Lee Kuan Yew turns 90

Lee Kuan Yew: A life examined

In the week of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's 90th birthday, international media outlets from The Economist to the South China Morning Post dissected his achievements and leadership style, lauding the elder statesman's commitment to long-term planning but singling out his use of repressive laws.

After attending a Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy conference on Monday on his "big ideas", The Economist, in its Asia blog Banyan, wrote that Mr Lee's leadership was "less about big ideas than a big personality".

The former prime minister was a pragmatist and empiricist who always went with what worked and was prepared to change his mind when the facts changed, the writer added.

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Revisiting congratulatory messages to LKY’s 90th birthday

I refer to three Straits Times congratulatory messages by Mr Ramasamy, Mr Soh Yi Da and Mr Johnson Lim on the occasion of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s 90th birthday. Mr Ramasamy claimed that if so many world leaders and Singaporeans have praised Mr Lee, surely they can’t be wrong

Practically the entire German nation of the Third Reich praised Adolf Hitler. Would Mr Ramasamy say that since so many Germans praised Hitler, surely they can’t be wrong? Sadly, after losing the war, those who praised Hitler tried desperately to hide any associations with him and overnight, what had been right became wrong, never mind so many Germans had believed it at first.

Practically the entire North Korean nation adores its Kim dynasty rulers and is convinced that building the atomic weapon is more important than fighting famine and malnutrition of children. Since so many North Koreans believe in their Kim dynasty rulers, would Mr Ramasamy also say that surely they can’t be wrong?

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The secrets to small state survival

During a recent conference on The Big Ideas Of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Professor Chan Heng Chee, Singapore's former ambassador to the United States, declared that Mr Lee's most important contribution to Singapore was to have "thought through and implemented a strategy of small state survival".

Mr Lee had said in 2009: "Small countries have little power to alter the region, let alone the world. A small country must seek a maximum number of friends, while maintaining the freedom to be itself as a sovereign and independent nation... We must make ourselves relevant so that other countries have an interest in our continued survival and prosperity as a sovereign and independent nation."

Could this formula for survival be applied to the foreign policies of other small states?

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Conference on LKY: 'Gardeners' with guts

Monday is not only Mr Lee Kuan Yew's 90th birthday. Monday marks also the 50th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963. On that day, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore merged with Malaya to form the Federation of Malaysia.

Mr Lee turned 40 that day, as he proclaimed on the steps of the City Hall: "Singapore (as from today, the 16th day of September, 1963) shall be forever a part of the sovereign democratic and independent State of Malaysia."

It is very difficult to see this straight, but what this means is that today marks also the 50th anniversary of Singapore's independence - from British colonial rule.

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Lee Kuan Yew turns 90

Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first and longest serving Prime Minister, turns 90 on Sept 16.

This Big Story features a series of photographs that give readers a look into his life, many of which are previously unseen.

The photos are found in a newly launched bilingual picture book called Lee Kuan Yew: A Life In Pictures. The 268-page coffee-table book gives a snapshot of Mr Lee as statesman, father, husband and son

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Lee Kuan Yew: 'I am lucky to reach 90'
Mr Lee at the Istana on Sept 8, 2011. -- ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW

Ahead of marking a significant milestone in his life today, former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew told The Straits Times: "I am lucky to reach 90."

Asked in an e-mailed interview what gave him the greatest satisfaction when he looked back on an illustrious life, he replied that it was "to see Singapore's progress".

He will be celebrating his birthday with his family at a private dinner

Standing ovation in Parliament for Lee Kuan Yew on his 90th birthday
Members of Parliament give Mr Lee Kuan Yew (seated, right) a standing ovation in commemoration of his 90th birthday. (Screengrab)
Yahoo Newsroom - Members of Parliament give Mr Lee Kuan Yew (seated, right) a standing ovation in commemoration of his 90th birthday. (Screengrab)

He was wheeled into parliament at 4:20pm, just as Monday’s session was about to be adjourned for the day.

