Stability key to Singapore staying ahead: MM

Dear MM Lee,

I refer to the 20 Nov 2010 Straits Times report of your speech at the 40th anniversary celebration of Hewlett Packard Singapore.

Singapore too, like our neighbours, chose to grow our local industries instead of pursuing export industrialisation when we were merged with Malaysia. It was our separation from Malaysia which gave us no choice but to open our doors to the world. Our decision to open our doors is therefore not one which is based on foresight but based on necessity instead.

The ‘enormous’ advantage which English gave us is quite often over stated. Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong prospered just as well using Mandarin, Korean and Cantonese respectively. If using Chinese means we wouldn’t be where we are today, then why is Taiwan where it is today? Why is China rising so rapidly too? How do the Taiwanese and the Chinese make a living? How do they connect to the world? The Taiwanese and the Chinese have no problems making a living and have no problems connecting with the world even as they speak and write Chinese primarily.

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