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Thread: Passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, founding Prime Minister of Singapore

  1. #11

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    "No words can express how great you are to Singapore and Singaporeans. No words can express how Singaporeans are grateful to you too. "

    Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's public housing policy turns housing shortage issues to wealth building opportunities.

    My further online tribute to this extra-ordinary leader of Singapore at the following link:
    http://propertyinvestmentsingapore.s...yew-singapore/

  2. #12

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    Hear, hear.

    Thank you & Farewell Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. Your legacy and values live through Singapore and our lives & spirit.

    Rest in Peace.

  3. #13

    Default A life rich in achievement that leaves behind a precious legacy

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/opin...recious-legacy

    EDITORIAL

    A life rich in achievement that leaves behind a precious legacy


    The tributes and condolences streamed in all day, after the passing, on early Monday morning, of Singapore's first prime minister and founding father Lee Kuan Yew. They are still pouring in at the time of writing.
    PHOTO: SPH


    24 Mar


    THE tributes and condolences streamed in all day, after the passing, on early Monday morning, of Singapore's first prime minister and founding father Lee Kuan Yew. They are still pouring in at the time of writing. They come from around the world - from global leaders and politicians past and present, academics and intellectuals, business people, social organisations, and ordinary citizens, even those from other countries. It is all a measure of the respect and admiration Mr Lee commanded, even in faraway places, over more than half a century of public life.

    But of course, Mr Lee's passing is most acutely and profoundly felt here in Singapore. And Singaporeans have been fulsome and heartfelt in expressing their grief, their reflections and their appreciation.

    Not many national leaders have been truly transformational, at least in a positive sense. Mr Lee will unquestionably go down in history as one who was. While of course many others - all manner of leaders and ordinary Singaporeans alike - have contributed to the transformation of Singapore from post-colonial backwater to post-modern first-world city-state with a hundred-fold increase in per capita income, no one would deny that it was Mr Lee who was the main driving force. Much of what has been achieved was the result of his vision, his agenda, his policies and his methods. He was the ultimate "conviction politician" who decided and did what he believed, even if it defied conventional wisdom or popular appeal.

    Much of what he did was guided by what he considered to be pragmatism. Singapore's industrialisation strategy in the 1960s, based on inward foreign investment by multinationals, was for example, iconoclastic at the time, but he was persuaded it would work, and it did. Mr Lee also signed off on Singapore's big bets on electronics, pharmaceuticals and more recently, casinos - an industry to which he was firmly opposed for decades before pragmatically changing his view, on the grounds that it would be good for the economy and tourism, and it was.

    In foreign policy, he relentlessly pursued strategic relationships for the benefit of Singapore, adroitly navigating third-party disputes and avoiding taking sides. And so it is that Singapore has cordial relations with both the United States and Iran, Israel and the Arab world, India and Pakistan, China, Taiwan and Japan; Russia and the European Union, as well as the biggest network of free trade agreements of any country.

    Relations with Malaysia was one of Mr Lee's deepest foreign policy concerns. In an emotional speech after Singapore's separation from Malaysia in 1965, he declared: "The whole of my working life I have believed in merger and unity of these two territories." He kept up this belief long afterwards. In 1996, at a Singapore Press Club dinner, he expressed a glimmer of hope for re-merger, if Malaysia could retain its economic dynamism and embrace true meritocracy. But after the Asian crisis of 1997, this was not to be. Re-merger with Malaysia may remain one of Mr Lee's biggest unfulfilled dreams.

    Honourable purpose

    In domestic politics, Mr Lee's methods were sometimes harsh. He was wary of civil liberties and even, until late in his premiership, artistic and cultural expression. He could be uncompromisingly tough on many of his political opponents. He later acknowledged this. In an interview with The New York Times in 2010, he famously said: "I'm not saying everything I did was right. But everything I did was for an honourable purpose." All through his political career, he showed little desire to be loved, preferring to be respected and even feared, because, in his view, this enabled him to do what he thought was right for Singapore. It is fair to say he was selfless in that he was concerned not so much with his own achievements, but with Singapore's achievements.

    It will be asked: what will change in Singapore with the passing of Mr Lee? The challenges facing the current generation of leaders are quite different from what Mr Lee faced. The economic challenges have to do with not just production but also productivity and innovation. Issues of economic inequality, as well as non-material concerns, have come to the fore. The political challenges are also different. In an era of the social media, there is a greater plurality of views and ideas. Politics has become more contestable, which calls for politicians to be more adept at consultation and consensus building than top-down paternalism. The globalised world of 2015 too is very different from the more economically fragmented world of 1965.

    But some of the core strengths of Singapore will not, and should not, be allowed to change: The rule of law, the respect for order, the belief in meritocracy, inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony, well-functioning institutions and an incorruptible administration.

    These are the most precious legacies of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. And he created them not out of pragmatism, but out of a conviction that they are intrinsically right and good, in and of themselves.

    It is for Singaporeans now, and their leaders, to build on these solid foundations.

