Speaking at the Global Brand Forum 2004, Lee said these were gold standards set up during the last 39 years. "We systematically set out to be different from the start. To tell the world that we are different; do not write us off."
That was achieved by differentiating Singapore from the image of Third World countries that Lee said are "corrupt, inefficient and have bad infrastructure" by ensuring a high standard of government integrity, transparency and world-class infrastructure, the Today newspaper reports.
But, Lee warned, as brands whose quality deteriorates, nations can decline and "become sloppy" if a more "laid-back generation" takes over and does not respond with the same determination as "hungrier generation".