SINGAPORE, March 23 — Singapore today mourned the death of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, the architect of the city state and its first prime minister.
Lee may above all be remembered for transforming a tiny port in Southeast Asia into a modern financial hub — an Asian base for global banks and many multinationals.
In many ways, the small country could be seen as the envy of the world with a literacy rate of near 100 per cent and home ownership of around 90 per cent for residents.
Singapore is ranked number two in the World Economic Forum index of global competitiveness in terms of its lack of corruption and government efficiency.
But Singapore also faces some statistics that points to challenges in the years ahead.
A liberalised immigration policy has dramatically increased the population — opening up gaps between the haves and have-nots and fresh wounds from long-time residents about newcomers — especially when it comes to jobs.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the city ranked as the most expensive in the world in 2014.
This week the nation gathers to hail its founding father — internationally acclaimed as a historic leader.
Singapore is a modern day success story, now it faces a crossroads in defining its future. — Reuters