Lee Kuan Yew turns 91.  ST:

Sticking to his routine, former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew spent part of his 91st birthday yesterday having his usual Chinese lessons.

Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong wrote about it on his Facebook page, saying he had gone to Mr Lee’s office to wish him “Happy Birthday”.

Mr Lee was dressed smartly in a casual red jacket, and “looked well and sharp and spoke with a strong voice”, wrote Mr Goh, who had succeeded Mr Lee as PM.

“Unfortunately, he was having one of those hiccups triggered by some allergic irritations. Even then, he was getting ready for his Chinese lessons,” he said. “I cannot help but marvel at the spirit and fight of The Singapore Lion. More good years to you, Mr Lee.”

 


Lee Kuan Yew makes an appearance, but no speeches or even words this year.  ST:

Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew continued his unbroken record of attending every single national day dinner in his Tanjong Pagar constituency on Wednesday night.

Mr Lee, 90, was warmly greeted with a long round of loud applause and cheers from the roughly 900 residents, grassroots leaders and clan associations representatives who were present.

Shortly after arriving, Mr Lee rose to sing the national anthem and recite the national pledge with the audience.


CNA sets off unintentional waves in cyberspace, no followup yet from the MSM.  Malaysia Chronicle:

A new picture of Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore’s internet space.

Recently, state broadcaster Channel NewsAsia tweeted this photo of former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, courtesy of the Ministry of Communication and Information.

It shows Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and his wife the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha flanking Lee at the Istana on 21st April 2014 during the Brunei leader’s state visit to Singapore.

People on social media quickly started expressing their concern over how emaciated the former prime minister looked.

 


Lee wades into muddy waters.  Forbes:

A rising China is seeking to assert its sea-boundary claims. It is naive to believe that a strong China will accept the conventional definition of what parts of the sea around it are under its jurisdiction. This should come as no surprise, but it has been uncomfortable for some of China’s neighbors and other stakeholders, including the U.S. …

A resurgent China isn’t going to allow its sea boundaries to once again be decided by external parties. Therefore, I don’t believe the Chinese will submit their claims, which are based primarily on China’s historical presence in these waters, to be decided by rules that were defined at a time when China was weak. And China has judged that the U.S. won’t risk its present good relations with China over a dispute between the Philippines and China.

Why this sudden interest in some outcroppings in the South China Sea? What gas or oil can be drilled or fish caught around these rocks? Much more is at stake than rocks and resources. China sees the South China Sea as one of its key interests. A rising China is asserting its position by claiming historical rights to these waters. And the disputes, which arise from claims based on different principles, are unlikely to be resolved.


Back from the hospital, Lee is trotted out for the media.  Straits Times:

Former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew attended an annual Chinese New Year party for grassroots leaders at the Istana on Sunday evening.

The Chinese New Year garden party was hosted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Cabinet ministers.

It was the elder Mr Lee’s first public appearance since he attended two days of Parliament sittings last month.

Last Tuesday, Mr Lee, 90, was due to speak at an annual Chinese New Year dinner in his Tanjong Pagar GRC but could not attend due to ill health.


Lee is still in hospital, but the Straits Times is thinking happier thoughts.  Via The Star:

Two separate musicals about former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew are in the works and are expected to be staged next year, in time for Singapore’s 50th anniversary.

For one of them, new Singapore theatre company Metropolitan Productions has roped in several well-known local arts talents to form the backbone of the musical’s creative team.

Cultural Medallion recipient and composer Dick Lee will write the music, while novelist Meira Chand and theatre practitioner Tony Petito, founder of the Singapore Repertory Theatre, will work on the storyline and script.

The Straits Times understands that the other musical is slated to be the opening act for the iconic Capitol Theatre when it reopens next year. It is commissioned by Capitol Investment Holdings, which owns Capitol Singapore. …

Tan is aware that the musical could be a minefield. But he stressed that the production will be “very factual”.

“We thought it would be refreshing to see Lee Kuan Yew not just as a leader and founder, but to also see his personal struggles, his vulnerabilities, his losses and victories, and how he sees the world…. We believe there will be no misrepresentation.” …

On the sensitivity of the material, she said: “There’s always a sense of walking on a knife edge, but in the end … I see it as a great narrative and it needs to be written. It is a legacy project.”

