theonlinecitizen

a community of singaporeans

Paradigm shift in focus required – from economic growth to economic development

Posted by theonlinecitizen on June 12, 2007

By Ney Reed

 

When developing nations during the post world war and/or independence era started to build their economies, they attempted to resolve problems of poverty, unemployment, low incomes and other forms of under-development through pure pursuit of economic growth.

 

Singapore, too, joined their ranks. Up till today the focus of the Singapore Government has been on achieving not just growth but high growth.

 

Emphasis has been placed in recent times on the importance of development and policy actions to pursue development. But there is much greater emphasis on pursuing growth than development.

 

Development vs growth

 

We need to appreciate why pursuing development is more important than pursuing growth. This has been a major topic of debate amongst economists and will never cease to attract attention as the world continually changes.

 

Economic growth, which is both universally and generally accepted to be growth of per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is considered to be a component of economic development. Hence, making pursuit of economic growth the central focus will produce a far fewer desired economic outcomes than the pursuit of economic development.

 

This is evident in Singapore ‘s experience from 1959.

 

In the last four decades the government has consistently, except for very brief periods, achieved high rates of per capita GDP growth. In fact the high rates of per capita GDP growth is an impressive record.

 

However That is all what one can expect from the pure pursuit of economic growth alone which had been Singapore’s strategy till recently or from the current pursuit of economic growth as the primary strategy and economic development as a secondary strategy. In other words one cannot expect to find to many other desired economic outcomes for instance developed world literacy standards.

 

Singapore’s literacy rate hovers around 93-95% only recently and even in the 1990s it was lower than that whereas the literacy rates of developed world are between 98-100%. That is because in Singapore our education policy has been geared towards supporting our ultimate objective which is high growth rate.

 

We will have achieved 98%-100% literacy rate only if we had pursued strategic economic development policies instead of economic growth policies that can bring about such high literacy rates.

 

Even the outcomes of Singapore’s high economic growth policies, which include high growth rates and high average income, cannot be taken too seriously at face value. They are only desirable in a general sense and are not an ends in themselves. For instance, the high average income in Singapore, which is due to the pursuit of economic growth, is not only high but higher than some developed countries.

 

However, this means little as average income level does not represent the income levels of the majority of population.

 

Singapore‘s income gap is not only big but growing significantly. This is because pursuing economic growth alone failed to produce strong redistribution policies required for economic development.

 

This experience is not confined to Singapore alone.

 

Our primary economic agenda

 

Evidence shows that, despite sustained economic growth, poverty and income inequalities have increased in many developing countries.

 

It was only recently that the government had adopted some strong redistribution policies but they remain far fewer than what is needed.

 

In some areas, such as public housing, sanitation, water, transportation, and communication, Singapore has achieved great success despite its focus on economic growth. However, that is because the policies pursued in these areas coincidentally in Singapore’s experience would have been the same even if it had pursued economic development.

 

Naturally the coincidental areas are few and instead there are several areas where desired outcomes can only be achieved through strategic economic development policies and the reason why we have not been able to achieve them till today is because we are still making high economic growth as our primary economic agenda.

 

For instance, today there are many Singaporean graduates returning from abroad or graduates of local universities with degrees in the social sciences such as psychology, sociology, economics, specialized areas of engineering, or advanced areas of mathematics and pure sciences.

 

However, jobs remain limited in these areas. There is also an idiosyncratic attitude that they are not professionals and theirs are not professional disciplines. The prevailing benign attitude amongst employers, civil servants, politicians and many others is that you are not a professional unless you are a doctor, engineer, accountant, lawyer, financial expert, pharmacist or IT expert.

 

Hence these “professionals” are preferred in the hiring process even though the job may require the expertise of the “professionals who are not-recognized-by-Singaporeans as professionals”.

 

Skills mismatch

 

This skills mismatch has caused and also contributed to the economy’s broadening at a much slower rate than literacy.

 

Today we still see in Singapore engineers doing the work of pricing or banking, and accountants handling such duties as taxation whereas such work would be handled by economists in mature economies. This is due to the blind pursuit of economic growth over economic development. In every corner of matured economies and developed world, one will not find this to be a general phenomenon, unlike here.

 

Another outcome of focusing primarily on economic development instead of economic growth is the ability build a strong knowledge base diverse economy which can move in new directions. Because of our failure to focus on economic development, we have been handicapped in our ability to steer steadily and smoothly towards new directions with a largely domestic labour.

