Posted by: mel | October 25, 2009

Lee Kuan Yew: The Singapore Strongman

The Temasek Review | By Field Reporter | 25 October 2009

Lee Kuan Yew (also spelt Lee Kwan-Yew) (born September 16, 1923) (Chinese: 李光耀, Pinyin: Lǐ Guāng Yào) was the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. He has remained a strongman in Singapore since his retirement as Prime Minister. Under the administration of Singapore’s second prime minister, Goh Chok Tong, he served as Senior Minister. He currently holds the newly-created post of Minister Mentor under his son Lee Hsien Loong, who became the nation’s third prime minister on August 12, 2004. He is also known as Harry Lee.

Early Life

The eldest child of Lee Chin Koon and Chua Jim Neo, Lee Kuan Yew was born  in a Kampong, 92 Java Road. As a child Lee’s family was strongly influenced by British Colonial culture as most Singaporeans were at the time – they thought they were “More British than the British”. His grandfather, Lee Hoon Leong, decided to give his sons an English education and called Lee “Harry” to please the colonialists. They speak the Hakka dialect at home rather than Mandarin. Years later he wrote about his difficulty in learning Mandarin.

Lee was educated at Choon Guan Primary School (Chinese school) for 4 years and then Telok Kurau Primary School, Raffles Institution, and Raffles College. His university education was delayed by World War II and the 1942–1945 Japanese occupation of Singapore. During the occupation, he operated a successful black market business selling a tapioca-based glue called Stikfas (). Having taken Japanese lessons since 1942 before Singapore was occupied, he worked as a Military Intelligence Officer to translate Allied wire reports for the Japanese, as well as being the English-language editor on the Japanese Hodobu (報道部 — an information or propaganda department) from 1942 to 1943.

lky2After the war, financed by the profits he made on the black market, he studied law at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge in Britain. He returned to Singapore in 1949 to work as a lawyer in Laycock and Ong, the legal practice of John Laycock.

Lee, together with his wife, Kwa Geok Choo, were secretly “married” while they were students in the UK without the knowledge of their parents (that was Lee’s explanation of why they were living as “unofficial” husband and wife in the UK) and then “re-married” on September 30, 1950. They later went on to have two sons and one daughter.

Rise to leadership

In 1954, Lee and fellow students formed the left-leaning socialist People’s Action Party (PAP), recruiting their members from mostly Chinese educated workers to agitate for self-government for Singapore and an end to British colonial rule. An inaugural conference was made at Victoria Memorial Hall, which was then packed with over 1,500 supporters, mostly Chinese trade unionists. Lee became well known for defending workers being persecuted by the British Colonial Government. It was based on his work with trade unions that in April 1955, Lee contested and won the election for the Tanjong Pagar Constituency, a mostly working class dockland area, and became an Assemblyman.

In 1959, Singapore achieved autonomy in all state matters except in defense and foreign affairs. In the nation-wide election that year, Lee led the PAP to win forty-three of the fifty-one seats in the Legislative Assembly and became the first Prime Minister of the new state of Singapore. Lee resigned in 1957 as assemblyman in favour of accepting the challenge with David Marshall to contest the by-election.

On June 1, 1959, the self-government was formed following Lee’s victory over the Labour Front party. Singapore achieved autonomy in all state matters except in defense and foreign affairs on June 3, 1959.

Prime Minister
Memorable sayings as a Prime Minister

“Let us get down to fundamentals. Is this an open, or is this a closed society? Is it a society where men can preach ideas – novel, unorthodox, heresies, to established churches and established governments – where there is a constant contest for men’s hearts and minds on the basis of what is right, of what is just, of what is in the national interests, or is it a closed society where the mass media – the newspapers, the journals, publications, TV, radio – either bound by sound or by sight, or both sound and sight, men’s minds are fed with a constant drone of sycophantic support for a particular orthodox political philosophy? I am talking of the principle of the open society, the open debate, ideas, not intimidation, persuasion not coercion…” – Lee Kuan Yew, Before Singapore’s independence, Malaysian Parliamentary Debates, Dec 18, 1964

“Supposing Catherine Lim was writing about me and not the prime minister…She would not dare, right? Because my posture, my response has been such that nobody doubts that if you take me on, I will put on knuckle-dusters and catch you in a cul de sac…Anybody who decides to take me on needs to put on knuckle dusters. If you think you can hurt me more than I can hurt you, try. There is no other way you can govern a Chinese society.” – SM Lee Kuan Yew, The Man and His Ideas, 1997

