Tommy Koh is a well-respected former diplomat and eminent scholar from Singapore. He has edited this fascinating book “Fifty Secrets of Singapore’s Success”. Divided into 50 small chapters, this book very eloquently articulates the inspiring achievements of Singapore in various fields of life. It is the story of a nation’s journey from a backward underdeveloped one to one of the leading developed nations, all in the lifetime of just one generation.
Each success story was authored by one eminent scholar who was involved in that activity. Thus, majority of the articles are from the proverbial ‘horse’s mouth’. It is a great education at one level while at another level it is mind-blowing to learn how Singapore, a nation with just more than five decades of history could rise to become one of the frontline states in the world.
The book covers economic, social, educational, cultural, environmental and other achievements of the country. Of special interest would be articles on Singapore’s defence forces, infrastructure and environment. Each and every article highlights the vision and role Singapore’s superman leader Lee Kuan Yew played in shaping the rise and future of this tiny country.
“Policies have been designed for long-term sustainability. The watchword for policy are flexibility and pragmatic anticipation of change. Good governance in Singapore is built on three interrelated factors: accountability and transparency, long-term planning, and social justice” – this observation sums up the story of Singapore.
It is a tiny country with less than 6 million populations. Hence implementation of many ideas became a bit easy. But ideas are important. For example, the toilet revolution that Singapore initiated became a model for many countries including India to follow.
A great book to read. But probably one has to access it on kindle only.