JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - How did Singapore achieve rapid economic growth - JC History Essay Notes

How did Singapore achieve rapid economic growth?

Singapore: An Asian Tiger
Ever since Singapore achieved independence in August 1965, the government embarked on an ambitious goal of transforming the young nation into a bustling, modern country that has become the role model for others. From independence to 1997, Singapore has been recognised as one of the front runners in Southeast Asia. Today, Singapore is known for many things, including financial and tourism activities.

Examine the reasons for Singapore’s economic success.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

1959 to 1965: Merger & Separation – Singapore’s path to independence
Before Singapore began its rapid economic transformation, the British colonial rule played a crucial role in providing the infrastructure and systems to commence this phenomenal change. In particular, the British capitalized in the strategic location of Singapore in the Southeast Asia to develop it for entrepôt trade.

Additionally, migrants from other parts of Asia began to set foot in the ‘Little Red Dot’, thereby providing labour for manufacturing and services. However, the devastation of the World War Two can be observed, such as the destruction of public infrastructure.

On 5 October 1960, Albert Winsemius was invited by the United Nations Development Programme team to review the country’s ability to carry out industrialisation. Winsemius concluded in the report that high-tech industrialiastion was indeed important, as well as the promotion of foreign investment. As such, the government developed the Jurong Industrial Estate, marking the first step towards industrialization.

1965 to 1985: An outward-oriented approach
Following the sudden declaration of Separation, Singapore had to contend with its own small market, which lacked natural resources that other neighbouring countries possessed. Furthermore, the British declared its intent to withdraw by 1971, which meant that Singapore would have lost a major source of employment and economic growth.

In contrast to other Southeast Asian economies, Singapore began its export-oriented industrialisation (EOI) strategies much earlier. The purpose of EOI was to address the above-mentioned challenges, such as the reliance on trade and foreign investment to propel growth. For example, policy incentives were introduced, like the Economic Expansion Incentives Act (1967) that lowered taxation for specific industries.

Additionally, the government tapped on its only available resource – labour – to enhance its international competitiveness. Vocational training institutes were established to equip its citizens with the skills and knowledge to support the multinational corporations (MNCs). On 1 April 1979, the Vocational and Industrial Training Board (VITB) was formed to facilitate the training of workers in the ‘commercial, industrial and service sectors’.

The government’s efforts had paid off, as seen by the rapid economic growth and falling unemployment rates. EOI and the attraction of foreign investment have led to the influx of foreign companies, which contributed to job creation and higher industrial output.

1985 to 1997: Adaptation to changing economic conditions
However, there were setbacks that limited the extent of Singapore’s economic success. Notably, the Crisis Decades in the 1970s, led to an economic recession in 1985. By opening up the nation to trade, it became vulnerable to external shocks.

Nevertheless, effective adaptation has ensured that the Singapore economy remained resilient in the face of such challenges. For example, Singapore focused on a productivity-driven growth through the’wage shock therapy‘ from 1979 to 1981. The 1985 recession prompted the government to reduce Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates to keep cost of production low. This response was critical as it helped to maintain employment at low and stable levels.

Finally, economic restructuring was carried out, in response to the Strategic Economy Plan (1991) by the Economic Planning Committee. Its purpose was to maintain the country’s international competitiveness through economic diversification. Therefore, heavy investment was made to develop the financial and tourism sectors.

Concluding remarks
In summary, the Singapore government’s consistent policymaking and responses to economic challenges have played a major role in realising the aims set by the ‘founding fathers’ of the young nation. As of 2017, Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated at US$329.91 billion, demonstrating their successful efforts.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand this country-specific case study:
– How far do you agree that the promotion of foreign investment was the most important factor in explaining the economic transformation of Singapore after independence? [to be discussed in class]

In view of the Singapore case study, it is imperative that you apply your knowledge to practice questions. Sign up for the JC History Tuition and learn how to organise your answers and provide well-analysed arguments to ace the GCE A Level History examinations.

Additionally, you can join other JC tuition classes, like GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition to be ready for the GCE A Level examinations. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to register now!

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - How did Malaysia develop its economy - JC History Essay Notes

How did Malaysia develop its economy?

About Malaysia’s economic development
The Malaysian economy underwent a stable transition from colonial rule to independence. It started out as an export economy that began to modernise via industrialization and agricultural reforms. The introduction of the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1970 was a major turning point as the government took on an active role that led to successful economic development.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

1957 to 1969: [Alliance] Minimal government intervention
At the early stages of independence, Malaya had an export economy that focused on tin mining and rubber. Also, given its large geographical size, agricultural development was featured as well.

