Economy Eulogized

Lee Kuan Yew, the ninety-one-year-old “founding father” of Singapore, died yesterday. There are many ways to remember his legacy. For instance:

How Lee Kuan Yew transformed Singapore

— World Economic Forum (@Davos) March 23, 2015

A political giant, Lee Kuan Yew transformed the lives of generations of Singaporeans. My thoughts are w/his family & the people of Singapore

— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) March 23, 2015

The greatest leader of the 20th century died today.

— Balaji S. Srinivasan (@balajis) March 23, 2015

Fortune classic from 1974: How Lee Kuan Yew turned Singapore into a nice place to do business

— Fortune (@FortuneMagazine) March 23, 2015

Wow, RIP Lee Kuan Yew. Amazing vision and conviction to establish a model country

— Rob Go (@robgo) March 23, 2015

My thoughts on the great statesman, and @Forbes columnist, Lee Kuan Yew

— Steve Forbes (@SteveForbesCEO) March 23, 2015

Stunning “@nxthompson: Singapore’s amazing growth under Lee Kuan Yew. (

— Shervin Pishevar (@shervin) March 23, 2015

Or there is yet another:

Singapore’s government limits political and civil rights−especially freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association−using overly broad legal provisions on security, public order, morality, and racial and religious harmony. It continues to use the Internal Security Act and Criminal Law to arrest and administratively detain persons for virtually unlimited periods of time without charge or judicial review. And although the scope has been narrowed, a mandatory death penalty for certain crimes is still in effect as is mandatory caning for some classes of crimes. In 2014 top government leaders reiterated that Singapore society is not yet ready to accept LGBT rights.

And another way still:

Nothing is allowed that the government fears might threaten public order or social stability; and the government’s sensitivities on this score are very delicate indeed. Spitting, chewing gum, yelling, or failing to flush a toilet in a public place; overstaying your visa; depicting (never mind engaging in) certain sexual acts; rashly employing irony or sarcasm; and, most important, criticising the government in ways the government deems not constructive — all these are swiftly and severely punished. Petty offenders are fined or caned; overzealous opposition politicians or trade unionists tend to be imprisoned for long stretches. Indiscreet newspapers or blogs are served with defamation suits. The local media is almost entirely under the control of state-owned companies, and even international publications like the Economist and the Far Eastern Economic Review watch their steps very carefully to avoid being charged in court. As Kampfner observes, Singapore “requires an almost complete abrogation of freedom of expression in return for a very good material life.”

On the other hand!

.@starkness Ultimately, one could leave SG if you didn’t like it. No way to escape international, ongoing US/NSA violations of human rights.

— Balaji S. Srinivasan (@balajis) March 23, 2015

You know, whichever.