The Online Citizen

A review of MM Lee Kuan Yew’s new book: “One Man’s View of the World”

August 08
11:03 2013

Choo Zheng Xi/Consultant Editor

Before you read Mr Lee’s new book, keep in mind what the book holds itself out to be.

It’s “One Man’s View of the World”, no longer the infallible utterances of the primus inter pares of Singapore politics.

The book has got much of Mr Lee’s pugnaciousness, only marginally tempered by age and fatalism. It’s got plenty of howlers, and a fair bit of insight. It’s pretty human.

If you try to enjoy it as it is and don’t take it too seriously, you’ll find it pretty good reading for the long National Day weekend.

Abroad

Mr Lee never minced his words when he was in power, and he’s even less restrained in the book.

Commenting on China’s struggles with official corruption, he highlights a New York Times story that suggests ex-Premier Wen Jiabao’s family has stashed US$2.7 billion worth of assets around the world.

Scattered through his book ares observations that could be critcized for being dangerously illogical. Of George W Bush, Mr Lee says:

“When you are fighting a fanatic on the other side who believes he represents God, it does help to give you a serenity and a tranquility of mind to believe you also have God on your side. When Bush Junior announced that he had ordered an attack on Baghdad, I never saw a man more composed. He spoke briefly into the microphone and walked away, straight-backed, not a doubt in his mind. I thought to myself: “That’s not a bad commander””.

At turns he conveniently glosses over off-the-mark analyses he tries to post facto rationalize.

Of Burma opening up (and, notably, he chooses to refer to the country as “Burma” despite his interviewer asking him about his views on Myanmar), Mr Lee says:

“They decided it was not possible to carry on because they will eventually collapse. But the North Koreans are of a different culture and type. You do not see Burmese generals with their sarongs and headdress looking as brutal and resolute. It is a different people altogether”.

It’s almost as if he never said, about 3 years ago, that the Burmese generals were “obtuse” and negotiating with them was like “talking to dead people”.

His description of Chinese leader Xi Jinping is tin-eared at best, and completely quixotic at worst:

“Consider further the trials and tribulations that he has been through, having been rusticated as a young man, sent to Sha’anxi province in 1969, but working his way slowly back up, never complaining, never grumbling. I would put him in the Nelson Mandela class of persons”.

But, most of this is really all vintage Mr Lee and more entertaining than alarming or illuminating.

At home

Domestically, he launches broadsides at all and sundry, from those on the opposition benches like Chen Show Mao to members of the People’s Action Party.

When asked a question about racial tensions in Europe, he rather unnecesarily (and extensively) highlights the fact that Mr Goh Chok Tong’s daughter has migrated:

“Goh Chok Tong’s daughter married an Englishman and lives near Bradford. He visits his grandchildren who look more Caucasian than Chinese. He tells me they get along with their neighbours. But that’s because they are middle class”.

And Mr Lee obstinately refuses to budge on policy mistakes he may have made in the past, almost as if two wrongs could make a right.

On the eradication of dialects, he notes his strong objections to a Cabinet proposal for its re-introduction in the media:

“A suggestion was made: “Mandarin is well-established among the population now. Let us go back to dialects so the old can enjoy dramas”. I objected, pointing out that I had, as prime minister, paid a heavy price getting the dialect programmes suppressed and encouraging people to speak Mandarin. So why backtrack? I had antagonised an entire generation of Chinese, who found their favourite dialect programmes cut off. There was one very good narrator of stories called Lee Dai Sor on Rediffusion, and we just switched off his show. Why should I allow Cantonese or Hokkien to infect the next generation? If you bring it back, you will find portions of the older generation beginning to speak in dialects to their children and grandchildren”.

More tellingly, the book doesn’t even speak of or attempt to explain his more gratuitous mistakes like the detention without trial of detainees like Chia Thy Poh and the late Dr Lim Hock Siew and Poh Soo Kai. He also doesn’t speak of his more recent bete noirs whom he went out of his way to crush: JB Jeyaretnam, Dr Chee Soon Juan, the Marxist detainees of 1987 and the alleged euro-communists of the 70s.

So, don’t read the book if you’re expecting contrition or insight into many of the most controversial decisions Mr Lee’s had to make in the course of his political career.

Don’t read it if you’re looking for accurate crystal-gazing into how geopolitics will unfold, or even an up-to-date analysis of what geopolitics today looks like.

It’s not, and it doesn’t pretend to be.

With Himself

The book didn’t help me forgive the man his foibles (although, I wouldn’t dare to pretend forgiveness was mine to give). But it at least helped me understand some of his neuroses.

