“Fifty years ago Singapore became an independent state, after leaving the short-lived Malaysian Federation. With no natural resources, just how did this tiny country go from swamp to one of the region's leading economies? On the strength of its human resources - immigrants like my grandfather.
My grandfather sold his plot of land to the government in the 1960s and moved into a HDB or Housing Development Board home, thousands of which were sprouting up all over the island. It was an affordable way for Singaporeans to buy property and raise their standard of living.
But the housing policy was not just about bricks and mortar - it was also about nation building. Each HDB flat would have a quota system that encouraged a mix of different races. "The whole idea was to have the Chinese not thinking that they were Chinese, or the Malays thinking they're Malay, or Indians thinking they're Indian. We want them to think as one Singaporean.”
(February 28, 2015 BBC)