Minister for Social and Family development Chan Chun Sing was in the middle of his response to an adjournment motion on children in disadvantaged families when he paused mid-sentence as three men wheeled Lee Kuan Yew to his seat in the first row facing the cabinet, between Lam Pin Min and Mah Bow Tan.

As he was unable to stand on his own, the three men helped lift him out of his silver wheelchair and into his seat. Wearing his signature black New Balance sneakers, long black socks and regular Parliamentary attire of a white shirt, black pants and a plain black jacket, Lee was there for a special reason.

related: Lee Kuan Yew celebrates 90th birthday, world leaders send well wishes

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LKY stood up to thank everyone despite his frailty

Halfway through Minister Chan Chun Sing's response to Dr Lily Neo's Adjournment Motion, everyone's attention was momentarily diverted.

From where I sit in the chamber, the entrance was always square in my sight and today, through those doors I saw Mr Lee Kuan Yew come through. From all around, there was a momentary pause.

Conscious as always of protocol, helped by his two assistants, Mr Lee gingerly stood to take his bow and moved to his seat in the chambers. Everyone watched every move, some with visible concern for his current health but yet joyful that he was with us in the chambers.

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Full coverage:
Couriermail.com.au: Singapore's founding father Lee turns 90
The Star Online: Tributes pour in as Lee Kuan Yew turns 90
Business Times: MPs pay tribute to LKY's lasting legacy for S'poreans
Malaysia Chronicle: World leaders honour Lee Kuan Yew on his 90th birthday
South China Morning Post: Leaders pay tribute to Spore's LKY on his 90th birthday
South China Morning Post: The legacy of Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew
Islands Business: Presentation by Ambassador-at-Large Bilahari Kausikan
Malaysia Chronicle: Happy 90th Birthday! Queen E sends birthday message to LKY
Channel News Asia: President Tony Tan sends birthday greetings to Lee Kuan Yew
Business Times: In full: An unwavering dedication to Singapore
Wall Street Journal: Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew Quietly Marks 90th Birthday
Channel News Asia: Aspire towards LKY's total dedication to S'pore:Heng Swee Keat
Channel News Asia: Lee Kuan Yew receives standing ovation in Parliament
Herald Sun: Singapore's founding father Lee turns 90
Bernama: Queen Elizabeth II Congratulates Lee Kuan Yew On His 90th Birthday
Straits Times: LKY turns 90: Readers send best wishes to Spore's former PM
Channel News Asia: New 9-volume publication on Lee Kuan Yew launched
Straits Times: Mr Lee's life captured in bilingual pictorial book
Straits Times: Lee Kuan Yew: 'I am lucky to reach 90'
Business Times: Good wishes for LKY from all over on eve of birthday
The Independent Singapore: Interviewing Lee Kuan Yew
Journal of Turkish: Putin congratulates Spore economic miracle's father on 90th Bday
Hong Kong Standard: Lawmakers salute Lee Kuan Yew at 90
Yahoo! Singapore News: Standing ovation in Parliament for LKY on his 90th birthday
ANTARA: Leaders, dignitaries send birthday greetings to Lee Kuan Yew
Yahoo! Singapore News: LKY celebrates 90th birthday world leaders send well wishes
The Malay Mail Online: World leaders send birthday wishes to Lee Kuan Yew

Putin congratulates Singapore economic miracle's father on 90th birthday

Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Lee Kuan Yew, the father of the Singapore economic miracle and the first prime minister of Singapore, on his 90th birthday.

"The entire history of modern Singapore has been marked by enormous economic, social, scientific and technological successes, which are inseparably linked with [Lee Kuan Yew] ", Putin said.

"You gained the highest authority among international political and business circles during the decades of your office as the prime minister and in other high-ranking government positions," Putin said.

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HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY! Queen E sends birthday message to Lee Kuan Yew
HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY! Queen E sends birthday message to Lee Kuan Yew
Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom has written a message to congratulate Mr Lee Kuan Yew on his 90th birthday.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement:

"Her Majesty’s message is a reflection of the warm ties between the two leaders and the deep friendship between Singapore and the United Kingdom, which is underpinned by longstanding historical links and robust bilateral cooperation across many sectors."

