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Running head :BUILDING A NATION 1

Building a Nation



Lee Kuan Yew served as a prime minister of Singapore between 1959 to 1990. As a prime

minister he managed to inculcate integration in Singapore at the point when racism was intense.

During his 31 years regime Singapore witnessed a drastic economic growth and even emerged to

be one of the world’s strongest economies (Ang, 2016). Even after resigning his successors still

sought for his advise in a wide range of matters ranging from political stability to economic well

being of Singapore.

In matters of international relations he would be consulted on how to deal with countries

like China for economic prosperity. In several instances he was outspoken and would blatantly

speak his mind even in diplomatic matters. Through his excellent leadership skills he managed to

bring Singapore under control when it was hit by religious and racial clashes. Further he

fostered peaceful coexistence and cohesion to save Singapore from civil war. The immense

peace that he inculcated is attributed to the economic acceleration that Singapore enjoyed within

31 years of his regime and up to date. One of the qualities that enabled Mr. lee to propel a tiny

country to both democratic and economic success was his profession as a lawyer ; he utilized his

skills and legal knowledge to initiate a government that is inclusive transparent , law abiding and

efficient (Pendleton and Friend et al, 2018). In instances where he acted out of the law to contain

critics from activist and political opponents he would argue that I he was acting following the

previous civil tension that the country had experienced hence Singapore did not need critics for

the sake of peace and stability .

Despite Singapore lacking natural resources and having a little land. Economist posit that

Singapore is an epitome of manage a country without natural resources and still steer it to

success. The economic wealth of Singapore witnessed today is ascribed to Lee Kuan regime’s

business policies that made a Singapore a favourable environment for international investments.


Another factor is that the government consisted of a small number of officials that who policies

served with undoubted transparency. This ensured that the public resources were not

misappropriated but used to for development projects appropriately. The conducive business

environment created by the government policies attracted many investors thus leading to the

rapid industrialization of Singapore. Singapore strategic situation near the Sea with a natural

harbor enabled the easy of importation of raw materials for the industrial activities and as well

as exportation of the industrial products generating sufficient revenue for the government to

develop the country. Availability of revenue within the country meant that Singapore was not

heavily borrowing from the international community but investing and returning back profit to

the economy of the country. Ultimately there was creation of more employment opportunities

and active economy inclusive of every individual further increasing productivity of economy.

Unlike Lee Kuan , Park Chung, was elected the President of South Korea in1967 in a

controversial election. Park was reelected in 1979 and later assassinated in October the same

year. On top of his policies was development of South Korea .However he was confronted with a

myriad of challenges due to poor state of the economy. Under his regime the Korean’s

infrastructure was improved. South Korean’s export also improved during his reign meaning a

growth in economy. In further enhancing the growth of economy ,Park encouraged privatization

of poorly performing industries and also nationalized other industries. Additionally his

government enacted policies that created conducive business environment for the international

investors thus attracting many foreign investor. Foreign investment in South Korea ultimately

created employment thus increase in government revenue. Park also fostered foreign relations

with other countries such as Japan and began reunification negotiations with North Korea.


As evidenced by the efforts both Lee Kuan and Park Chung they had an objective of enhancing

economic growth and develop the infrastructures of their respective countries.

During Park Chung regime there was a harsh animosity between Japan and South Korea.

Historically ,the animosity developed when Japan soldiers began abducting South Korean

women as comfort women. The soldiers also abducted South Korean nationals for cheap labour

and these destroyed the relations between these two countries. However when Park opted to give

the situation a different approach that was not expected of him ;he first made peace with Japan

for economic reasons , a move that received opposition from the South Korean citizens because

of the abduction of the `comfort women’ by Japanese. According to Park Chung they yearned to

see the country to succeed like Japan they had to change their approaches to the issues affecting

and inflicting them (Eckert, 2016) . The first step was to shun war and create peace with other

nations. This change of heart and mind means that Park was learning from the economically

successful countries and he realized that there had to be a change of tact in order to progress.

At this point North Korea had a progressive economy and Japan on the other hand enjoyed an

excellent tie with

US. However South Korea was still lagging behind by tackling the emerging issues the

old way. In such a situation Park as the leader had to initiate measures of bringing the country

up to the level of its neighbours. In this view Park Chung had to set the priorities right and

development was significant to the citizens than fighting for military supremacy. Ultimately he

managed to attract investors in South Korea , industrialized it , developed Infrastructure and

created more jobs for the citizens. In this case Park Chung was influenced with the good

governance of other neighboring countries and he strived to avoid his country being left behind.

Though he wished to see his country thrive Park Chung never lived to see that achieved to


completion as he was assassinated prematurely in his second term of presidency. In spite of Park

autocratic leadership style , he is the founder of development and economic growth that South

Korea enjoy today. Similarly Lee Kuan the founder of economic growth in Singapore at some

point had autocratic leadership style .AS deduced from the courses of these two leaders the

progress of a country depends not only on its wealth but also the relations with other countries

as that creates business opportunities as well as market for the industrial products for the



Ang, C. G. (2016). Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew's Worldview. In Reflections: THE LEGACY

OF LEE KUAN YEW (pp. 40-44).

Eckert, C. J. (2016). Park Chung Hee and Modern Korea. Harvard University Press

Pendleton, D., Friend, J., & He, Z. (2018). The Role of Socio cultural Context in the Leader–

Follower Relationship: An Analysis of Lee Kuan Yew’s Authentic Transformational

Leadership. In Authentic Leadership and Followership (pp. 139-163). Palgrave

Macmillan, Cham.