The Singapore story - we need visionary leaders
Stabroek News
December 18, 2001

Dear Editor,

I started reading a book entitled From Third World to First The Singapore Story: 1965 2000 by Lee Kuan Yew. I am barely through the first chapter and cannot help but compare Guyana to Singapore. Admittedly, there are certain differences such as Singapore's 3 million population, that make the comparison flawed. However, the core principles that contributed to Singapore's economic development are applicable. Singapore, ethnically and religiously diverse and once a British colony, became independent in 1965. Its annual per capita income has grown from less than $1,000 at independence to nearly $30,000 today. But get this! Singapore is only 224 square miles and has no natural resources!

Guyana, rich in natural resources and more than 370 times larger than Singapore, became independent in 1966. However, over the same period (1965 2000), Guyana has significantly regressed both economically and socially. Guyana's economic woes have been and continue to be exacerbated by the large number of economic migrants that have departed. In addition, myopia and petty issues have plagued our politicians.

I used the Singapore example to put some perspective on Guyana's current situation and how much my country has stagnated. As another year ends and a New Year begins, I urge all politicians and Guyanese both home and abroad to recommit to Guyana's development and focus on big picture issues.

Yours faithfully,

Gairy Moore

New York