新加坡能香港为什么不能 – Singapore can – why not Hong Kong?

香港和新加坡在亚洲四小龙中最为相似,不过,这些年新加坡突飞猛进。反观香港,原有与新加坡齐头并进的格局已经打破。现在的香港是「弱政府、强社会、狂政党」,整个社会失去稳定性。曾经很有竞争和制度优势的香港,光环在慢慢地消失,面对挑战和压力,香港需要照照新加坡这面镜子,整衣冠、洗洗脸,再出发。
在新加坡四十八周年的国庆纪念大会上,总理李显龙向民众宣示未来治国的方略,未来的治国目标,直到2030年的远景。新加坡成为一面镜子,让本国老百姓透彻明了未来新加坡之路和未来新加坡之光。同时,新加坡也是香港的一面镜子,在上世纪后期崛起的亚洲四小龙,新加坡在近年不断脱颖而出,不仅成为亚洲四小龙之首,也跻身世界发达国家之一的行列。在全世界的发达国家中,它小而精,却不断展示它的制度和管治的优势,很值得转型中的香港借镜。
走在新加坡的街道,呼吸略潮湿带海腥味的空气,如同置身香港差不多。它占地715平方公里,2012年总人口临时数字为531万,其中328万属于新加坡公民和53万永久居民。规模和人口比香港小没有很多,但发展的强劲势头却远胜香港。因为,新加坡有不一样的动力。
星「软硬兼施」拓新建设
新加坡是多元种族的移民国家,自1965年独立以后,在李光耀统领下,新加坡用40余年的时间,迅速转变为亚洲四小龙之一,成为全球富裕的国家之一。其经济模式被称作为「国家资本主义」,并以稳定的政局、廉洁高效的政府而著称。两年前,新加坡选举,人民行动党虽然在国会仍占压倒性的81%议席,无碍政权牢固,但是流失了约6个百分点选票。选举结果出来,李显龙形容这是新加坡的「分水岭」,明显有一种危机感。
新加坡国庆节,李显龙向群众宣示治国的新理念和新思路:包括大举扩建樟宜机场,兴建五号客运大楼及第四条跑道,目标是十二年后客处理量翻一番;搬迁军事基地及港口,腾出大片土地兴建住宅及商业区;加码津贴中低收入家庭置业;改革医疗保健及教育制度,务求保持竞争力。
新加坡是亚洲重要的金融、服务和航运中心之一。全球金融中心指数排名,新加坡是继伦敦、纽约和香港之后的第四大国际金融中心。即使在发展现代服务业的这样时髦产业的国际趋势下,工业还是新加坡发展的主导力量,至今集中了区内最大的炼油中心、化工、造船、电子和机械等,拥有著名的裕廊工业区,城市保洁也成绩斐然,它是城市国家,亦有「花园城市」之称。李显龙的国家建设新构思「软硬兼施」,誓为新加坡锦上添花。为未来发展预留空间,也为国民生活改善提出实在的目标。
港住房现状比星逊色
住房是香港人永远不能触碰的痛,香港和新加坡是当年亚洲四小龙中情况最相似的两个地区。两地人均拥有土地量也大体相当。可是,香港的住房情况明显比新加坡逊色许多。香港人均住房面积现在只有新加坡一半,楼价却高出两三倍。新加坡人实现了安居,香港人仍为蜗居苦恼。
在已有超过80%的新加坡人居住在组屋的基础上,李显龙还提出确保低收入家庭都可以买到组屋,包括月入1000元新加坡币(约6000港元)的家庭,负担得起2房式组屋;月入2000元的家庭,买得起3房式组屋;月入4000元家庭,供得起4房式组屋。在确保每个家庭买得起组屋的同时,还要将供款从过去的30年减少至可以在25年内用公积金还清房贷。并提出稳定预购组屋价格,屋价约为市民4年薪金。这让香港人看在眼里,才深深知道,什么叫作安居乐业。
港竞争制度优势渐失
香港和新加坡在亚洲四小龙中最为相似,不过,这些年,新加坡突飞猛进,延续李光耀治国模式,新加坡发挥?制度优势,政府进取、社会稳定,国家凝聚力很强,这让新加坡有了发展的基本保证。反观香港,在原有与新加坡齐头并进的格局已经打破。在产业结构上香港已经先天不足,在转型中失去了工业,服务业又停留在传统模式上而无法走向现代。新加坡可以规划到2030年,香港奉行的小政府大市场,无法规划长远,香港也在往前爬行,但始终不知道前方的目标。转型中的香港,不能成为民众心中的镜子。
尤其是香港从商业社会开始转型民主政治,立法会议员叶刘淑仪形容现在的香港是「弱政府、强社会、狂政党」,本身示弱的香港政府遇到政治转型,推出任何措施都被贴上政治化标签,整个社会失去稳定性。曾经很有竞争和制度优势的香港,光环在慢慢地消失,面对挑战和压力,香港需要照照新加坡这面镜子,整衣冠、洗洗脸,再出发。

Among the four Asian Tigers, Hong Kong and Singapore are the most alike. However, in recent years, Singapore has leaped ahead. In contrast, Hong Kong, which used to be on a par with Singapore, has seen its model break down. Hong today is a place of ‘weak government, strong society, crazy political parties’; its whole society has lost stability. Hong Kong used to be very competitive and benefit from institutional strengths, but its aura is slowly disappearing, and it is now facing challenges and pressures. Hong Kong needs to look in the mirror held by Singapore, change its clothes, wash its face, and start again.

