Jamaica Questions Its Ability to Become The Next ‘Singapore’ In The Wake of the Passing of Lee Kuan Yew | African-American News and Black History

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Jamaica Questions Its Ability to Become The Next ‘Singapore’ In The Wake of the Passing of Lee Kuan Yew

Benelovent Dictator, Caribbean, Jamaica, Jamaica Independence, Jamaica Two Party, News, singapore, World -

Jamaica Questions Its Ability to Become The Next ‘Singapore’ In The Wake of the Passing of Lee Kuan Yew

jamaica 2Can a democratic Jamaica achieve economic independence? Has the country’s overly tribalistic two-party system prevented it from experiencing sustained growth and prosperity? Would a dictatorial form of government bring better and more desirable results in terms of good governance and meaningful development? Would someone of the ilk and thinking of a Lee Kuan Yew make a difference? What would it take to make Jamaica the ‘Singapore of the West’? A benevolent dictator?

On numerous occasions politicians from both sides of the aisle in Gordon House, political analysts, and public affairs commentators, as well as academicians, have sought to juxtapose Jamaica’s lack of prosperity and failing statehood against Singapore, a small port city that was transformed into a wealthy global hub by its first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who moved his people from poverty to prosperity.

His death on Monday, March 23, 2015 (Singapore time) has once again brought into sharp focus this continuing debate, especially against the background that, prior to his success story back home, he had visited Jamaica in the 60s to examine our best practices and possibly emulate them. Just last week, Jamaica Labour Party (Opposition) Leader Andrew Holness jumped into the fray during his 2015 Budget presentation when he spoke extensively about Lee Kuan Yew’s great achievements.

In his speech, Holness who interestingly entitled his presentation ‘Moving from poverty to prosperity,’ noted that the education system was the most powerful instrument of government to bring about social and economic change, renew hope, and rebuild the confidence of the people. And, in this vein, he cited the Singapore experience, whereby that country’s teaching of mathematics is ranked as one of the highest in the world. Said Holness: “They started at the same place like us, if not worse considering they had three languages and ethnic differences to overcome, however they viewed education as a critical condition for growth, and over 40 years ago they mandated English as the language of instruction and ensured their population was highly competent in math, technical and science subjects in line with their economic needs.”

And, while paying tribute to the late Singaporean leader, he declared: “While Singapore is far ahead of us in terms of development, there are some important lessons to learn from Lee Kuan Yew’s teachings. As a people, we need to look at the best examples of development and the creation of prosperity.” And one suspects that, partisan diatribe aside, the leadership of the governing People’s National Party would want to espouse similar views with respect to the way forward. Indeed, it must be the concerted view that until a consensus and a shared vision can be fully embraced by all Jamaicans regardless of partisan persuasion, then “dog will continue to nyam (eat) our supper!”

Read the full story at jamaicanobserver.com

 


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