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Lee Kuan Yew

The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew

The Singapore Story is the first volume of the memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew, the man who planted the island state of Singapore firmly on the map of the world. It was first published in 1999. In intimate detail, Lee recounts the battles against colonialists, communists and communalists that led to Singapore’s independence. With consummate political skill, he countered adversaries, sometimes enlisting their help, at others opposing them, in the single-minded pursuit of Singapore’s interests. We read how he led striking unionists against the colonial government, how over tea and golf he fostered ties with key players in Britain and Malaya, of secret midnight meetings in badly lit rooms, drinking warm Anchor beer with a communist underground leader, of his purposeful forging of an alliance with communists to gain the support of the Chinese-educated masses. Readers will find inspiration in his tenacity as he fought for the people’s hearts and minds against first the communists and later the communalists – in parliament, on the streets and through the media. Drawing on unpublished Cabinet papers, archives in Singapore, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the United States, as well as personal correspondence, he gives us a vivid picture of how others viewed him: determined (“Lee will bluff, bully and blackmail up to the eleventh hour”), motivated (“Choo knew I sweated blood to master Hokkien”), ambitious (“He would think himself as legitimate as I was to be the leader of Malaya”), dangerous (“Crush Lee! Put him inside”). It is a sometimes controversial yet strangely consistent portrait of this Asian statesman. These experiences and his dealings with the political leaders were to shape his views and policies, which have had a major impact on Singapore and the region.
853 printed pages
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  • b9281010009shared an impression8 years ago
    👍Worth reading
    💡Learnt A Lot

    Very interesting insight into Singapore and South-East Asia history. Learnt a lot


  • Kairbayev Nurzhanhas quoted9 years ago
    One odd thing about them though, was that when they abandoned communism, as some young Chinese middle school student leaders did, they often became extremely avaricious to make up for lost time. They seemed to feel that they had been robbed of the best years of their lives and had to make up for what they had missed. It was a preview of what I was to see later in China and Vietnam. When the revolution did not deliver utopia and the economy reverted to the free market, cadres, with the power to issue licences or with access to goods and services at official prices, were the first to be corrupt and exploit the masses.
  • b2526934379has quoted3 years ago
    My education in the unfairness and absurdities of human existence was completed by what I saw happening in the immediate aftermath of the war. If three and a half years of Japanese occupation had earned me my degree in the realities of life, the first year in liberated Singapore was my postgraduate course.
  • eclockle2has quoted5 years ago
    textbook in the world on how to build a nation

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