Last Sunday service I dressed with a traditional Singapore dress as a sign of intercession on behalf of Nigeria, my adopted country. Please read about the success story called Singapore. Nigeria can be the same!
Singapore is an inspiring success story. Like Monaco and the Vatican, Singapore is also a sovereign city- state. It is located in the Southeastern Asia. An English man called Stamford Raffles founded colonial Singapore in 1819. It has gained its independence from the UK in 1963. It is a ‘small’ island, 15000 times smaller than America. In one hour you can drive from coast to coast. It has no oil, gold or any natural resources.
Even then, Singapore is a global commerce, finance and transport hub. Its standings include: the most “technology-ready” city with the “best investment potential”, the second-most competitive country, third-largest foreign exchange market, third-largest financial centre, third-largest oil refining and trading centre, and the second-busiest container port in the world. The country has also been identified as a tax haven. It attracts many investors from all over the world. Singapore has the world’s highest percentage of millionaires and billionaires in the world, with one out of every six households having at least one million US dollars in disposable wealth. The economy is known as one of the freest, most innovative, most competitive, most dynamic and most business-friendly in the world. The port is the second busiest in the world after Shanghai.
Singapore is consistently perceived as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, along with New Zealand and the Scandinavian countries.
Tourism forms a large part of the economy, with over 15 million tourists visiting the city-state in 2014.
It had a population of 5,6 million, out of which about 3 millions are the native and the rest are foreigners who live and work here. The Singaporean dollar is almost equal with the U.S. Solar. Acute poverty is very rare. The Government has many laws to help the needy. For example, the government gives $500-1000 per month to needy households, providing free medical care at government hospitals, and paying for their children’s school fees. The Singapore government also provides numerous benefits to all its citizens including: free money to encourage residents to exercise in public gyms, up to $166,000 worth of baby bonus benefits for each baby born to a citizen, heavily subsidized healthcare, money to help the disabled, cheap laptops for poor students, paying most of the utility bills and more.
Buddhism is the most widely practised religion in Singapore, followed by Christianity and Islam. Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil. Education for primary, secondary, and tertiary levels is mostly supported by the state.
Singapore’s healthcare system ranks as 6th overall in the world. It has had the lowest infant mortality rate in the world for the past two decades. Life expectancy in Singapore is 80 for males and 85 for females, placing the country 4th in the world for life expectancy. Almost the whole population has access to improved water and sanitation facilities. There are fewer than 10 annual deaths from HIV per 100,000 people. Adult obesity is below 10.
The majority of the population is of Chinese, origin followed by Malaysian and indian descent. Racial and religious harmony is regarded by Singaporeans as a crucial part of Singapore’s success, and played a part in building a Singaporean identity.
What is the most interesting fact about Singapore is that about 50 years ago, this land was a backward swampy place. One man changed all this. He is known as the founding father of Modern Singapore. Harry Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015) was the first Prime Minister of Singapore, governing for three decades. Lee is known for transitioning Singapore from the “third world to first world” in a single generation” under his leadership.
Clearly, Singapore is a success story among the nations of the world. What impressed me is that with good leadership and the people’s cooperation nations can really change. This evening I pray for my resident country Nigeria where we live and do ministry. May God have mercy and change them into better. With God all things are possible!
(In the pictures me dressed in Singapore traditional dress and the before (1960) and after (today) pictures of Singapore)