Singapore is the most successful and young sovereign state of South-East Asia

Singapore is the most successful and young sovereign state of South-East Asia. In 1959, England, on the basis of the Constitution of Singapore that she had drafted, granted this colony its status as a self-governing state, which, however, remained part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Singapore gained some independence; in particular, it got the right to form its government. On June 5, 1959, the leader of the People’s Action Party (PND), Lee Kuan Yu, became the prime minister of the new state until 1990. Later, as minister-mentor, he continued to participate actively in the preparation and implementation of long-term projects of socio-economic development of Singapore.
In Singapore, there are several ethnic groups with different cultures, but open racial conflicts are rare. Leading positions in the ruling party are occupied mainly by the Chinese; however, when selecting ordinary members of parliament, they try to obey the principle of proportional representation and other groups. The government officially propagates as a state ideology “universal values”, such as loyalty to its country, respect for order, economic self-discipline, and religious and racial harmony (1993: 21-71).
The cultural life of Singapore is not very rich in events, which are usually confined to government campaigns. The streets are maintained in an exemplary order, often citizens are subject to significant fines for minor violations (for example, the passage of the street red light). The authorities urge residents to show friendliness towards each other, to speak a more correct Mandarin dialect, and not to the native dialect of the Chinese language, etc. At the governmental level, a number of sociological campaigns are carried out with the aim of broadening the study of the English language and destroying the Chinese educational system; the increase in the birth rate of certain groups of the population and its decline in other groups. Within the framework of the city’s extensive urban development program, carried out since 1965, slaughterhouses were destroyed in which ethnically homogeneous population was crowded. Their inhabitants were moved to new multi-storey houses with a mixed population. Education in Singapore is valued as a way to take a higher position in society. Schooling is not compulsory, but most children complete a full course of primary school. The National University of Singapore, several higher technical and humanitarian colleges operate. The country has a public health system (1997:2).
In this paper we will analyze the dimensions of national culture of that contributed to the booming economy of Singapore. At the beginning we will consider six cultural parameters according to Hofstede analysis. The typology of cultural measurements developed by Gert Hofstede is the basis for cross-cultural communication. Using the information obtained from the analysis, she describes the impact of the culture of society on the individual values of its members, and how these values affect their behavior. The typology is based on the idea that value can be divided into six dimensions of culture. These measurements include:
1. Power Distance Index (PDI)
2. Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV)
3. Masculinity versus Femininity (MAS)
4. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)
5. Long Term Orientation versus Short Term Normative Orientation (LTO)
6. Indulgence versus Restraint (IND) (8)
Principles of public administration are based on the strategy of “singaporeization” of the society on the basis of Chinese, Malay, and Tamil ethnoses with the goal of creating a single nation. In fact, the concept of a meritocratic society was established, where the principle of nominating the most talented citizens, selected from all national groups and social strata, prevails. As a “semi-state” religion is Confucianism or the concept of the so-called. Confucian dynamism, based on traditional ethical standards: commitment, thrift, diligence, unconditional recognition of the rule of power.
Power Distance Index
In Singapore, workers have a greater power distance than their Chinese counterparts In Singapore, their superiors and subordinates are perceived as relatively equal. Pheng and Yuguan (2001: 276-285) stand in the view that “a hierarchical order contributes to people feeling unequal; power forms the basis of a society in which there are good and bad, and thus normalizes inequality in society. Domestic organizations are centralizing power, so they expect them to say what to do. The ruling class believes he has the right to be privileged.
The eastern approach to the formation of ideas for the development of society differs from the Western one in that there are no evaluation categories “good” or “bad”. The countries of Asia consider this or that concept based on its effectiveness in order not to impose their will on other states but in order to improve the life of society and its progress.
According to Hofstede measurements, Singapore has a relatively high power distance (PDI) rating of 72. Since the culture is based on the Confucian tradition, one of the basic principles of society’s existence is a stable social structure based on a strict hierarchy in society. The presumption of the world outlook in this culture is the inequality between people who are bound by well-regulated relationships. Confucianism defines five basic types of relations: the ruler is subordinate; father – son; the elder brother is the younger brother; husband wife; the eldest friend is the younger friend. All these types of relationships are built on mutual obligations. In the future, we will see that this principle also affects the degree of collectivism in society. One of the common values for representatives of all ethnic groups is the “Nation before community and society above self” – the interests of the whole nation over the interests of the community and the interests of the collective over the interests of the individual.
The power is centralized and the subordinates rely on the decisions of their bosses and the ruler, it is assumed that workers must follow all the instructions of their leaders. Analyzing the features of the historical development of the state, we can say that the great distance of power largely determined the form of the political structure of Singapore and allowed to achieve a high level of economic development of the country in a short time.