“If it is not totalitarian to arrest a man and detain him, when you cannot charge him with any offence against any written law – if that is not what we have always cried out against in Fascist states – then what is it?” – Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Legislative Assembly Debates, Sept 21, 1955

“We have to lock up people, without trial, whether they are communists, whether they are language chauvinists, whether they are religious extremists. If you don’t do that, the country would be in ruins.” – Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, 1986

“Supposing I’m now 21, 22, what would I do? I would not be absorbed in wanting to change life in Singapore. I’m not responsible for Singapore…Why should I go and undertake this job and spend my whole life pushing this for a lot of people for whom nothing is good enough? I will have a fall-back position, which many are doing – have a house in Perth or Vancouver or Sydney, or an apartment in London, in case I need some place suddenly, and think about whether I go on to America.” – Lee Kuan Yew, The Man & His Ideas, 1997

“He picked up from me a certain way of thinking, certain logic, certain cut of mind. He has got from his mother a facility with words, and a certain intuition.” – Lee Kuan Yew’s reply on Hsien Loong, Straits Times, Jun 22, 2004

Self-government administration

In the 1959 national elections, the PAP won forty-three of the fifty-one seats in the Legislative Assembly, Lee became the Prime Minister of the state of Singapore on 3rd  June 1959, taking over from chief minister Lim Yew Hock (Lim Yew Hock (1914-1984) was Singapore’s second Chief Minister from 1956 to 1959 ). Lee subsequently opened the Self-governing State’s Legislative Assembly on July 1959.

In December 1959, Lee replaced Sir William Goode with Yusuf bin Ishak (Yusuf bin Ishak (August 12, 1910 – November 23, 1970) was an eminent Singaporean politician) as the Yang di-Pertuan Negara (The Yang di-Pertuan Negara or Head of State of Singapore replaced the British colonial Governor under the constitution of 1959 which granted Singapore limited self-government.); bin Ishak became the president of Singapore in 1965.

Lee faced many problems after gaining self-rule for Singapore from the British, including education, housing, and unemployment. In response to the housing problem, Lee passed the Housing and Development Act of 1960, which replaced the existing Singapore Improvement Trust with the Housing and Development Board (HDB), who (in the same year) built the first HDB flats at Queenstown. Lee also inspected the passing out of the first batch of Work Brigade leaders in June 1960, which was formed by the government to assist problems in unemployment.

In 1962, Jurong was to be developed under the industrialization programme initiated by Lee and Hon Sui Sen, the then chairman of the Economic Development Board.

Merger with Malaysia, then separation

Lee agreed to the idea after a meeting with Tunku Abdul Rahman on August 8, 1962. Lee began to campaign tirelessly for a merger with Malaysia to end the British colonial rule. He used the results of a referendum held on September 1, 1962, with 70% of the votes in support of his proposal, to justify that the people supported his plan, but his ultimate objective was to take control of Malaysia with himself as her Prime Minister. Lee further crushed any challenge to his leadership by labeling his competitors as “Marxist” alleging them to be involved in subversive activities.

On September 16, 1963, Singapore became part of the Federation of Malaysia. However, the union was short-lived. The Malaysian Central Government, ruled by UMNO, became fearful of the political challenge of PAP in Malaysia as PAP’s intention was to take control of Malaysia. Lee openly opposed the bumiputra policy ( and yet the Malays enjoy special privileges in Singapore even to this day e.g. they are entitled to cheaper education and housing costs ) and used the Malaysian Solidarity Convention’s famous cry of “Malaysian Malaysia!”, a nation serving the Malaysian nationality, as opposed to the Malay race. But yet, his policies simply didn’t get the support of Malaysian Chinese who detested his objective of taking over control of Malaysia since PAP was also contesting against the Malaysian Chinese Association in elections too.

The relationship between the PAP and UMNO was seriously strained and racial riots broke out in Singapore and the Central Government Malaysia. Some extremists in UMNO also wanted Lee to be arrested. Unable to resolve the crisis, the Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman decided to expel Singapore from Malaysia, choosing to “sever all ties with a State Government that showed no measure of loyalty to its Central Government”.

Lee was adamant and tried to work out a compromise, but without success. He was later convinced by Goh Keng Swee that the secession was inevitable. Lee Kuan Yew signed a separation agreement on August 7, 1965, which discussed Singapore’s post-separation relations to Malaysia in order to continue cooperation in areas such as trade relations and mutual defense.