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Good wishes for LKY from all over
BT 20130916 JHLKY16 755846
Mr Lee: Queen Elizabeth wrote 'yours has been a most eventful life, inextricably interwoven with the history and development of your nation'. - ST FILE PHOTO

Birthday greetings for former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew began streaming in from across the globe yesterday, in honour of his 90th birthday today.

A message from the United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II sent "warmest congratulations" to Mr Lee from both herself and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

"Yours has been a most eventful life, inextricably interwoven with the history and development of your nation," the queen said in a message conveyed through British High Commissioner Antony Phillipson

World leaders honour Lee Kuan Yew on his 90th birthday

(From left) SPH English and Malay Newspapers Division managing director Han Fook Kwang, Straits Times picture editor Stephanie Yeow, Lianhe Zaobao news editor Han Yong May (hidden) and SPH chief executive Alan Chan presenting the book to Mr Lee Kuan Yew at his office in the Istana yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
(From left) SPH English and Malay Newspapers Division managing director Han Fook Kwang, Straits Times picture editor Stephanie Yeow, Lianhe Zaobao news editor Han Yong May (hidden) and SPH chief executive Alan Chan presenting the book to Mr Lee Kuan Yew at his office in the Istana yesterday. -- ST PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

FROM unpublished photos of Mr and Mrs Lee Kuan Yew in their courting days to iconic images of Mr Lee on the stump, the public and private lives of Singapore's first prime minister are captured in full visual splendour in a new book launched yesterday.

Titled Lee Kuan Yew: A Life In Pictures, the bilingual pictorial book was published by Straits Times Press to commemorate Mr Lee's 90th birthday on Sept 16.

The 268-page coffee-table book tells the story of Mr Lee - as politician, statesman and family man - through some 480 carefully curated photographs.


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A man for all reasons
AN ASIAN LEGEND… Copies of a new book by Singaporean elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew are seen on sale after the launch at the Istana Presidential Palace in Singapore. — AFP

LEE KUAN Yew, whom I first interviewed in 1996, was always a terrific interview and if you ask Western journalists how many public figures they can say this of, you may be surprised at how few they name.

But I cannot think of one journalist who left Istana, Singapore’s historic government house, after an interview with Lee disappointed. I even tell my university students that one clear indication of an utter lack of journalistic talent would be to conduct an interview with Singapore’s first prime minister that came out … dull.

Many public figures like to dodge tough questions but, if asked in a proper way, Lee is the reverse: He relishes the challenge

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Lee Kuan Yew played chess, not draughts: Bilahari
Mr Lee Kuan Yew (left) enjoying a game of chess with elder son Lee Hsien Loong while Madam Kwa Geok Choo (standing), daughter Lee Wei Ling and younger son Lee Hsien Yang watch on. Ambassador-at-large Bilahari Kausikan used the game to describe Mr Lee's views on foreign policy, saying that Mr Lee "looked at the world strategically with a broad and long term vision; he played chess not draughts". -- PHOTO: LEE FAMILY

Mr Lee is above all an empiricist. He saw the world for what it is and never mistook his hopes or fears for reality. Mr Lee is not devoid of idealism. After all, he risked his life in the struggle against the communist United Front for ideals. Still he knew that in world affairs, as in all fields of human endeavour, not all desirable values are compatible or can be simultaneously realised.

I think Mr Lee would not, for example, disagree with the proposition that a world governed by international law and international organizations would be preferable for a small country like Singapore. But he would certainly question whether a world of sovereign states of vastly disparate power could really ever be such a world. He understood that international order is the prerequisite for international law and organization. So while you may work towards an ideal and must stand firm on basic principles, you settle for what is practical at any point of time, rather than embark on quixotic quests.

Mr Lee's 'big idea' was Singapore. On that he always thought big: Singapore as we know it today would not otherwise exist. In so far as any central organizing principle infused his geopolitical thinking, it is a laser-like focus on Singapore's national interest. He saw the world canvas whole. But unlike too many self-styled 'statesmen', Mr Lee never succumbed to the temptation of capering about on the world stage for its own sake. When he expressed an opinion, it was always to some purpose, even though the purpose may not always have been immediately apparent to everyone. He looked at the world strategically with a broad and long term vision; he played chess not draughts.

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An unwavering dedication to Singapore - Heng Swee Keat

The first time I met Lee Kuan Yew in person was in March 1997, when he interviewed me for the job of Principal Private Secretary (PPS). His questions were fast and sharp. Every reply drew even more probing questions.

At the end of it, he said: “Brush up your Mandarin and report in three months. We have an important project with China.”

I realized later that, among other things, it was perhaps when I replied “I don’t know” to one or two questions that I made an impression. With Lee, it is all right if you do not know something. But you do not pretend and lie if you do not know. Integrity is everything.

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What I know about LKY: I know the myth, but not the man

I will have to respectfully disagree, however, with those who think that Mr Lee was a man who single-handedly brought Singapore from Third World to First- that would be too simplistic a view. He had a strong team to assist him, men such as Mr Goh Keng Swee and Mr S. Rajaratnam, who are both capable leaders in their own right.

I would very much like to meet Mr Lee in person. I would tell him that my parents are both non-graduates and I am on my way to graduating with honors. I would tell him that his iron-fisted approach might have worked miracles in the early years – but not today.

Finally, I would tell him that even for his mistakes, he is still very much loved both locally and overseas. In fact, I wish I knew more about Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The man, not the myth.

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Early Birthday Wishes For Mr Lee Kuan Yew

All great countries depend on great leaders and teamwork. In this regard, I will forever be grateful to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

While he may not be perfect, his contributions far surpassed the leaders of his time. The fact that he can lead a great team speaks volume of his vision and leadership competence. He and his team turned a little red dot, comprising mainly of migrant stock, and with low fiscal reserves and little natural resources into one of the most developed and livable countries. It is a testament of their sacrifices for the country, foresight, execution abilities, and perseverance to achieve a modern-day miracle.

That’s why Mr Lee is respected by many people all over the world, including leaders and politicians.

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Mr Lee Kuan Yew gives 90th birthday bash a miss

On the advice of his doctor - and the organising committee chairman - former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew had to stay away last night from a big dinner party to celebrate his 90th birthday. Instead, his second son, Hsien Yang, stood in for him at the dinner which was hosted at the Shangri-La Hotel by three major Chinese community organisations - the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Business China.

The former prime minister, who will turn 90 on Sept 16, had wanted to be present at the event which was attended by some 800 guests, including Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, according to his press secretary, Yeong Yoon Ying.

But he was persuaded by his doctor not to attend the dinner for "precautionary health" reasons. The dinner's organising committee chairman, Chua Thian Poh, also advised that his health was more important than turning up

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Lee Kuan Yew receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Chinese community pays tribute to Lee Kuan Yew

Mr Lee Hsien Yang receiving the Business China Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of his father, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, from Business China chairman Chua Thian Poh (right).

The Chinese community yesterday threw a birthday bash to celebrate former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's 90th birthday, paying tribute to his lifelong interest in developing the community, promoting bilingualism, and his pivotal role in building ties with China.

Some 800 guests and several Cabinet ministers turned up at the Shangri-La Hotel to honour the man, but he was unable to attend. Mr Lee, whose birthday is on Sept 16, had wanted to go but was advised by doctors in recent days not to, as a precautionary measure.

His younger son Lee Hsien Yang, 56, came in his place, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Business China as a nod to the elder Mr Lee's contributions to Singapore-China relations.

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NUS, SUTD raise S$200m in donations

Alamak, why so sad?

The Lyon-Singapore Association and the Municipality of Lyon have unveiled a bronze bust of Lee Kuan Yew at the Singapore University of Technology and Design to recognize his outstanding accomplishments. The bust is intended to be an early birthday present for Lee Kuan Yew, whose 90th birthday falls on September 16th.

On September 6th the Chinese community threw a birthday bash to celebrate Lee Kuan Yew’s 90th birthday, paying tribute to his lifelong interest in developing the community, promoting bilingualism, and his pivotal role in building ties with China. The birthday boy was too ill to attend so son Hsien Yang showed up instead.

On the same day The Straits Times Press launched a bilingual pictorial book to celebrate Lee Kuan Yew’s 90th birthday. The hefty tome weighs two kilograms (more than four pounds) and is said to contain many hitherto unpublished photographs. Talk about heavy reading indeed.

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One Man's View of LKY

Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), the nation’s 1st PM turns 90 today, which incidentally is also the 50th anniversary of Malaysia Day. I’ve finally decided to write a piece on him, because it would be kinda strange having a sociopolitical blog on Singapore and writing on subjects but avoiding any piece on LKY. It would like writing about world football but failing to mention Brazil, or talking about royalty today, but ignoring Queen Elizabeth II altogether.

Opinions on LKY generally would attract a lot of positive vibes especially from those who can see no wrong in the man or his People’s Action Party (PAP). To them he’s like a modern day Messiah who rescued/founded Singapore from a poor fishing village and turned it into a modern metropolis (Sorry Raffles, you can join Parameswara in the dust bin of history).

But there are others, who due to their opposition of him and his party have unfortunately suffered one way or the other, and until this day have a deep seated hatred of him and everything he represents. Take blogger Gopalan Nair for instance. A former opposition candidate and lawyer, he’s been jailed and disbarred and as such uses his blog - http://singaporedissident.blogspot.sg. to launch a tirade at every perceived injustice at LKY’s door. Do I agree with him? Obviously no, but whom am I to judge him? If perhaps I had suffered for my convictions, this very blog might have turned out to be a staging ground to rant at LKY and the PAP too

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Back in 1996, I was working in a brokerage firm and there was an elderly broker, Andrew K. (about 60 years of age) who sat opposite me. He loves to share his life’s experiences with me and another colleague.

During our conversations, sometimes he would criticize Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) for failing Singaporeans. He mentioned about the way LKY silenced his critics by using very harsh methods. He mentioned about how LKY destroyed Nantah, flooding SPH with PAP men and a host of other issues which I can’t really remember clearly now. What I could remember is vehemently defending LKY from all these facts that Andrew was sharing with us. There was no social media at that time, all the inputs I had was from the MSM which had already embarked on their propaganda to shape public opinion about the PAP government.

Fast forward to 2013 and my opinion about LKY is totally reverse of what I had for him back in 1996. First of all I totally lost my respect for him, who is supposed to be an intellect; for grooming his moronic son to take over the premiership. Don’t you think LKY know that his son is not PM material? Yet he still persists in doing so resulting in Singapore having one of the most incompetent group of people in the government now. By being a weak and incompetent PM, Lee Hsien Loong attracted a group of similar people like Vivian B., Chan Chun Sing, Lui Tuck Yew to name a few.

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[If I were to speculate] I don’t think Lee Kuan Yew is going to see past New Year

Or that if he does he’s not going to live to see the new year for long. Of course this is just a guess on my part but for now I think I will be proven right. On top of that I hope change is coming soon after his demise. A change that will make people who yearn for genuine democracy to be pleased and glad.

I hope that Lee Kuan Yew realizes his many grave sins and mistakes and really feels sorry for them and that he repents and surrenders and puts his faith on the Almighty God before he leaves this world of the living for good. The dead are no longer aware of themselves, no longer remember God and unable to register time at all(these are not mere beliefs or guesses) and the dead only take with them their past motives and deeds to be judged eventually when time comes. Death is cessation of being. But I know that he probably won’t repent as the man worships his own ego.

If Lee Kuan Yew thinks he can go into oblivion forever or that he can buy himself time in the world of the dead he will be proven mistaken sooner rather than later. You see only the living experience time. The dead may await for say a trillion billion years and feel that kind of time is nothing at all, really nothing at all to them. And if Lee Kuan Yew thinks no God will demand accountability from the dead then in truth even though the dead cease being they do not cease existing(their personality, their being exists but in a state of complete slumber while their physical body is destroyed). The only reason I can think for that is that someday they will be re-awaken to give account of their life.

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An Extraordinary Life: Lee Kuan Yew

Let’s celebrate not just Mr Lee’s life but the achievements of that amazing generation of Singaporean pioneers

Mr Lee Kuan Yew is 90 today. His is a storied life. Having come into office as Prime Minister at the young age of 35, he has enjoyed nearly 60 years of national prominence. He has out lasted his contemporaries, his rivals, his enemies and even most of his friends and loved ones. Yet, he continues on – his body decaying but not his mind, flogged on by a spirit unrelenting. It is not an overstatement to say that Mr Lee is a fully-fledged member of The Great Man Club or GMC.
The members of the GMC are chorused with hagiographic hymns, bathed in the light of rose-tinted foot lights and caressed by the soft pillow of their own voice of history. Often this happens because people are ignorant of history, and thus careless of the major acts, now compressed by the press of time into mere indents on the unreeling fabric of history.

Sometimes, this happens because it is self-serving to do so – to seek borrowed greatness through association and the paying of grand tributes such as posting pictures of oneself in proximity to Mr Lee Kuan Yew accompanied by generous ladling of praise. And sometimes this is done out of kindness – those who know better but choose to let an old man – any future plans increasingly crowded out by present limits and past accomplishments – live his days nourished by the bottomless bowl of self-regard.

Yet, none of these motives does sufficient justice to Mr Lee. This is a man who had and has wields on himself the hard bristles of self-criticism held in place by a stiff rod of self-belief. It is only such a man who would continue to push himself each day. Only such a man would keep a keen enough eye to history to measure the pace of his actions against the long march of past into future.

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Nine thoughts on LKY’s 90th birthday

Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew turns 90 today and the birthday wishes are flowing in, from foreign leaders and the people of Singapore. He was described variously as a leader of conviction with a pragmatic and bold vision for Singapore. Like him or hate him, he played a pivotal role in making sure this little red dot looked a lot bigger on the world map (and we don’t mean through land reclamation).

In the spirit of recent surveys to gauge Singaporeans’ perceptions – on the values, aspirations, race relations and so forth – here is our own list of nine statements.

One a scale of one to five (Absolutely Agree, Agree, Not sure, Disagee, Absolutely Disgaree) – where would you stand?

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Tens of thousands of S’poreans make dawn Oxley Road pilgrimage
Oxley Road entrance. (Photo stolen from Agagooga)

Sept. 16 every year holds special meaning for Singaporeans young and old, as it is the birthday of our founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, who charted the course of Singapore.

Tens of thousands of Singaporeans will make the annual pilgrimage to Oxley Road, where the home of Lee Kuan Yew resides.

Traditionally, attendees will hold a candle light vigil overnight to observe and reflect on the events of 1963 through to 1965

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Already 90 but lacks civility and humanity

Tomorrow (16 September) our former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew will be celebrating his 90th birthday, a longevity by any standard. No doubt there will be felicitous greetings from far and near to congratulate this nonagenarian on his so-called auspicious 90th birthday. In Singapore there will be many like Mr. Chua Thian Poh and Mr. Wee Cho Yaw, two prominent Chinese community leaders who will fall over one another to show their so-called obeisance.

In fact never to be outdone in their obsequious zeal, Mr. Chua Thian Poh, president of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations and Mr. Thomas Chua, president of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry had organised a grand pre-birthday bash at the Shangri-La Hotel meant to celebrate the so-called auspicious occasion in a grand way but with a pathetic imperfect element in that the birthday nonagenarian could not attend on his doctor's advice. He was represented by his second son Mr. Lee Hsien Yang who received an award on his behalf, an opportunity lost in glorifying his presence. A picture book "Lee Kuan Yew : A Life In Pictures" was also published to commemorate the occasion. The celebration will not be complete without congratulatory messages from present and past world leaders. Of course they are not to know the unconscionable aspect of Lee Kuan Yew's persona.

All this pomp and pageantry has the illusion of giving a veneer of veneration to former MM Lee Kuan Yew, but does not really give an insight of the loathing of the heinous aspect of his character by a substantial section of the community. Of course with the propaganda of the mainstream media, especially The Straits Times, the undercurrent of abhorence seems not to be apparent to the casual observer unless he or she follows the social media. The netizens are quite generous in their vitriols of the former MM Lee Kuan Yew from time to time especially when he makes a booboo in his discourse.

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Singapore after Lee Kuan Yew

At a time not too far distant, Lee Kuan Yew, the font of all authority, legitimacy, orthodoxy and indeed fear in Singapore for over 50 years will no longer be with us. It is thus perhaps appropriate to begin discussing what the absence of Lee Kuan Yew will mean for the Singaporean republic.

With the endorsement of the British, Lee came to power as prime minister of Singapore in 1959 and then eliminated the political Left through Operation Cold Store in 1963. The incorporation of Singapore into Malaysia and its subsequent ouster in 1965 gave him almost autocratic power to pursue the development of the island polity as he saw fit. No one will deny the massive economic and social development which Singapore then saw under Lee Kuan Yew, with per capita GDP leaping to first-world levels during his administration.

However, the social costs of such economic development have not even begun to be tallied. The maintenance and strengthening of colonial legislation to allow unlimited detention of political foes without trial; the control of all media (with Singapore now globally ranked alongside Iraq and Qatar in terms of press freedom); the use of the courts to drive political opponents to bankruptcy; the absolute control of the people’s capacity to organise, to assemble and to process; and the emasculation of the union movement all contributed to what was effectively a one-party state. The party-state tightly controlled every aspect of social existence and claimed that it could represent the interests of all citizens.

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Lee Kuan Yew has 1% chance of living till 100 years old

On paper, in theory, the statistical odds are as such

Lee Kuan Yew turns 90 years young today on Sept. 16

Leaving aside whether or not he is a douche or a visionary or a bit of both for doing all the things he did in his life and whether his ability to will himself contributed to his longevity, the statistical odds on paper that he will live til 100 years old is 1%

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LKY feeding fish at chinese garden

Some one snapped this at Chinese Garden yest 25-Aug 2013

No one has ever seen Ah Gong in wheelchair before in public

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Happy 90th Birthday Harry!

Breakfast Network: Domestic politics should stop at the water’s edge
Singapolitics:Lee Kuan Yew: Rare leader who lived by his convictions
New Nation: S’poreans wonder why ST reporter full of 50 Shades orgasmic praise
Prata Politics: The Cult of Lee
Mothership: 90 reasons why you secretly fancy Lee Kuan Yew
Blogging for Myself: Lee Kuan Yew’s 90th Birthday
Anyhow Hantam: One Man’s View of LKY
Where Bears Roam Free: Lim Yew Hock,not LKY paved way for our independence
My Singapore News: His name cannot be mentioned
Mothership: An Extraordinary Life: Lee Kuan Yew
The Independent, Singapore: Interviewing Lee Kuan Yew
Breakfast Network: Nine thoughts on LKY’s 90th birthday
East Asia Forum: Singapore after Lee Kuan Yew
Singapore Recalcitrant: Already 90 but lacks civility and humanity
New Nation: Tens of thousands of S’poreans make dawn Oxley Road pilgrimage

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Here's wishing Mr Lee Kuan Yew a Happy Birthday!

Happy 91st Birthday Lee Kuan Yew from Singapore!
Former PM Lee Kuan Yew in the limelight

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Lee Kuan Yew turns 90
Lee & Lee - The job has changed
Former PM Lee Kuan Yew in the limelight
"One World's View Of The Man"
Lee Kuan Yew on death: I want mine quickly, painlessly
A Post-LKY Singapore?