In the 1940’s, there were still many in Singapore that had the Obama’s father’s dream that that the white British “occupiers” were not yellow or brown like them. They likely wouldn’t fight the Japanese and stab those who were in the back when the fighting got really tough. You fight with the army you have and surrender was probably the best move.
After the war, before Singapore embraced capitalism and multiculturalism, there was populist marxist bent that was disappeared. Because times have never been tough, it has never come back. If times got tough, I think an Obama figure could make it popular again.
The Singapore vision will work until other countries in the region get their **** together, which could be never, so they have that going for them.
The anecdote that provides insight on Singapore’s future: A Taxi driver I had was formerly an Engineer for Seagate making hard drives. The Government subsidized computer “R&D” in the 80’s 90’s but stopped and that work has all gone to the 3rd world, now. As a result, computer engineers are driving cabs. I had an early flight and I noticed multiple crashed cabs from the night before. “We work so much to make ends meet we fall asleep and crash” my cabbie told me.
In the 2000’s SIN subsidized the “good paying jobs” in the aerospace industry. Rolls, Pratt and GE have 10’s of thousands of aerospace employees there. In 2015 the “R&D” subsidies were cut off right after one of the founders of SIN died.
Only time will tell if 10 years from now some of those aerospace engineers will be crashing their cabs.