!

Sarah Yong
Guest

well said!

Achaea
Guest
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 »
paksyett
Guest

“The difference lies in the culture of the Filipino people. It is a soft, forgiving culture. Only in the Philippines could a leader like Ferdinand Marcos, who pillaged his country for over 20 years, still be considered for a national burial. Insignificant amounts of the loot have been recovered, yet his wife and children were allowed to return and engage in politics.” – Lee Kuan Yew

puerile intellectual
Guest

The level of delusion in this comment is too damn high

Achaea
Guest

Which part of my comment is delusional?

Don
Guest

Who “got the idea of building HDBs”? FM from LKY? or LKY from FM? When and where did both men met?

Achaea
Guest

Please read the book “From third world to first world” by LKY.

andrew
Guest

i had my sister order that book for me. nauna pa siyang basahin ngaun kesa sakin. 🙂

Anna Ramos-Mayfield
Guest

not true. that is utter bulshit. though both are dictators. LKY has foresight and vision. Marcos just wanted to loot central bank and live in style.

Singapore already have high-rise HDB flats in Bukit Merah and Queenstown by 1962. Marcos was president by 1966.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_housing_in_Singapore#History

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Marcos

now that, we’ve established, that i own your punk ass. Shut up! Tanga! basa-basa pag may time.. hahahaha.

Achaea
Guest

So is cussing really necessary to make your point? When your source is nothing but wikipedia? So do you feel much of a better person now that you have called someone tanga? This is why philippines will never prosper, because of ill-mannered people like you..

Vhein
Guest

Halooo Who’s tanga? you can’t completely trust informations on Wikipedia. Published content/page on Wiki are generally not considered reliable source to cite because anyone can create or edit informations on a particular page.

Jay
Guest
Ah yes, the mark of someone who was raised from the education institutions of the Philippines. When they cite sources straight up from Wikipedia and don’t do enough digging on their own. And shows off their hubris as well with what little effort it took them to wipe their ass getting second hand information from the internet. Now granted we call every “dictator” or negative leader in the Philippines whatever. But its also just as worst calling the neutral or squeaky clean but inept leaders of the country “good”. I guess that is what is taught in the esteemed learning… Read more »
anon
Guest

Copy pasta.

Mizpah Castro
Guest

Wow. Wikipedia.

Remigio Teope
Guest

YES PHILIPPINES BECAME POOR BECAUSE MARCOS STARTED TO PLUNDER IT’S WEALTH. FOLLOWED BY RAMOS AND GLORIAGhttps://www.google.com.ph/search?q=dictionary&oq=dictionary&aqs=chrome..69i57.5239j0j4&sourceid=chrome-mobile&espv=1&ie=UTF-8LORIA WHO DID THE SAME. MARCOS COULD HAVE BEEN GOOD PRESIDENT IF HE WAS NOT CORRUPT. SAYANG WE ARE RICHER THAN OTHER NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES LIKE MALAYSIA VIETNAM SINGAPORE KOREA DURING HIS TIME.

Willie Barry
Guest

You are damm right Achaea… i still live in the Philippines.. but previledged to travel abroad to visit my daughters in Europe..I drove them out of this country to protect the future of their families.I compare the situation here right now to a Stage 4 Carcinoma ..need a surgical intervention fr a dictator with symblance of Lee Kwan Yu..trash this rabbish politician to Jail and build a new parliamentary Govt. to cut corruption fr the top. I believe thats the only way we can have a better Philippines for you and me..

Not TB
Guest
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 »
Dos Equis
Guest

Got a point there.thats just gross,BUT people have to be able to pay the fine imposed.Many in Manila live on P150/day.Change that first then MAYBE a change could occur. BUT IDK, its too late…the rats have left the ship and all that’s left to do,really,is watch the ship go down.
Maybe, ‘out of the ashes’?

andrew
Guest

may solusyon yan. by % base on your salary. like in Finland. so, if you’re a manager, then let’s say nahuli siya for beating the red light, then if 100k ang salary niya, ung imposed na % sa 100k salary, un ang fine niya. so if the fine is set to 10% ng salary, ano ba 10% ng 100k? ewan ko. hahaha basta un.

paano kung walang trabaho at nahuli for spitting, well let me think. maybe 6 months imprisonment with caning or latigo. parang ganyan. ewan ko na lang kung hindi pa titino yan.

Ho Kee Yan
Guest

There must Laws, Enforcement and Courts. All of a very high standard. As pointed out by LKY. Laws alone will not be enough. Enforcement and Courts must be uncorrupted and incorruptible; get these with superlative pay and stiff penalties.