 

Our experiences in infocomm and the life sciences have demonstrated that when we first tried to steer towards such new horizons, we did not have sufficient domestic skilled labour while Singaporeans with such skills who are abroad are hesitant to return from places where they are guaranteed more opportunities and job security in their specialized fields.

 

Had the focus over the last four decades been on economic development, there would have been a much broader set of education policies. Opportunities for learning, developing skills, retraining, and employment will have been much broadly defined.

 

Critical masses of skills will have evolved. That could then have given us sufficient local labour for those new areas or sufficient local labour that could be quickly retrained, or greater confidence among skilled expatriate Singaporeans to return.

 

 

Moving in new directions

 

Our narrowly defined economy has also much impact on growth of other sectors.

 

For instance, in a mature economy the controlling and critical aspects of the administration and management of the health sector would be in the hands of a wide variety of experts trained in administration, economics, law, psychology, sociology etc; one might find that those trained in the field of medicine being just one group amongst them in equal proportion to any other group.

 

In Singapore the controlling and critical management of the health sector is largely centred in the hands of those from the discipline of medicine due to the economic environment having been shaped to be largely an elitist one.

 

This raises questions of how is one who is trained to close wounds be able to close deficits, and one trained to evaluate the condition of a human body be able to evaluate the health of an organization.

 

This explains why the local health sector, though far more advanced than that of developing countries, is far behind the health sectors of mature economies.

 

The fundamental reason why we are in this state begs us to look at the way we behave and think.

 

Singaporeans love to imagine, especially nowadays, that they make decisions based on evidence, examples and so on.

 

Many a time, if one is truthful, one would discover that much of the decision making processes here are dictated by arbitrariness, perceptions, biases, attitudes, stereotypes, pre-conceptions and idiosyncrasies.

 

What is really required for Singapore to make a paradigm shift from its focus on economic growth to economic development is a change in mindset. Until that happens we can never expect the outcomes promised by economic development which, even if it results under current policies of economic growth, would then not be mere coincidences.

Advertisements

15 Responses to “Paradigm shift in focus required – from economic growth to economic development”

  1. Gerald said

    Good piece, Ney Reed. I’ve always wondered why S’pore’s literacy rate is lower than that of other developed countries.

    But could you explain in more detail what (practical) measures you think Singapore/Singaporeans should take to make this paradigm shift towards promoting economic development? (Perhaps I missed it while reading your article.)

  2. ney reed said

    this topic is too wide and its impossible to write a complete article. your question also is very wide:)

    i will try to stick to the area of education to answer your question since you seem interested in that.

    the reason why our literacy rates are lower than developed countries is because of our pursuit of growth policies. when pursuing such policies, the scope of educational system is reduced to that which is needed to support the other high growth policies. so policy makers will do what we did. start primary schools, secondary schools, VITB/ITE, polytechnic and NUS/NTU whereby they lead the student into the current economy. also for instance in the case of NUS/NTU, the policies will prioritise sciences especially medicine, engineering etc. i am just glossing as how policy makers will make policies when their goal is economic growth.

    now if they should be pursuing economic development instead, then one of the ulitimate goals will be achieving 98-100% literacy rate. so policy makers will then have to work out how to teach for instance the illiterate elderly which can be a daunting task and may require radical measures such as giving them money to learn or assigning individual tutors. this will never gain acceptance or importance in the earlier environment where the elderly 70/80 year old will be considered not important to be taught. but in development, hitting the 98-100% target itself is sufficient to justify this. furthermore in development policies, a literate elderly 70/80 is considered less of a burden on the economy, cos on the general level he/she will better understand health promotion messages and have better health outcomes and in specific level we can see that if he/she wishes employment, he/she will be able to find one easier.

    in singapore the main development policies we need in the area of education is to achieve about 40-50% of population with post-secondary education, higher literacy especially amongst elderly, liberalization of some education fields i.e. medicine, law, development of a real research culture, anchoring development policies and/or implementation, at the universities.

    as i mentioned the topic is wide, i am just glossing through the education industry. if you can narrow down to specific areas, it will be easier for me to give more specific answers.

    cheers
    ney reed

  3. Lifeslikethat said

    Hi Ney,

    Your article makes sense. Would you consider the arts part of this economic development which we may wish to see? The singapore govet’s views on the arts center around its economic viability, and not for its own sake. Would you argue that economic devt – vis a vis boadening the economy – should also include the arts?