It’s Mr Lee speaking about himself that’s almost worth the price of the book, the peek into the psyche of a very decisive (and divisive) man that will inform the critiques of him for years to come.

What I found most remarkable (and, almost touching in its obstinacy) was the unyielding, almost inhuman pragmatism of the man.

When asked about the afterlife, he recalls the stoicism of his old friend Hon Sui Sen as his priest administered the Catholic rites to him before he passed on.

But Mr Lee doesn’t believe in the afterlife, and refused to just because it might give him comfort:

“I wish I can meet my wife in the hereafter, but I don’t think I will. I just cease to exist just as she has ceased to exist – otherwise the other world would be overpopulated. Is heaven such a large and limitless space that you can keep all the peoples of the world over the thousands of years past? I have a large question mark on that”.

When pressed by his interviewer on whether he held out a glimmer of hope of seeing his wife in the afterlife, because it is human to hope for life after death, he is resolute:

“No, it goes against logic. Supposing we all have a life after death, where is that place?”

In the twilight of his years, the one thing detractors and proponents alike would agree on is that Mr Lee will, for better or for worse, be defined by the hyper-pragmatism that he lived and will eventually die by.

In an era of pandering politicians, and decades after the worst excesses of his reign are starting to fade like the bad dreams of a new and hopeful electorate, one is almost tempted to call his perspective refreshing.

My favourite passage of the book, that I think best captures where Mr Lee is in life now, is a rambling rumination on solitude and loneliness. It doesn’t seem to mean very much, but it’s almost poetic:

“Q: Are you afflicted by loneliness sometimes?

A: You have to distinguish between loneliness and solitude. I had a friend who was one of the brightest students in Cambridge. He is dead now. His name was Percy Cradock. He had a wife who was Danish and had diabetes. She had lost two legs. Percy used to say: “I enjoy my solitude.” And I said: Get hold of the computer and go on Google. You can get all the poems that you have read and enjoyed, purple passages from works of literature. You just type in the keywords. It will come out.” And he did.”

The old adage is that you campaign in poetry and you govern in prose. Mr Lee’s book might suggest that politicians should retire in a surfeit of nostalgia, chutzpah and a dash of lyricism. Lap it up and enjoy it for what it is.

 
  • Big Daddy

    Terrible review. Your criticisms are hardly damning.

    • shaun

      Indeed, a terrible and clearly biased review

  • Big Daddy

    Terrible review. Your criticisms are hardly damning.

    • shaun

      Indeed, a terrible and clearly biased review

  • Reasonable Voter

    A very bad review about the father of modern Singapore.

    • objective

      who else do u regard as your father?

    • nelsonmandala

      he is a very bad bad FATHER for singapooriums..only his true decendants benefit..no outsiders can even come close

  • Reasonable Voter

    A very bad review about the father of modern Singapore.

    • objective

      who else do u regard as your father?

    • nelsonmandala

      he is a very bad bad FATHER for singapooriums..only his true decendants benefit..no outsiders can even come close

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1055452052 Adeline Lee

    I like the last paragraph.

    • Woon Chin Yeong

      Me too. Nice and pleasant. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1055452052 Adeline Lee

    I like the last paragraph.

    • Woon Chin Yeong

      Me too. Nice and pleasant. :)

  • poynious

    As usually, quality of this writing/article is damningly poor for a supposedly lawyer. Try growing out of this thrashy writing style.

    • huatthefish

      You mean “trashy” don’t you?
      Mebbe you should grow out of your bad English. Product of LKY’s bi-lingual policy which has produced several generations of bi-lingually illeterate people

      • MaiKayPoh

        Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. Gaaaaaah… What is misspelled? Even though I agree with you in principle, you’ve got to stop shooting yourself in the proverbial foot…

  • poynious

    As usually, quality of this writing/article is damningly poor for a supposedly lawyer. Try growing out of this thrashy writing style.

    • huatthefish

      You mean “trashy” don’t you?
      Mebbe you should grow out of your bad English. Product of LKY’s bi-lingual policy which has produced several generations of bi-lingually illeterate people

      • MaiKayPoh

        Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. Gaaaaaah… What is misspelled? Even though I agree with you in principle, you’ve got to stop shooting yourself in the proverbial foot…

  • silentmajority67

    This is not a review. It is simply a smear.
    Singapore is where it is now , simply for the wisdom and far sightedness of the this man.
    I salute to LKY, the father of Singapore.

    • James

      You’ve got to be kidding! Which fairy tales do you read these from?

