Singapore founding father Lee Kuan Yew dead

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Singapore founding father Lee Kuan Yew dead - The Hindu
He was the architect of the nation's rapid rise from a British tropical outpost to a global trade and financial centre. Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister and architect of the tiny Southeast Asian city-state's rapid rise from British tropical outpost to global trade and financial centre, died on Monday, aged 91, the government announced.

Although Mr. Lee had receded from the public and political scene over the past few years, he was still seen as an influential figure in the government of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his oldest son. "Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3.18 am," a statement said.

"Harry" Lee became Singapore's first prime minister in 1959 and held onto power for over three decades, overseeing the island's transformation from a malaria-infested backwater into one of Asia's most prosperous nations. Even after stepping down as leader, the fiery Mr. Lee was never far from the decision making process, holding a cabinet level post until 2011. He was a member of parliament until his death.

Mr. Lee combined market-friendly policies with strict controls over the press, free speech and his political opponents. He was hailed by some as a visionary and criticised by others as authoritarian. Mr. Lee's death and his son's expected retirement within the next few years will mark the end of an era, but industry leaders say any change of the guard will have little impact on business in the city-state, renowned for its robust institutions.

Mr. Lee co-founded the People's Action Party (PAP), which has ruled Singapore since 1959 and led the newly born country when it was separated from Malaysia in 1965.

He stepped down as prime minister in 1990, handing power to Goh Chok Tong, but remained influential as senior minister in Goh's cabinet and subsequently as "minister mentor" when his eldest son Lee Hsien Loong became prime minister in 2004. The older Lee left the cabinet in 2011 and had cut down his public appearances in recent months due to his age and declining health.

Timeline:

  • Born in Singapore on September 16, 1923.
  • November 12, 1954: Lee formed the 'socialist' People's Action Party (PAP) in alliance with the pro-communist trade unionists.
  • May 30, 1959: PAP won 43 of the 51 seats in the national elections. Singapore gained self-government with autonomy in all but defence and diplomacy.
  • June 3, 1959: Lee became the first Prime Minister of Singapore, taking over from Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock.
  • September 16, 1963: Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo and Sarawak merge and Malaysia was formed. Lee believed that Singapore's survival as a separate nation would be difficult.
  • August 9, 1965: Singapore exits Federation of Malaysia amid political and ethnic tensions. Parliament of Singapore passed the Republic of Singapore Independence Act, making itself a sovereign republic.
  • November 28, 1990: After leading the PAP to victory in seven elections, Lee stepped down, handing over the prime ministership to Goh Chok Tong He was then the world's longest-serving Prime Minister.
 

tarunraju

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This guy is a lesson for so many other world leaders. He turned a resource-starved islet into a fledging first-world economic powerhouse, while still being a multicultural society, and not allowing any one group from dominating over the other (i.e. not allowing SG to become a South-East Asian Wahabi shithole). If there's a grand funeral in which other world leaders are going, our PM must go.
 

t_co

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He was also the one who taught Deng Xiaoping how to implement export-oriented capitalism.
 

Khagesh

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That is sad.

Though being born on 16 September 1923, he did die at a ripe old age.

Yeu is the only foreigner whose interviews, I have in my archives as a matter of learning.

That was live history Asia has lost.
 

Ray

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He was a great leader.

He was authoritarian no doubt, but then he moulded Singapore to be the giant it is, in many aspects.
 

jouni

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I worked in Singapore 1997. Great place. Great to see Chinese, Malays, Indians, Filippinos, Europeans, Americans living there side by side. Prosperous and beautiful place. Not democratic, but hey nobody is perfect.
 

GUNS-N- ROSES

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I recently visited Singapore. I was amazed to see the cultural diversity of Singapore and yet so much peace and harmony (aided by strict authoritative regime). all credit to leaders of Singapore.

RIP LEE KUAN YEW.
 

Hari Sud

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Strong critic of India, why are we talking about Lee.

Lee was sent from UK during the early part of Cold War to secure the sea lanes and it's choke points for the West. It was sparsely populated then and with infinite amount of money placed at his disposal and with western advisors, there was only one way for Singapore to go I.e. up.. Lee being of Chinese ethnicity, invited only Chinese to come to Singapore. Indians arrived from Malaysia by proxy, whom he could not throw out, but restricted them to a small area in a shopping district.
 

Khagesh

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Lee belonged to a generation where almost every leader was a British agent in Asia. The only exceptions were the Chicoms, Vietcon, Soviets and a few people in India.

What matters is what the man does. Who sends whom for what intentions is only the first step. Life moves on from that first point. Sufficient cases of people having gone against their erstwhile masters. Beside in politics you can never be absolutely sure of the intentions of any given player until after that player has played his cards and delivered the goods to his masters. So when we talk about Lee, today, we talk with the benefit of hindsight. With the benefit of hindsight people can be and should be willing to state the truth as they saw it unfolding.

And you are wrong about Lee being a strong critic of India. Lee was among the first ones who talked about the intimate links of India with South East Asia. It is true Lee was trained in the west but you forget that he did chalk out a course for the Asians about which there was little awareness. He understood how to play the international markets. Later on everybody took that route (Tiger economies, China and today even India). Some of these followers were already in the Western bag and some have remained outside and some will never get controlled at all by the west.

Lee ultimately turned out more than just a western trained agent at least for his own country.

As for the restrictions on Indians, I hope you realize that Indian influence has been on the wane for some time. While Chinese influence has been waxing. Even today if we get to manage our influence we will see a situation where NRIs, PIOs and people of Indian origin are going to get better reception. What we see some people do is that they work on the reverse premise that how the NRIs get treated is how India gets understood, when it should be the exact opposite. If India does well then the NRIs are going to get better reception. Today the NRI population in US is the highest earning but still their say in the US politics is nowhere near that of other communities/ethnicities.

