Basically copy wholesale from the British colonial period economic model, now slightly modified into modern theme park run by mafia/ junta/ despots/ tyrants model.
They say free trade, but everything and anything else they will charge exorbitant fees and penalties.
Entrance fees (e.g. Work permits, places of interest), license fees (registration), exorbitant land costs and land use fees (HDB leasehold flats), ERP, parking fees, GST, administrative charges, poll taxes, healthcare insurance fees, high land costs, IC issuance fees ($10 for citizens, $50 for PR), national service requirement for citizens to avoid jail, government services fees, etc etc.
The PAP collects all the money and pays themselves and their cronies world class salaries.
Much like a theme park: they welcome anybody and everybody as long as they contribute to the business, either as visitors (tourist/ E-pass workers) or as service support staff (citizens) or as additional service support staff with levy payment to gahmen (workpermit holders, S pass holders).
E.g. just like a very big theme park which collects entrance fees:
So GDP is mainly based upon population growth vz open door (open legs) population policy whereby anybody can buy properties and even PR with few years re-entry permit can buy public housing (HDB) properties.
Just like British colony system: no need visa to enter Singapore, just kena short quranteen on St John's island and then can enter, just pay British government all the high fees and charges. Only privately run charity healthcare and education services were available at that time, the British didn't much bother about developing the population nor protecting jobs, it was the more people to pay fees, the better it was for the Crown coffers back in Great Britain.
Sick old people were confined to death houses in Singapore as a British colony state.
Interior of a death house. Image via National Archives.
https://mothership.sg/2017/07/chinatown ... -the-past/
Today, the miseries of life of the elderly/ aged poor in Singapore are not much different from during the British / Japanese occupation of Singapore :
And because it is so lucrative to collect all the taxes, fees and charges for so little effort, they need to reserve these highly sought after political positions (and by extension, civil service positions) for only their close friends and relatives to enjoy, creating the GRC system of elections to ensure that parliamentary seats were reserved for old boys club members and their families only:
'Without some assurance of a good chance of winning at least their first election, many able and successful young Singaporeans may not risk their careers to join politics,' Mr Goh Chok Tong, June 2006 ['GRCs make it easier to find top talent: SM'].
[Pict= Disassembling GRC system benefits PAP (Part 1 of 3)]