This statement really flies in the face of the Chavez movement and other ALBA countries, a future which we valiantly defied in the end by removing Zelaya from office. We need to be better than anybody else in Latin America. That should be our goal, the key issue is how to get there...certainly education and health are part of the picture.
"If I have to choose one word to explain why Singapore succeeded, it is confidence. This was what made foreign investors site their factories and refineries here."
Note that he is not taking about charity, gifts or mana from heaven (call it ALBA, USAID, or Cooperación Española), Mr. Kuan Yew is taking about investments in the country to produce things, not survive from international charity.
"We chose to redistribute wealth by asset-enhancement, not by subsidies for consumption"
Here Mr. Kuan Yew points out one issue that other economists have pointed out in the past. Hernando de Soto comes to mind when he argued giving title to property as one approach to enhance asset ownership and its value...well, people took this as meaning that by granting property titles, would solve every problem in the country..that's not the whole story, certainly did not work in isolation when tried in our countries. Certainly, subsidies for consumption, such as subsidizing gasoline and diesel in Honduras or electricity, is a terrible way to promote growth and redistribute wealth as it does not discriminate granting the subsidy between the hiper rich or the hiper poor.
So, friends, more nugget to come as I go along in my reading quest here. By the way, the book is called: From Third World to First - The Singapore Story: 1965-2000 Memoirs of Lee Huan Yew."