An Uncommon Nation

Andrew James Ong


Sixty-five years on, in 2012, Singapore was placed 1st in the world; Frankfurt and Munich- jointly in 2nd place. Copenhagen (4) and Dusseldorf (5) filled the next two slots, while Hong Kong and London shared 6th place. Port-au-Prince (221) ranked at the bottom of the list. The highest ranking US cities were Atlanta (13) and Dallas (15). What a transformation! How is this possible?

“An Uncommon Nation” attempts to provide answers on the basics of nation-building and help uncover the secrets for Singapore’s transformation, highlighting along the way, some pressing issues and challenges confronting the nation and the unconventional approaches to solving them. New challenges have now emerged; rising cost of living, ageing population, global competitiveness, clamour for more political space and rising expectations of a younger population who is accustomed to expect nothing but the best.

To win the hearts of Singaporeans, the nation needs a response that unifies the myriad issues, offering clarity of purpose and long term vision. And more importantly afterwards, communicate that purpose, vision and action plan simply and clearly. Whether for the ruling party or the opposing parties contesting for the right to rule, the same yardstick applies.

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Andrew James Ong