Yew was a worrier. But he was a problem solver too - not just of problems today, he anticipated problems to come: That's why the Housing Board
Singapor, acity-state of a little more than 715 square kilometers is now one of the richest countries on the planet, in terms of per capita GDP, with an economy entirely incommensurate for its tiny size. And this ambitious growth trajectory was engineered under Lee’s close supervision. Bereft of any natural resources, a young prime minister pushed the island to develop key infrastructure, including a world-class port and an airport.
Alongside these projects, Lee focused on housing and jobs—Singapore’s preceding British overlords had other concerns—and established the foundations for the Housing Development Board (HDB) and the Economic Development Board (EDB). The HDB transformed this swampy island into a first-rate, first-world metropolis, and helped pull Singaporeans—of Chinese, Malays and Indian descent—out of their ethnic enclaves and into carefully planned mixed townships. The EDB, meanwhile, slowly built up Singapore’s mix of industries and businesses, dodging recessions and crises to assemble an economy that could support a population swiftly moving out of poverty.