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Manmohan Singh

Pankaj Mishra: Singapore can turn democracy deficit into surplus

Next Sunday, Singapore marks the 50th anniversary of its independence. There's much to celebrate for some at least. The city-state is indeed "exceptional" (as its leaders like to say) as a global hub for finance, trade, travel and shipping. Its mix of languages, which include English and Mandarin, has made it the perfect gateway to an economically resurgent Asia. At the same time, inequality is rising. A Malay minority continues to lag behind Chinese and Indians. Antediluvian laws against gay sex and chewing gum remain in place. Most damagingly, Singapore has a democratic deficit. The same party has ruled it for 50 years. The media are compliant. Politicians have long used...

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