Singapore: Globalizing on Its Own Terms

Singapore: Globalizing on Its Own Terms Southeast Asian Affairs 2006 SINGAPORE Globalizing on Its Own Terms Terence Chong Lee Hsien Loong's succession of Goh Chok Tong as Prime Minister (PM) in August 2004 was long anticipated. It was thus unsurprising that political analysts spent 2005 dissecting the new PM's every public utterance for clues as to the character of his new administration. These analysts have endeavoured to describe and define the new Lee administration perhaps not just to distinguish it from the long shadow of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and the highly popular Senior Minister Goh, but also to decipher the People's Action Party (PAP) government's visions for Singapore at the dawn of the 21st century. In a one-party state with only three prime ministers since independence, it is tempting to see each transition as epochal even if the PAP government takes pains to spread the message of ideological continuity and political stability. It was thus inevitable that Lee's widely publicized inaugural "open and inclusive society" slogan would be contrasted with Goh's own "kinder, gentler society" tagline as though a national paradigm shift had quietly occurred between administrations. Given the growing demands of an increasingly cosmopolitan citizenry, Lee's slogan was interpreted by some http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southeast Asian Affairs Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Singapore: Globalizing on Its Own Terms

Southeast Asian Affairs, Volume 2006 – Mar 30, 2006

Singapore: Globalizing on Its Own Terms


Southeast Asian Affairs 2006 SINGAPORE Globalizing on Its Own Terms Terence Chong Lee Hsien Loong's succession of Goh Chok Tong as Prime Minister (PM) in August 2004 was long anticipated. It was thus unsurprising that political analysts spent 2005 dissecting the new PM's every public utterance for clues as to the character of his new administration. These analysts have endeavoured to describe and define the new Lee administration perhaps not just to distinguish it from the long shadow of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and the highly popular Senior Minister Goh, but also to decipher the People's Action Party (PAP) government's visions for Singapore at the dawn of the 21st century. In a one-party state with only three prime ministers since independence, it is tempting to see each transition as epochal even if the PAP government takes pains to spread the message of ideological continuity and political stability. It was thus inevitable that Lee's widely publicized inaugural "open and inclusive society" slogan would be contrasted with Goh's own "kinder, gentler society" tagline as though a national paradigm shift had quietly occurred between administrations. Given the growing demands of an increasingly cosmopolitan citizenry, Lee's slogan was interpreted by some to be a hint at further political liberalization, even prompting the Straits Times to herald in a "brave new Singapore"; one that was moving away from a "one-size-fits-all paradigm" in terms of government policies.1 Initial expectations of greater political liberalization have, however, at the close of 2005, been replaced by a more sober appreciation of the fact that the proposed "open and inclusive society" was never intended to signal democratic openness but, rather, societal acceptance of different personal and social achievements. By celebrating individuals who have wandered off the beaten track and achieved success in...
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Publisher
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore
ISSN
1793-9135
Publisher site
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Abstract

Southeast Asian Affairs 2006 SINGAPORE Globalizing on Its Own Terms Terence Chong Lee Hsien Loong's succession of Goh Chok Tong as Prime Minister (PM) in August 2004 was long anticipated. It was thus unsurprising that political analysts spent 2005 dissecting the new PM's every public utterance for clues as to the character of his new administration. These analysts have endeavoured to describe and define the new Lee administration perhaps not just to distinguish it from the long shadow of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and the highly popular Senior Minister Goh, but also to decipher the People's Action Party (PAP) government's visions for Singapore at the dawn of the 21st century. In a one-party state with only three prime ministers since independence, it is tempting to see each transition as epochal even if the PAP government takes pains to spread the message of ideological continuity and political stability. It was thus inevitable that Lee's widely publicized inaugural "open and inclusive society" slogan would be contrasted with Goh's own "kinder, gentler society" tagline as though a national paradigm shift had quietly occurred between administrations. Given the growing demands of an increasingly cosmopolitan citizenry, Lee's slogan was interpreted by some

Journal

Southeast Asian AffairsInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies

Published: Mar 30, 2006

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