But these leaders lost power because didn’t help their people achieve material prosperity. It was this prosperity** that gave the PAP legitimacy in the eyes of up to 80% of the voters from 1965 — 1990
Since then the PAP and the economy have been on auto-pilot.
The PAP avoided a crash in 2011, and regained altitude by throwing more of our money our way. What the PAP derided as “welfarism” will be redefined as the “need to attend to the well-being of citizens” (words of a PAPpy running dog in today’s SunT)
But the economy for all the talk of restructuring is still on auto pilot. When S’poreans realise what 2-3% economic growth really means (hope to blog on this soon), unhappiness will grow especially among those who boutht into the idea of die-die must buy pigeon hole in the sky..
*A reader pointed out
The difference is that the old guards viewed themselves as chairman & board of directors of a corporation, and were internally motivated to see the long-term growth of same, staking their own prosperity with that of the country/corporation. That said, a corporation isn’t a democracy.
Africa & Burma strongmen basically were more interested in short-term extraction of maximum wealth & benefits in the shortest time possible, while using guns & muscle to maintain the looting for as long as possible.
Places like India fall somewhere in-between.
**If Lim Chin Siong and friends had won, based on their own words, we’d have gone the way of the Africans and Burmese. Whether they’d made a u-turn is something that can be debated until the cows come home. All I’ll say is that they did not have a Dr Goh Keng Swee on their team.