ChinoF
Member
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 »
Presidente Emilio
Guest
Right on target, ChinoF. One thing we have to remember is how our society was built. Contrary to the popular belief, we are not America’s trying hard copycats. That’s just the skin. We are a society built on the “Hispanic Model”. Spain has taught us the culture of extremity and grandiosity. Just look on how many fiestas we have, and how most of us are devoted to their religion. This is where the problem lies, we learned to indulge ourselves too much even on trivial things to the point that we don’t even know if it’s still right or logical.… Read more »
baconfordinner
Guest

But we have been so americanized already, how come we haven’t gotten that “English” model? I dun think that mattered significantly. It’s just that Filipinos don’t want change.

Presidente Emilio
Guest

Even Lee himself has misgivings about the American-style society and governance, and iterated that it doesn’t always work on other nations with different cultures. That might be the case for the Philippines.

pt
Guest

I think the Chinese Confucian work ethic has an influence on him and most Singaporeans too.

mrericx
Guest

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/

0008Hayden33Toro
Guest

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
Guest
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 »
Redzuan Idris
Guest

And because of that to continue with your own “predictions”, your big country is still one big fucking ugly mess. My LKY, whom is well respected by world leaders and a famous one too, wouldn’t want to waste his time nor yours trying to rule the Philippines. Thank God!

Hong Xuan
Guest
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew – Actions Speak Louder Than Words 29 March 2015 As the saying goes, action speaks louder than words. For all the comments made about Mr Lee Kuan Yew, many a time unpleasant, by both locals and non-locals, no one can deny that Mr Lee Kuan Yew left an indelible mark on Singapore’s history and the world’s. At the end of the day, the only real truth is that Mr Lee Kuan Yew was a respected man by Singaporeans and world leaders internationally. This is evident in that international leaders of super powers such as US, China… Read more »
klo
Guest

LKY is not eloquent? Wow.

mon
Guest

hacienderos conniving with intl welath funds

Dos Equis
Guest

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.

RIP.

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

Mike M
Guest
You gave the fuckin impression that only foreigners pay stamp duties (not fuckn tax) when buying apartments. Singaporeans and PRs pay the same duties. The Singapore police is not in the biznsss of issuing summons (tickets). Enforcement officers will, if you do shit things like those that are commonly committed in Phil – littering, spitting or relieving in public, parking vehicles illegally, beating red traffic light, smoking in prohibited places, etc. That’s why most pinas cities are filthy and vehicles are parked wherever the damn drivers like. This ‘guy’, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, devoted his life to turning… Read more »
zakuII
Guest

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.

Cent
Guest

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

Mike M
Guest

This guy was never interested in the hopeless situation in pinas where mostly corrupt politicians rule and criminal cases are seldom solved or take years. (Case of Ampalaya or the mass murder of election candidates and journalists – Maguindanao?). Why would he want to stand for election here? He’s not a celebrity like Erap or some rebellious army/police generals who were convicted and/or jailed but could still return to political life or hold public office.

bugsbunnyv
Guest
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 »
Jay
Guest
The entire Philippine Democratic system is screwed and has never favored full unity of islands. Yes its easy to govern a small area logistically but you still have to put in work. Ironic considering the general supposed consensus that there is no money in the Philippines yet the cases of corruption in the country involving huge sums of money says otherwise. It does take money to effectively oversee an area with the logistics like the Philippines. There is also money in the resources if the logistics were setup properly. Of course with constraints in the constitution like the 60/40 ownership,… Read more »
baconfordinner
Guest

Philippines is proof that Philippines did it all wrong

Peter
Guest

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!!!

WR
Guest

No problem. The “pinoy island” is not the only nation on earth, there are many other nations with better standard of living.

Why should we limit ourselves to just one place? We have the right to travel to other regions of the earth and not be bounded forcefully to this draconian notion of national “loyalty”.

mack
Guest

Hey, if you love PH that much to feel insulted, why don’t you fix it first? Some food for thought.

Anna Ramos-Mayfield
Guest

fuck off phelm wad. butthurt pinoy in the house.

Presidente Emilio
Guest
Just a piece of my mind. If you think these guys in GRP are traitors, why is the group existing in the first place? They have the option to stay silent, or move to another country if they can. But no, they took the unenviable job of being “hate-magnets” just to expose the ills of our society. It’s because they love this country deep down in their hearts. I’m of the belief that every person has a role. He’s NOT required to do everything. It’s not their responsibility to fix things as if it’s a mandate for those who talk… Read more »
Dax
Guest

I feel sorry for you. Clearly you didn’t get the point, pretty sure you got “Pinoy Pride” delusion ideology and quickly responds to meaningful criticisms with a lot profanities and stupid unintelligent insults without using your brain first. Yep plenty of those kinds here.

akp
Guest
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 »
aer
Guest

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
Guest

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.

joe
Guest
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 »
mack
Guest

Sounds like Filipino style democracy propaganda. Props for embellishing such a cancerous aociety.

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