It is this mechanics of civilizational influence, that Lee Kuan Yew understood well. He was very keen on joining and remaining with Malaysia. Probably because of British influence. But even when rejected he worked with what was in his hands and turned it completely around. Result is that today you may hate a Chinese mainlander, for example for his political positions, but you will not hate a Singaporean even if he is of Chinese origin, for his political positions, and will give almost full social opening to a Singaporean. Today a Malay or a Chinese simply cannot hope to get the same degree of trust as a Singaporean would.

Can you confidently mention Lee in the same category as Nehru or Jinnah?
 

mattster

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Strong critic of India, why are we talking about Lee.

Lee was sent from UK during the early part of Cold War to secure the sea lanes and it's choke points for the West. It was sparsely populated then and with infinite amount of money placed at his disposal and with western advisors, there was only one way for Singapore to go I.e. up.. Lee being of Chinese ethnicity, invited only Chinese to come to Singapore. Indians arrived from Malaysia by proxy, whom he could not throw out, but restricted them to a small area in a shopping district.
Hari........do yourself a favor and stop blabbering about stuff you know nothing about.

LKY was never a hardcore race monger. The Chinese were the majority in Singapore long before LKY was even born. Just like the Chinese are the majority in Penang, Malaysia.

The Chinese migrants who arrived in the late 1800's and early 1900's congregated in a couple of major West coast Malayan towns like Penang, Ipoh, KL, and Singapore.
In fact you could say that it was mainly the commerce and trading of the Chinese that built these cities up. The Malays were mostly stuck in the kampungs(villages) and the Indians who were brought by the British were mostly in the rubber estates as laborers, and some as civil servants in the British colonial system.

Its true that the Chinese dominate in Singapore but Lee was one of those rare leaders who was able to build a small country with no resources into a powerhouse by simply being smart and running the country like a professionally run business. Singapore is run like a business in the hands of a small competent professional management that is groomed by picking the best and the brightest at an early age. The PM will always be Chinese in Singapore but you won't find the Indians and Malays complaining too hard about discrimination in Singapore.

As for the US pumping money - I don't know where you got that. Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, and Singapore were all paranoid about the Communists during the Cold war. They were natural allies with the US. I grew up about 50 miles away from the Royal Australian Air force(RAAF) base in Butterworth, Malaysia during the 60's and 70's.
There were thousands of Aussies based there at one time. The US did not need to pay anyone a dime. All the ASEAN countries wanted a US presence in the area.
 
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Hari Sud

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Hari........do yourself a favor and stop blabbering about stuff you know nothing about.

LKY was never a hardcore race monger. The Chinese were the majority in Singapore long before LKY was even born. Just like the Chinese are the majority in Penang, Malaysia.

The Chinese migrants who arrived in the late 1800's and early 1900's congregated in a couple of major West coast Malayan towns like Penang, Ipoh, KL, and Singapore.
In fact you could say that it was mainly the commerce and trading of the Chinese that built these cities up. The Malays were mostly stuck in the kampungs(villages) and the Indians who were brought by the British were mostly in the rubber estates as laborers, and some as civil servants in the British colonial system.

Its true that the Chinese dominate in Singapore but Lee was one of those rare leaders who was able to build a small country with no resources into a powerhouse by simply being smart and running the country like a professionally run business. Singapore is run like a business in the hands of a small competent professional management that is groomed by picking the best and the brightest at an early age. The PM will always be Chinese in Singapore but you won't find the Indians and Malays complaining too hard about discrimination in Singapore.

As for the US pumping money - I don't know where you got that. Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, and Singapore were all paranoid about the Communists during the Cold war. They were natural allies with the US. I grew up about 50 miles away from the Royal Australian Air force(RAAF) base in Butterworth, Malaysia during the 60's and 70's.
There were thousands of Aussies based there at one time. The US did not need to pay anyone a dime. All the ASEAN countries wanted a US presence in the area.
First, watch your language.

Second in 1962, he enacted an immigration law, which favoured Chinese.

You got your answer, do not attempt to reply. Save your language for somebody else. I have been writing about Asian and Chinese diplomacy in newspapers, magazines, analysis forums for the last 15 years after my retirement. You can find my books on the Internet. My advice to you watch your language. You never know, who you meet next.
 

t_co

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apple

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First, watch your language.

Second in 1962, he enacted an immigration law, which favoured Chinese.

You got your answer, do not attempt to reply. Save your language for somebody else. I have been writing about Asian and Chinese diplomacy in newspapers, magazines, analysis forums for the last 15 years after my retirement. You can find my books on the Internet. My advice to you watch your language. You never know, who you meet next.
Why should he watch he watch his language, he schooled you.

Can you confidently mention Lee in the same category as Nehru or Jinnah?
No unlike Nehru, Lee was always, totally, 100% against Communism and unlike Jinnah, the country he's created has been a success.
 

DingDong

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Why should he watch he watch his language, he schooled you.



No unlike Nehru, Lee was always, totally, 100% against Communism and unlike Jinnah, the country he's created has been a success.
Let us not forget the strategic location of Singapore, but yes, it takes a great leader to convert an opportunity into success. Also the Authoritarian regime of Singapore has worked in it's favour, economically. South Korea also went through such phase when it grew rapidly under dictatorship.
 

mattster

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Harry....I am not afraid of you.

But there is a difference between writing about something, and actually being from the area and having been born and raised there and living there for 25 years. Just because you write some books doesn't mean you know anything about the subject.
 

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