 

 

 


Lee Kuan Yew is in the hospital again.  As ever, Singapore’s mainstream media are relentlessly upbeat about his “recovery”.  Yahoo:

Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew is recovering in hospital after suffering from an infection, the government said on Tuesday.

Lee, 90, was admitted to Singapore General Hospital on Sunday after suffering from a fever and bad cough caused by an infection, his press secretary Yeong Yoon Ying said in a statement.

“He is currently on antibiotics and recovering. He has been advised by his doctors to avoid public appearances,” she said.

While foreign media actually assess the situation.  Valuewalk:

Singapore’s “founding father” Lee Kuan Yew has been hospitalized due to a severe lung infection. At 90 years old, Mr. Lee has become increasingly fragile in recent years, though he has tried to remain active in politics. Mr. Lee’s son, Lee Hsien Loong, is Singapore’s current prime minister.

The illness does not appear to be critical, but so far little has been released regarding the extent and nature of Mr. Lee’s condition. It is believed that he has suffered some sort of lung infection and is currently being treated with antibiotics.

While Mr. Lee has largely retired from public life, he remains among the most influential people in Singapore, and is highly regarded across the world. …

Lee Kuan Yew’s party, the Peoples’ Action Party, has slowly lost ground since Mr. Lee stepped down as prime minister. The last few elections have seen approval ratings for the party slip to their lowest levels of all time, while critics are becoming increasingly vocal.

Lee Kuan Yew is known for advocating the concept of a “corporate Singapore” that was very friendly to investment, businesses, and foreigners. While these policies drove the city-state’s economic development, they have also resulted in a growing gap between the rich and the poor, and a strict style of governance, sometimes called a “nanny-state”, that sees high levels of interference with peoples’ daily lives. These polices have now become a source of consternation for many Singaporeans.

 

 


Lee Kuan Yew surfaces after two months of silence.  CNA:

President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, has conferred the Order of Honour on Singapore’s former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

Mr Lee was honoured on 10 September 2013 for his substantial contribution to strengthening friendship and cooperation with the Russian Federation and development of scientific and cultural relations.

The award was also conferred in conjunction with Mr Lee’s 90th birthday in 2013.

The Order of Honour was presented by Mr Leonid Moiseev, Russia’s Ambassador to Singapore, to Mr Lee on Monday at the Istana.

Singapore and Russia enjoy excellent relations underpinned by regular high-level exchanges between the two countries, as well as through institutional linkages such as the Russia-Singapore Inter-Governmental Commission and the Russia-Singapore Business Forum.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday that Singapore will continue to forge closer cooperation with Russia for the mutual benefit of both countries and its peoples. 

 


Lee Kuan Yew is still alive and grinning.  CNA:

Former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew hosted a dinner for former US Secretary of State George Shultz on Monday evening.

The private event was held at Sky on 57th at the Marina Bay Sands.

Mr Lee and Mr Shultz have been good friends for more than 40 years.

Earlier Monday morning, Dr Shultz called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana, along with former US Secretary of Defence William Perry and former US Senator Sam Nunn. 

During the meeting, they exchanged views on regional and international developments.

The group are in Singapore for the Nuclear Threat Initiative meeting, which starts on Tuesday.

 


Lee Kuan Yew opining at Forbes:

Barring any major disruption, the speed at which China is growing in terms of total GDP will enable it to catch up to the U.S. by 2020. China will then go on to surpass America. …

I believe that during the next 30 years the Chinese will have no desire to enter into a conflict with the U.S. They know they will continue to grow stronger, but they are also aware of how far behind they are technologically. They require continued access to American schools so their students can learn how to reinvent themselves.

What is it that makes Americans so much more versatile and innovative? I believe the Chinese have come to the conclusion that the answer lies in the differing natures of the two societies. Innovation and creativity are a part of the American culture, a natural trait of an immigrant society. But China’s is a culture of conformism. It is a 4,000- to 5,000-year-old society, with a written script that’s as readable today as it was 4,000 years ago. That script binds the people to their history.

Yet despite these differences, it is inevitable that the balance of power in the Pacific will shift to the western side.

 




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