  4. davidhuang said

    That’s very well-reason article !

    Indeed, there is a great difference between economic growth and economic development.

    It is very easy to achieve growth by short term result. However, one has to ask yourself if growth is achieved without building a stable and proper foundation, then what’s the point of growth. Well, the answer is that Singapore is running as corporation, and short term result is often been rewarded because there is no more loyalty to the country and to corporation and restructure is occur more often. Without a proper foundation, the only way to cover the flaw is to embellish with half-baked constructive remark that does not make sense.
    Remember GCT say to us “More Good Years” ? Now we know for sure that he is talking to a mirror like other gahmen say anything to us ! He means more good years for him through increasing salary and protectionism !

    Unfortunately, economic development take time and require talent to achieve. And unfortunately, we have tons of fake talent in gov who pretend to know it all, but when executed, you will asked “Who responsible”. The answer is “NOBODY of millions dollars salary !”.

  5. ney reed said

    Lifeslikethat Says:
    “Would you consider the arts part of this economic development which we may wish to see? The singapore govet’s views on the arts center around its economic viability, and not for its own sake. Would you argue that economic devt – vis a vis boadening the economy – should also include the arts?”

    pursuing economic development is like looking at a whole picture. pursuing economic growth is like choosing to look at selected parts of a picture…

    when pursuing economic development there is no distinction between arts and science. nor is there a myopic attitude to only pursue that which the policy maker things is good enough to bring in money. instead anything will be pursued, if public finance coffers and other financing systems available to govt allows, as long as it brings about some level of development.

    in the case of arts, when you look at the academic arena, there will be as much emphasis and priority on the arts as there will be on the science. this is because the output to society and economy is as tremendous as sciences.

    if you look at arts in the case of performing arts etc, there will be an emphasis because it helps in social development. in some countries its recognized as one way to preserve their culture and heritage which they value as significantly as achieving a high positive growth rate.

    one area of arts where development gives great emphasis is language. its very importantly to constant promote usage of languages, growth of languages, literature, linguistics, R&D in languages etc. language is a very important means in achieving some of the development objectives.

    in all these three areas, we remain largely underdeveloped. indeed it should become a priority for policy makers. but then again that will only happen if the focus changes to economic development. i mean these are not areas that will immediately and tomorrow bring in large amounts of cash.

  6. Gerald said

    Thanks for your explanation Ney. Perhaps you could consider writing a follow-up article on what Singapore should do to start pursuing economic development (as opposed to just economic growth). It will be a very interesting issue for our policymakers (current and future) to consider. It doesn’t have to solely focus on education. It could be others.

    Fyi, I agree with you that we should increase the proportion of pp with post-sec education. I wrote a couple of articles some time ago on this. They can be found here and here.

  7. davidhuang said

    If I will put a stake on a million dollars investment, I will never put it in Singapore ! First of all, the gahmen are pretty clueless about social development and even at economic development, it is done through brute force whether we like it or like.

    We know that something must never been shortcut, and yet we try to shortcut everything instead of building proper foundation. So how did we shortcut our “own culture of art, innovation, science, technology etc ” . The answer is just as economic as it sound => DUMP MORE MONEY.
    Unfortunately, money is a mean not a end. What gov see it is more than end than a mean. So what gahmen’s dream of becoming educational hub, starhub (?), art hub, cultural hub (or rather Slinglish Hub), innovation and research hub, technology hub, etc all will result in disasterous failure, because we still not consider nurturing the software but by just building top-notched hardware. Gahmen is just as clueless about social development and using that as a future sustainable competitive advantage since gahmen always use economic value and their “so-called world class managment” to run the show.

    Think about that, the very own talented and genius in Singapore that gov spend money on eventually migrated to other countries because they could not withstand been manipulated and engineered for economic value to which the public is highly relevant but only make sense to gahmen who ripped millions from unaccountability and untransparency.

    Sure, many years later, when all end up in failures, the usual gov excuse is “an honest mistake( Doubt they really admit that because of big extra large ego)”, or better still, blame it on globalization, terrorism, Singaporean’s crude mentality, foreigner’s fault, and vomit these blame through use of newspaper (Now we know many won’t want to touch propaganda material though force to pay every month !)