  4. #14

    Default 'White trash' warning spurred Australia to be better: Abbott

    http://www.straitstimes.com/archive/...bbott-20150326

    Lee Kuan Yew 1923-2015: TRIBUTES: GLOBAL REACTIONS

    'White trash' warning spurred Australia to be better: Abbott

    Published on Mar 26, 2015 2:11 AM


    Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott signing the condolence book at the Singapore High Commission in Canberra on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

    By Jonathan Pearlman, For The Straits Times, In Sydney


    IN AUSTRALIA, Mr Lee Kuan Yew is widely remembered for a rebuke he famously delivered more than 30 years ago.

    During a visit in 1980, Mr Lee warned that Australia needed to open its economy and try to reduce inflation and unemployment, or risk becoming the "poor white trash of Asia".

    Today, Mr Lee's warning is widely regarded as typically stern, but both prescient and fair.

    Delivering a condolence motion speech in the Australian Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott noted Mr Lee's warning and praised him for "spur(ring) this country at a critical time in our history to be better than we might have been".

    Praising Mr Lee for helping to achieve "one of the most remarkable economic success stories in history", Mr Abbott said the "great nation-builder" had been a trailblazer for other countries such as South Korea and China.

    "Lee Kuan Yew did not just lead his country; he made his country," he added.

    "Singapore and Australia are natural partners, and I hope that over time, our relationship with Singapore will be as easy, as close and as familial as it has long been with New Zealand. And, if so, that too will be part of Lee Kuan Yew's legacy."

    The death of a man many called a "political giant" has this week generated a vast amount of coverage in Australia, where he was both praised for his transformation of Singapore and condemned for his harsh approach to the political opposition. But almost every article and news broadcast referred to that 1980 comment - and it is now largely seen in Australia as sage advice.

    Indeed, the comment appears to have had a lasting influence, perhaps more than Mr Lee could have foreseen.

    When he returned to Australia in the 1990s and was reminded by reporters of his remarks, Mr Lee would acknowledge that Australia had avoided its potentially bleak fate. His remark, he often added, was not meant to "diminish" Australians, but to spur them on.

    Most observers believe that this was in large part because Australia had changed course and headed in the direction that Mr Lee had been advocating, towards a more open economy and a more open approach to the nation's place in the region. In the process, Australia and Singapore have become increasingly close trading and diplomatic partners.

    This influence over Australia's development was noted this week by Mr Bob Hawke, who was prime minister from 1983 to 1991 and steered the country through a period of liberal economic reforms.

    Saying Mr Lee's words were "right", Mr Hawke described his old friend and golfing buddy as an outspoken leader who had a "great influence on this country and on my own approach to my task here as prime minister".

    "His harsh but fair comment helped galvanise my determination to undertake the reforms that would save us from that fate and set us on a better path," he wrote in The Australian Financial Review on Monday.

    "I doubt that I ever enjoyed more intellectually stimulating conversations with a fellow leader... A great bloke and, by any standards, a great man."

    Mr Hawke's successors continued to regard Mr Lee as a source of wisdom on the region and its leaders.

    As Australia began to prosper, bilateral ties blossomed and Singapore became one of its biggest foreign investors. Singaporean students have long flocked to Australian universities, while Australia's major banks, mining companies and engineering firms all have offices in Singapore.

    According to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Singapore is now the country's largest trade and investment partner in Asean and its fifth-largest trading partner overall. Fittingly, in 2003, Australia signed a free trade agreement with Singapore - its first such open trading deal in 20 years.

    Little surprise then that Mr Lee received warm praise this week from Australian leaders, including Prime Minister Abbott.

    "Our region owes much to Lee Kuan Yew," Mr Abbott said.

    "Here in Australia and beyond, leaders sought and learnt from his wise counsel… At every stage, Australia and Singapore have stood shoulder to shoulder. We continue to do so today, as we salute one of the significant leaders of our time."

    Analysts said the roots of Mr Lee's early reservations about Australia could be traced back to the mutual distrust between Canberra and the ascending local leadership in pre-independence Singapore. Australian intelligence officials reportedly feared that Mr Lee would support the communists in the region and wanted Singapore to be part of Malaysia.

    Dr Alison Broinowski, a researcher at the Australian National University College of Asia and the Pacific, said Mr Lee received "condescension from Australian leaders" during his early years as leader. As Singapore's economy boomed, Dr Broinowski said, Mr Lee "relished" the opportunity to point out to Australia that it was falling behind.

    In Australia, most analysts this week gave high praise to Mr Lee's nation-building legacy but criticised his stifling of the political opposition and of press freedoms.

    "Lee Kuan Yew built Singapore into a fully developed economy, but he left it a half-developed democracy," columnist Peter Hartcher wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday.

    Said Dr Broinowski: "There have been some shudders at the way opposition leaders have been treated and at some of its social policies, but there has been no doubt about Singapore's success."

    jonathanmpearlman@gmail.com

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