Pages: 6 p.
Singapore, a city-state of approximately 700 km2 in Southeast Asia, has made great strides since it was established as a republic in 1965. In its early years of independence, Singapore was a poor, undeveloped island with a lack of natural resources, high unemployment, rapid population growth, substandard housing and sanitation, and tension among its various ethnic groups. As a small nation with limited natural resources, human resources have always been the island republic’s most precious asset. Today, Singapore is a vibrant global hub of trade, finance and transportation, with a strong and harmonious community of citizens of different ethnicities and religions. Its transformation “from third world to first” in one generation is one of Asia’s great success stories (Lee, 2000; OECD, 2010).