I first went to Singapore in the winter of 1979-1980. Or was that 1980-1981. Can't quite remember the date, except that it was a very modern and clean city, with a few throwbacks to earlier times. I had an impression that all south east asian countries would be like Singapore, only to be totally shocked when I learned the truth. Singapore was in a class all its own, and this has continued until today. Yes, Japan and Taiwan are also modern, but they aren't as consistently modern as Singapore. Today Singapore is the third richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita, after Qatar and Luxembourg.
The genius behind the transformation was Lee Kuan Yew whose combination of Confucianism and western ideals produced the ultimate clean government molded from a people for whom this behavior was totally alien. Western amoral moralists like to howl about the methods used, but I am really quite happy to hang out in a tropical place where even the mosquitos know that they must obey the law. How much better it would be if the intellectualoids would have tried to learn and implement something constructive from Lee. So as I say my goodbye, may the Singaporeans continue with the good lessons from their founder and not try to emulate the post-law and order behavior of the West.