SINGAPORE SINCE INDEPENDENCE: THE ROARING OF THE MOUSE
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Singapore got a new Prime Minister in August 2004 - only the third one since 1959, and incidentally the son of the first. The ruling People's Action Party appears to be as firmly in power as ever before. However, under that apparent immobility, significant changes have taken place. Many are the consequences of a tremendous economic growth, almost uninterrupted since 40 years, and of some of its momentous effects: affluence, higher education level, openness to the wide world. Liberalization has especially affected culture and private life. But difficult, fundamental issues remain unsolved, and worrying: ethnic equilibrium, ideological definition, regional insertion… Democratization, still in infancy, has not made any progress since 15 years, and Singapore has the dubious privilege to be the most prosperous of the world's authoritarian regimes. A detour through the history of the last half-century will allow a better understanding of such a paradoxical country.
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