Singapore’s singularity – A different way to rule Asian politics
13 junio, 2014
During this course I had the opportunity to learn and study the different problems that are affecting Asia nowadays, I decided to interview Oriol Pinart who’s a Catalan that is living in Singapore working for a multinational company.
Oriol Pinart is the Head of regional finance services in the Asian Countries for SANOFI, a French multinational with more than 100.000 workers around the globe and more than 30.000 millions dollars of annual Billing.
My first question was about how the Asian people consider nowadays Spain and Europe and his answer was quite surprising, he told me that talking with the people of the different Asian countries they ask him if Spain is secure because they saw in the news that people in Spain have to search for food in the trash. Asian people think that Europe is a kind of historic reminiscence of glory and a decadent continent that is not able to maintain their status and people’s welfare anymore.
I wanted to know also the singularities and characteristics of Singapore because this country has a unique status in the international sphere due that they control the strait of Malacca, which is an important passage of goods through the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Oriol said that Singapore is a State-city with 7 million people living in it, externally it is not considered as a democracy because the media is very restricted and controlled, but in fact the government is considered democratic by the citizens of the country because they have a parliament elected with the representative system based in the Anglo-Saxon electoral system.
The government implement their policies like a private business, they are aware that their strategic position is decreasing year to year and they want to offer to the enterprises a stable and secure country, with a prepared and educated people oriented to the business and looking for the future and not to the past like in Europe. Another characteristic of Singapore is that the corruption is highly persecuted, whatever if it is Public or private there’s a lot of pressure, severe punishments and exhaustive reports of the corrupts in the media.
Talking about inequality in Singapore he told me that is very low because the government implemented a system of public education based in meritocracy. The families are very conscious that education is extremely important for the young people and they invest a lot of money in education, in this terms is not important if someone was born in a poor family because with this system of meritocracy they can be rich if they study and there are a lot of cases of Rich people who were born poor and became rich. In Singapore exist 3 social status, there’s a lot of rich people, a middle class and a low class who have guaranteed all the essential Rights, for example everyone has a House and access to public services.
At the ending of the interview I wanted to know also what was his opinion about the powerful countries in Asia and he explained to me his point of view of Japan and China. He said that Japan is a very difficult country in economic terms because they have a close market with a plane GDP and they are very protectionists, is a technological advanced country but is very difficult to work there because they are focused in the internal market, the external companies have a lot of problems to find someone who speak English because they really don’t need to speak English to work.
Regarding China he said that the country will keep growing but with an internal problem, the new Chinese generations will want to be more opened to the world and someday this will cause a confrontation between the communist government and the Chinese new generation. In terms of business china is a difficult place to work due the problem of the corruption; it’s almost impossible to establish a business in china without being splashed by a corruption scandal.
Carlos Farré Salvans