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TABLE OF CONTENT
Brief history of Singapore..........................3
Discussion and analysis of the article..................5
“The people now raise their voice in Singapore: Are impacts of nowadays globalization actually good in developed countries?”
What happened to this peace and beautiful country? Obviously it seems so nervous and trenchant…
On 1st September 2000, Singapore created a place, named Speakers’ Corner where citizens could say whatever they wanted to share legally in Hong Lim Park, whereas near the city center. The Speakers’ Corner immediately became the hottest spot with some acrimonious demonstrations about Immigration, which was silently occurred 48 years ago. The original Singaporeans felt hurt and angry, they claimed that the attendance of foreigners and super rich class in Singapore made them lose jobs, homeless, get low wages, feel like leaving behind and especially pull original population rate down too low. They strongly protested Singaporean Government’s policy - the ruling People Action’s Party (PAP) on the Internet. Goh Chok Tong, the second Prime Minister, called the situation as a Singapore “midlife crisis”. This could be explained for the vigorous change in new generation of opposition politicians in last 2011.
About Government, PAP was formed in 1954 and successfully led by Lee Kuan Dew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore. He had focused on modernization process and eventually developed “Government-knows-best” strategy for the country which was believed as “Asian Values”. Singapore had reputation about Government’s gorgeous performance. Therefore Singaporeans did obey these arrangements; but nowadays they do not agree anymore. Urbanization has taken away too many historical values! For instance, Bukit Brown – one of historical cemetery, was going to be destroyed and this has faced with strong outcry. And that is the reason why the proportion of party vote for PAP was just 60%, worst and lowest in history.
Nevertheless, the Government has realized their disadvantages and old-fashioned orientation of “Government-knows-best”. They are trying their best to improve the living standard as well as solve bad feelings for Singaporeans soon.
Brief history of Singapore
Singapore is the smallest country in Southeast Asia which located south of the Malay Peninsula. The population has approximately 5.3 million with 40% of foreigners. Officially being independence in 1965, Singapore faced many challenges such as poor natural resources, dispersed social, unemployment, lack of housing, unstable politics and shaky economy. Based on these difficulties, the Government has created some policies to attract foreign investment and also implemented industrialization/ modernization.
In addition, Singapore has become a trading station since 1819, which increasingly developed and attracted migration from various races. With support of the United State of America and allies, from 1959 to 1990, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Dew dominated unemployment and inflation rate; strengthened living standard; and carried on large scale of public housing program. Gradually, the infrastructure has been expanded, ethnic boundaries have been obliterated and defense system was established. Last twentieth century, Singapore was known as developed country and was one of the earliest countries which moved to knowledge economy.
About political view, Singapore has multi-party systems, in which People Action’s Party (PAP) has hold power since 1965 with over 85% of representatives (Wikipedia, 2014). However, the rate tends to decrease as citizens believe that “Government-knows-best” policy is not fit with current situation anymore.
Once globalization develops to a certain extent, it originates discontent. The issue is that Singapore has to confront with globalization disadvantages of immigration. According to BBC News (2013), foreigner rate has accounted for 40% in 5.3 million Singapore populations, ranked 6th worldwide. The rate is predicted to grow up by nearly 10% in approximately 7 million people in 2030.
This leads to an attraction in real estate investment for foreigners, especially with low tax policy for foreign home buyers in the beginning. In the first 9 months 2013, foreigners who bought apartments account for 9% in total (rise by 8% compared to 2012). According to Barclays Bank, housing price in Singapore now increases 61% compared to 2009 and according to PricewaterhouseCoopers Company (England), Singapore is one of the most expensive real estate markets worldwide. Thanks to increase in property prices, the number of super rich class has risen slightly last year. According to World Ultra Wealth Report, Singapore’s super rich people grew by 3.8%, from 1,305 to 1,355 people.
Hence, the presence of huge number of foreigners made Singaporeans afraid to lose jobs. According to Sunday Times survey in 2007, nearly 90% Singaporeans worried about losing jobs to foreigners and disagreed to welcome them to this country. Despite the number of ultra rich people and subsistence fees continuously increases, according to CPF Annual Report in 2011, 458,257 Singaporeans (26% population) were defined as poor people who earned less than S$ 1,500 per month. Therefore, Singapore was ranked as the second country for the big gap between rich and poor.
Sources: CPF Annual Report in 2002, 2011, 2013 and 2025
The next domino effect is unemployment. According to Singapore Ministry of Manpower, unemployment rate grew up to 2.1% in June (about 2,900 people) compared to 1.9% in March. The reason was the restructuring and merging of businesses; and labor surplus situation was forecasted to lengthen several years.
