Posts Tagged ‘Singapore’

A good motto

April 27, 2016

Nanyang

Source: Marginal Revolution.

This is the motto of the School of International Relations of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Singapore: Lee Kuan Yew’s authoritarian utopia

March 30, 2015
Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015)

Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015)

Lee Kuan Yew, who died last Monday, was one of the world’s most successful rulers.  I am uneasy about his success because it was based on rejection of  American-type ideas of democracy and individual freedom.

Under Lee’s 50 years of formal and informal rule, Singapore went from being a Third World backwater with no natural resources to a gleaming technopolis and the world’s third major financial hub after London and New York. GDP per capita increased by several orders of magnitude.

It refuted the modern idea, or rather dogma, that democracy and individual liberties are indispensable components of economic modernization.

A clever foreign policy enabled great relations with both the US and China. Visible corruption is all but non-existent; the story might be apocryphal, but apparently Lee once even went as far as allowing the execution of a friend for stealing from the state.

via The Unz Review.

Lee was a proponent of so-called “Asian values” of hierarchy, obedience and discipline, which I don’t think of as being uniquely Asian.  They could just as easily be called Prussian values.

When I was younger, I thought American ideals were validated by the fact that, in the USA, the common people had a better life than they did almost anywhere else, and that things worked better than they did almost anywhere else.  Now, as I look at the dysfunctional American government and predatory American corporations, I have to wonder.

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Glimpses of Asia: January 8, 2015

January 8, 2015

I got the following links from my expatriate friend Jack, who got them from his friend Marty.

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In Pictures: China’s Frozen City by Richard Angwin for Aljazeera.

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Harbin international ice and snow festival – in pictures in The Guardian.

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DKJT87 Verbotsschild, Singapur

The price of life in Singapore, city of rules: ‘It’s a Faustian deal’ by Oliver Millman for The Guardian.

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Glimpses of Asia: the new, the old, the strange

November 5, 2013

The world is so full of a number of things
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.
==Robert Louis Stevenson

Refrigerator delivery to base camp on Everest

Refrigerator for Everest base camp

This collection of links, most of which I got from an American e-mail pen pal who lives in Asia, is a reminder that, despite all the awful things that happen, I live in a world that is so damn interesting.  

Inside Japan’s ‘Suicide Forest’

Gender bending in Japan

Countries within Nations.  The combined populations of China and India exceed the populations of North and South America plus western Europe.  Chinese provinces and Indian states are comparable to well-known sovereign nations, and are becoming increasingly independent.  This article includes interactive maps, on which you can click on an individual province or state and see which country it equals in population.

Chinese man finally meets his Internet crush—and she’s his daughter-in-law.

A festival of eagles in Mongolia

Kim Jong Un’s Luxurious ‘Seven-Star’ Lifestyle Of Yachts, Booze And Food

The highly unusual company behind Sriracha, the world’s coolest hot sauce.  I love Vietnamese hot sauce.

Sriracha chili sauce company under fire for spicing up air around factory. The City of Irwindale filed lawsuit after residents surrounding the California factory complained of burning eyes and headaches.

The Chile Pepper Institute.   Chile peppers originated in the New World, but they’ve become so much a part of the cuisine of many Asian countries that you wouldn’t think so.

The Weirdest and Most Revolting Foods That You Could Actually Eat.  Most of these are from Asia.

Malaysia court rules non-Muslims cannot use ‘Allah

Best places to retire abroad. These include Chiang Mai in Thailand and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Singapore Laws. Travelers beware.

Trick or Treat – A look at Indonesia’s horrifying masked monkey trade.

Anoman fight with the dragon Java.   A painter’s beautiful works based on traditional Javanese stories.

De-stressss with a snake massage.

Bizarre, hilarious, disgusting Thai bracelets from a bracelet vendor at the night market in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Thailand racism row reignited by Unilever ad for skin-whitening cream.

Kitchen of the Golden Temple.  This sacred shrine in India feeds up to 100,000 people a day regardless of race, religion and class.

Burka Avenger Episode 01 (w/ English Subtitles).  The Burka Avenger is a children’s cartoon show produced in Pakistan.

Obama’s Worst Pakistan Nightmare

Saudi comedian mocks ban on women driving with viral video

I don’t draw any bottom-line conclusion from all this, except an awareness of how limited my knowledge is, and a reminder to beware of sweeping generalizations about others nations and civilizations.

Glimpses of Asia: the good, the bad, the odd

November 5, 2013

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