Racial riots followed, there was one incident on Muhammad’s birthday (21 July 1964), near Kallang Gasworks, in which twenty-three were killed and hundreds injured as Chinese and Malays attacked each other. Today, it is still disputed how it started, and theories include a bottle being thrown into a Muslim rally by a Chinese, while others argued that it was started by a Malay. More riots broke out in September 1964, as the rioters looted cars and shops, forcing both Tunku Abdul Rahman and Lee Kuan Yew to make public appearances in order to soothe the situation. The price of food skyrocketed during this period, due to the disruption in transport, which caused further hardship.

The failure of the merger was a heavy blow to Lee who believed that it was crucial for Singapore’s survival. In a televised press conference, he broke down tearfully as he realised he could not take control of the prize he wanted – Malaysia. He said: “For me, it is a moment of anguish. All my life, my whole adult life, I wanted merger and unity of the two territories.”

* Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, nominally headed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (paramount ruler), customarily referred to as the king. The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu in Malay, is the largest political party in Malaysia and a founding member of the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has ruled the country uninterrupted since independence. … Bumiputra (Sanskrit, translated literally, it means sons of the Earth; Malay, translated literally, it means princes of the Earth), sometimes spelled Bumiputera, is an official definition widely used in Malaysia, embracing ethnic Malays as well as other indigenous ethnic groups.

Post-independence administration

Under Lee’s direction, Singapore joined the United Nations (UN) on 21 September 1965, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on 8 August 1967.

Lee made his first official visit to Indonesia in 25 May 1973, after years of the Konfrontasi under Sukarno’s regime. Relations between Singapore and Indonesia substantially improved as subsequent visits were made between Singapore and Indonesia. However, there were some tensions in diplomatic relations in view of the fact that Indonesian-Singaporean business ventures consist of mainly ethnic Indonesian Chinese businessmen, rather than Indigenous Indonesians (pribumi).

* The Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation was at intermittent war over the future of the island of Borneo, between British-backed Malaysia and Indonesia in 1962-1966, when Sukarno Sukarno (June 6, 1901 – June 21, 1970) was the President of Indonesia.

As Singapore has never had a dominant culture to which immigrants could assimilate, nor a common language, together with efforts from the government and ruling party, Lee tried to create a common Singaporean identity in the 1970s and 1980s.

Lee and his government stressed the importance of maintaining religious tolerance and racial harmony, and they were ready to use the law to counter any threat that might incite ethnic and religious violence. For example, Lee warned against “insensitive evangelization”, by which he referred to instances of Christian proselytising directed at Malays. In 1974, the government advised the Bible Society of Singapore to stop publishing religious materials in Malay.

In 1986, Lee went before a Parliamentary Select Committee to introduce the Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill which effectively curtail the Law Society’s power to interfere in government policies.

Until recently when Junior Lee (Prime Minister of Singapore) approved the building of at least two casinos to raise government revenue, Lee has also maintained a personal policy against gambling, although sweepstakes such as “4D” and “Toto” were allowed. In his speech as Minister Mentor, despite a proposal from Stanley Ho to operate a floating casino in Marina Bay, Lee angrily responded: “No, over my dead body!” He was also against the proposal to have Formula One racing in Singapore.

* Stanley Ho (the Westernized form of his name; Ho Hung-sun as his romanized traditional Chinese name, and sometimes Stanley Ho Hung-sun; 何鴻燊; pinyin: Hé Hóngshēn; born November 25, 1921 in Hong Kong) is a famous entrepreneur in Hong Kong and Macau.

Decisions & policies

Lee had three main concerns – national security, the economy, and social issues – during his post-independence administration.

The separation from Malaysia signifies a permanent lost of a common market and an economic hinterland. The economic woes were further exacerbated by the British withdrawal that would eliminate over 50,000 jobs. Although the British government had back out from their earlier commitment to keep their bases till 1975, Lee decided not to strain the relationship with London. He convinced Harold Wilson to allow the substantial military infrastructure (including a dockyard) to be converted for civilian use, instead of destroying them in accordance with British law. Lee sought advice from Dr. Albert Winsemius who became the real architect of Singapore’s economic progress, to set Singapore on the path of industrialization.