    In few years, we see nothing did really change, only the money in our reserve is changed to all time low and the increasing salary of gahmen.

  8. davidhuang said

    Gov should ask themselves what the point of building a world’s fastest sportcar if there is no talent good enough to drive the sportcar ?
    The strongest link is only as good as the weakest link !

    So we dump and dump money, but talent never come. But what come is subTalent that never meant to be !

  9. davidhuang said

    Gerald,
    the answer is start nurturing local talent and stop dumping money here and there and expect miracle. So many initiative here are so engineered that it is bound to fail. Build a culture of innovation, not engineered innovation. To engineer mean to take on something that is provened, less risk, efficient but not effective to compete in these business environment.

    And stop kissing the ass of foreigner. The foreigner is afterall a foreigner, and don’t expect loyalty from them.

    And sure, dont’t expect it from us Singaporean until gahmen stop acting like asshole and manipulator.

  10. Ben said

    Hi Mr Reed,

    I wonder whether you are an economist, since in your article, you made many implicit assumptions about how the world works and should work.

    Could you please define what you mean by economic development? By nature I would treat it as meaning pursuit of economic growth. But I believe that from your article, you are implying other forms of development (not economic purely) like human development as advocated by Amartya Sen. By leaving it undefined, the whole article loses its credibility in advocating what it is advocating.

    Also, could you please elaborate on what you mean by a paradigm shift by changing our mindsets? There’s lots of big words involved. Paradigm shift would be perhaps a little too radical in my opinion. Changing our mindsets to? It’s misleading to just leave it hanging in the air and leaving readers to guess that this “ideal” mindset should be. Should we adopt a neoliberal mindset? Socialist mindset? or what?

    I’m glad that you acknowledged the sheer scope of the question in one of your replies. Perhaps its better to touch on a specific topic the next time you write and publish something as readers will not be misled into thinking that it is the elusive “truth” that we’re all looking for where in fact, lots of debates and discussions happen that we may not know about.

  11. To maintain a growth of above 5%, we need a steady growth of population. Where are we going to get all the land and people to make this growth feasible in the future? We have around 4.5 million people staying here. Can we accomodate up to 8 million people in the future?

    My suggestion is 0% growth but renew the old industries to more high tech industries. There are still many backward factories and they need to be upgraded or they have to be closed in time.

    The other problem is social especially with the casinos and maybe new amended gay law, we are going to be another Bangkok in the future.

    The only way out for Singapore is to have a Triangle development with Johor and southern Indonesia islands.

  12. ney reed said

    replies to ben. thanks for asking.

    ben: I wonder whether you are an economist, since in your article, you made many implicit assumptions about how the world works and should work.

    neyreed: yes i am an economist. however i didnt make any implicit assumptions about how the world works and should work. these are assumptions that have been already made and proven through scientific discourse by economists.

    ben: Could you please define what you mean by economic development? By nature I would treat it as meaning pursuit of economic growth. But I believe that from your article, you are implying other forms of development (not economic purely) like human development as advocated by Amartya Sen. By leaving it undefined, the whole article loses its credibility in advocating what it is advocating.

    neyreed: i notice there is much lack of understanding in Singapore of the terms economic, economic growth, economic development. This starts from the inconsistent understanding that many Singaporeans hold that economics refers to the field of study involving finance, banking and business. Rather economics looks at any and every issues that involves allocation of resources within society. So it can be about the family looking at every issue that concerns a family unit but discussing the problem of allocating resources. Therefore my definition of economic development is simply adopted from what economists universally understand it to be which is different from what you understand. It is not “other forms of development”. What i am advocating and which other economists including AK Sen advocates are integral part of economic development. AK Sen concentrates on the human development issues within the broad topic of economic development because that is his research focus. Human development is part of economic development. Perhaps here is a better place to define economic developement. There is no exact definition that every economist will repeat but you will definitely find an universal understanding of what it means which every economist will accept.

