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Singapore gets Goh ahead for hands-off government

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Glittering skyscrapers, air-conditioned malls, manicured lawns, litter-free boulevards, and a law-abiding population... It is hard to believe that 200 years ago Singapore was a disease-ridden backwater populated by fisherman and pirates. And just 40 years ago the island state was racially divided, lacking in resources and reliant on unfriendly neighbours for food and water. Singapore?s transformation into a thriving global financial centre, however, is not a result of natural evolution. Rather, its leaders have approached it as a carefully thought-out project. What Singapore has lacked, it has simply created ? it?s ?a man-made miracle?.

In 1971 the Ministry of National Development undertook to ?optimize every square inch of scarce land resources to stimulate Singapore?s economic growth and improve the quality of life for all Singaporeans?. Shipyards were transformed into residential areas, skyscrapers sprouted, restaurants and bars opened, parks and gardens were planted, a vast tropical tourist resort was built, historical buildings renovated, and when there wasn?t enough land, Singapore simply filled in the shoreline. Singapore is 33 square kilometres larger than it was 40 years ago, and it plans to get bigger still.

Simultaneously, the government motivated its workforce.

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