In 1961, the Economic Development Board was established to attract foreign investment, offering attractive tax incentives and providing access to the highly skilled, disciplined and relatively low paid work force. At the same time and continue to this day, the government maintained tight control of the economy, regulating the allocation of land, labor and capital resources, in a style akin to Stalinist Communism e.g. a mostly centrally planned economy, few private free-hold ownership of land ( mostly lease-hold ), almost all large companies in the Singapore Stock Exchange are government owned similar to State Enterprises under the Communist System. Modern infrastructure of airport, port, roads, and communications networks were built.

The Singapore Tourist Promotion Board was set up to promote tourism that would created many jobs in the service industry. In building the economy, Lee was assisted by his ablest ministers, especially Goh Keng Swee and Hon Sui Sen. They managed to reduce the unemployment rate from 14 percent in 1965 to 4.5 percent in 1973. But the unemployment rate has been increasing in recent years as Singapore has become the most costly country to live and work in the ASEAN region. Consequently, most multi-nationals have up-rooted themselves and Singapore’s economy slides from crisis to crisis. In order to revive the economy, the government has devalued the Singapore currency by over 30% since 2001 and decided to build at least two casinos to boost tax revenue.

Lee designated English as the language of the civil service and the common language among the different races, while recognizing Malay, Chinese, and Tamil as the other three official languages. He forced all schools to use English as the medium of instruction, although there are also lessons for the mother tongues which are relegated and taught only as a second language. In the 1970s, graduates of the Chinese-language Nanyang University were facing problem finding jobs in the civil service as he disliked their political views, nevertheless many of them did postgraduate studies in UK and US universities for Master and PhD Degrees and were very successful, and in fact, some professors in National University of Singapore are alumni of Nanyang University .

In the 1980’s Lee took the drastic measure to have Nanyang University absorbed by the English-language University of Singapore to suppress any decent to his “No Chinese Language Medium School” policy; the combined institution was renamed the National University of Singapore. This move was also opposed by some Chinese groups who had contributed significantly to the building of Nanyang University and therefore have strong emotional attachment to the school. A number of years later, Nanyang Technology University was established on the same campus as the original Nanyang University and there is now talk of reverting Nanyang Technology University’s name back to Nantah i.e. Nanyang University.

On last count, over 30% of the professors in Science and Technology Faculties in Nanyang Technology University and National University of Singapore are graduates of universities in the People’s Republic of China.

Lee’s destruction of Singapore’s Chinese Medium Education has drastic impact on the population where, even though over 70% of the population is ethic Chinese, their younger generations are poor in reading, writing and understanding the Chinese language and with the rise of China as the world’s economic powerhouse, and with Singapore’s economic future getting more and more influenced and enriched by China’s economy, Singaporeans are finding they are losing out to foreign competitors in doing business in China and in the “China Trade” due to their poor command of the Chinese Language. Consequently there are now a number of private schools which totally use Chinese as an education medium to remedy this problem. Lee now advocates Singaporeans should “Brush up on their Chinese Language because it is essential to earning a living for Singapore!”, a complete total reversal of his “No Chinese Language Medium School” policy.

Like many Asian countries, Singapore was not immune to the disease of corruption. Even Lee has admitted that paying ministers multi-million dollar salaries has not rooted out corruption in Singapore. Lee introduced legislation that give the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CIPB) greater power to conduct arrest, search, calling of witnesses, and investigation of bank accounts and income tax returns of suspected persons and their family. With Lee’s support, CPIB can investigate any officer or minister. Indeed, several ministers were later charged with corruption.

Lee believed that ministers should be well paid in order to maintain a clean and honest government. In 1994, he proposed to link the salaries of ministers, judges, and top civil servants to the salaries of top professionals in the private sector, arguing that this would help recruit and retain talents to serve in the public sector. Singaporeans believed this is purely an excuse to pay ministers multi-million dollar salaries, the highest in the whole world. Whereas if one compares the salaries of ministers in e.g. US, Canada, UK, Australia, they are peanuts compared to Singapore’s ministers’ salaries, yet corruption does not run rife in those countries!

In 1983, Lee sparked the “Great Marriage Debate” when he encouraged Singapore men to choose women with high education as wives. He was concerned that a large number of graduate women were unmarried, and this included his own daughter, who at one time had an Indian lover. Some sections of the population, including graduate women, were upset by his views. Nonetheless, a match-making agency Social Development Unit (SDU) was set up to promote socializing among men and women graduates. Lee also introduced incentives for graduate mothers to have third and fourth children, in a reversal of the over-successful “Stop-at-Two” family planning campaign in the 1960s and 1970s. He believed in eugenics, just like Hitler.

