- Hardcover: 680 pages
- Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1st edition (October 14, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0130208035
- ISBN-13: 978-0130208033
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 90 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,745,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
This book is being positively reviewed by Asiaweek Magazine, Newsweek, and National Interest Magazine.
From the Back Cover
Visionary? Authoritarian? Model for the West? Lee Kuan Yew, the long-time leader of Singapore, has been called all these things, and more. In these vivid memoirs, Lee takes a profoundly personal look back at the events that led to Singapore's independence and shaped its struggle for success. And, as always, he lets the chips fall where they may.In intimate detail, Lee recounts Singapore's unforgettable history. You'll be with Lee as he leads striking unionists against the colonial government; shares tea and rounds of golf with key players in Britain and Malaya; and drinks warm Anchor beer with leaders of the communist underground at secret midnight meetings. From British colonial rule through Japanese occupation in World War II, Communist insurrection, riots, independence -- and the struggles that followed -- few political memoirs anywhere have been this blunt, or this fascinating.Anyone interested in the political history of Singapore, Asia, and the modern world.
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By the time I returned in the mid 1980s, the difference in governing styles & policies were much more evident & the repercussions, palpable. The "connection" between the southern Malaysia & Singapore became more inconvenient & less close, the attitudes of the Singaporeans felt more elitist, regardless of race. I worked both in Singapore and the Malaysian capital; the latter was where I personally felt the racial prejudice against professional advancement.
Reading this book clarified numerous age-old questions of "How come ...?" I wish my father was alive to read this book and discuss his experiences with me now. He too witnessed many Japanese war atrocities, and it particularly horrified him because he was of Japanese descent. Before the Singaporean independence, they did not think it would be a significant consequence where they lived, other than that he had a stable job and home in Johor. It was much later, seeing how the governmental policies limited the life & growth of the Chinese in Malaysia, that I felt he had better foresight to choose his citizenship.
This is a book I will re-read in the future. It does stimulate much thought of how leaders of countries have their individual biases, value systems and perceptions of what is real & imagined. And how their "leadership" affects the millions of lives and generations to come.
At the beginning of the book there’s this anecdote about why LKY chooses Choo, who is couple of years older than him to be his wife. He explains it to her along these lines: “I don’t want to look after someone. I want someone who can look after herself”. This was when he was as in early 20s. He goes against tradition (or her parents) in marrying her in secret, but has the good sense to keep it secret for years when they again get married. Sort of sums up this whole book. Doing things by the book, yet against it. And achieving something beautiful.
While some may argue that his government is not the totally free 'democratic' government of the idealists, it is difficult to argue the safety, security, economic progress and prosperity Singapore has enjoyed in the relatively short time of it's existence; and almost all due to the efforts and vision of one individual.