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If Singapore is Hong Kong’s role model, let’s hope it’s only for housing

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The Singapore style of governance championed by Lee Kuan Yew has been a model for Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and her predecessors Leung Chun-ying and Tung Chee-hwa.

Meanwhile, the city’s mainstream media has been trumpeting Singapore’s prosperous economy and stable society, while accusing the pro-democracy camp of hindering Hong Kong’s development.

It has been forgotten that Singapore is essentially a dictatorship. The People’s Action Party has been in power since the country’s establishment and is credited with its rapid economic growth. However, the party has also been suppressing the opposition.

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Both the Singapore government and citizens pay a price. In exchange for the public’s support, the Lee family has ensured citizens enjoy a good standard of living and fair policies on housing, education, health care and retirement protection. Meanwhile, Singaporeans have their vote, which can restrain the government.

Hong Kong, on the contrary, is falling between two stools. The government has failed to accommodate the needs of Hongkongers, while democracy has been deteriorating. The opposition has been oppressed and human rights diminished. Governance in Hong Kong is catching up with Singapore’s dictatorship,........

© South China Morning Post