23 Aug 2005

Lee wants Singapore to ape Las Vegas

Lets hope Singapore emulates the good that takes place in Las Vegas as opposed to the bad.

AP , SINGAPORE Tuesday, Aug 23, 2005,Page 1
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) urged this tightly controlled city-state to take a cue from freewheeling Las Vegas, as he stuck to economics and largely avoided politics and free speech in his second annual address to the nation.

"It must be a totally different Singapore. Because if it's the same Singapore [as] today, we're dead," Lee said, referring to his country in the future. "We have to remake Singapore -- our economy, our education, our mindsets, our city," he added in his National Day Rally address, an annual policy speech.

At one point in the nearly two-hour speech late on Sunday, the usually unflappable politician's eyes teared up as he tried to rally his citizens, recounting his past participation in independence day parades.

On Aug. 9, Singapore celebrated its 40th year of independence from Malaysia. It had previously been a British colony.

Lee, 53, said that Singapore -- one of Asia's wealthiest countries, which has long relied on its efficiency and clean government to attract foreign investment -- will move to "foster innovation and enterprise."

He said the island republic's citizens must look at Las Vegas for new direction.

"Out of nothing in a desert, they have built a city. Forty million people visit every year," Lee said. "We don't want to become Las Vegas, but we should learn from their spirit."

Lee's administration has approved the building of two casinos in resource-poor Singapore by 2009. Several Nevada casino moguls are bidding for the jobs.

Lee's speech also touched on terrorism, Singapore's service culture and improved relations with China, which were damaged after he visited Taiwan last year.

"Our relations with China are back on track. We are friends with key players who matter to us," said Lee, who visited Taiwan just before assuming leadership of the city-state.

Singapore has been attempting to retool its formerly manufacturing-based economy, focusing more on areas like biomedical sciences and the arts.


Anonymous said...

the problem with all those singapore remakings is that the government makes plans for everything, and the people are passive; how lively a society can that be?

Anonymous said...

The problem seems to be that every other week there is a NEW remaking.

Sex Expo = remaking
Casino = remaking
Bar top dancing = remaking
large elastic band = remaking

allowing more possible things that will attract 50 sg dollars = remaking

being allowed to purchase a black or dark blue t-model ford, is not choice its consumerism, it's garnish.

Anonymous said...

actually, always reminds me of henry ford "customer can have any color as long as it is black"

Anonymous said...

You guys have to be fools not to realise how LUCKY Singaporeans are
read about the experience of this
Singapore who went on tour to USA and come back fully understanding how LUCKY a country Singapore is.
Singaporeans are lucky people. If you open up the newspapers in
Singapore to read , there is nothing but good news and good ideas from the ruling government. There is daily hope that things will get better. Once a week someone in Singapore achieve something big - like urine
power batteries. Everyone live in harmony with the government - even
opposition in Singapore is nice and quiet. The government is virtually perfect based on what the Singapore news papers say and are always thinking of ways to improve the lives of Singaporeans. The govt of Singapore is always helping its people - recently to help the poor buy flats. It looks like Singaporeans are relatively problem free and happy - not much suffering in Singapore.

When I went on tour in the US for one month and when I read the
newspaper, I was horrified this country has so much problems. People going on strike because they think their pay is too low. Politicians arguing with each other on various issues. Unheard of in Singapore. The newspapers is full of criticism of the govt - obviously the Leaders in America are not as smart as Singapore leaders - nobody in Singapore can
find anything wrong with the PAP. The people I met in America are
generally unhappy with their lives and always talking about trying to
change it - they dream of becoming rich, becoming movie stars, becoming singers, becoming this on that. I even met a 40 year old guy who was attending medical school - obviously he is unhappy with his job as a waiter. Contrast that with Singaporeans who are very happy with their current existence many are happy with their current jobs and don't dream much about the future.

When I was on tour, I found out America has poor public transport
system - no MRT, few public bus. Can't imagine how they get around.

Their service sector is behind us by decades, I went the hotel
restaurant to eat, the first day they were very nice to me. The second
day I went back, they were not nice. I was offended, so like very good
Singaporean I complained. They told me I did not tip them the first
day. Waliao, in America must 'tip' to get service. In Singapore, I
never have to tip!

Another day I wondered on to the streets and found a man distributing anti-government material. I read it and it accused the US govt of causing the suffering in 3rd world countries. Why does the US govt allow the people to accuse it? In singapore, this person would have been arrested. Another day, a Hispanic union group gathered in a rally
accusing employers of discrimination - how can they do that? don't they know that busineeses if not given a free hand to do what they want will
just invest in china or india. How come their union is not working with the employer to harmonise worker relations and persuade workers to accept their current conditions.

One day when I was on the "free and easy" part of my tour I found a way to take the bus around in Los Angeles. At my 3rd stop, a cyclist wanted to take the bus, the bus driver got down the bus and help him to mount his bicycle on a structure at the front of the bus. I was disgusted, how can he do that, it caused delay to every one on the bus. I'm surprised Americans put up with that. Half way through the ride, the bus got a bit crowded, just like Singapore people don't move to the rear. At the bus stop people trying to get up shouted loudly at the people in the bus to "move to the rear guys!! we can't get up!!". In
Singapore, people would have kept quiet and waited for the bus driver to do something - if nothing is done they would have just waited for the next bus. This shows that Americans are impatient lot - unlike Singapore they don't trust the person in the leadership position(bus driver) to do his job.