According to the results of the research project WVS (question V110 – 118) for 2012, there is a very high level of trust in the government and government organizations by the citizens of Singapore. Civil servants, courts, government, and police deserve the trust of more than 80% of citizens. The lowest level of trust is used by the media, television and trade unions (7)
In our case, a high PDI can be explained by the spread of Confucian values, one of which is the concept of a “noble husband” -junzu “tszun zi”, that is, a normative person combining ideal spiritual and moral qualities with the right to a high social status 5:347. The rulers in Confucianism are messengers of the sky, noble men, and the power itself is divine, and much attention is paid in the Confucian teachings to questions of humane management. Humane management consists in strict adherence to the duties. Confucianism calls on civil servants to be wise management, showing the example of nobility by own example and not burdening the people with strict duties and taxes.
According to the results of the research project WVS (question V110 – 118) for 2012, there is a very high level of trust in the government and government organizations by the citizens of Singapore. Civil servants, courts, government, and police deserve the trust of more than 80% of citizens. The lowest level of trust is used by the media, television and trade unions 10.
In Singapore, there is a regime of political meritocracy, introduced by Lee Kuan Y. He spoke about political leaders: “Singapore is a meritocracy. And these people have a reason to occupy the highest level, thanks to their own merits. They worked hard and did a lot. If all 300 people die in a plane crash, Singapore will fall apart “(1971).
In the understanding of modern science, the main idea of political meritocracy is that everyone should have equal opportunities to get education and take part in political activities, but not everyone will show an equal ability to approach political decision-making with all responsibility (2013:3).
In Singapore, in 1951, a commission was formed which was responsible for various issues. It passed through various phases, but it still exists today. The system of selection of candidates for work in the sector of Singapore is based on the HAIR competency model (Helicopter view, Analysis, Imagination, and Reality). The HAIR concept describes how a civil servant should think and act: in particular, to have the ability to look at things “from a bird’s eye view”, from different angles and, if necessary, focus on details, analyze the situation deeply and rationally and apply imagination and creativity to generate new approaches to the solution, but do not forget about reality and integrate vision and creativity with concrete actions (2018).
The political meritocracy of Singapore led this country to the leading positions in the economy and social development. Singapore demonstrated an unprecedented economic
growth since 1965, entering the top 20 of the leading countries in per capita income. In 2009, the state’s GDP reached almost 240 billion dollars, which is more than 50 thousand dollars per capita (4th place in the world) (ibid).
Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV)
Workers in Singapore are more individualistic than their counterparts in China. They tend to perceive themselves as “I,” and do not attach importance to group identity. On the other hand, employees in China are less inclined to differentiate themselves as individuals, give importance to the collective, and give less importance to self-actualization (2007:217).
According to the assessment given in the Hofstede study, Singapore has a very low level of individualism, that is, one can speak of a collectivist society. This means that “we” are more important here than “I”, people feel that they are part of the collective (family, clan, organization), are devoted to it and care about each other. In this regard, we see the manifestation of the second principle of the Confucian doctrine: “The family is the prototype of all social organizations,” a person is not perceived and does not perceive himself as an individual, but as a member of the family. Therefore, children must learn to control themselves, step over their “I” so as to achieve harmony in the family.
The Confucian canon “Da Xue” contains “eight foundations” (b? tiáomù “ba t’ao mu”), among which is “the improvement of one’s own personality” (xi? sh?n “syu shen”); “Leveling the family” (qí ji? “qi chia”); “Ordering the state” (zhì guó “chih go”); “Counterbalancing the Heavenly Empire” (píng ti?n xià “pin tian”). These principles: improving oneself, caring for the family, the state and preserving peace on earth are the basis of Chinese civilization. Li Kuan Yue in his interview said: “Our people were nurtured on these values. My granddaughter is called Xu Qi. The son chose the first words of the two principles to teach her self-improvement and caring for the family. … Rulers come and go, but (these values) stand the test of time. We begin with confidence in our abilities. In the West, now is quite contrary. The government calls to give him all the powers an in Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam, India, the individual exists in the context of his family. It cannot be independent or detached. The family, in turn, is part of the family, surrounded by friends and society as a whole. Therefore, neither the state nor the ruler assumes the responsibility to provide each person with what should be provided by the family. In the West, especially after the Second World War, the government could be considered successful if it fulfilled all those obligations that fell on the shoulders of each family in less developed societies. This approach provoked the formation of a new type of family – for example, single mothers who believed that the state should provide enough support to fill the absence of the father. But such a withdrawal from recognized norms can hardly provide a stable social structure because the family is the very norm that has proven its reliability for thousands of years and promises to solve all social problems (Zakaria, 2015.)
The perception of the family as the basis of society by citizens of Singapore is confirmed by the data of the WVS 2012 (V4, V102). Only 0.3% of respondents considers