As such, the Malaysian government established the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) in July 1956 to facilitate the resettlement of the rural poor into newly-developed areas. Under the Land Development Act, FELDA contributed to the re-distribution of land to the Malay settlers.

Besides, the government introduced indirect forms of intervention, as seen by the Pioneer Industries Ordinance in 1958, which nurtured the growth of import-substituting industries. As a result, the manufacturing sector grew in the 1960s.

1970 to 1980: [Barisan Nasional] New Economic Policy
Although there were attempts at economic development in the 1950s and 1960s, the progress were arguably inadequate. Therefore, the New Economic Policy (NEP) [Dasar Ekonomi Baru] was introduced by the government to pursue poverty alleviation and socio-economic restructuring.

The government invested substantially on rural development in the 1970s and 1980s, as evidenced by the intensification of the FELDA schemes. In fact, nearly RM15.1 billion was spent on the the development of human and physical capital to improve the well-being of the population.

Furthermore, the Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PNB) was formed in March 1978 to enhance economic equity. As part of the NEP, the PNB raised the share of ownership for the bumiputera (i.e. indigenous community). For example, the PNB acquired shares of major foreign-owned corporations, such as Sime Darby (1979).

Besides, the Free Trade Zone Act was passed in 1971 to facilitate export-oriented industrialization (EOI). The government aimed to create a conducive business environment to attract foreign investors.

1981 to 1997: National Development Policy
Under the guidance of Mahathir, the Malaysian government engaged in economic diversification to maintain international competitiveness.

In the industrial sector, there was a major transition towards heavy industrialization. In 1980, the Heavy Industries Corporation of Malaysia Berhad (HICOM). In 1990, the Diversified Resources Berhad (DRB) was established. The DRB-HICOM eventually became one of Malaysia’s top corporations that oversaw automotive manufacturing, assembly and distribution. The main purpose of this corporation is to undertake joint ventures with foreign companies, such as Volkswagen and Honda. In fact, the national car, ‘Proton‘, was developed in the process.

More importantly, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was concluded in 1990 and replaced by the National Development Policy (NDP). Mahathir envisioned a fully-industrialized Malaysia through the use of technology, as described by the Action Plan for Industrial Technology Development (1990). This could be traced back to the formation of the National Council for Scientific Research and Development in 1975. As such, the government invested heavily in Research and Development (R&D). For example, the budget for 7th Malaysia Plan (1996-2000) was at RM 3,049 million. Notably, the Multimedia Super Corridor was one of the foremost research projects to encourage the clustering of local and international firms that specialized in ICT (Information and communications technology).

Concluding remarks
In view of these three phases of economic development, it can be observed that there was a significant transformation that led to the attainment of economic growth. From the late 1980s to 1990s, the annual growth rate was estimated at 8.8%. Furthermore, there is a notable shift in focus from agriculture to heavy industrialization and even financial liberalization.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand this country-specific case study:
– How far do you agree that industrialization was the most important factor in explaining the economic transformation of Malayisa from independence to 2000? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have understood the basic considerations of Malaysia’s economic development, we encourage you to attempt essay questions to review your knowledge comprehension. You can consider joining our JC History Tuition as we guide you through a step-by-step process to form well-organized essay structures and generate arguments to support your answers effectively.

Besides, you can sign up for other JC tuition classes, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition to be ready for the GCE A Level examinations. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to register for the JC Tuition programmes.

What is the role of the United Nations Secretariat

What is the role of the United Nations Secretariat?

Role of the UN Secretariat
The Secretariat is one of the six main organs of the United Nations and is headed by the UN Secretary-General [UNSG].

The UNSG is described as the ‘de facto’ head’ of the international organization and acts as the ‘chief administrative officer’ as stated in Article 97 of the UN Charter.

Additionally, as outlined in Article 99, the UNSG has the responsibility of ‘[bringing] to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security’.

Topic of Study [For H1/H2 History Students]:
Paper 1: Safeguarding International Peace and Security 
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme III Chapter 2: Political Effectiveness of the UN in maintaining international peace and security

In the following part, we will examine the contributions of each UNSG during their respective terms in the period of 1945 to 2000.

1. [1946-1952] Trygve Lie
As the first official Secretary-General of the United Nations, he took the lead in managing various international issues, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948 and the Korean War in 1950. However, Lie was impeded by Cold War politics during the latter conflict.