Legacy and controversies

During the decades in which Lee was in office, Singapore grew from a developing country, to a mature economy in decline where the government has to overturn her decades old policy of “No-Casinos” to approving the constructions of at least two casinos to bring in revenues. Lee has often stated that Singapore’s only natural resources are its people and their cheap labor.

He is widely loathed by many Singaporeans, particularly the younger generation, who could not find employment. Many university graduates end up as food hawkers, gardeners and taxi drivers. He has often wrongly been credited as the architect of Singapore’s progress , in which a significant role was also played by his Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Goh Keng Swee, who was in charge of the economy and Dr. Albert Winsemius.

On the other hand, some Singaporeans have criticized Lee as elitist and an autocratic dictator. Lee was once quoted as saying he preferred to be feared than loved. He has implemented some harsh measures to suppress political opposition, such as outlawing free speech and public demonstrations without an explicit police permit, no free-press such as all newspapers and TV stations, even though they are under different banner names, are all published or broadcast by government owned corporations, the use of defamation lawsuits (which, according to his worst critics, have little merit) to bankrupt political opponents.

* Elitism is a belief or attitude that an elite (a selected group of persons whose personal abilities, specialized training or other attributes place them at the top of any field) are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken most seriously.

On one occasion, after a court ruling in favor of Lee was overturned by the Privy Council, the right of appeal to the Council was abolished. He had previously won such cases. During his premiership from 1965 to 1990, he incarcerated Chia Thye Poh, a former MP of an opposition party, the Barisan Socialis, for 32 years under the Internal Security Act for being an alleged member of the Malayan Communist Party, only to be released in 1998.  He abolished the “Trial by Jury” in the courts hence giving full authority to the judges in their judicial decisions.

* The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council is the court of final appeal for the UK overseas territories and Crown dependencies, and for those Commonwealth countries that have retained the appeal to Her Majesty in Council or, in the case of Republics, to the Judicial Committee.

Senior Minister

After leading the PAP in seven elections, Lee stepped down in November 1990 and assumed the post of “Senior Minister”, a post which was created specifically for him, in the Goh Chok Tong cabinet. In August 2004, when Goh Chok Tong stood down in favor of Lee’s son, Lee Hsien Loong, Goh was in turn appointed Senior Minister, and Lee was appointed to the new role of “Minister Mentor” by the new Prime Minister.

Lee subsequently stepped down as the Secretary-General of the PAP and was succeeded by Goh Chok Tong (Chinese: 吴作栋, Hanyu Pinyin: Wú Zuòdòng; born May 20, 1941), was the second Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore from November 26, 1990 to August 12, 2004) in November 1992.

Lee refrained from official dealings with all ASEAN governments, including Malaysia, so as not to cross lines with his successor, Goh Chok Tong. He played a major role, however, with regard to the economy, such as with the agreement of the transfer of public-administration software for the development and management of Suzhou’s Industrial Park where Singapore loss billions, with then Vice-president Li Lanqing on February 26, 1994.

In January 1997, Lee swore in an affidavit that Johor Bahru was “notorious for shootings, muggings and car-jackings”, causing a furor in Malaysia when the case made its way into the press via a defendant who had absconded to Johor. Lee made an unreserved apology, and subsequently removed his statements from official records.

Minister Mentor

On 12 August, 2004, Goh Chok Tong stepped down in favor of Lee’s son, Lee Hsien Loong. Goh became the Senior Minister and Lee Kuan Yew assumed a new cabinet position of Minister Mentor. Lee Hsien Loong (Hanzi: 李显龙/李顯龍; pinyin: Lǐ Xiǎnlóng; born February 10, 1952) is the third Prime Minister of Singapore.

Regarding gambling laws, Lee stated that he was “emotionally and intellectually” against gambling. However, he made no opposition to his son’s proposal to allow casinos in the country, stating: “Having a casino is something the new leaders will have to decide. It will create jobs.”.

Recently, Lee has expressed his concern about the declining proficiency of Mandarin among younger Singaporeans. In one of his parliamentary speeches, He said: “Singaporeans must learn to juggle English and Mandarin”. Subsequently, he launched a television program, 华语!, in January 2005, in an attempt to attract young viewers to learn Mandarin.