    • Samm

      Agreed. Just look at our economic growth, our dollar against the US, HK, and how it has grown over the years, look at our welfare and healthcare system. If we didn’t separate in 1965, we would not have progressed this far.

  • silentmajority67

    This is not a review. It is simply a smear.
    Singapore is where it is now , simply for the wisdom and far sightedness of the this man.
    I salute to LKY, the father of Singapore.

    • James

      You’ve got to be kidding! Which fairy tales do you read these from?

    • Samm

      Agreed. Just look at our economic growth, our dollar against the US, HK, and how it has grown over the years, look at our welfare and healthcare system. If we didn’t separate in 1965, we would not have progressed this far.

  • steve

    Although I do not agree with some of LKY’s policies & opinions in the book, this is indeed a good read. It provides insights to how he views the world and offers a glimpse of what lies ahead in the global scheme of things esp China, America and our neighbours.

    I am not a fan of PAP but lets give LKY credit, at least he brought us from 3rd to 1st world.

    • huatthefish

      First world?

      • Adrian

        Yes. First World.

    • James

      The concept of 3rd world to first is a mere fallacy. Go read history of Singapore. We were already a thriving metropolis BEFORE he came in to usurp Lim Chin Siong, plotted with the British to imprison the Barisan Socialis members so he can seize power. How come his latest book mentions none of these treacherous things he did with his empress dowager???

      • jon

        He answered those questions a long time ago. The Crucial Years, The Men i White etc.

        He is now answering the more recent questions.

      • Doesntmakesense

        why is the concept of a third world a fallacy? what is fallacious about it? we were already thriving metropolis? we were struggling and poor, not to mention small and undefended.

  • steve

    Although I do not agree with some of LKY’s policies & opinions in the book, this is indeed a good read. It provides insights to how he views the world and offers a glimpse of what lies ahead in the global scheme of things esp China, America and our neighbours.

    I am not a fan of PAP but lets give LKY credit, at least he brought us from 3rd to 1st world.

    • huatthefish

      First world?

      • Adrian

        Yes. First World.

    • James

      The concept of 3rd world to first is a mere fallacy. Go read history of Singapore. We were already a thriving metropolis BEFORE he came in to usurp Lim Chin Siong, plotted with the British to imprison the Barisan Socialis members so he can seize power. How come his latest book mentions none of these treacherous things he did with his empress dowager???

      • jon

        He answered those questions a long time ago. The Crucial Years, The Men i White etc.

        He is now answering the more recent questions.

      • Doesntmakesense

        why is the concept of a third world a fallacy? what is fallacious about it? we were already thriving metropolis? we were struggling and poor, not to mention small and undefended.

  • Ex-LKY Fan

    Good review. I had respected LKY, but not anymore. Still I would give him and his cabinet (Goh keng Swee, S Rajaratnam, EW Barker etc) credit for bringing us to where it is.

  • Ex-LKY Fan

    Good review. I had respected LKY, but not anymore. Still I would give him and his cabinet (Goh keng Swee, S Rajaratnam, EW Barker etc) credit for bringing us to where it is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/George-Lam/100002339148281 George Lam

    “I objected, pointing out that I had, as prime minister, paid a heavy
    price getting the dialect programmes suppressed and encouraging people
    to speak Mandarin. So why backtrack?”

    That is indeed LKY’s fundamental flaw as leader and decision maker. No U-turn simply because he could lose face! So the two principal damages he had inflicted on the people of Singapore – the Stop At Two Policy and Ethnicity cleansing of Chinese Singaporeans – stay, simply because the old man’s face comes before everyone and everything. No backtrack even as the grim legacies of these two policies continues even now to wreak havoc on Singapore and Singaporeans.

    Remind me of the story of the Chinese Emperor who ordered the legs of a farmer to be chopped off and brought to him merely for him to verify what his favourite concubine told him about how the farmer’s leg would be affected by continuous immersion in water as he work his rice field.

    • Adrian

      “No U-turn simply because he could lose face.” perhaps, but you did not defend your assertion. In any case, whether certain policies are good, or bad, is not settled. I for one, am a grateful beneficiary of the speak Mandarin Programme.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/George-Lam/100002339148281 George Lam

    “I objected, pointing out that I had, as prime minister, paid a heavy
    price getting the dialect programmes suppressed and encouraging people
    to speak Mandarin. So why backtrack?”

    That is indeed LKY’s fundamental flaw as leader and decision maker. No U-turn simply because he could lose face! So the two principal damages he had inflicted on the people of Singapore – the Stop At Two Policy and Ethnicity cleansing of Chinese Singaporeans – stay, simply because the old man’s face comes before everyone and everything. No backtrack even as the grim legacies of these two policies continues even now to wreak havoc on Singapore and Singaporeans.

