The Singapore Miracle by Rodney King

Update 2009-09-10:
Most of the complaints below have either been reaffirmed (as in SingaporeVitriol and SingaporeIsBoring ), or resolved by a framework (as in LawlessnessAndEconomics ).

King attempts to take Singapore to task for the following sins: political/corporate collusion, culture-specific business rules, insufficient economic safety nets for the people, and state control of media. The difficulty about his claims lies in comparison to other new countries, e.g. for the US, one could have drawn up a list of similar complaints against it for the first 100 years of its existence.

However, I'll check out the following claims when I'm there: Incivility (I remember walking out of Prague's hlavni nadrazi and seeing someone severely backhand a child begging), Disinnovation (when people fear change like someone with something big to lose), and Corrupt Business Practices ( not being able to trust people's words).

These panoramic views of typical sectors of Singapore present a fair idea of a city which has earned the name of the New York of Malaysia
-- The Myth of '65, Up from the Swamp, from 1963 gov't ad
Singapore had "a natural world-class harbour sited in a strategic location astride one of the busiest sealanes of the world...
When the British withdrew militarily in 1971 they gave all these facilities to Singapore gratis, as well as their private title real estate and all fixed assets.
-- The Myth of '65; Resources, Natural and Otherwise
But following Separation (from Malaysia) they decided to make the world a substitute for Malaysia. Moreover, the MNCs (multinational corps), not local entrepreneurs, were seen as best for driving this strategy because of MNC access to world markets.
-- Strategies for Survival, Luring the MNCs
Winsemius (Albert Winsemius, Dutch economist) had also had much experience advising the Dutch Government on shipbuilding. He had seen the enormous growth of container transport between the US and Europe, initially concentrated at Rotterdam. "So I advised that a big container terminal in the harbour of Singapore be constructed... The advantage was evident: Singapore would be the only harbour in the region with container facilities.
-- Strategies for Survival, Luring the MNCs
Foreign companies in Singapore regularly have the discouraging experience of training local staff only to see them leave soon after. Singaporeans call it the TBQ syndrome: they undergo Training, collect their Bonus, and Quit.
-- Mediocre Managers, Demoralized Workers; Job-Hopping and Fussy
A visit to Singapore's efficient and well-run Registrar of Companies office in Anson Road can be an enlightening experience when checking out prospective partners or contemplating legal action against them. For S$5 you can get a printout of a business, listing the full name, address, and IC number of those who have registered that name.
-- Doing Business in Singapore, Survival Tactics