Lie condemned the North Korean invasion and supported the US-led UN coalition that repelled the attacks. As such, Soviet Union perceived Lie as a pro-West, biased UNSG and blocked Lie’s reappointment. Eventually, Lie resigned from the UN.

2. [1953-1961] Dag Hammarskjöld
In contrast to Lie, Dag Hammarskjöld was looked up to by many as the role model for United Nations, given his outstanding contributions during his term.

First, Hammarskjöld’s negotiations with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai had paid off as the latter agreed to release the American pilots, who were prisoners-of-war during the Korean War.

Second, Hammarskjöld oversaw the creation and deployment of the first-ever peacekeeping troops, known as the United Nations Emergency Forces [UNEF], that facilitated the withdrawal of foreign troops in Egypt during the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956.

Third, Hammarskjöld once again led the formation of the United Nations Operation in the Congo [ONUC] to deal with the Congo Crisis in 1960. He made sure that the ONUC comprised of ‘middle powers’ to circumvent great power politics that frequently caused political deadlock within the Security Council.

However, the UNSG died in a plane crash in 1961, causing the abrupt end to his illustrious career.

3. [1961-1966] U Thant
Following Hammarskjöld’s untimely death, U Thant was appointed to replace him. Although U Thant was recognised for his efforts in overseeing the management of Third World issues, given the growing membership in the 1960s [due to the decolonization of the Afro-Asian bloc], his achievements were marred by several failures.

After the Suez Canal Crisis, the UNEF I oversaw a ten-year transition period and was stationed in Egypt. Yet, U Thant quickly acceded to Egyptian president Nasser’s request to withdraw the UNEF I from Sinai, thus indirectly causing the start of the Six-Day War in 1967.

Furthermore, U Thant’s harsh criticisms towards American involvement in the Vietnam War proved detrimental to his role as the UNSG. In 1966, he put forward a three-stage proposal for conflict resolution. Yet, the US ignored and bypassed his efforts.

4. [1972-1981] Kurt Waldheim
The Austrian diplomat, Kurt Waldheim, played a significant administrative role during his term. Partially, his cautious approach to avoid being criticized or hindered by the Great Powers proved successful, as evidenced by his reappointment for the second term.

For example, Waldheim was successful in responding to the apartheid regime [institutionalized racial segregation] in South Africa and Namibia. His open statements towards the inhumane regime galvanized the General Assembly into action, as seen by the adoption of the Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.

However, Waldheim proved to be unsuccessful in managing conflicts that involved Great Powers directly, especially the superpowers. For instance, Waldheim was hindered by Soviet Union during the Soviet-Afghan War in 1979.

5. [1982-1991] Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
The Peruvian diplomat, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, was recognised for his successful efforts, partly due to the changing international climate. In the 1980s, the Cold War continued to be a hindrance as observed by the lack of progress during the 1980 Iran-Iraq War. Likewise, the US-backed proxy conflicts in Central America, such as Nicaragua, were problematic as US constantly relied on the use or threat of veto to block de Cuéllar’s diplomatic efforts.

Fortunately, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the end of the Cold War proved fortuitous for him as the superpowers became more supportive of UN efforts.

For example, the UNSG was now able to set up the United Nations Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan [UNGOMAP] to facilitate the withdrawal of Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Clearly, this was a stark contrast as compared to his predecessor’s time.

6. [1992-1996] Boutros Boutros-Ghali
In the post-Cold War period, Boutros-Ghali contributed to several noteworthy successes. During the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia [1978-1993], he oversaw the deployment of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia [UNTAC] to facilitate a smooth political transition, such as the monitoring of elections.

However, Boutros-Ghali also encountered failures, such as the Somali Civil War [1992] and Rwandan Genocide [1993]. For example, unfavourable local conditions led to the departure of UN forces in Somalia, resulting in the failed attempts to provide humanitarian assistance to the civilians.

7. [1997-2006] Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan explored other roles besides the monitoring of peacekeeping missions, as observed by his pursuit of structural changes within the United Nations.

For example, Annan engaged in UN reforms to overcome structural issues through the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ [R2P] framework. Also, he advocated the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, which covered objectives like the proliferation of education, gender equality and poverty reduction.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the case study:
– How far do you agree that Cold War rivalry was the greatest obstacle in affecting the effectiveness of the UN Security Council? [to be discussed in class]

Apart from analyzing various case studies in this broad and vast theme on the United Nations, you can also join our JC History Tuition to assess your knowledge application skills. We teach students to think critically and write persuasively. Furthermore, we use different teaching approaches to engage students as they learn to grasp concepts effectively.

