Singapore's Authoritarian Capitalism: Asian Values, Free Market Illusions and Political Dependency
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Leaders in Singapore's PAP regime see themselves as a permanent fixture. Yet despite their grip on all organs of political power, the record clearly shows a continual decline in the margins of victory at the polls. These results suggest that Singaporeans are suffering from PAP fatigue. Apparently, an increasing number of people believe that the material gains do not constitute adequate compensation for the nanny-state nagging of an arrogant political leadership.
Some of the regime's most prominent spokespersons have gone on the offensive by promoting a contrived set of Asian values to legitimize their exercise of unchallenged authority. Simultaneously, they also identify certain values as a threat to stability, usually equated with one-party rule. The PAP's position on these issues remains unchallenged at home due to an obsessive control over the media and the vigorous suppression of dissent.
From a perspective gained from his service as a former Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore, Dr. Lingle identifies Singapore's authoritarian capitalism as combining a selective degree of economic freedom and private property rights with strong-armed control over political life. According to him, political loyalty is the ultimate determinant of success rather than the efficient utilization of resources, and sycophantic business relations replace the growth-inducing actions of true entrepreneurs. 'Singapore's Authoritarian Capitalism' questions the long-term survival of the PAP and its capacity to sustain Singapore's miracle growth record due to internal contradictions arising from the imposed institutional arrangements.