Here is a report by Channelnewsasia in July 2009 on MM Lee saying that Singapore is not yet a nation:
Despite achieving harmony amongst all races in Singapore, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said on Saturday that the country is still a work-in-progress when it comes to nationhood.
“Are we a nation yet? I will not say we are. We’re in transition,” he said at the Orange Ribbon Celebrations which centres on racial harmony.
“Please remember this is an ideal which we may not completely reach, but because we have this ideal, we’ll continue to make progress,” he said.
On 30 October 2009, Law Minister K Shanmugam said Singapore is “not a country” but a city, according to a report by The Straits Times:
‘This is where most people make a mistake…I have tried to explain that we are different. We are a city. We are not a country,’ he told 200 lawyers, many from America, at the New York State Bar Association International Section’s meeting here.