Published by Al Jazeera English, Sept. 10, 2015
By Tom Benner
Singapore – Election fever is in full swing on this island nation with Singaporeans turning out by the thousands in recent days for heated rallies and stump speeches in the lead-up to Friday’s snap election.
Social media is abuzz with partisan banter, betting with bookies is brisk, and an air of unpredictability surrounds the outcome in the first national election since the death last March of founding father and political patriarch Lee Kuan Yew.
Facing its greatest challenge after half-a-century of ruling party domination, Lee’s People’s Action Party (PAP) is up against nine opposition parties in the first election in independent Singapore in which every parliamentary seat is being contested. Continue reading …
Published by Global Post, August 12, 2015
By Tom Benner
SINGAPORE — Fifty years after Singapore was accidentally born as an independent country after getting unceremoniously kicked out of Malaysia, it has become one of the most admired and envied countries in the world.
A tiny fishing island with no natural resources, Singapore started off with plenty of disadvantages: malaria, poverty, racial tensions among the ethnic Chinese, Malay and South Indian populations.
Nevertheless, it has since become one of the world’s wealthiest places, with the third-highest percentage of millionaires after Qatar and Switzerland. It places at or near the top of global rankings for safety, cleanliness, ease of doing business, and freedom from corruption. Continue reading …
Published by Al Jazeera English, March 23, 2015
Singapore – Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern-day Singapore, has died. He was 91.
The former prime minister, who had been hospitalised in intensive care for severe pneumonia since early February, died early on Monday morning in Singapore General Hospital.
Incumbent Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s office announced seven days of mourning in the city-state ahead of a state funeral next Sunday.
Lee is widely considered to be single-handedly responsible for Singapore’s unique success story, the architect behind its fantastic transformation from glorified fishing village into one of the world’s economic powerhouses. Continue reading …