    Remind me of the story of the Chinese Emperor who ordered the legs of a farmer to be chopped off and brought to him merely for him to verify what his favourite concubine told him about how the farmer’s leg would be affected by continuous immersion in water as he work his rice field.

    • Adrian

      “No U-turn simply because he could lose face.” perhaps, but you did not defend your assertion. In any case, whether certain policies are good, or bad, is not settled. I for one, am a grateful beneficiary of the speak Mandarin Programme.

  • rockabyebaby

    To @e621b0bdb1d02849bde847fc26ed7f77:disqus silentmajority67 • a day ago

    “This is not a review. It is simply a smear.

    Singapore is where it is now , simply for the
    wisdom and far sightedness of the this man.

    I salute to LKY, the father of Singapore.”

    And so as Lee Kuan Yew apparent psychosis mentality defined
    by Oxford as being “Severely mental derangement affecting the whole personality” has also affected you. You got cavemen hunting the hunted mentality too like him. Know he said that “Big fish eat small fish”? You seen the poor, the really poor in Sg in many parts of HDB heartlands? Only 700 Sq Km and LKY & kongsi don’t know? YOU got no heart to like him right! Know he said only to a foreign correspondent that, “and now we can’t even see our poor as they are all in our housing”! LKY don’t know what went wrong in what he and company been doing?

    And so your worship him till he is now your maternal father? The one and only who built Singapore? And can also build any other country
    too. Countries with terrain so varied needing more energy to build nd live in, with natural disasters like in Sze Chuan China, Indonesian Sumatra with tsunami? Japan too! No credit to late Dr. Goh Keng Swee & company Old Guards at all. Whose idea built Jurong Industrial Estate” The defence SAF? Payar Lebar and also Changi Airport? LKY went against Ong Teng Cheong on these and MRT system too. You
    know and only using your left logic brain lie him too! Right lobe non-functional So, frontal processing lobe also ineffective! Still asleep or have you been drugged like former CV Devan Nair was and almost got destroyed?

    Sg got any natural disasters or not? NONE! Take away our God given natural deep harbour w/o any silting by a high mountain river running into it too and can your “glorious” Lee Con U build Sg too? Sir Stamford Raffles instituted ENTREPORT TRADE due to Sg Natural Deep Harbour AND it strategic geographical location such that all shipping must go through Sg to refuel and tranship between east & west trading! You KNOW these things. Sg was founded in 1819 and before1959 when LKY became Pm under the Brits.. SG WAS ALREADY A THRIVING Entreport! You KNOW BETTER? at 45 yrs old?

    Now respond to us and prove your knowledge and your father & father of sg too is better at TRUTH of Sg’s real history. You’ve BEEN taken for a psychosis psychic ride and don’t even know it!

  • rockabyebaby

    To @e621b0bdb1d02849bde847fc26ed7f77:disqus silentmajority67 • a day ago

    “This is not a review. It is simply a smear.

    Singapore is where it is now , simply for the
    wisdom and far sightedness of the this man.

    I salute to LKY, the father of Singapore.”

    And so as Lee Kuan Yew apparent psychosis mentality defined
    by Oxford as being “Severely mental derangement affecting the whole personality” has also affected you. You got cavemen hunting the hunted mentality too like him. Know he said that “Big fish eat small fish”? You seen the poor, the really poor in Sg in many parts of HDB heartlands? Only 700 Sq Km and LKY & kongsi don’t know? YOU got no heart to like him right! Know he said only to a foreign correspondent that, “and now we can’t even see our poor as they are all in our housing”! LKY don’t know what went wrong in what he and company been doing?

    And so your worship him till he is now your maternal father? The one and only who built Singapore? And can also build any other country
    too. Countries with terrain so varied needing more energy to build nd live in, with natural disasters like in Sze Chuan China, Indonesian Sumatra with tsunami? Japan too! No credit to late Dr. Goh Keng Swee & company Old Guards at all. Whose idea built Jurong Industrial Estate” The defence SAF? Payar Lebar and also Changi Airport? LKY went against Ong Teng Cheong on these and MRT system too. You
    know and only using your left logic brain lie him too! Right lobe non-functional So, frontal processing lobe also ineffective! Still asleep or have you been drugged like former CV Devan Nair was and almost got destroyed?

