chapter  8
14 Pages

Singapore: The Ghost of Politics yet to Come?

WithRobert Pinkney

Singapore is an important actor in the global economy, enjoying order and stability, and with one of the least corrupt governments in the world. Singapore enjoyed few natural resources apart from a good natural harbour and a favourable geographical position at a crossroads where shipping from the Suez Canal, the Americas, Australasia and China and Japan converged. Singapore came into the world of independent nations much more naked than Japan, South Korea or Taiwan. The 1974 University of Singapore Act prevents student organisations from having any political role, and the 1988 Religious Harmony Act constrains religious organisations or their officers from involvement in political matters. Singapore has followed a different route from Europe to reach its position as a power in the global economy, benefiting from the wealth of that economy yet constrained by its competitive nature.