As I move around in America, I realise the problem of older workers getting jobs is far worse that in Singapore. I saw very few old folks working in America - they are mostly sitting in parks or playing with their grand children. I guess they do that because they are unable to
find a job. In contrary, we see many old folks in Singapore working as cleaners and at MacDonalds. We should be thankful that in Singapore even old folks can find jobs. In America, old folks are jobless and sitting around doing nothing. It is obvious the American government is
unable to solve the structural unemployment problem and are unable to redesign jobs for older workers. These old folks in America must be suffering without an income and spending so much time in the park when they should be working.

I went to one place that was having an election for a Mayor. So much money wasted on posters and hundreds of people wasting time campaigning for the candidates. Why do they waste time doing that? In Singapore, instead of having so many people choose a president, we simply have a panel of 3 people to do it - it is cheaper and waste less energy. Obviously America has alot to learn from Singapore.

The only place I like alot is Las Vegas. Wow the bright lights and the wonderful casinos. Yes, I like it alot although one night at the
jackpot machine, I don't know what happened to me and I lost $500. For some reason, I couldn't stop myself. But later when I watch the show with the pirate ship and girls in bikini, I felt much better and forgot my loss. Certainly I'll come back to Las Vegas. You can see that the
Singapore govt also realise that most Singaporeans will like Las Vegas, so they are build 2 casinos in Singapore to bring Las Vegas to
Singaporeans. See, how much the PAP govt cares about you, to make sure you're well entertained and have some excitement in your life.

You can see for yourself how lucky singapore is as a country. People
above 60 are still able to find jobs and continue working. Everyone living in harmony happily. No time wasted on debates and protests. No confusing concepts to deal with. After my tour in America, I'm so glad
that we have such a good government that put the smile on the faces of Singaporeans everyday...and when I open up the newspapers, I can see
everything is fine and dandy. Our citizens are obedient and trust their leaders.

Anonymous said...

then why there is so much remaking? why dont you go and tell LHL there is no need to change because everything is fine?

Anonymous said...

In Singapore change also cannot, don't change also cannot. Like that how???!

Anonymous said...

it is the government's job to get things done; a bit of self congratulation is to be expected too, but sometimes people are too fond of hearing their own voices and echoes

Anonymous said...

for the last 40 years I've been haunted by the same echo....

clyde said...

To that anonymous person who left the long long comment: Wow. I really wish more of the PAP was run by people just like you so we wouldn't need to fight censorship to show what an idiot they are. Oh wait......they are.

Anonymous said...

Hey that super long message is damn funny. It is so sarcastic.

clyde said...

I know... it sounds like a potential classic right-wing sabotage. heh. Come on Mr Anonymous...why don't you step up to claim the credit.

soci said...

Is it parody? Is Andrew Kuan posting anonymously again?

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous

Do you know that by one statement made by LSL who said workers above the age of 40 were not competent and therefore have to get a cut in their pay checks? Following this, private companies one after other started to streamline and to axe older workers. As a result, unemployment worsened. With high standard of living in Sg, either being unemployed or having pay-cut certainly affect the lives of every citizens. As a matter of fact, there are many who suffered from depressions or even committed suicides, which were unreported at all? Many of those whom I know were not able to get jobs at all because of age though govt has raised our retirement age to 65. A man, who has MBA and was an bank executive for about 30 years, was retrenched and has tried very hard to get a job and even willing to accept any job of $2,000 but failed. So, the media has interviewed him the first time about 4-5 months ago and went with him to a number of job agencies around Sg. The media taped all the conversations between the man and the agencies. All turned him down - main reason: too old!! Two weeks ago, he was again invited by the media in the Chinese forum discussion. He was still unemployed. Now everywhere I go, I hear complaints about being unemployed and difficulties in getting jobs. So disheartening.

Anonymous said...

Now, he has awaken and has realised that Sg's economy is not getting better, therefore, has to remake it into an integrated resorts. For better or for worse, yet to know.

And now, he has also changed his words by encouraging all employers to employ older workers for they are good and loyal labour. Didn't he know earlier that Sg population has higher proportion of older citizens? As far as I know, many of those being retrenched and still unemployed or forced to accept a much lower pay. they have suffered very much emotionally.

A number of issues have made Singaporeans lose faith and confidence:

1) NKF donations
2) Buangkok MRT - still not operative
3) Lor Chuan property evacuation to make way for circle line
4) Recent a block of pte properties for sale by owners
5) Recent Foo Kee Building at Paya Lebar to be evacuated within one month (originally but has been extended since after complaints) by LTA due to Nicoll Highway incident which has happened long past. Why didn't LTA made such an announcement at that time. Why suddenly at this time? This abrupt call for evacuation has made the owners there unprepared and unhappy about it.

The above item 5 seems to be a repercussion effect of items 2,3 and 4. These issues pertained to Marine Parade GRC region whereby Lor Chuan/Serangoon is located and sandwiched between Potong Pasir and Hougang (both are under opposition parties). So, you see the effect of speaking up! Fortunately, none of the citizens has stood up; otherwise one might be sued for libels till bankrupt!!

Well, nat'l day celebrations were specially arranged for the Tampines, Jurong and Yishun regions. Why not Hougang/Serangoon region?

Now, the govt is so kind to do something good for his citizens as mentioned by PM in his nat'l day rally. For what reason? Afraid to lose their seats during election?

Unhappy MP GRC citizen

Anonymous said...

The fact that old folks in Singapore are still working prove that old folks in Singapore have very unfortunate life due to the fact that they find themselves unable to retire even at that certain age. Older people in some countries capable of sitting and playing with their grandchildren in the park show that they are leading very happy life by being able to enjoy life at that age. how nice is that. With regards to the issue of the life of old folks, I guess old folks in singapore are very unfortunate. sad to say that.

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