Sign up | Log in



Home  >>   Daily News  >>   Singapore News  >> Economy  >> Singapore’s success brings own set of challenges: PM
NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  11 April 2014  

Singapore’s success brings own set of challenges: PM

Singapore's economy has fared better than expected over the last decade, but the country's success also brought about its own set of challenges.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made this point in a wide-ranging discussion with regional newspaper editors on Tuesday.

He said the country had paid the price of this fast growth, as infrastructure wasn't able to keep up with the rapid development.

Mr Lee was asked about Singapore's success during his time as Prime Minister and if anything exceeded his expectations.

He said yes, the country had done economically better than expected and grown faster -- attributing it to favourable conditions.

As investments poured in, the government had put in resources and brought in foreign labour needed to grow. As a result, developments at the Marina Bay area sprung up in within a decade, instead of the expected 20 to 30 years.

But Mr Lee acknowledged that this growth had come with a cost.

He said that in terms of infrastructure, the country had not been able to catch up and had paid a price, and added that the government had been working hard over the past three to four years trying to come back up to speed.

He said that if the government had been able to foresee the outcome, it would have acted sooner.

But that, he said, was with the benefit of "20-20 hindsight".

"We succeeded more than we expected, and so in terms of the infrastructure, we were not able to catch up -- our public transport, building houses," said Mr Lee. “And we paid a price."

"We have spent the last three, four years working hard to try and come up back to speed. I wish we had been able to foresee this outcome, and then we would have acted sooner.

“But that's 20-20 hindsight."

Mr Lee also emphasised that it's important for Singaporeans to feel they have a sense of belonging to the country -- and that is something that is still a work in progress.

In the dialogue with the news editors, it was no surprise that the media environment was an area of focus.

Responding to a question on Singapore's relatively low ranking by global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, Mr Lee said: "I have given up that (Reporters Without Borders’ ranking)... I do not take them seriously."

He pointed out that information flows freely on the Internet and newspapers report the news freely, but also responsibly.

He said this is a model that has worked for Singapore, but also one that's changing as more people take to social media.

And the government too is adapting as Mr Lee acknowledged that social media can affect elections.

"People exchange opinions, snippets, moods, views as much as they seek for and slowly digest news and information and judgement,” he said.

On the subject of leadership succession in the government, Mr Lee was asked if Singapore would be alright if he was not Prime Minister tomorrow.

He replied candidly that that is the objective.

Mr Lee said leaders in Singapore stay as long as they are able to make a contribution.

He pointed to the more than 20 new Members of Parliament brought in at the last elections, with some already in the Cabinet.

He noted that they're doing well and moving into more responsible positions.  

Reach Southeast Asia!
10- Nations, 560- Million Consumers
And $1 -Trillion Market
We are the Voice of Southeast Asia Media Kit
The only Media Dedicated to Southeast Asia Advertising Rates for Magazine
Online Ad Rates

Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below

Today's  Stories                            April  11, 2014 Subsribe Now !
• China may buy more rice from Thailand Subcribe: Asean Affairs Global Magazine
• TFEX’s Q1 average daily trading volume at 56,000 contracts
• State firms to spend $2.5b on power plant, transmission projects
Research Reports
on Thailand 2007-2008

• Textiles and Garments Industry
• Coffee industry
• Leather and footwear industry
• Shrimp industry

• Loan growth will rise slightly in March: BI
• Singapore’s success brings own set of challenges: PM
Asean Analysis                    April 10, 2014
• Asean Analysis April 10, 2014
China, the Media and MH370: Public Diplomacy Hides Real Capability
Advertise Your Brand

Asean Stock Watch    April 10, 2014
• Asean Stock Watch-April 10 2014
The Biweekly Update
• The Biweekly Update  April 4, 2014

ASEAN NEWS UPDATES      Updated: 04 January 2011

 • Women Shariah scholars see gender gap closing
• Bank Indonesia may hold key rate as inflation hits 7 percent
• Bursa Malaysia to revamp business rules
• Private property prices hit new high in Singapore • Bangkok moves on mass transport
• Thai retailers are upbeat
• Rice exports likely to decline • Vietnamese PM projects 10-year socioeconomic plan


This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

Our Products | Work with us | Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Shipping/Delivery Policy | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2007-2015 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand