Singapore - Country of Lee Kuan Yew - 2 (Singapore)

In the 1960 's when Lee started political activities, the river in the downtown got stinky and cows were grazing freely in a lawn of a park. The poorly sighted staff of Lee's wife 's office told that she noticed the downtown would be soon when a stink of a drainage channel hung in the air of the interior of a commuter bus.

Due to the high unemployment rate, unsanitary stalls and unlicensed taxis were overflowing, and spitting and littering was also routine. Public morality was flagrant. Indeed, it was the ordinary third world.

In such a country, Lee's realized trajectory ranges from the spread of social ethics, educational reform, attracting of highly value-added industries, tourism industry promotion and city development to improve brand power.

Skyscrapers at a city center with no individuality are the symbol that Singapore has become the world's leading financial center which eliminated regulation but were controlled strictly according to monetary policy by the prime minister Lee.

The rich greenery in the town is not indigenous. It is the result of collecting plants from the tropical regions in the world, selecting the ones that match the climate of Singapore and planting them proactively. The idea of Lee called "Tropical Garden City" to raise the brand power of Singapore, to attract industries and to promote tourism has been a big fruit after decades.

When Lee proposed purification of the dirty river n 1977, everyone had been skeptical about it. As a result of having improved the sewage system, having forcibly relocated 3,000 drainage sources like in-house factories and vessels on the berth and having closed hog farms and agricultural farms, fish returned in 1987 and it became possible to swim as well.

The Singapore River, which had been dirty, is crowded with tourists now as a riverfront where restaurants lined up, and helps promote a tropical garden city. The purification of the river also solved the water resource problem which had been dependent on Malaysia.

The huge food markets "Hawker" which redeveloped unsanitary stalls, the high-rise housings which redeveloped slum, Singapore airport which became the world's leading hub, a row of trees along the highway from the airport which was planted to impress Singapore for visitors from foreign countries, a citizen who form a line neatly at the subway's home, a town where there is no garbage (realized with penalties), an incorruptible political system which has been possible by paying high remuneration to politicians and many things were realized by Lee's initiative even if those are based on his self-declaration.

That way, Singapore, the city of the Third World, became a clean saf and controlled city far from the developed world. The half century of Singapore was also the history of remodeling of cities and citizens by Lee.

Today, 7 million people of tourists per year visit Singapore, which population is one-twentieth of Japan, and the pension fund's asset management balance is one tenth of Japan (twice per person). That also shows the achievement of Prime Minister Lee.

A striking example about how much the society has been changed by producing one excellent politician is this Singapore. The real pleasure of traveling in Singapore would not be that a long story hidden behind the insipidity is tracing ?

The must-have for that is, of course, “The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew” ! ! ! .

To Japanese Version

Google Maps

The whole area of SIngapore.




2010.02 Photos in English version, and photos and text in Japanese version

2018.01 Change of photos and text in English version and photos in Japanese version

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Townscape of Singapore

Photo by Daigo Ishii