    Sg got any natural disasters or not? NONE! Take away our God given natural deep harbour w/o any silting by a high mountain river running into it too and can your “glorious” Lee Con U build Sg too? Sir Stamford Raffles instituted ENTREPORT TRADE due to Sg Natural Deep Harbour AND it strategic geographical location such that all shipping must go through Sg to refuel and tranship between east & west trading! You KNOW these things. Sg was founded in 1819 and before1959 when LKY became Pm under the Brits.. SG WAS ALREADY A THRIVING Entreport! You KNOW BETTER? at 45 yrs old?

    Now respond to us and prove your knowledge and your father & father of sg too is better at TRUTH of Sg’s real history. You’ve BEEN taken for a psychosis psychic ride and don’t even know it!

  • rockabyebaby

    As the wisdom saying goes,”The proof of the pudding is in the eating”.

    Hie son he made PM has dug into our reserves 20+32 times. You not retired chaps’ CPF OA Minimum Sums is capped at $138,00 the last I read of. CPF contribution is still capped at $5,000 salary! HBD flats are from 3-rm closer to $300,000 to a BTO class at latest at $800,000! GO WORK OUT YOUR SUMS! Even Han fook Kwang the ST editor-in-chief recently wrote that CPF for retirement even for the high earners not enough. And that’s coming from a high flyer under LKYism wings whose remunerations can afford him a comfortable retirement indeed. He should have properties for retirement income etc too. So what’s his point? His point is that for those income hovering not much above $5,000 won’t have enough in the OA for retirement at even 65 to live comfortably w/o worry till 80 and beyond! And that’s coming from a gagged time right! No? Now I add for your knowing for your denials by quoting Lee CON U’s own words and actions done no need to deny. see if can see, let alone for the vulgarity extreme slant deliver in 1956, 3 years before he became PM under British rule in 1959!:

    “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.”
    - Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

    “…you attack only those whom your Special Branch can definitely say are communists. Then you attack those whom your Special Branch says are aiding communists. Then finally, when you have gone that far, you attack all who oppose you.” – Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

    Can you love him now? If you all still can, including Steve etc, Woes betide you all beyond death on earth! You will have many like minded ones for painful company cursing and swearing to externity! All this are hear says. It comes soon enough. We Christian have seen thing in the spiritual realms beyond the physical world you all only know! Watch out! Because that beyond OUCH will be your last to reget FOREVER. So it better to:

    “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so
    that you shall gain easily what others have laboured hard for.” – Socrates

    Know that every self-righteous person in them all:

    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb
    a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – Albert
    Einstein

    JOSEPH FRANKLIN RUTHERFORD :
    “False riches, consisting of money, houses and lands, acquired by selfish means at cost to others and thereafter used selfishly, are almost always used for the oppression of other persons.”

    Thus:
    GEORGE MCGOVERN:
    “The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one’s country deep enough to call her to a higher plain.”

    FRANK LAUTENBERG :
    “One thing I have learned in my time in politics is that if one of the parties is shameless, the other party cannot afford to be spineless.”

    • Adrian

      We all have the same gripes. But at least, tell us how it should have been and how it could have been better and convince us that LKY/LHL’s policies suck on that basis. Look at countries all around the world. Do families own properties in those countries? I tell you they don’t but I suspect you still think you that the government owes you a house. I strongly urge you do more research, take up a comparative analysis, and to consider a more rational basis for you assertions.

  • rockabyebaby

    As the wisdom saying goes,”The proof of the pudding is in the eating”.

    Hie son he made PM has dug into our reserves 20+32 times. You not retired chaps’ CPF OA Minimum Sums is capped at $138,00 the last I read of. CPF contribution is still capped at $5,000 salary! HBD flats are from 3-rm closer to $300,000 to a BTO class at latest at $800,000! GO WORK OUT YOUR SUMS! Even Han fook Kwang the ST editor-in-chief recently wrote that CPF for retirement even for the high earners not enough. And that’s coming from a high flyer under LKYism wings whose remunerations can afford him a comfortable retirement indeed. He should have properties for retirement income etc too. So what’s his point? His point is that for those income hovering not much above $5,000 won’t have enough in the OA for retirement at even 65 to live comfortably w/o worry till 80 and beyond! And that’s coming from a gagged time right! No? Now I add for your knowing for your denials by quoting Lee CON U’s own words and actions done no need to deny. see if can see, let alone for the vulgarity extreme slant deliver in 1956, 3 years before he became PM under British rule in 1959!:

    “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.”
    - Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

    “…you attack only those whom your Special Branch can definitely say are communists. Then you attack those whom your Special Branch says are aiding communists. Then finally, when you have gone that far, you attack all who oppose you.” – Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

    Can you love him now? If you all still can, including Steve etc, Woes betide you all beyond death on earth! You will have many like minded ones for painful company cursing and swearing to externity! All this are hear says. It comes soon enough. We Christian have seen thing in the spiritual realms beyond the physical world you all only know! Watch out! Because that beyond OUCH will be your last to reget FOREVER. So it better to:

    “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings, so
    that you shall gain easily what others have laboured hard for.” – Socrates

    Know that every self-righteous person in them all:

    “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb
    a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – Albert
    Einstein

    JOSEPH FRANKLIN RUTHERFORD :
    “False riches, consisting of money, houses and lands, acquired by selfish means at cost to others and thereafter used selfishly, are almost always used for the oppression of other persons.”