At the great meeting commemorating the forty eighth anniversary of the Singapore National Day, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced to the people the future strategy for the country, a vision running to 2030. Singapore has become a mirror, to let the people of this country understand the future road, and follow the future light of Singapore. At the same time, Singapore is also a mirror to Hong Kong: among the Asian Dragons who rose at the end of the last Century, in recent years, Singapore has been continuously leading, not only becoming the first among the Asian Dragons, but also one of the most developed countries in the world. It is just a small country, but it constantly shows proofs of the advantages of its system and governance, and Hong Kong could learn from the way Singapore has changed.

When walking the streets of Singapore, you can breathe in the slightly damp sea air, almost as if you were in Hong Kong. The city covers a total area of 715 square kilometres, with a population of 5,321,000, of which 3,280,000 are Singaporean citizens, and 530,000 are permanent residents. The size and population are slightly smaller than Hong Kong, but the momentum of development is much stronger. That is because Singapore has a different strength.

The ‘carrot and stick’ approach to new construction.

Singapore is a multi-ethnic nation of migrants. Since its independence in 1965, under the leadership of Lee Kuan Yew, within 40 years of time, Singapore quickly became one of the Asian dragons, and one of the world’s wealthiest countries. Its economic model is known as ‘State capitalism’, and it is renowned for its political stability and its efficient and non-corrupt government. Two years ago, at the Singapore elections, the People’s Action Party lost 6% of the vote – although they still hold 81% of the seats in the Congress, and the balance of power has not been affected. When the result came out, Lee Hsien Loong described this as a ‘watershed’: obviously, the result was experienced as a crisis.

On Singapore National day, Lee Hsien Long announced a series of new ideas and projects to the public. These included a massive expansion of the Changi airport, the construction of a fifth passenger terminal and a fourth runway, with a goal of doubling passenger capacity within twelve years; relocating military bases to free up vast tracts of land for residential and commercial development; 加码津贴中低收入家庭置业; and reforming the healthcare and education system to remain competitive.

Singapore is one of Asia’s financial, services and shipping hotspots. The Global Financial Centres Index ranked Singapore fourth after London, New York and Hong Kong. Even though it is following the international trend of developing modern service products, industrial development is still Singapore’s dominant strength: up until now, concentrating the region’s largest oil refinery centres, chemistry plants, shipbuilding, electronics, machinery and others in the famous Jurong industrial area. But the city’s cleanliness is also impressive: Singapore is a city State, yet also counts as a ‘garden city’. 李显龙的国家建设新构思「软硬兼施」,誓为新加坡锦上添花。It proposes to reserve space for future developments, but also raised the goal of improving the citizens’ life.

The poor status of Hong Kong housing

Housing is the eternal painful spot you don’t dare to touch for people in Hong Kong. Among the four Asian Dragons, Singapore and Hong Kong are the most similar, with about the same amount of land per capita. However, the housing situation in Hong Kong is about twice as bad as it is in Singapore. The available housing per inhabitant in Hong Kong is only about that of Singapore, and the price is about two to three times as much. Singapore has given people housing security, while Hong Kongers are still in distress…

On the basis that over 80% of Singaporeans live in compound flats, Lee Hsien Loong proposed to ensure that low income families can buy their own flat. A family with a monthly income of 1000 Singaporean dollars (6000 Hong Kong dollars) should afford a one bedroom flat, a family with a monthly income of 2000 should afford a two bedroom, and a family with an income of 4000 should afford a three bedroom. To ensure that each family can afford their house, he also proposes to reduce the mortgage duration from the previous 30 years to 25 years. And he proposes to fix the prices of apartments to about 4 years of income. This just forces Hong Kong people to look right in the eye what ‘affordable housing’ would look like.

Hong Kong’s system is losing its competitive advantage

Hong Kong and Singapore are the most alike among the four Asian Tigers. However, these recent years, Singapore has continued to leap and bound, pursuing the model inherited from Lee Kuan Yew, of institutional strength, innovative government, social stability, and strong national cohesion: these were the basic guarantees grounding Singapore’s development. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the original model, similar to Singapore’s, has been broken. Hong Kong’s industrial structure has deficiencies, it has lost industries in its transition, while the services retained their traditional characteristics and did not become modern. Singapore can look ahead to 2030, while Hong Kong’s ‘small government big market’ cannot plan for the long term. Hong Kong is creeping ahead, but it does not have a target. That transitioning Hong Kong can not hold a mirror to its own citizens.

In particular, from a commercial society, Hong Kong has started its transition to a democracy, Legislative Council member Liu Shuye describes Hong Kong as a place with ‘weak government, strong society, and crazy parties’, and the transitioning government has its own weaknesses: with any new measures proposed bearing political labels, the whole society has lost stability. Hong Kong used to be very competitive and have institutional strengths, but its aura is slowly disappearing under the challenges and pressures. Hong Kong needs to look in the mirror held by Singapore, dress up, wash their face, and start again.

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