According to an in-depth international politics talk show, China is the main reason behind Singapore’s recession today and the plot started from as far back as 10 years ago.
Below is a translation of the key points covered by the talk show:
Host A: Recent quarterly figures GDP revealed that Singapore’s economy has seen a fall of 4.1%, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said “our economy will eventually turned for the better”. What he exactly mean is that Singapore’s situation is seriously dire, and when will the economy turn for the better – nobody knows.
At a recent dialogue, a university student questioned Lee Hsien Loong “will I still have a future in Singapore? Will we still have good jobs? Why did the Singapore economy suddenly turned for the worst?”
This has to do with China’s One-Belt One-Road policy and Malaysia is a key player in this policy. In recent years, China has been heavily investing in neighbouring state Johor Bahru’s infrastructures – seaport, airport and even now the railway system.
This also means Singapore’s status as a seaport country has been replaced by Shanghai. This year, Singapore’s transport volume is only 80% of Shanghai. Also, China no longer pass their sea goods via Singapore and has instead passed them to neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia.
China even adopted the Shenzhen-strategy, by uplifting the infrastructure of Johor Bahru to compete with Singapore. Here is the question: Why did China painstakingly plan to act against Singapore?
*Introduction to other guests – Host A summarise again, introduce guest speaker B*
Guest speaker B: This could be a coincidence, but this coincides with the death of Lee Kuan Yew. When Lee Kuan Yew passed away, Singapore’s economy start collapsing. From May 2015, Singapore’s key sectors have been declining. Retail, finance, logistics – every sector is faced with direction competition from China.
Host A: China seems to be gloating at Singapore’s failure at the moment.
Guest speaker B: This is the strategy. China wants to take over as the leader of South East Asia countries, and the ASEAN leader has always been taken by Singapore. So China wants to take down Singapore and take over South East Asia. Singapore claims to be a Chinese society however Singapore leans towards US and UK. In such circumstances, even Philippines bowed down. If China can take Singapore down, it means US no longer have any allies in South East Asia. Taking Singapore down means taking out the US presence in South East Asia.
Host A: Here are some images of popular shopping district Orchard Road. It used to be a very popular shopping district but the malls are now empty.
Guest speaker B: This is a major change because Orchard Road is Singapore’s key shopping district. However, now there is no crowd like before. Even shoppers are also not buying from these retail outlets. Everywhere is under construction but nobody knows if there any new shops after construction.
Host A: So now, let’s focus what did China do over the years.
Guest speaker B: Singapore is now US’s only partner and the only knight in the South East Asia region. The plot to take down Singapore took 10 years. First let’s cover sea trade logistics, let’s focus on the greater geography. China and Thailand are building the Kra Canal. When that is built, there is no need for ships to pass by the Malacca Straits. Singapore’s sea port will collapse.
Look at this graph of Singapore’s container volume versus Shanghai. Over the years, Singapore and Shanghai has been competing closely with each other. But from 2014 and 2015, Singapore went into recession while Shanghai continue to prosper. This is how the trading volume of Singapore became only 80% of Shanghai’s.
Host A: China also has a port alliance with Malaysia and Indonesia. China now invest heavily in Johor Bahru to kick Singapore out just like it is doing now with Shenzhen to kick Hongkong away.
Guest speaker B: This is the ShenJun-strategy – make Shenzhen prosperous and Hongkong will be replaced. This is why China is investing in the Johor Bahru’s Iskandar Special Economic Region. Johor Bahru has always felt inferior to Singapore because it was “unluckily” located geographically. In 2006, Malaysia started the Iskandar Economic Region.
However China did not invest in the Iskandar region initially. It is only a few years later when China start pumping funds into the region and Johor Bahru starts to think about replacing Singapore. The total invested funds amounted to $40 billion. Therefore, it is only a matter of time Johor Bahru becomes the former Shenzhen. Johor Bahru even set up a number of tax-free zones to compete with Singapore.
Then, China only invested in the manufacturing sector of Malaysia. Excluding property, the amount was $13.6 billion and created 20,000 jobs. China even planned to send their citizens as migrants to Malaysia – literally creating Shenzhen.
*** End of Translation by States Times Review ***
You may view the video here:
The interview subsequently covered a Pakistan investment oversight by Temasek Holdings. Temasek Holdings screwed up the investment by not fully utilizing the port, China then buy over the trade port and developed it.
According to another guest speaker, China is developing the Silk Road and direct trade with Europe through the Middle East. The Silk Road will take only 16 days instead of 30 days through the sea route via Singapore. China is also heavily investment in a high speed train to China.