Exhausting comparison between us, Singapore

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It is difficult, when thinking and searching for the reason for the deterioration of our situation, not to compare with the experiences of other countries, especially Singapore, which was, until only sixty years ago, a small, neglected island ruled by Britain, then gave it its independence, and with it Malaya in 1957 and two years later the two countries were united. But the extreme poverty of the island, the huge scale of its problems, and the proliferation of drug-criminal gangs there prompted the Malays, (Malaysia) to encourage them to separate from it, because it was a costly and dangerous burden for them.

The prime minister on the newly independent island, which owns nothing, was handed over to the distinguished statesman and the able lawyer, Lee Kuan Yew, who transformed it into a miracle state in almost everything, and its progress became measured, in all indicators, by the industrialized Western countries, and surpassed them in some.

Singapore follows a partially free and hybrid political system, similar to ours. Its government also dominates everything, and its elections are conducted on the basis of a multiplicity of electoral districts and by the individual electoral system. The area of Singapore is only 700 square kilometers, compared to Kuwait, which is approximately 18,000 square kilometers.

Singapore citizens belong to multiple races, religions, backgrounds, and languages and the majority are Chinese, yet they coexist peacefully, under the umbrella of law and justice, and speak four official languages, and the common English language is the fifth and most important, and the state believes in freedom of belief.

As for us, the language is one, the religion is one, the races and backgrounds of the nation are numbered, and yet we cannot tolerate one another.

The percentage of non-residents is 42% compared to more than 70% in Kuwait. It has a population of 6 million, compared to 4.5 million in Kuwait. Despite this, the national income of this tiny island, which does not own a single pint of oil, nor any natural resources amounts to 560 billion dollars, compared to our income of 250 billion dollars. It has reserves of nearly 300 billion dollars.

The average life expectancy in Singapore is 84 years, our average is 74 years. The inflation rate is zero, while ours ranges between 3.5% and 4%, and it is one of the most globalized countries, and we are the least globalized.

The quality of life is also high, as it is the best in Asia. There is no need to compare our situation with it. Singapore is known for its transparency in all its actions and ranked among the highest in the world. It is also the least globally corrupt, and we are the opposite of it, the least transparent, and the most corrupt. Singapore has the best judicial system in Asia, followed by Japan and South Korea. As for Kuwait, we are only located in the continent of Asia.

In education, its students rank in the top five almost every year. Our students are also ranked the best, but in cheating, sponsored by some parents and some teachers.

The secret of Singapore’s progress, as stated by the Singaporean professor and diplomat Kishore Mahbobani, is due to three things referred to by the following letters MPH.

The first means Meritocracy, i.e. selecting the best for government positions. The destruction of countries begins with the appointment of ignorant people to the highest positions.

The second refers to Pragmatic, which means the pragmatic process that is not paying attention to the race, religion, language, or appearance of the applicant, but rather considering his competence and ability to accomplish the work.

And last, the most important and the most dangerous, is honesty, whose absence has ravaged societies. Dishonesty is not only represented in the theft of state funds, but in many other matters, including appointments of relatives of influential people, huge differences in the salaries of state employees, and many others.

Perhaps all we need at this delicate stage is to apply these three criteria.

We need no words or talks, but only deeds.

e-mail: [email protected]

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