    Thus:
    GEORGE MCGOVERN:
    “The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one’s country deep enough to call her to a higher plain.”

    FRANK LAUTENBERG :
    “One thing I have learned in my time in politics is that if one of the parties is shameless, the other party cannot afford to be spineless.”

    • Adrian

      We all have the same gripes. But at least, tell us how it should have been and how it could have been better and convince us that LKY/LHL’s policies suck on that basis. Look at countries all around the world. Do families own properties in those countries? I tell you they don’t but I suspect you still think you that the government owes you a house. I strongly urge you do more research, take up a comparative analysis, and to consider a more rational basis for you assertions.

  • commentor

    Singapore is the only ASEAN country that is a developed country. Others are still working hard to get the developed status. Spore ought to give LKY credit for this.

    • Noob

      Actually, no. Singapore self-identifies as a developing country at various international fora, such as at the WTO and the UN. We are part of the Small Island Developing States grouping at the UN, for example. However this stands in contrast to our high rank on the UNDP’s Human Development Index. The difference is that the UNDP’s HDI is an externally-administered score, not a self-identified status.

    • rockabyebaby

      Is your view itself that of a truly developed mind made apart from that of animals brains? do wonder for your own good. There only 3 types of knowledge:

      Dont know what one doesn’t know – DEAD END
      Know what one don’t know – Got hope if one seeks to find and learn until the kind that..
      KNOWS!

  • commentor

    Singapore is the only ASEAN country that is a developed country. Others are still working hard to get the developed status. Spore ought to give LKY credit for this.

    • Noob

      Actually, no. Singapore self-identifies as a developing country at various international fora, such as at the WTO and the UN. We are part of the Small Island Developing States grouping at the UN, for example. However this stands in contrast to our high rank on the UNDP’s Human Development Index. The difference is that the UNDP’s HDI is an externally-administered score, not a self-identified status.

    • rockabyebaby

      Is your view itself that of a truly developed mind made apart from that of animals brains? do wonder for your own good. There only 3 types of knowledge:

      Dont know what one doesn’t know – DEAD END
      Know what one don’t know – Got hope if one seeks to find and learn until the kind that..
      KNOWS!

  • rockabyebaby

    @commentor • an hour ago
    Singapore is the only ASEAN
    country that is a developed country. Others are still working hard to
    get the developed status. Spore ought to give LKY credit for this.

    You posted a full hour after mine postings. did you even read and digest. Only he did it hah? Dr. Goh Keng Swee has the ideas and even did the detailings. he even sat with our then SAF men and had the same lunchs they ate. Know of LKY ever mingling among Singaporeans? Go read my comments in other TOC article on Looking back at history of how our values evolved on foreign workforce | The Online Citizen

    And then if you are still an adament and hardcore smittened admirer of his, I can only say that you can only view things skin deep. Sg’s smallness is exctly our advantage and not disadvantage as he love to cry wolf about it! It is exactly that Sg has only one “mountain” call Bukit Timah Hil at 177 metre or 581 ft plus a geographical locate deep harbour that astute Sir Stamford Raffles got knighted for his vision on Sg best positioned for entreport trade. We forom the British govt aided schoolls know better and can thin out of the box as well as the books. Your minds are trapped by LKY’s later school in his cirriculums to not developing your minds to step out out his bintrap!

    • shaun

      Singapore’s size is both an advantage and disadvantage, excluding one or the other is naive. We are small and thus easier to manage, however, economically our size is a serious disadvantage as the our domestic market is simply too small relative to other nations, in addition, we are reliant on others for resources which is in itself risky.

  • rockabyebaby

    @commentor • an hour ago
    Singapore is the only ASEAN
    country that is a developed country. Others are still working hard to
    get the developed status. Spore ought to give LKY credit for this.