    Economic development is understood to be a much broader measure than economic growth. It includes economic growth but is accompanied by changes in output distribution, changes in economic structure, improvement in the material well being of the poorer half of the population, increase in the education and skills of labour force, substantial technical advances, sustainability of the environment etc etc. Now that “etc” contains a lot of other things 🙂

    Ben: Also, could you please elaborate on what you mean by a paradigm shift by changing our mindsets? There’s lots of big words involved. Paradigm shift would be perhaps a little too radical in my opinion. Changing our mindsets to? It’s misleading to just leave it hanging in the air and leaving readers to guess that this “ideal” mindset should be. Should we adopt a neoliberal mindset? Socialist mindset? or what?
    I’m glad that you acknowledged the sheer scope of the question in one of your replies. Perhaps its better to touch on a specific topic the next time you write and publish something as readers will not be misled into thinking that it is the elusive “truth” that we’re all looking for where in fact, lots of debates and discussions happen that we may not know about.

    NeyReed: i am a little perplexed here. why should paradigm shift need to mean radical? 🙂 perhaps sticking to the current paradigm may be radical also 🙂
    i think i mentioned earlier in one of the replies that this topic is too broad for me to cover everything in just one article. hence the only liberty i have since its the first article on the topic, i appropriately ought to generally introduce the discussion. subsequently i can go to the specifics. if the topic is small in scope, of course i can jump into the specifics first. otherwise in such a broad topic as this, i will be jumping around. this kind of topic need to be dealt with level by level. the first level is understanding between the differences of economic growth and economic development.

    now coming to the paradigm shift of mindsets… we opted to centralize economic growth in our economic strategy for the last four decades. what inspired it? well its our mindset/s which is/are a combination of values,attitudes, norms that we hold to be norms, perceptions,idiosyncracies, biases etc.

    now for us to shift our central focus from economic growth to economic development, what fundamentally need to change is those combination of values,attitudes, norms that we hold to be norms, perceptions,idiosyncracies, biases etc. there are many of these.

    for instance we must stop understanding things/concepts/realities the way WE WANT to understand as and instead we must attempt to understand them as how they are universally understood, interpreted, translated and adopted.

    another instance that i can think of is incalcating core values such as benevolence and sacrifice within the society, in which today we are unbelievably selfish to even sacrifice our seats on the buses and mrt to pragnent ladies and old folks and children, such that these values become core guiding values. without such values a society will never give true and grave importance to redistribution of wealth in society.

    now there are many other values,attitudes, norms that we hold to be norms, perceptions, idiosyncracies, biases etc. that we need to adopt instead of the ones we are adopting currently, should we decide to change our central focus to economic development. that is the paradigm shift in mindset that i was highlighting. now in today’s age and time, we cannot be sticking to one brand of mindsets i.e. neo-liberal,neo-classical, socialist, etc. instead its better to look at the issue that the society wants to tackle, understand the prevailing conditions and social and environmental contexts and adopt the appropriate shift for that issue but at the same time making sure its consistent with the other shifts.

  13. Ben said

    Hi Mr Reed,

    Thanks for replying. It cleared many doubts that I had before and allowed me to understand the basic fundamental premise of where you are coming from.

    Some personal inputs:

    By radical (paradigm shift) I mean a radical re-conception of what we perceive around us. It’s an issue that cannot be debated on a purely economic level, as it involves social relations between people, politics and perhaps the fundamental nature of the person and society. I’m not for sticking to the current paradigm by the way. To pursue a mindset of economic development will just be to replace a dominant mindset with another. I do not think its the case.

    I do agree that economic development is essential, as from the way you defined it, I would say that its an undoubtedly sensible thing to do. I do also agree that a change in mindset is imperative, but I wouldn’t advocate such a shift as what you suggested. What if 40 years down the road there emerge a “superior” mindset again, would people have to change their mindset again? What I feel is that the crux of the problem lies with people not pursuing what they want to pursue, and that they are merely going along with the flow of society. There shouldn’t be one particular focus on what society should be like and pursue, as it is all an ontological problem that no positions can be stated as being the elusive “truth”.

    I think I have not been too clear in my previous comment as the question I really want to ask is how should we go about changing this mindset. It will be pretty interesting to note what are your ideas for this as ideas diverge greatly from economists to sociologists to physicists. To me, we need people like you who notices the need for a change to change things. Start from small projects. To change a mindset is a big thing. It cannot be achieved overnight, but yet the desire to change things and work on it must be strong, or else the person will surely falter and give up along the way.

    There are many inherent beliefs that I hold while writing this comment. Although I tried to bring it out, I apologise if I made any normative statements without justifying it and not stating the background experiences upon which moulded the way I think today.

