Monday, March 23, 2015

The Pinnacle Among Great Leaders

I always like to taruh Singapore for its idiosyncracies ... when I say its over controlled, I mean a station like BFM probably would never be allowed to broadcast in Singapore. However, Lee Kuan Yew was a great leader and visionary at that. You can be a master strategist but he can execute them well. I though he was too over powering with opposition members and foreign publications, and that was a big blot in my book.

However, he has done things only very very few could have. Some speculated that he can do so cause Singapore is so small. Think for a moment. For the size and population of Singapore from 1950 till today ... you look at Singapore today, was it ever possible to get from A to B? Given what he had on his plate, he has already exceeded the most optimistic of all predictions for their economy, living standards and competitiveness.

Many younger Singaporeans still do not realise the gravity and breadth of his efforts. Choosing instead to whine and whinge about mundane things.

One key factor in his efforts was the blueprint and DNA instilled in the leadership which permeates right down the civil service. The fact that Singapore continued on its merry way after he stepped down (yea, I know he was the Senior Minister) was testament to the solid foundations he built.

Like him or not: nation above self; pragmatism over most things.

One wonders what he would have achieved with a slightly bigger country? Don't we all... don't we all ...


CK said...

“What are our priorities? First, the welfare, the survival of the people. Then, democratic norms and processes which from time to time we have to suspend,” Lee said at a 1986 National Day Rally.

This adeptly sums up the priority of this statesman - par excellence!

Many political cry-babies would have used his last statement as the show of a dictator, who rules using benevolent policies as a disguise to consolidate power under a single entity.

Many, thus forget that out of this claim, S’pore prospers, out from a back-water of zilch geopolitical consequences. With zero natural resources, except the survival instinct of the earlier coolie mentality!

Many lesser men would have squandered the miserable wealth offered by such a reality, rather than bring up the country within a generation against ALL odds.

History will judge HIM & judge HIM well.

Rest in peace, Lau Lee. You have done well & work beyond your call of duty. You have earned your place in the legacy of human decency.

Unknown said...

Agreed. Credit must be given whenever and wherever it is due.

Colin said...

I wonder then who we eulogise for Hong Kong's success. The Hong Kong jockey club? They didn't have a LKY but they did have a lot of hard working people. If you track the growth of both they were almost mirror images until around 2010 when Singapore decided to emulate Monaco and become a tax haven and gambling centre to boost GDP. That was because Minister's salaries were pegged to GDP and maybe LKY was already fading.

yauwenchin said...

Just a joke, if Malaysia allows to outsource Anti-Corruption Agency, Malaysia will be a better place to live in.

yauwenchin said...

Just a joke, if Malaysia allows to outsource Anti-Corruption Agency, Malaysia will be a better place to live in.

Cheng Keat Tan said...

A slightly bigger country?
Naughty you!

vincent said...

A litte late, but I would like to respond to that fella CK up there.

My biggest peeve with all these eulogies is that people keep saying how he elevated Singapore from a "backwater" or a "swampy fishing village" with "zero resources".

Excuse me, eulogise all you like, but please don't rewrite history.

Singapore was NOT a "backwater with zilch geopolitical consequences". That is a ridiculous claim. Singapore was the crown jewel of the British empire for the better part of a 100 years. When the Japanese attacked, the British withdrew all their troops from Malaya and got them to defend Singapore.

Pbft. Some "inconsequential backwater"! No natural resources? They have something even better! GEOGRAPHY.

I don't have the raw hard data but I am sure if someone dug up the numbers, Singapore had the highest GDP per capita in the region at the point of independence, and probably the best infrastructure in the region.

Yes LKY did a great job, and he surely deserves a ton of praise for that, but don't exaggerate his feats.

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