    You posted a full hour after mine postings. did you even read and digest. Only he did it hah? Dr. Goh Keng Swee has the ideas and even did the detailings. he even sat with our then SAF men and had the same lunchs they ate. Know of LKY ever mingling among Singaporeans? Go read my comments in other TOC article on Looking back at history of how our values evolved on foreign workforce | The Online Citizen

    And then if you are still an adament and hardcore smittened admirer of his, I can only say that you can only view things skin deep. Sg’s smallness is exctly our advantage and not disadvantage as he love to cry wolf about it! It is exactly that Sg has only one “mountain” call Bukit Timah Hil at 177 metre or 581 ft plus a geographical locate deep harbour that astute Sir Stamford Raffles got knighted for his vision on Sg best positioned for entreport trade. We forom the British govt aided schoolls know better and can thin out of the box as well as the books. Your minds are trapped by LKY’s later school in his cirriculums to not developing your minds to step out out his bintrap!

    • shaun

      Singapore’s size is both an advantage and disadvantage, excluding one or the other is naive. We are small and thus easier to manage, however, economically our size is a serious disadvantage as the our domestic market is simply too small relative to other nations, in addition, we are reliant on others for resources which is in itself risky.

  • ThisIsNitpickingNotReviewing

    Please don’t call this essay a “review” if it was actually a fault-finding exercise. Yes, we get it, you have a spectacular vocabulary and you don’t like LKY. Unfortunately, this “review” got old after the first 4 paras or so. Very little was said about LKY’s actual opinions, which I am certain made up the bulk of the book. Instead the author chose to harp on cherry-picked minutiae to bolster his weak and one-sided argument. Lame.

    I haven’t read the book, but I do intend to. And not because it’s ridiculous and entertaining, but because I think it will be candid and frank.

    • rockabyebaby

      Candid and frank about WHAT? Working and struggling in old age with aches and pains in body joints and parts at $4 or less AN HOUR? YOU MUST be either too well off, an accomplice that sucks fellowmen at their expense and saying that it is alright! Woes betide you the day death knocks on your soul’s door. It comes soon enough!

      “The love for money is the root of ALL evil”! And he got mercilessly beaten,nialed with rusty nail onto a cross and hung in the elements to die for teaching us goodness, His side was even speared by a Roamn soldier. Perhaps that soldier was being good to hasten his dying and lessen his suffering in dying for all inhuman mankind’s cruelty. ManKind are we?

      Are we are not more like animals in The Law of the jungle where weaker ones are gored and eaten by storger predators! Are we not the same? Only by different ways and means? Yet we are superior in brain power to animals. And doesn’t make use knowingly WORSE THAN animals that kill by instinct? You id say “candid and frank”. That proves your superior brain over animals but yet most behaving like animal predators! No Heaven and HELL? Think again and go see Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of Christ”. I cried through out. I cry each time a see the plain cross in church and anywhere! Who in Sg fits these wisdom quote of the past best?:

      “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb
      a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – Albert
      Einstein

      “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” – Harvey Dent from the Batman movie “The
      Dark Knight”

      “It is not the problem that is the issue, but rather it is the attitude attending to the problem. That is the problem.”

      - SonicStar 3.6 Mach Speed Supersonic jet plane for 2021!

      “A truth that is told with bad intent, Beats all the lies you can invent” – William Blake

      “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.” – Albert Einstein

      “We create an environment where it is alright to hate, to steal, to cheat, and to lie if we dress it up with symbols of respectability, dignity and love.” — Whitney Moore, Jr.

      “A man should be upright, not be kept upright.”
      - Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius

      “Justice must not only be done. It must manifestly be seen to be done” – Lord Chief Justice Hewart.

      “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

  • ThisIsNitpickingNotReviewing

    Please don’t call this essay a “review” if it was actually a fault-finding exercise. Yes, we get it, you have a spectacular vocabulary and you don’t like LKY. Unfortunately, this “review” got old after the first 4 paras or so. Very little was said about LKY’s actual opinions, which I am certain made up the bulk of the book. Instead the author chose to harp on cherry-picked minutiae to bolster his weak and one-sided argument. Lame.

    I haven’t read the book, but I do intend to. And not because it’s ridiculous and entertaining, but because I think it will be candid and frank.

    • rockabyebaby

      Candid and frank about WHAT? Working and struggling in old age with aches and pains in body joints and parts at $4 or less AN HOUR? YOU MUST be either too well off, an accomplice that sucks fellowmen at their expense and saying that it is alright! Woes betide you the day death knocks on your soul’s door. It comes soon enough!

      “The love for money is the root of ALL evil”! And he got mercilessly beaten,nialed with rusty nail onto a cross and hung in the elements to die for teaching us goodness, His side was even speared by a Roamn soldier. Perhaps that soldier was being good to hasten his dying and lessen his suffering in dying for all inhuman mankind’s cruelty. ManKind are we?

