SS Assignment 2 – Commentary on Primary Source
S.Rajaratnam, a strong proponent of merger, was appointed as the first foreign minister of Singapore after separation from Malaysia in 1965. Separation brought about various challenges. Singapore lost her primary hinterland as Malaysia erected trade barriers to reduce its dependency on Singapore. Another economic hinterland, Indonesia, restricted trade with Singapore due to its economic nationalization. Further, China was not dependable for economic growth as they were undergoing political changes. Even the British, who made up 20% of Singapore’s economy, left Singapore in 1968. In this hostile regional climate where uncertainties concerning the economy prevailed, S. Rajaratnam puts forth his vision, of a global City in 1972. The purpose of his speech is to explain why independent Singapore had not crumbled as expected, but indeed succeeded. He tries to clear the uncertainties regarding economic prosperity. He champions the idea of embracing globalization and multinational corporations to attain economic success and sets direction for Singapore to become a global city. It was viewed that a small city without natural hinterland, large domestic market and raw materials would crumble. It did affect, as entreport earnings declined from 1960 onwards. Despite this, Singapore’s GDP grew in this period. Some attributed this success to neighboring countries failure to realize their economic potential. But Rajaratnam argues that, neighboring countries economic progress would actually better Singapore’s economic prospects as it was transforming to a global city . Here he explains how the region is important and how Singapore can progress by adapting to its regional climate. As the region takes over much of the trade from Singapore, deviation is required from the traditional entreport to take on the role as a global city. This is so because; Singapore has to distinguish itself from the region in order to progress. This...
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