Occasional Paper No. 1

A comparison of the political and economic structure and governance capacity between Hong Kong and Singapore

Alan Lung (May 2021)

It is easy to see Singapore’s political stability, economic and general social resilience. Despite Hong Kong’s distinct geographical advantages, Singapore has outperformed Hong Kong and is beginning to challenge the latter’s status as Asia’s Financial Centre. Singapore’s outstanding performance is not an accident. It was the result of a highly effective and efficient ‘hybrid’ governance structure that outgrows its colonial archetype. On the other hand, the unresolved political dilemma in Hong Kong together with the ambiguity of keeping the ‘colonial’ government structure and reversion of sovereignty to China, is beginning to surface in the form of public discontent, less than vibrant economic growth and lack of upward mobility for the younger generation.

By comparing the similarities and differences in governance between Singapore and Hong Kong, this paper analysed the economic and social successes of Singapore.  The “Switzerland of Asia” vision is not measured in gross GDP terms alone. Singapore’s success is corner-stoned by Lee Kuan Yew’s early vision of racial, education and housing equality and a cumulation of vision-driven development policies, socio-political stability, racial harmony and vigorous national security measures.

Full paper (available only in Chinese)