    Just a last note, I find that there are inherently many many more people who are into economic development and not economic growth. Is this a fad? Or is this the truth that we are all seeking for? Personally I would choose the former.

  14. ney reed said

    ben. thanks again for your replies. below are my replies.

    ben: I do also agree that a change in mindset is imperative, but I wouldn’t advocate such a shift as what you suggested. What if 40 years down the road there emerge a “superior” mindset again, would people have to change their mindset again?

    neyreed: a “superior” mindset, if truely it is one, will only arise 40 years down the road when then the prevailing mindset is backward, outdated, incoherent, inconsistent and inappropriate. now that situation will never arise as long as a society is constantly on its feet pursuing economic development policies suiting to its ever changing soical, economic, environmental and political contexts. hence pursuing economic development then wont be a one off thing nor will policy makers be able to stick to same methods of policy making.

    for example in many of the mature economies, one of the mechanisms that was used to reduce income inequalities and also to promote stability of incomes was welfare payouts to the unemployed. now that has changed so much in most of the mature economies in less than a decade due to the inability to sustain it. now they are using mechanisms like unemployment insurance instead whereby an employee insures himself against unemployment pretty much like how a car owner insures himself against an accident. as a result the issue of inability to sustain financing it becomes less pronounced. nevertheless they dont stop there. there are continual measures being researched and adopted.

    however in reality there may be one or two areas in which a society may lag behind over 40 year period, how forward it may be in economic development in all other areas. then in those one or two areas, it must still employ the best alternative policies shifting awaying from its backward or inappropriate current policies. or else it will lag behind further over time and affect its other areas of economic development.

    ben: What I feel is that the crux of the problem lies with people not pursuing what they want to pursue, and that they are merely going along with the flow of society. There shouldn’t be one particular focus on what society should be like and pursue, as it is all an ontological problem that no positions can be stated as being the elusive “truth”.

    neyreed: yes indeed. then again when people are limited in choices due to the “limited economy”, then they will be end up pursuing what they do not want to pursue by simply going with the flow. also you are gonna find politicians propagating cliches like “elusive truths” cos it helps to win votes.

    ben: I find that there are inherently many many more people who are into economic development and not economic growth. Is this a fad? Or is this the truth that we are all seeking for? Personally I would choose the former.

    neyreed: actually you need to look at the evolution of economic thought to answer this cos at each stage in time over the last 200 years, the dominant economists swayed the focus. as i mentioned in my orginal article intro, soon after WWII and independence many developing countries adopted economic growth. this itself was advocated by the dominant economists. it was done in good faith to bring out the developing countries out of their “wretched state”. these policies need time to mature and produce results to understand and evaluate the success. so after a decade or two or three, evidences started show that several developing countries despite achieving economic growth, many of the objectives such as poverty, income inequalities etc were never achieved. today things are even more clear that economic development ought to be the focus of countries.

    A fad is a deep “interest followed for a (limited) time with exaggerated zeal, craze.” It comes today and fades tomorrow. But this debate on economic development versus economic growth has not been anything like that. As mentioned earlier economic development itself includes economic growth as one of its components. It is “the truth that we are seeking for” because these are conclusions that economists are coming to, in light with growing evidences over time. Its an evolution.

    Even within the scope of economic development, it has been evolving also. Environment 40 years ago was not given that much significance in planning for economic development. today it is. Minorities and indigenous people were not given that much attention then. today they are. likewise till today, language is not given any decent significance in the scope of economic development. tomorrow it might. all this just like economic growth and economic develoment is an evolutionary process and arent a fad.

    the problem is despite much literature on all this, its limited to the academia and intellectual space. economists like AK Sen, Jeffrey Sachs, Joseph Stiglitz are increasing introducing to the common space. but then again in the West you have universities, student organizations, NGOs etc that also introduce or bring these discussions into common space. We need that very much over here.

    good day.

  15. Lifeslikethat said

    Ned,

    Thanks for replying and clarifying my earlier question about the arts. Having read through the exchanges so far, I would like to ask your views on another issue.

    How important do you think political openness is to economic development?

    The way I see it, ultimately it is the individual who must be empowered and from there his community and then his nation. Can economic development take place without political openness?

    And if so, do you think Singapore’s political climate is open? If not, will we be able to focus on economic devt in such a politically-closed or politically-restrictive envirnoment?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: