Lee Kuan Yew: The Man and his Legacy

Update 23 Feb 2020: Lee Kuan Yew Knew Exactly What He Wanted, Anyone Else Dare Say Otherwise?
What ST missed out on its 3 page report. Judge for yourself the merits of the Tribunals' verdict

The late Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore's Prime Minister from 1965 to 1990. Lee Suet Fern was represented by Senior Counsels Kenneth Tan and Walter Woon, lawyer Abraham Vergis and two others from Providence Law.

The mother of three denied being Lee’s lawyer and rejected the assertion of an implied retainer. She also argued that if she was in a position of conflict of interest, her father-in-law was fully aware and chose to proceed.

In submissions to the tribunal, Woon described the Law Society’s argument – that Suet Fern and Hsien Yang deliberately cut Kwa Kim Li out and got Lee to execute his last will in her absence, and misleading him as to its contents – as being “totally implausible”.

related: According To The Disciplinary Tribunal, LKY Not Lucid Enough By December 2013, So Why Was He Still An MP?

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LKY's grandson Supports Pink Dot
And The Event Reached Max Capacity

Thousands of Singaporeans flocked to Hong Lim Park on Saturday (July 1), as the much-anticipated Pink Dot was held after overcoming many obstacles.

Among them: Foreign sponsorship was banned, which led to local companies filling in the gap; foreigners were banned entirely, leading to barricades being erected around the park; and people complained over even the event’s ad at Orchard Cineleisure.

In happier news, however, Paralympian Theresa Goh came out and became a Pink Dot ambassador. Here she is at the event,

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Dabu County: The Ancestral Place of Lee Kuan Yew and Overseas Hakka

A trip to Dabu County of Meizhou Municipality in Guangdong Province, exploring the Hakka history, houses and heritage. 

Why is the ancestral house of Lee Kuan Yew a Chaoshan-style house? Check out the video.

LKY already has a memorial to his name in Chinese region he has never visited

The Founders’ Memorial notwithstanding, there is already a memorial to the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kwan Yew. Mr Lee, on the other hand, had been known to say that he had no wish for a monument dedicated solely to himself. In Parliament on April 13, 2015, however, his son, now Senior Minister Lee Hsien Loong, called to honour his father but said that his father had been conscious that he had been part of a team that worked together to build the city-state. “One idea that has been suggested is to have a memorial for all of the founding fathers, perhaps coupled with an exhibition gallery to honour their legacy and educate future generations.

Indeed, Mr Lee himself had thought that there was value in such a memorial,” he said. The project broke ground last month and is set to open in 2028. The Business Standard reported two days after Mr Lee’s death on March 23, 2015, that many Chinese were coming to Mr Lee’s ancestral home in droves to pay homage to him. The report said that the village is located 500 kilometres away from Guangzhou “in search of a glimpse” into his life. It described the ancestral home as made of brick and wood, having been constructed in the traditional Chinese style in 1884 by Mr Lee’s great-grandfather, Li Muwen, with his earnings from Singapore. The home was called Zhonghandi. It also noted that the Lee family descended from the Hakka, a subgroup of China’s Han community, and came to Singapore in the middle of the 18th century. Local authorities refurbished the home and its surroundings between 2007 and 2008. Exhibitions of the Lee family tree, Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s family and political accomplishments, and an introduction to Mr Lee Kuan Yew were also set up within the structure.

In 2016, the year after Mr Lee passed away, authorities in Dabu County in Guangdong said that his ancestral home would be turned into a tourist attraction. Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po daily reported at the time that the site would become an international rural tourist destination that incorporated Chinese Hakka cultural characteristics. A total of 40 million yuan, then equivalent to S$8.8 million, was allocated for the endeavor. Constructing the site had begun the previous year, and the first phase, Lee Kuan Yew Memorial Hall, was set for completion by the end of 2016.

The Man and his Legacy

First, in 2004, it was the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy within the NUS. Then from 2008, it was the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize. From 2010, it was the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize. In 2011, it was the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in the new University (SUTD). This month, the Ministry of Education has just announced the Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism.

At almost 89 years of age, and with a 13% statistical probability of dying within the next year [1], one cannot help but wonder if Lee Kuan Yew is working to build a legacy – his legacy as he sees it.

More importantly, one also wonders if and how the PAP Government and its members are involved in supporting the legacy-building of one of their fellow Comrades. We will look at each of these building blocks of LKY’s legacy in turn.

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Was the reception to Lee Kuan Yew's passing just a knee-jerk reaction?
When Lee Kuan Yew passed, he was apparently no longer just a great man; in the eyes of many, he had become a perfect man too

I have no doubt that Singaporeans and many people around the world felt genuine, emotional stirrings at the death of this giant, but that it was so short-lived makes one wonder. I suppose we can't expect people to be writing eulogies to him every day. We all know that life goes on. However, I believe that if you asked the people who had either strongly negative or neutral feelings, or those who could rationalise how they felt about his life and passing, the conviction of their sentiments would be the same now as they have been for years and will be for years to come.

So what of the seven-day mourners? Was it a knee-jerk reaction? Was it that people didn't expect to feel as much as they did when he left us? Or was it just that many had never thought about it before and never weighed the importance of this man in our history and future until he was gone? How much of it stemmed from pure ignorance?

One of the main things that struck me was the disgust with which people who had anything other than a kind word to say about him were treated. They were called ungrateful and disrespectful. They weren't allowed their own opinions — God forbid any judgements — or their own parting words to a man they had a different relationship with. When Lee Kuan Yew passed, he was apparently no longer just a great man; in the eyes of many, he had become a perfect man too.

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MP Irene Ng: Only right we honour LKY at 2015 NDP

In Parliament yesterday (5 Mar), MP for Tampines GRC Irene Ng asked for the NDP committee to allow Singaporeans to pay tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew this year.

“It is only right that we, as a nation, pay him a special tribute in this year’s NDP,” said Ms Ng.
“Without his strong and visionary leadership, without his determination and gumption, Singapore would certainly not be where it is today.”
She added, “Even if Mr Lee may not want it or expect it, I feel it is important that we, as a nation, honour him during this special occasion.”

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'Pay tribute to Mr Lee and other pioneers'

Let the country pay tribute to its pioneers, including former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, at this year's National Day Parade, said Ms Irene Ng (Tampines GRC).

The plan to celebrate the nation's 50th birthday may be big, but Ms Ng hopes it does not simply result in an extravaganza.

She asked for the parade committee to allow Singaporeans to pay tribute to the country's founding leaders, including Mr Lee, 91, who was admitted to the Singapore General Hospital with severe pneumonia last month.

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A tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Thank you Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I grew up during the hard times, a period of turmoil and civil unrest in the history of Singapore. Our people were poor, mainly uneducated and of migrant stock.

I am a living witness of the harm that communists and other dissidents did to the nation. At one point, they had enormous power in their hands and were not afraid to use them on the street. They could have destroyed us just like what many toxic leaders did to their countries.

Today, there are many romantic notions of these rebels and attempts to make a hero out of them.

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Lee Kuan Yew immortalised with bronze bust at Singapore University of Technology and Design

The Singapore University of Technology and Design is now home to a bronze bust of former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

It is a gift from the Lyon-Singapore Association and the Municipality of Lyon. The sculpture, weighing about 80 kilogrammes, was unveiled at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in the Singapore University of Technology and Design on Tuesday.

It is a tribute to Mr Lee for his outstanding accomplishments to Singapore and the world.

related: LKY bronze bust indicates lee dictator

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Lyon-Singapore Association presents bronze bust of Lee Kuan Yew
The cult of personality has taken form with a bust that resembles Homer Simpson.  At least Lee had the courtesy not to show up, but expect much more of this after he dies

The Singapore University of Technology and Design is now home to a bronze bust of former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

It is a gift from the Lyon-Singapore Association and the Municipality of Lyon.

The sculpture, weighing about 80 kilogrammes, was unveiled at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in the Singapore University of Technology and Design on Tuesday.

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Brookings post named after Mr Lee Kuan Yew
At the launch of the "Lee Kuan Yew chair in Southeast Asia Studies" last night at the Fullerton Hotel were Ambassador Chan Heng Chee and Brookings Institution president Strobe Talbott

The Brookings Institution has launched a new academic position named after former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, as the Washington-based think-tank seeks to raise awareness of South-east Asian issues in the United States capital.

The wraps were taken off the "Lee Kuan Yew chair in South-east Asia Studies" on Friday night in a ceremony at the Fullerton Hotel.

The position, funded with an initial US$3 million (S$3.7 million), will be rotated among academics chosen from the different ASEAN countries, starting with Singapore. The plan is for each academic to have a two-year tenure.

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Former MM Lee Kuan Yew conferred Russia's Order of Honour

President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, has conferred the Order of Honour on Singapore's former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

Mr Lee was honoured on 10 September 2013 for his substantial contribution to strengthening friendship and cooperation with the Russian Federation and development of scientific and cultural relations.

The award was also conferred in conjunction with Mr Lee's 90th birthday in 2013.

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Lee Kuan Yew receives Global Citizen Award

AMERICAN dignitaries and global figures paid tribute to former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew in New York on Sunday, when he became the first Singaporean to receive the Atlantic Council's Global Citizen Award.

At a ceremony, the likes of former United States secretary of state Henry Kissinger and former US envoy to Singapore Jon Huntsman hailed Mr Lee as one of the world's foremost statesmen.

Dr Kissinger, who gave the opening remarks at the event, described Mr Lee as "one of the great men of our time" and noted that his forceful streak had been evident decades ago.

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Lee Kuan Yew gets the Warhol treatment

What do politician Lee Kuan Yew and artist Andy Warhol have in common?

Quite a number of things. Both are famous men born in the 1920s and both founded something - Mr Lee founded modern, independent Singapore in 1965, while Warhol founded the pop art movement in the 1960s.

Perhaps, it is apt then that artist Sukeshi Sondhi has chosen to render Mr Lee in distinctly Warholian pop art style for her upcoming solo exhibition of some 20 paintings. Using an image of Mr Lee from the 1960s when he was a young man, she depicts him in various bright colours, repeating the same image across all her canvases.

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Collection of Lee Kuan Yew's works launched

A collection of former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's speeches, interviews and dialogues was launched today at a ceremony held at The Fullerton Hotel.

"The Papers of Lee Kuan Yew: Speeches, Interviews and Dialogues (1950 - 1990)" is a four-decade collection from the National Archives of Singapore (NAS).

Material deposited over time from the office of the Press Secretary to Mr Lee, the former Singapore Broadcasting Corporation, and agencies such as the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts are also included

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New pictorial book tells Lee Kuan Yew's life story

The book is published by Straits Times Press, the book publishing subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings

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Straits Times Press launches book on former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew

"The Big Ideas of Lee Kuan Yew " is a 196-page book comprising essays from the men and women who had worked closely with the former Prime Minister. - See more at: Straits Times Press (STP), the book publishing arm of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), launched its latest book "The Big Ideas of Lee Kuan Yew" this evening at in conjunction with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP). The book was inspired by the proceedings at the LKYSPP's 10th anniversary conference, titled Singapore and a Rising Asia, held on Friday 17 October.

"The Big Ideas of Lee Kuan Yew " is a 196-page book comprising essays from the men and women who had worked closely with the former Prime Minister. They share their thoughts and insights on his ideas, covering a wider range of topics including law and politics, society and economics, and governance and foreign affairs. Some of the contributors include Prof Chan Heng Chee, Chairman, National Arts Council and Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore; Mr Heng Swee Keat, the current Minister for Education and former President SR Nathan.

The book is edited by Mr Shashi Jayakumar, a member of the Administrative Service of Singapore and Deputy Head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University; and Mr Rahul Sagar an Associate Professor at Yale-NUS College and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

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Lim Kay Tong plays Lee Kuan Yew in movie

Veteran actor Lim Kay Tong (right), 60, will be playing the role of former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew 

Lim Kay Tong on playing Lee Kuan Yew in ‘1965’: My initial reaction was ‘No way!’ When veteran film, television and theatre actor Lim Kay Tong was approached to take on the role of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, he rejected it outright.

“I told Daniel (Yun, veteran film producer who pitched the role to him), look, I can’t do it,” he told reporters in an interview after a press briefing on Wednesday when the cast for upcoming feature-length historical drama “1965” was revealed.

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Lee Kuan Yew to be honoured in 2 musicals for SG's 50th Birthday

With preparations in full swing for Singapore's 50th Anniversary next year, it has been confirmed that Supreme Leader Lee Kuan Yew will be honoured in 2 separate musicals about his life and contributions to Singapore.

One production, being put together by Metropolitan Productions, will focus mainly on Lee Kuan Yew during the Japanese Occupation to Singapore's Independence in 1965.

The organisers had decided to put together a piece about Lee Kuan Yew as they felt it could reach out to a wider audience. Originally, it was planned to be an Opera, but was changed to a musical as it was believed this would appeal to more people.

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Actor Adrian Pang to play Mr Lee Kuan Yew in The LKY Musical which opens in July
The LKY Musical follows the life of Mr Lee Kuan Yew from his early days at Raffles College to the founding of independent Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Actor Adrian Pang will play former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew in The LKY Musical that will open in July.

The LKY Musical follows the life of Mr Lee from his early days at Raffles College to the founding of independent Singapore. A passion project by Metropolitan Productions, the mega multi-million-dollar musical has been in the making for close to three years.

"We are delighted that Adrian Pang will play Mr Lee. Not only is he a brilliant actor, he has the gravitas required for the role," said Mr Tan Choon Hiong, director of Metropolitan Productions.

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Recite the Singapore pledge with Lee

Apart from their regular day to day tasks of running their constituencies, Singapore Member of Parliament these days have the additional burden of keeping fellow Singaporeans happy by ensuring that their Facebook pages are updated with selfies of themselves alongside enthusiastic residents (Ask flowerpot Baey Yam Keng. He knows best).

Not only these modern selfies shots signal Singaporeans that their MPs are down-to-earth, approachable and friendly, it also reflects the changing attitude of Singaporeans towards their MPs.

But in the old days when digital photography is unheard of, residents were unable to spontaneously pop over to their favourite MPs to request for a shot. These residents probably will get shot dead by the zealous bodyguards once they got into within 5 meter radius near the MP. Back then, being an MP is a big deal, and to be associated with an MP as a grassroot activist will certainly widen your business network.

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Famous quotes by Lee Kuan Yew

On DEMOCRACY - Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition leader, April 27, 1955
“But we either believe in democracy or we not. If we do, then, we must say categorically, without qualification, that no restraint from the any democratic processes, other than by the ordinary law of the land, should be allowed… If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought.”
On JUSTICE -Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition PAP member speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956
“Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love-it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they’re conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict.”
On FREEDOM - Lee Kuan Yew, “The Battle for Merger” (1961)
“My colleagues and I are of that generation of young men who went through the Second World War and the Japanese Occupation and emerged determined that no one–neither Japanese nor British–had the right to push and kick us around.  We determined that we could govern ourselves and bring up our children in a country where we can be proud to be self-respecting people.”
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Kuan Yew's half-century

Despite his advancing age, the world's longest surviving national leader has become more assertive at home and abroad in the last two years, averaging one overseas trip every two months.

WITHOUT any official fanfare, Singapore has just crossed a historic mark that few Singaporeans are even aware of.

The Lee Kuan Yew "era" reached its 50-year mark on June 5, making Lee the longest surviving national leader in the world.

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Fifty years of Lee Kuan Yew

It's telling that a Malaysian and not a Singapore newspaper noted Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew completed 50 years in office, becoming the world's longest surviving national leader, on June 5. It was on that day 50 years ago he was sworn in as the first prime minister of a self-governing Singapore. He was succeeded in 1990 by his deputy, Goh Chok Tong, who in 2004 handed over power to Mr Lee's son – current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Singapore has never known a day since the end of British rule when it has not been under the firm and capable leadership of Mr Lee and his People's Action Party. He has led the tiny city state of 4.8 million people to prosperity. From Third World To First is the title of the second volume of his memoirs.

The Star asks:
  • So why is the image-conscious government so reticent about Lee’s political longevity?
  • Party insiders say it is because he is bent on avoiding doing anything that will promote a personality cult…
  • Critics, however, give a different reason. One said the government would rather not mention the subject for fear it would renew calls for him to leave.
  • In a Yahoo online poll, 53% of Singaporeans said they wanted their founding father to quit politics either immediately or very soon – and that was five years ago…
  • It is the younger Singaporeans who want him to go. Unlike the previous generation, they are not beholden to him for his contributions to the republic.
SDP: Kuan Yew's half-century
leewatchKuan Yew’s half-century
SingaporeWindow: Majority of Singaporeans want Lee to retire

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The Cult of Lee

Singapore is more than one man, however great he was. Was. Recently he was seen in a wheelchair. The guy is...what's that word, errr, old. What do you expect, this mortal coil that affect all great and small. This cult of Lee does more harm than good to the Singaporean psyche of little red dot punching beyond its weight.

You mean we can't go on without him? Yes we can.

To think we cannot disrespects the former PM. Respect him, but not deify dear Harry. FFS. Imagine this, he is not even dead yet and there is so much fanfare about his birthdays and books. Why the hell is his birthday news BTW? If 16 September is anything to remember for, it should be Malaysia Day, when Singapore joined the Federation and it sealed Singapore's fate and separation from Malaysia 2 years later in 1965. Not the old guy's birthday, tremendous respect though I have for him.

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Kazakh president hints he may seek to emulate Singapore's Lee
Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev attends a meeting with Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili at his office in Almaty February 25, 2013

Kazakhstan's veteran leader, widely expected to seek re-election in a snap poll next month, hinted on Friday he might yet decide to step down but keep the Central Asian nation under his control, citing Singapore's "founding father" as an example.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev, 74, has run Kazakhstan, rich in oil and gas reserves, since 1989 when he headed the local Communist Party within the Soviet Union. His current five-year term formally ends only in late 2016, but he has called an early election for April 26.

He said then that he had not decided if he would run in the election, and on Friday he raised new questions, saying it was time to "change scene" in his vast steppe nation of 17 million.

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Disclaimer: these are just MY personal opinions. I'm not paid to write this and no one from PAP is holding a gun at the back of my head

LKY- deserving of respect?

i'm going to give my point of view in this status so you can chose to read it or ignore.

i believe that LKY is a good man and within his capabilities and resources 50 years ago, he did a good job in the building of this nation that the world look up to (ya ya i know being the most expensive city to live in isn't desirable).

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Be grateful for LKY at the helm

Mr. Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) is at the gun sight of his detractors and enemies again, taking in potshots from all directions in the social media, simply because he was in the news for being hospitalised. The criticisms, condemnations, curses and swearing is gathering storm again.  Even anyone who speaks up for him becomes the target. Who are these hateful ingrates? Mainly his political opponents, past and present. The social media has allowed them to amplify their hates. I will try to balance these with the good things that LKY has done for ordinary people. I will look at them from an ordinary, layman perspective.

No fear of starvation. Food aplenty, in quantities and varieties. Clothing aplenty, in quantities, varieties, styles and fashions. Don’t have to sleep in the streets. Roof over my head which I can call my own. Good sanitation system. You flush the toilet and walk away without looking back, without worrying if it will work. Home has uninterrupted supplies of water, gas and electricity. The water can be drunk straight out of the tap. Can walk from a residential block to bus-stops, MRT stations, markets, other residential blocks, etc., rain or shine, because of sheltered walkways. Good waste disposal. No unsightly and stinking piles of rubbish lying around. Cleanliness. Few litters found on the ground, though this is changing for the worse as more foreigners come in. No unsightly sticky chewing gum in public places. No fear of stepping or sitting on one.

Good education and training, leading to good jobs. Can continually upgrade. The limit is myself. Good quality and affordable health care. Public and private medical institutions aplenty. Infectious and communicable diseases are well under control. Good public sports facilities. Stadiums, swimming pools, exercise stations are available. Individual or group can exercise in the nature parks.

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Why is Lee Kuan Yew Considered a hero?

In the hearts of numerous residents of Singapore, an image of Lee Kuan Yew is engraved. Yew is vividly remembered and immortalized for being the revolutionary figure behind the present Singapore. His heroism is linked to the many acts of courage he did and his stern nature in authority. The now geriatric man at the age of 92, who was the first and longest serving Prime Minister of Singapore, has received both criticism and applause in equal measure. Ultimately, he remains the father who transformed Singapore to the economic hub it is today.

Trained as a lawyer, Yew was enthusiastic about campaigning for the freedom of his people. He was assigned the esteemed post of a legal adviser to the trade unions in the 1950s. He used crude methods to champion for the rights of all workers which earned him much respect. He dedicated all his energy towards making Singapore a land where workers are treated with respect by virtue of being human. He also led to the creation of an environment where the basic human rights are allowed to all people irrespective of their social standing. His ability to stand for what he believed in is an attribute recalled by many Singaporeans.

Yew was a co-founder of the Peoples’ Action Party to which he also served as the Secretary General. The party is highly appreciated because it made eight consecutive landslide wins between 1959 and 1990. Its leaders are esteemed for campaigning for the disjointing of Singapore from Malaysia in the year 1965. He is, therefore, said to be the founding personality of the great nation of Singapore. After creating a liberal state, he fought with all his might to uplift the status of his land.

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Who is Lee Kuan Yew?

The name Lee Kuan Yew, for most Westerners, draws a blank if mentioned in conversation. As the founding Prime Minister of the small nation of Singapore, his political legacy is conceived by the Western political imagination as something totally obscure, foreign, and thus of little consequence to world politics. This attitude, however, could not be more misleading.

Such conception of Lee should be contrasted to the view of him held by American dignitaries such as Kissinger, Nixon, and Clinton. Most recently, former president George W. Bush summed up this view when he described Lee in awing reverence as “one of the brightest” and “most effective world leaders that I have ever known”. Lee’s influence, furthermore, looms even larger within the Asian political community. He is sought out for advice regularly and is celebrated as a hero by officials and business leaders in East and Southeast Asia.

Now retired from politics at the age of 91, Lee has lived long enough to see his bust immortalized as an 80 kg statue, which has been installed in his eponymous Centre for Innovative Cities at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. In the same way that this giant bronze statue dominates the room, Lee occupies the center of an economic revolution for the Far East in which the political and cultural values of these social orders have been remade into a new and powerful image.

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13 Controversies Of Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew, no stranger to controversy

While he may have developed Singapore from economic backwaters to a First World Country, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew still had his fair share of controversies. A man of his status might have been revered by many, there are also many dissidents who want to bring him down.

We delve into 13 controversies he was embroiled in:
  • Operation Coldstore
  • Media should be the government’s mouthpiece
  • Stop at Two
  • Land Acquisition Act
  • Graduate Mother’s Scheme
  • Eugenics
  • Francis Seow
  • The Hotel Properties Limited Saga
  • International Herald Tribune
  • Islam
  • Suing opponents into bankruptcy
  • Certificate Of Entitlement (COE)
  • High ministerial pay


I think people get very passionate about Great Humans and find it hard to separate their emotional connection with what they have seen with the silent evidence of what they have not seen.

At its heart, the great man fallacy is this– we do not know who would have risen to the occasion. Her biography is not written. Her amazing decisions were never tested. It's not that "Lee Kuan Yew Is Not Special". Yes, SG might have failed without LKY. Or it might have succeeded still, or even succeeded better. It's far more likely that the outcome of Singapore has been affected more by external events beyond LKY's control than anything LKY has done.

I was doing some reviews of the Discovery Channel's documentary of SG, and it becomes painfully clear that this is so. Here are some snippets of historical events that no Singaporean had control over:

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Stop inventing inaccurate titles for Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew’s time with us is approaching its end. He needs mechanical assistance to maintain lung strength owing to a bout of pneumonia and has been in hospital since February. He may pull through this and I will join many in wishing him well and hope he does. But inevitably, his end will come, as is with all of us. And for certain, we’ll be inundated with countless articles and shows depicting his life and his achievements, not to mention his contributions. It’s an unavoidable fact, that if one wants to talk about Singapore since independence or statehood (1959-1965), where and how its progressed since then, the name Lee Kuan Yew will feature prominently in it, if it isn’t already the key feature.

As we approach 50 years of independence, the name Lee Kuan Yew is synonymous with Singapore. Many foreigners who study or follow events on Singapore all use him as the starting or reference point. And the same holds true with many Singaporeans. Like him or loathe him, Lee Kuan Yew cannot be ignored. In that vein, there is a campaign now to highlight, even glorify his achievements and contributions to the nation, especially by supporters of his party – the PAP. Fair enough, we won’t begrudge them that. Even most neutral voters look very favourably at him. Most of his political opponents, have also paid tribute to him, even begrudgingly. David Marshall, JBJ, Chiam See Tong and others have all acknowledged his leadership and the achievements of his tenure in office. So any outpouring of affection or effusive praise is normal, and this is only a smaller scale of what it will be when he actually passes on.

We accept that the victors tend to write the history books, and an honest and fair assessment of any political leader can only usually be found at least 50 years after his death. What he did and what actual impact it has can only be written by future generations, even after most of us today have gone. The Singaporean in 2065, 2070 thereafter will be able to look at the events of the past 100 years, the life of Lee Kuan Yew and others, and the impact it has made in a more neutral and matter of fact way. Whether the policies and actions taken from 1965 until 2000 thereabouts with him at the helm or as a principal advisor, was always good or necessary. However I am bemused by some of the things that are being said in his honour at this time. And I expect to be even more bemused when he dies, and the things that will be said then. It’s 1 thing to honour the man, it’s quite another to make things up and accord accolades that are inaccurate.

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Lee Kuan Yew – Deserving of respect?

Our country might be in some serious problem right now but that’s not the doings of LKY, when he was ruling the country he did good. And please remember that PAP ≠ LKY. so if you’re blaming the policies of the PAP, you don’t have to implicate LKY all the time.

That being said, I’m not a die-hard brainwashed fan of LKY like how city harvesters are to Kong Hee. I’m just giving my respects and showing appreciation to him. If it’s another person who did what he did, he will also get his due respect from me. Yeah, I’m no nobody but at least I know how to give thanks and credit when it’s due.

Singapore might not be the best place to make a living right now but I’m still thankful for the shelter over my family’s head, food on my table and the security of the country.

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Lee Kuan Yew is hailed as a great leader of Singapore and credited with the miraculous transformation of Singapore into a developed country. But this is only according the propaganda on mainstream media.

More Singaporeans, especially the younger generation, no longer believe in such propaganda and have turned to online media which have become a more trusted source of information. As such, the mainstream media’s popularity and credibility have continue to plummet since the advent of the internet.

From Lee Kuan Yew’s quotes, all can see the person he really is. Lee had total control of our country for too long and did not envision the day when online media would reveal all his shortcomings. Lee mistakenly clings to power as if it would last forever. Below are just some quotes.

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Stop saying that Lee Kuan Yew is the 'founding father' of Singapore!

I felt so angry at your readers who kept saying that Lee Kuan Yew was a great man who deserve many respect and that what he did in the past was neccessary and that communism is very dangerous. Is it really?

Lee Kuan Yew threw my friend's grandpa into prison for 20+ years without trial.  He was a prominent and generous medical doctor at Balestier road, do you think he deserve 20+ years in prison just because he have a different opinion with LKY?

For your information, those people he thrown into prison are the original founders of the PAP and back then LKY was just a small fry lawyer working for them. He backstabbed them and basically destroyed their future and prime years just because they hold a different political view. 

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Originally Posted by coldwarmhot

Yes! That is the look that I was talking about. It is sad to witness the deterioration of a once powerful man.

You mean from this:
To this:

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The Battle for Merger

IT WAS a tumultuous time, with the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) and its allies out to derail self-governing Singapore's plans for merger with Malaya.

Taking to the airwaves in 1961 for 12 radio broadcasts to expose the CPM's real agenda to seize power, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew managed to turn the tide.

A compilation of the talks, first published in 1962, has been reprinted. The Battle For Merger was launched yesterday, on the same date as Mr Lee's last broadcast 53 years ago.

12 Radio Talks By Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew On 'The Battle For Merger'
Battle For Hearts And Minds
The Battle For Merger

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90 reasons why you secretly fancy Lee Kuan Yew
He is telegenic

He was not a hit with his girlfriend/ wife’s parents who did not approve of him at first

Helped to develop a glue based on tapioca, which he sold under the name Stikfas in Japanese-occupied Singapore during World War II. The logo was on his wedding cake

You would give up an arm and a leg to wear that hat

He can still pull chicks one-fifth his age

He could turn into a zombie or vampire, if future leaders mess Singapore up

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Lee Kuan Yew through the years

An emotional Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew during the press conference in 1965 to announce Singapore's separation from Malaysia.

A look back at the life and times of Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Wise sayings of Lee Kuan Yew
Constituents hope to see Lee Kuan Yew again at events

More stories on Lee Kuan Yew

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Mr Lee, like you've never seen him before
FOUNDING FATHER REIMAGINED: Ms Chan, 26, exhibited her works at the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention over the weekend. Her Lee Kuan Yew Cosplay caricatures were so popular with visitors that she had to take pre-orders on Saturday.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

FORMER prime minister Lee Kuan Yew made an appearance at the Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention (STGCC) over the weekend - in the form of five caricatures.

Titled Lee Kuan Yew Cosplay, the 90-year-old is portrayed as five fictional characters: from Magneto in the latest X-Men movie to Yoda in Star Wars.

Chan Shiuan, 26, who quit her flight attendant job of five years to become a full-time artist, is behind the idea.

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Lee Kuan Yew: The Funniest Asian Man To Ever Have Lived On Planet Earth
Lee in his birthday suit out for a swim
"Some criticize him as being a dictator, who trampled human rights and smashed his competition to get his way.  Some people think he is the savior of Singapore and kept Singapore from remaining a third-world city-state riddled with poverty.  I think he is the funniest Asian man to ever have lived on planet earth."
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PM Lee Hsien Loong shares old photos of father Lee Kuan Yew

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has shared old photographs of his father Lee Kuan Yew online, and asked netizens to help supply information about them.

The photos of the former prime minister are from the National Archives of Singapore (NAS), which has uploaded materials on a new Citizen Archivist Portal.

The public can go on the portal to describe images or transcribe documents in the crowdsourcing project.

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Former PM Lee Kuan Yew in the limelight
Wax figures of Lee Kuan Yew and his late wife unveiled at Madame Tussauds Singapore

Wax figures of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew and his late wife Kwa Geok Choo have been unveiled at the Madame Tussauds Singapore wax museum, which had its grand opening on Thursday.

The figures show Mr and Mrs Lee smiling, arm-in-arm and seated against a backdrop of red flowers formed in the shape of two hearts. They are also dressed in the colours of Singapore's national flag - red and white.

The couple's wax figures are among other lookalikes of political leaders, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

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"One World's View Of The Man"

The World’s Eye on “One Man’s View…” Indeed, quite a few international media outlets have focused their coverage of the book on Mr Lee’s defence of his own policies, especially with regard to Singapore’s population policies. Another element that has gained traction in the international media are his thoughts on life and death. He will be 90 next month

Reporting that Mr Lee “feels weaker by the day and wants a quick death”, AFP also claims that he has “visibly weakened” since his wife died in 2010 and that the loss “shattered the normally stoic veteran politician”. The Gulf Times also reports on Mr Lee’s wishes to “make a quick exit” should he reach a stage of incapacitation from which recovery is deemed unlikely.

If the international media coverage on his book is any indication, whether you agree or disagree with the man, or love or hate him, when Mr Lee Kuan Yew speaks, the world takes notice.

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A Post-LKY Singapore?

They crammed into an art cafe in Singapore and pulled no punches, deriding authoritarian officials who ruled with an "iron fist" and complaining that government ministers with million-dollar salaries were out of touch.

One woman, a middle-aged professional, got nods of agreement when she said modern Singapore's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, had done great things but that new ways were needed from current leaders still practising a "do-as-I-say style of parenting".

Singapore remains regimented but the unusually frank criticism at the recent gathering, part of a government-run national "conversation" about the city state's future, reflects the reality that this is no longer the era of Lee Kuan Yew.

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Lee Kuan Yew in ICU with severe pneumonia

Lee Kuan Yew's condition has been "largely unchanged" says the latest update from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Friday 6 March.

An earlier update on 28 February said he was sedated and remains on mechanical ventilation. Doctors also administered antibiotics. "The doctors continue to monitor his condition," added the latest statement.

Mr Lee, 91 has been warded at SGH since 5 Feb for severe pneumonia.

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Good wishes for Mr Lee Kuan Yew up in his office
PM Lee Hsien Loong said the cards and messages for Mr Lee Kuan Yew are displayed in his father's office at the Istana "to welcome him back when he is better". -- PHOTO: FROM FACEBOOK PAGE OF PM LEE HSIEN LOONG

Cards, posters and an art piece of the Chinese character for "health" are among the many good wishes former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, 91, has received since he was hospitalised at the Singapore General Hospital for severe pneumonia on Feb 5.

They are now displayed in Mr Lee's office at the Istana "to welcome him back when he is better", Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

The elder Mr Lee's condition remains largely unchanged since the previous March 6 update, the Prime Minister's Office said yesterday. That update said he was in a stable condition and continues to be monitored closely by his doctors.

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The Lee Kuan Yew And Kwa Geok Choo Love Story
From competitors to lovers
It was no love at first sight
The first separation
The secret marriage
Second marriage
The fruit of their love
Exemplary of an Asian wife
The first stroke
The second stroke
Epilogue: the final goodbye

Behind every successful man there stands a woman

Most refer to her as Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew, but Madam Kwa Geok Choo is more than just the woman behind Mr. Lee Kuan Yew – she was a woman who silently gave her all to the nation and her family.

Mr. Lee Kuan Yew had been engaged in politics over the years, with numerous political opponents who alleged that he is ruthless. However, his love for his wife is a very touching story – a strong testament of their love and devotion.

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The Credit For Singapore's Success

During the past fortnight, many accolades were heaped on the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister, who died on 23 March. Many of the accolades ignored the contributions of others who contributed to the Singapore success story.

Who were some of these people? Mr Lee's fellow cabinet ministers in the 1960s and 1970s such as Dr Goh Keng Swee, Dr Toh Chin Chye, Mr Sinnathamby Rajaratnam, Mr Hon Sui Sen and Mr Lim Kim San.

