Monday, May 17, 2010

Goh Keng Swee

Dr Goh Keng Swee died last Friday morning at the age of 91 after a long illness.

Dr Goh was the person behind the Singapore economic miracle, while Lee Kwan Yew helms the politics.

With a PhD from the London School of Economics, Dr Goh was able to present his thinking on economic development in a very clear and simple way. Using the simplest of economic growth models, he told students of Singapore University one day that you needed to save in order to invest.

If your savings are too low, then you need to invite foreign savings.

In order to attract investment, you must built the necessary infrastructure: port, education, national security, social security, public housing, public transport. Dr Goh practically created the present institutional establishments that have stand Singapore in good stead till today.

Singapore's excellence, not doubt, comes fundamentally from the training of its young people in the armed forces during national service as well as the use of advanced technology in national security.

In addition to the retention of English as the medium of education, despite Malay being the national language of Singapore, the national service forges the spirit of Singapore children into responsible men and women with the resolve to do their best.

In public transport and public housing, Dr Goh's objective was to build an environment that is conducive to pleasant living and working. Singapore city, being a concrete jungle as a result of its built-up density, still manages to exude a greenish impression the first you arrive in the city.

Dr Goh was also responsible for building the zoo, the bird park, sentosa, the Singapore Symphony. While most would think that he had a cultural and arty bend, I see these projects also as economic projects which will also attract visitors to Singapore, in addition to providing the needed natural retreat for tired city dwellers.

I heard he was a good drinker, and I reckon this could be an important constituent in contributing to the greatness of a brillant thinker and action man.

1 comment:

walla said...