In June 2005, Lee published a book, Keeping My Mandarin Alive, documenting his decades of effort to master Mandarin — a language which he said he had to re-learn due to disuse and showing his declining mental ability to keep his Mandarin alive:

“…because I don’t use it so much, therefore it gets disused and there’s language loss. Then I have to revive it. It’s a terrible problem because learning it in adult life, it hasn’t got the same roots in your memory. I speak English all the time, and forgot that I am Chinese.”

In an interview with CCTV on June 12, 2005, Lee stressed the need to have a continuous renewal of talent in the country’s leadership, but nevertheless, he passed the leadership into his son, thus forming what local people called the “Lee Dynasty”.

* China Central Television or Chinese Central Television, or CCTV (Chinese: 中国中央电视台 pinyin: Zhōngguó Zhōngyāng Diànshìtái), is the major broadcast television network in Mainland China.

Lee also said that relations between China and Taiwan have become more stable ever since Beijing passed its controversial anti-secession law aimed at Taipei.


Several members of Lee’s family hold prominent positions in Singaporean society. Lee’s wife Kwa Geok Choo used to be a partner of the prominent legal firm Lee & Lee. His younger brothers, Dennis, Freddy and Suan Yew were partners of Lee & Lee. He also has a younger sister, Monica. Lee’s father, Lee Chin Koon, died on October 12, 1997, at the age of 94, and his mother died in August 1980 at the age of 77. His brother, Dennis, died of cancer on November 14, 2003.

His sons and daughter hold government and government-linked posts. His son Lee Hsien Loong is currently the Prime Minister of Singapore, as well as Vice-Chairman of the Government Investment Company (GIC) of Singapore (Lee is the Chairman.) His daughter Lee Wei Ling runs the National Neurological Institute, and remains unmarried.

Lee’s other son, Lee Hsien Yang was the CEO of privatised telecommunications company SingTel until September 2006 where he was subsequently appointed as the chairman of the restructured Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore or CAAS in July 2009. His daughter-in-law Ho Ching (Lee Hsien Loong’s wife) runs Temasek Holdings, a prominent holding company with controlling stakes in a variety of government-linked companies. However, Lee has consistently denied charges of nepotism, arguing that his family members’ privileged positions are based on personal merit.

* Nepotism means favoring relatives because of their relationship rather than because of their abilities.

Values and beliefs

Lee was one of the leading advocates of Asian values, though his interpretation of Asian values is open to debate and perhaps self-serving. Lee himself never explicitly defined what he meant by “Asian values”, though under him legislation was passed which allowed parents to sue their children if they do not support them financially in their old age as there is no Old Age Pension in Singapore – some people interpret that as his style of “Asian Values”.

In an interview with the Singapore Straits Times, Lee said that he is an agnostic.

*  Agnosticism is the philosophical and theological view that the existence of God, gods or deities is either unknown or inherently unknowable. The term agnosticism and the related agnostic were coined by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1869. As Huxley explains it, agnosticism is not about knowledge at all, because nobody can convince the world that he knows there is a god without producing logically satisfactory evidence of a god. According to Huxley, agnostics are simply those who deny and repudiate any doctrine that there are propositions people ought to believe without logically satisfactory evidence.


Lee has written a two-volume set of memoirs: The Singapore Story (ISBN 0130208035), which covers his view of Singapore’s history until its separation from Malaysia in 1965, and From Third World to First: The Singapore Story (ISBN 0060197764), which gives his account of Singapore’s subsequent transformation to her present condition. Singapore played a relatively minor role in the history of Southeast Asia until 1819, when the Englishman Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founded a British port on the island.

Honorary awards

First Class Order of the Rising Sun, Japan(1967)
C.H. (1970)
G.C.M.G (1972)
Bintang Republik Indonesia Adi Pradana (1973)
Freedom of the City of London (1982)
The Most Honourable Order of the Crown of Johore, First Class (1984)
The Most Esteemed Family Order, DK, Brunei [The Darja Kerabat Laila Utama] (1990)

DisclaimerInformation contained in this article were compiled from Official Sources and the Internet, including but not limited to memoirs of his own writing. The writer-compiler has tried his best to verify that the information contained herein are correct and true to the best available knowledge but copyediting (checking for proper English spelling, grammar, usage, etc.)  may be required and readers are encouraged to contribute actively and highlight any factual inaccuracies for the benefit of all readers.

This is an ever growing piece of article and hardly comprehensive. More information will be added and updated as and when they are verified and checked.


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