Unlike Mr Lee who remained at the centre of political power, these men stopped participating in legislative duties and have dropped out of public view, and possibly public consciousness, for more than a quarter of a century. Mr Lee said:
"I'm not a one-man show. You see my picture everywhere; it make it easier for you to symbolise it with one man. Don't believe it is a one-man show. It cannot be done."
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Lee Kuan Yew estate donates furniture, personal effects from Oxley Road home
Two of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's shirts, one of which is a CYC model with the label "Lee Kuan Yew", are among items that have been donated to Singapore (Photo: Stamford Law)

An England-made brown vinyl bag labelled "L. K. Y." which was used by Mr Lee when he travelled to London in the 1960s. (Photo: Stamford Law)

Executors and trustees of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's estate, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang, have made a Deed of Gift of some furniture and personal effects from 38 Oxley Road, the home of Singapore's founding Prime Minister, to the people of the Republic. The announcement was made in a news release by Stamford Law, on behalf of the daughter and son of the late Mr Lee on Thursday (Jun 11). 

The deed was signed with the National Heritage Board (NHB) on Monday. The items include all the furniture from the dining room, the study room, and work area desks, including the desk he worked on for many years, as well as his clothing worn on a number of historic occasions.

They have already been turned over to NHB in preparation for a planned major public exhibition at the SG50 Tribute Gallery in August or September, the news release said.

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The Singapore Story

My earliest and most vivid recollection is of being held by my ears over a well in the compound of a house where my family was then living, at what is now Tembeling Road in Singapore. I was about four years old.

I had been mischievous and had messed up an expensive jar of my father's 4711 pale-green scented brilliantine. My father had a violent temper, but that evening his rage went through the roof. He took me by the scruff of the neck from the house to this well and held me over it. How could my ears have been so tough that they were not ripped off, dropping me into that well? Fifty years later, in the 1970s, I read in Scientific American an article explaining how pain and shock release neuropeptides in the brain, stamping the new experience into the brain cells and thus ensuring that the experience would be remembered for a long time afterwards.

I was born in Singapore on 16 September 1923 in a large two-story bungalow at 92 Kampong Java Road. My mother, Chua Jim Neo, was then 16 years old. My father, Lee Chin Koon, was 20. Their parents had arranged the marriage a year previously. Both families must have thought it an excellent match, for they later married my father's younger sister to my mother's younger brother.

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The famiLEE tree

The famiLEE tree
The famiLEE feud: PM Lee "I'm not sure that it is solved"
The famiLEE feud: AGC to start legal action on Li Shengwu for contempt
The famiLEE feud: AGC looking into FB post by Lee Hsien Yang's son
The famiLEE feud: Protest at Hong Lim Park
The famiLEE feud: Demolish the house, end the saga, let's move on
The famiLEE feud: LWL, LHY to stop presenting online evidence
The famiLEE feud: Lee Hsien Yang responds to Parliament Hearing
The famiLEE feud: Parliamentary Hearing on Oxley's Dispute
The famiLEE feud: PM Lee Hsien Loong's Ministerial Statement
The famiLEE feud: Why LHY is speaking up
The famiLEE feud: July 3 Parliament session a cover-up & whitewash?
The famiLEE feud: Not another minister on the Will again!
The famiLEE feud: Lee Hsien Yang & his wife in Hong Kong
The famiLEE feud: Rise of the 'First Lady'
The famiLEE feud: Govt 'Poking Nose' into Oxley's fate
The famiLEE feud: Will House Debate clear the air?
The famiLEE feud: PM apologises for family feud
The famiLEE feud: Sporeans sick tired of endless Oxley Rd allegations
The famiLEE feud: "Past three days"
The famiLEE feud: "Will of Wills"
Social Media on the Late LKY’s children Online Squabble
Online squabble about "Hero-Worship" of the late Lee Kuan Yew
Family feud over how to mark LKY's death spills out online
New Law to Protect Lee Kuan Yew's Name and Image
Govt rebuts Lawyer's comments on QFLP scheme
Li Hongyi & Li Shengwu: 2 latest Internet sensation from the Lee family

PM Lee’s Nephew Supports Pink Dot
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew 2016
LKY Passing: Good Intentions Gone Wrong
PM broke down in Parliament talking about his Dad
A State Funeral Service held for Mr Lee Kuan Yew
Former PM Lee Kuan Yew in the limelight
Lee Kuan Yew passes away on 23 Mar 2015
Lee Kuan Yew – The Man and his Legacy
Lee Kuan Yew in ICU with severe pneumonia
The Battle For Merger
Happy 91st Birthday Lee Kuan Yew from Singapore!
Singapore's Founding Father Hospitalised
Lee Kuan Yew turns 90
Lee Kuan Yew hospitalised: Suspected Transient Ischaemic Attack
Lee & Lee - The job has changed
"One World's View Of The Man"
Lee Kuan Yew on death: I want mine quickly, painlessly
A Post-LKY Singapore?

The politics of power dressing: Ho Ching