Singapore is a developed country by any standard of measurement. But this was not always the case. After its separation from Malaysia in 1965, the fledgling nation was struggling with problems including mass unemployment, housing shortages and lack of land and natural resources.
There’s a crisp and wonderful interview by Prof Kishore Mahubani of the Singapore government. Apart from speaking of his very humble beginnings, he also explains the secret behind Singapore’s success.
He says the secret is a formula called MPH. No it’s not miles per hour. It’s meritocracy, pragmatism and honesty. Meritocracy means only the deserving get recognized. Pragmatism means doing what it takes to get the work done, which he wonderfully summarizes as “It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice”. And last but not the least, honesty.
If these can work for a country of 5 million people, surely the principles will come in handy for us at a personal level as well.