The last point is the management of Government. With technology development, Singapore citizens - especially the original ones totally have the right to freedom of speech without fears. Social network such as Face-book, Twitter or even You-tube are used to discuss about national policies and also discontent in community. This helps to create a fair political ground for representatives of the opposition, namely Worker’s Party. The PAP is no longer trusted because of their liberal immigration policy, an increasing in income gap and lavish salaries for cabinet ministers.
Discussion and analysis of the article
The Singapore current situation is obviously a consequence of Globalization.
Globalization is basically a process of developed interconnection between nations in terms of politics, cultural and economic.
R. Robertson (Globalization, 1992:8) described globalization like the worldwide consciousness becoming a unity, simultaneously connecting to diversity forms of life. With a like-minded, Clegg et al (2008:580) believed that globalization could interact with all areas primarily through markets, hence world became closer and organizations became more interdependence and intertwinement.
Globalization has begun since 15th century and has disseminated since 1950 (Wikipedia, 2014). With the popular of transportation, the increase dramatically in trading transactions and the demands for exchange goods, globalization has really broken out in the 90s of the 20th century.
Followed by Colin Stief (2013), in globalization, it could be seen by some characteristics:
- An increased capacity and efficient melioration of Technology in telecommunication and transportation.
In the past, it is hard for people to communicate and interact to each others. But now, the introduction of cellular phones, video calls, fax, and email… are used to connect each other and also reduce geographic distance.
- An augment of people and capital.
When people have more awareness, they will seek more opportunities. And with the help modern transportation technology, they could move to new houses, look for new jobs and investments, or escape from danger. People tend to move to developed countries because of higher living standards and better chances for reaching economy success.
On the other hand, developing countries are places where attracts big amount of finance since nowadays cash flows are easier to transfer electronically and many investment opportunities can be strongly sprouted.
- Pervasive knowledge worldwide.
This means that people become to share new knowledge, invention or new ways to do things since globalizing.
- Plenty of Non – Governmental Organizations and Multinational companies.
As globalization has risen, some issues would occur like sweatshops, energy use, and global climate. That is why Non – Governmental Organizations are founded to deal with these problems.
Globalization also connects companies in same industries in order to manufacture products in lower prices and higher qualities.
So, is globalization is good or bad? It is both!
It is believed that Globalization has positive aspects. Back to the article, Singapore is one of the most successful pioneers in globalizing because of extremely obvious expressions:
- According to Ministry of Trade and Industry, with GDP grew up by 14.7% in 2010, Singapore had the highest economic growth in Asia.
- By developing international capital flows, Singapore has invested huge amount of money in many countries such as China ($62.4 billion in 2011) and Viet Nam ($4.37 billion in 2013). This could help people in these countries to get higher economically success and higher living standards. One more points, they could inherit benefits of development of present technologies without using much effort of creation. Beyond the government of these countries can work together, improve interaction and globally discuss issues.
- Singapore also has diversity in cultures, languages and people: China (76.8% population), Indian, Sri Lanka and Pakistan (7.9%), Malaysia (13.9%), and others (1.4%). However, unless Singapore compromises dexterously these cultures, it could come into assimilation. English became Singapore compulsory language.
- Immigration accounts for 40% population and it is continuously growing up. However, the government tries to reduce immigration rate in order to rebalance living standard and solve poverty and unemployment issues. It is believed that people nowadays have more choices in short time.
- The country has also taken part in plenty of international conventions such as WTO, ASEAN to increase cooperation between nations and obliterate border distance.
- Besides Singapore has evident and ad hoc policies in attracting foreigners, even welcoming talents to the state machine. For instance, foreign students who come to study are allowed to borrow money for living and learning and they have to commit to work at least 3 years for a company as repayment. Moreover, from INSEAD Global Talent Competitiveness Index (2013), Singapore was ranked as the second highest nation which attracts a huge number of foreign talents each year. Globally competitiveness always supports in keeping inventing and innovation, concurrently commodities and services can be kept prices.
However, in this current scenario, organizations, even government are facing with severe competition. About labors, their job cannot be guaranteed, they could be excommunicated anytime. Therefore, it is viewed as negative aspects.
Gail Tverberg (2013), an expert of the American Academy of Actuaries, has pointed out there could be some reasons to believe that globalization became serious challenges to world economy.
First, globalization makes national leaders hardly measure impacts on global scale from their policies’ decisions, typically is real estate for foreigners in Singapore. [Singapore’s evidences]
Second, there is a shift in moving jobs from developed countries to developing countries, which have better competitive advantages as well as higher income, welfare policy and lower environment fees. [Singapore’s evidences]
Simultaneously, capital flows are also shifted from developed countries to developing ones. [Singapore’s evidences]
Lastly, because of world economy’s competition advantages, each nation needs to sell products and services at possible lowest price. This can be possible to implement by reducing labor income, carrying unethical business or lower the value of the domestic currency. [Singapore’s evidences]
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