After World War II, Singapore was devastated; Japan had surrendered, to their surprise, and the British moved in on September 5, 1945. A lot of the problems that occurred not long afterwards plagued the country for years, if not decades, after the fact. First, there were immense food shortages; it was difficult to get extra food to Singapore, as countries that produced rice before were not able to spare the surplus rice to sell to the country. What’s more, importing was difficult altogether, because sunken ships were blocking the harbors. The British helped clear out the sunken ships, and gradually got food to Singapore. However, there was also a shortage of homes in Singapore, as many former homes had been bombed to oblivion during the war. As a result, many families would live in shared houses.
Singapore’s current day problems are very much different from those experienced during World War II. Even now, there is a declining birth rate that is threatening to reach emergency levels; while this is the entirely opposite problem as they had post-World War II (too many people to fit in the limited homes that were still standing), it is still an issue. As of now, their fertility rate is 1.23, which is nowhere near the 2.1 fertility rate the population can sustain itself on. What’s more, the ethnic Malay children in Singapore are experiencing record low performances in academia, leaving their education system in tatters. This was not much of a problem in World War II, but that is also because they had rampant housing and food shortages to work out, making education a tertiary issue to address. Perhaps it is because of those pressing issues being given priority in the past that there is not enough emphasis on education in Singapore to this day.