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The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew 1st Edition
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In 1976, my Master's thesis in Asian Studies was entitled Lee Kuan Yew, A Political Biography. It covered the period from Lee's birth until 1963, when Singapore became an independent nation.
In my readings of events in Malaysia and Singapore after WW2, it became apparent that two men, Lee Kuan Yew and Tunku Abdul Rahman, represented strikingly different points of view on how the region should develop. Lee was the assertive representative of the Chinese majority in Singapore (and would-be spokesman of all Straits Chinese). Rahman was a traditional Malay prince and Malaysian prime minister who held very conservative views based on the primacy of the bumiputra, the ethnic Malay minority in its own land. He could not afford to allow Lee to build up Chinese political power on the Malay mainland.
My thesis was simply that Lee Kuan yew came to hold a specific vision of what Singapore should be. When it became clear that his vision could not be realized as a part of Malaysia, there came the split which created the tiny island nation. I based my extensive readings and research mostly upon secondary sources, including writings by Alex Josey and others who worked closely with Lee. I also read Lee's collected speeches and other primary material, as much as was available.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mr. lee's first volume showed that I had been credibly accurate in my conclusions about what and how he did to create Singapore.Read more ›
LKY is one of the most amazing statespersons this century and is certainly one with incredible political skill - Singapore couldn't be half the country it is today without him. To have coexisted with communists in his party for 10 years and to still have kept his integrity took an inordinate amount of personal character - a strength which has served Singapore enormously well.
However, one complaint I have is that Mr. Lee does not provide a lot of personal insight into what drove him in the battle for Singapore - nowhere in the book does he talk about how or why his love for a free Singapore became so strong, and there is not a lot of insight into the source of his own strengths (of which there are many) and weaknesses (of which he has a few). He seems to have picked up views early on which have never lessened, even as times have changed - for example, he admits that he learned the importance of strong penalties for crimes from his experiences during the Japanese occupation in World War II, yet 50 years on Singapore is the country in the world with the highest number of executions per capita, even more than China - is it really still as important for the country to be as authoritarian now as the Japanese were in wartime?
Also, although Mr.Read more ›
This book is the first in a 2 volume set covering the years from LKY's childhood to 1965, when Singapore was expelled from the Malaysian federation. The book is structured chronologically, thereby giving a very coherent narrative of the years in question. In contrast the 2nd volume of the set is organized into "thematic discussions" from which the reader must piece together the exact sequence of events. The second volume reads a bit like a political testament and will not surprise anyone already knowledgeable about modern Singapore and LKY's many pronouncements. Personally I find this volume to be more interesting because of the many insights that it provided into LKY's mind.
LKY's prose is much like the man himself - factual, direct, sometimes witty, always to the point. Eloquent rhetoric is not his forte, and his lawyerly obsession with details can be tedious at times. One also wishes that Mr Lee had been more reflective on his personal motivations and beliefs, or at least provided more analytical insights into the events and people that he described.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What an amazingly book with insights of the years leading to Independence. Coming from a leader of such standing and strong personality, this book is surprisingly personal.Published 2 days ago
An honest explanation of the years during which Lee Kuan Yew was forming the modern Singapore. His methods and attitudes were coloured by the times and threats which he faced. Read morePublished 5 days ago by lord farrow
Easy read ... Great insight on Singapore and lot of lessons can be taken and used in our days todayPublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Lee Kuan Yew was a political giant who took Singapore from a poor colonial backwater surrounded by hostile neighbors to a wealthy modern city state. Read morePublished 2 months ago by A. Cundell
A clear narrative of how modern Singapore was created by one determined and focused man. He puts into perspective a lifetime of effort to create a country that is a marvel of... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Shamal Boteju
Highly recommended if you are interested in Singapore's arrival in the global village of nations. Lee Kuan Yew was a shrewd politician and this account is well worth the read. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Alan B. Scholl
One of the most incredible stories from one of the worlds clearest minds! This book gives you an incredible lens from which to view the world while giving you in depth knowledge on... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Casey Dobiesz
The history of Singapore unravels before my eyes. Proud to be a Singaporean. Thank you Mr Lee Kuan Yew.Published 6 months ago by Winnie N.
An excellent and interesting book. I really enjoyed reading about this man's persistence to make Singapore a great country. PGPublished 6 months ago by PG