All tagged Singapore

Why is Malaysia Split in Two?

Which is the strangest looking country in the world? Contenders include the United States (think of Alaska and Hawaii), Papua New Guinea (shouldn’t it have the whole island?), Gambia (what’s it like to be entirely surrounded by another country?), and the United Kingdom (what’s with Northern Ireland?). The winner, however, might be Malaysia. It looks like a piece of fruit sliced in two, its two halves separated by 650 kilometers of water. Neither part covers all the relevant geography—the western half shares the peninsula with Thailand and Singapore, while the eastern half covers only a quarter of the island of Borneo. Nor does this unusual arrangement have the weight of history behind it—Malaysia in its current form dates back only to the 1960’s. How did Malaysia get the borders it has today?

Why is Singapore So Rich?

If you live somewhere that’s relatively wealthy and successful, following world news can be uncomfortable. As you see countries sunk in poverty, war, or injustice you may wonder why the world is so unfair. And you probably also ask whether there’s a solution—whether there’s a way for other countries to flourish. On the surface, Singapore seems like it offers hope. In the early 1960’s, it was poorer than Mexico. 25 years later, it was three times as rich. How did it do it? And should other countries copy Singapore?