Singapore Media

Even saying the word and some of the uninformed may still hold the belief that
it is located "somewhere in China," knowing only where it is
approximately. Yet this vibrant, newly industrialized city-state is in fact
located close to the equator and is often overlooked on the world map; not
surprising, considering it is only represented by a small dot in the South China

Sea. Today, the island of Singapore has earned high acclaim for its rapid
transformation from a humble trading post to the modern, technological
metropolis that it has proudly become. Singapore has been described by some
economists as a "modest miracle," simply because it has managed to
achieve the status of an Asian business headquarters with its only resource:
people. (Marshall, 1970) Despite it’s lacking of other resources, due to its
strategic location at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore is a
thriving business hub for Southeast Asia with an excellent communications
network infrastructure. It possesses all the trappings of a successful business
center with an extremely multicultural heritage, as well as an abundance of
colorful and modern environment. History on this island began around the 15th
century, when it became a port of call for various Malay empires ruling at the
time. It was most likely favorable to them for its perfect deep-water harbor
area; it is one of the world’s largest at roughly 93 square miles, and offers
six gateways to the open seas. What the early settlers probably didn’t care
about was its rich, hilly landscape and fertile tropical forestry. The coastal
region of Singapore is very smooth and rocky, easily accessible for all types of
boats. They were more interested in the coastal possibilities, and perhaps with
the temperate, relatively uniform climate. It is a humid and rainy island, with
occasional violent winds. However, the early history wasn’t documented as much
for its accuracy as it was for its mythology. Singapore’s modern history began
with the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles of the British East India Company who
landed there in 1819 in search of establishing a trading site. It was quickly
transformed into a legitimate British colony, not recognized as property by
anyone. Singapore was declared a city by a royal British charter and it quickly
created a municipal colony. (Marshall, 1970) With this colony, Singapore was to
become a prosperous industrial trade nation. Perhaps it’s most alarming
attribute to success is the growth in population, comprising mainly Singapore
citizens and permanent residents. What I mean by citizens is the medley of races
making up Singapore’s resident base; they consist of the Chinese, Malays,

Indians, Arabs, Persians, and Europeans. The population in the early years was
probably not more than a few hundred thousand. Today, the number, and ethnicity,
of people have risen almost a ten-fold. With all of the dramatic increases in
populations of immigrants came the influx of different languages, and cultures,
too. Singapore’s officially-recognized languages are Malay, Chinese
(Mandarin), Tamil, and English; which is considered the administrative language,
the social conglomerate. Singapore’s mainstay of British authority lasted
around a hundred-fifty years before its brief accommodation with Malaysia.

Despite being a small, resource-poor island, Singapore gained its full
independence in 1965. This new Singapore, staunchly anticommunist, was finally
free to pursue capitalism with vigor and determination that set new standards
for nations of the Rim. Singapore faced a problem that was similar to other
former colonies: how to take the disparate cultures and blanket of colonial

European influences and weave them into a free, modern state. Singapore was
spared the problem of traditionally hostile indigenous cultures bound together
by unnatural modern state boundaries, with constant tribalism and distribution
of power. However, Singapore also lacked the cultural building blocks that are
obvious characteristics of a modern nation-state. So how do you turn a
multiethnic colony into a cohesive nation? Singapore’s former Prime Minister,

Lee Kuan Yew, tried to do this. His policies were attacked and ridiculed. The
included strict enforcement of codes of public behavior, use of English as the
important language, a national ideology built around cultural tolerance and
loyalty to the nation. Because of the other nations of the world in conflict for
post-colonialism, Yew believed the only alternative was to establish a strong
central government that could survive the typical splintering of states into
pieces. Opposition was minimal among Singaporeans or domestic media, which he
mainly controlled. What he basically did in the media was a symbol of the battle
between modern authoritarianism and independent journalism. (Stevenson, 1994)

Singapore also made an advance in the development of a centralized government.

Not a ruthless dictatorship, mind you,