The Singapore Exception at 50
Simon Long, ‘Banyan’ Columnist, The Economist
Chair: John Swenson-Wright, Head, Asia Programme, Chatham House
As Singapore prepares to celebrate 50 years of independence on 9 August, the speaker will argue that the country faces two acute dilemmas. One is whether, following the death of Lee Kuan Yew, its unique political system, combining authoritarian restrictions on some civil liberties with electoral democracy, can survive. The other is how to cope with a rapidly ageing population and the consequent pressure for a more generous social security system, while avoiding the culture of welfare dependency it perceives in many Western countries.