      Are we are not more like animals in The Law of the jungle where weaker ones are gored and eaten by storger predators! Are we not the same? Only by different ways and means? Yet we are superior in brain power to animals. And doesn’t make use knowingly WORSE THAN animals that kill by instinct? You id say “candid and frank”. That proves your superior brain over animals but yet most behaving like animal predators! No Heaven and HELL? Think again and go see Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of Christ”. I cried through out. I cry each time a see the plain cross in church and anywhere! Who in Sg fits these wisdom quote of the past best?:

      “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb
      a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – Albert
      Einstein

      “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” – Harvey Dent from the Batman movie “The
      Dark Knight”

      “It is not the problem that is the issue, but rather it is the attitude attending to the problem. That is the problem.”

      - SonicStar 3.6 Mach Speed Supersonic jet plane for 2021!

      “A truth that is told with bad intent, Beats all the lies you can invent” – William Blake

      “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.” – Albert Einstein

      “We create an environment where it is alright to hate, to steal, to cheat, and to lie if we dress it up with symbols of respectability, dignity and love.” — Whitney Moore, Jr.

      “A man should be upright, not be kept upright.”
      - Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius

      “Justice must not only be done. It must manifestly be seen to be done” – Lord Chief Justice Hewart.

      “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

  • Tan Tai Wei

    Impossible overcrowding in Heaven and so the after-life is absurd conception? Did he go to Sunday school and learn that kind of Heaven, … or hell? And he hasn’t outgrown that childishness?

  • Tan Tai Wei

    Impossible overcrowding in Heaven and so the after-life is absurd conception? Did he go to Sunday school and learn that kind of Heaven, … or hell? And he hasn’t outgrown that childishness?

  • PearlyGates

    Its a reasonable, well written and interesting review. At least it is prompting me to take a look at Kino.

  • PearlyGates

    Its a reasonable, well written and interesting review. At least it is prompting me to take a look at Kino.

  • lebon

    LKY is like a cornerstone and ‘One of the most prominent and powerful leader at this generation’ He did his part, all man and woman will make mistake. Past is a lesson, the future is us the next generation. Few years down the road, every step we take will be taken into account our children and theirs. Let’s us focus and learnt from the past, the start a ‘new chapter’ of this nation. LKY have taken his first step, we are the one now whom will be supporting the dependents, the economic and this national called Singapore.

  • lebon

    LKY is like a cornerstone and ‘One of the most prominent and powerful leader at this generation’ He did his part, all man and woman will make mistake. Past is a lesson, the future is us the next generation. Few years down the road, every step we take will be taken into account our children and theirs. Let’s us focus and learnt from the past, the start a ‘new chapter’ of this nation. LKY have taken his first step, we are the one now whom will be supporting the dependents, the economic and this national called Singapore.

  • civet rat

    The old man gets his stuff published because the publisher can’t refuse. In a free country no publisher would touch such self-serving tosh. The Economist Intelligence Unit classifies Singapore as a ‘hybrid regime’ – a dictatorship pretending to be a democracy. Bookshops have no choice but to display it if they want to remain in business. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  • civet rat

    The old man gets his stuff published because the publisher can’t refuse. In a free country no publisher would touch such self-serving tosh. The Economist Intelligence Unit classifies Singapore as a ‘hybrid regime’ – a dictatorship pretending to be a democracy. Bookshops have no choice but to display it if they want to remain in business. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  • shaun

    This review is clearly biased and doesn’t attempt to substantiate his criticism of the opinions presented in the book. For example, the reviewer claims “Scattered through his book ares observations that could be critcized for being dangerously illogical.” but does not explain why it (the george bush example) is illogical or wrong. Instead, the reviewer uses colorful vocabulary in an attempt to provoke negative emotions from the reader in place of a valid argument. Very unconvincing

  • shaun

    This review is clearly biased and doesn’t attempt to substantiate his criticism of the opinions presented in the book. For example, the reviewer claims “Scattered through his book ares observations that could be critcized for being dangerously illogical.” but does not explain why it (the george bush example) is illogical or wrong. Instead, the reviewer uses colorful vocabulary in an attempt to provoke negative emotions from the reader in place of a valid argument. Very unconvincing

  • fatah santosa

    If LKY were to rule China instead of Singapore….

  • fatah santosa

    If LKY were to rule China instead of Singapore….

  • fatah santosa

    If LKY were to rule China instead of Singapore…..

  • fatah santosa

    If LKY were to rule China instead of Singapore…..

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