Singapore vs New Zealand

Singapore is a pretty interesting place. At 707 km², the island is roughly the size of Lake Taupo (622 km²). Yet this small island nation with approximately the same population size as New Zealand (4.5m in Singapore to 4.2m in NZ) is far more progressive in many ways. According to IMF figures, Singapore is the 21st wealthiest country in the world based on the GDP / capita measure, coming in at USD35K. They are just ahead of Japan, and 5 places above New Zealand (at USD30K). Adjusted for purchasing power parity, the difference is even more dramatic. Singapore's GDP / capita rises to USD50K (6th highest in the world) vs New Zealand's USD26K (32nd).

tourist bus on orchard road

It's amazing how an island nation not blessed with natural resources and dependent on her northern neighbour for the most basic of resources (including water and sand) can achieve this level of development.

New Zealand is often compared to Australia (GDP/capita USD43K, ranked 15th). Sometimes, New Zealanders give the excuse that Australia's superiority is simply because of their abundance of natural resources including various minerals and oil. Perhaps one thing we can learn from the Singaporeans is to stop whining about what we cannot change and focus on what we can. If a small Asian island nati

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on can transform itself from rural backwaters to one of the wealthiest nations in the world within 40 years, perhaps there are some lessons to be learnt. I don't think we need to look far. Strong leadership is a key factor. Unwavering resolve to achieve progress collectively is another. Do we know what it means to do whatever it takes?

Of course, it's not all about economics. There are also reasons for Kiwis to celebrate. We just found out that Auckland is ranked the fifth best city to live in globally for the second year running, trumping Sydney (10th) and Melbourne (17th). Singapore is a distant 32nd.

Many New Zealanders would not be able to tolerate living in Singapore. Notwithstanding the heat, long working hours, and lack of nice beaches/bush, the list of things you can't do could be longer than the list of things you can.

I was reading the Straits Times on the flight to Singapore, and came across an article about an ex-Singaporean (now US citizen) getting sued for insulting a judge.

Gopalan Nair was charged under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, which states that “it is an offence for any person who in a public or private place uses any indecent, threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour towards a public servant in the execution of his duty”. If convicted, Nair faces a fine of canadian levitra fast delivery up to $5,000 or up to one year in jail.

I can imagine that National MP Carter wouldn't have abused the cop if he knew he could go to jail for it.

Not a day goes by where you don't find an article in the Herald with a story critical of the government. Criticising the government is now a national pastime. Of course, who else would you blame for high food prices, petrol prices, inflation, interest rates, NZD etc.

What would you rather have? More money / less freedom or more freedom / less money?


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About The Author

Kenneth is Director of Euroasia. He is passionate about languages and cultures.