Also, we offer other JC tuition classes, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to sign up for the JC Tuition programmes to get discounts.

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What caused the Taiwan economic miracle - JC History Essay Notes

What caused the Taiwan economic miracle?

What is the Taiwanese economic miracle?
Taiwan’s phenomenal economic transformation has been examined thoroughly by academics. Some argue that the economic miracle was attributed to internal factors, particularly the role of the government in spearheading heavy industrialization. In contrast, others believe that Taiwan’s meteoric rise in international markets was due to international developments, such the role of the USA in providing loans and access to foreign technology. Generally, both perspectives are valid and indeed contributed to the economic development of Taiwan.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 3: Rise of Asian Tigers from 1970s to 1990s [South Korea and Taiwan]

In the next section, we will examine the key contributing factors that led to the economic miracle of Taiwan, especially the government and private enterprises.

1. [Government] Import-substitution Industrialization
From the 1950s, the Taiwanese government engaged in import-substitution industrialization (ISI) to develop the manufacturing sector. Apart from the focus on restoring pre-war levels of production in the agricultural sector, the government insulated domestic firms from foreign competition, thereby enabling the production of textiles, plastics and plywood.

For example, in the textile industry, the government imposed tariffs and quotas on the imports of yarn. Additionally, the government improved access to credit, thus allowing firms to purchase capital. A limit of new entrants was imposed to prevent excessive competition from undermining the growth of local textile firms.

As a result, their efforts provided successful as Taiwan became a major textile exporter in the 1950s. The export of textiles increased twofold in the same time period. In fact, Taiwan was so successful that USA engaged in protectionism in 1961.

2. [Government] Export-oriented Industrialization
Over time, the government recognized the economic potential of export-led growth and pursued an outward strategy. This was known as export-oriented industrialization (EOI), which aligned with the trend of economic liberalization.

One of the many areas of focus was the provision of incentives to encourage export promotion. For example, a concessional export credit scheme was introduced. Also, the government devalued the exchange rate to raise export competitiveness.

Besides, the government pursued an indirect approach by nurturing the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Taiwan. By having a sizable pool of SMEs, the government can benefit from an additional dimension of trade-led growth. For instance, the SME Development Fund was set up to grant financial assistance to the private enterprises. Firms were also granted access to foreign technology and manpower training.

As a result, SMEs dominated the domestic markets. In contrast to South Korea, in which the chaebols (large family-dominated conglomerates) occupied major shares of the economy, Taiwan was backed by numerous SMEs. By 1994, nearly 98% of Taiwan’s manufacturers were SMEs. Furthermore, SMEs were key producers that provided nearly half of the total production in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

3. [Private Enterprises] Greater emphasis on export promotion
Eventually, as SMEs grew and expanded in size, the government continued to play a vital role in supporting these private enterprises that became internationally competitive. Although many industrialized countries like Taiwan and South Korea were hit by the Crisis Decades, the SMES were able to endure these external shocks through continual state support.

For instance, the oil shocks in the 1970s eroded export competitiveness for Taiwanese manufacturers. In response, the government formulated a new plan in the mid-1970s to engage in economic restructuring. As such, Taiwan ventured into quality-driven exports, such as petrochemicals and electronics.

The government oversaw the transition from a labour-intensive to capital-intensive production by establishing the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in 1973. The ITRI specialised in R&D. In 1987, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) was formed as a result of ITRI.

4. [USA] External support to enhance capital-intensive production
The private enterprises were also supported by the USA, which capitalized on the low-cost base and pro-liberalization policies of the government to set up firms in Taiwan. The entry of American MNCs (e.g. Taiwan) proved beneficial for Taiwan as it led to the influx of foreign direct investment (major source of growth) and foreign technology (raised quality of production).

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following question to understand this issue:
– How far do you agree that the economic transformation of Taiwan was the result of government intervention? [to be discussed in class]

After you have examined this case study to understand the importance of the above-mentioned factors in contributing to the growth of the Taiwanese economy from the 1970s to the 1990s, you should apply your knowledge to the essay questions. It is important that you review your learning through an application-oriented approach. You can consider joining our JC History Tuition and learn how to condense your content revision in a more productive way, such that you can answer both essay and source-based case study questions effectively.

Furthermore, you can join other JC tuition classes, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to learn more.