A Wise Man for the World: Singapore’s philosopher-king on an ascendant China, the threat of Islamism and America’s entitlements crisis


A more positive review from the Wall Street Journal:

China already dominates Asia and intends to become the world’s leading power. The United States is not yet a “second rate power,” but the inability of its political leaders to make unpopular decisions bodes poorly. Russia, Japan, Western Europe and India are, for the most part, tired bureaucracies. If Iran gets the bomb, a nuclear war in the Middle East is almost inevitable.

These are among the many frank forecasts laid out in a slim volume based on the experiences and insights of Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore, its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, and Asia’s ranking philosopher-king for much of the past half-century. Tiny Singapore has always been too small a stage for a leader of Mr. Lee’s intellect and ego. His interests have extended across the globe, as has his influence. For decades, world leaders, corporate CEOs, scholars and journalists have made the pilgrimage to Singapore to seek his views.

“Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World” forms a kind of last testament of the ailing, 89-year-old Mr. Lee. It is based on interviews with Mr. Lee by the authors—Graham Allison, a professor of government at Harvard’s Kennedy School, and Robert Blackwill, a former U.S. diplomat—to which the authors add a distillation of Mr. Lee’s speeches, writings and interviews with others over many years.

The book focuses forward on Mr. Lee’s prognostications, not backward on his accomplishments. Messrs. Allison and Blackwill refrain from commentary on the man and his ideas, letting readers interpret for themselves. The downside of such restraint is that “Lee Kuan Yew” doesn’t truly convey Mr. Lee’s combative candor or the exceptional subtlety of mind that I was privileged to experience in my own interviews with Mr. Lee over two decades. It was his combination of penetrating brilliance about the wider world and prickly pettiness in his own Singaporean laboratory (e.g., banning two Dow Jones publications for the sin of free expression) that made him so fascinating. …

The Chinese language itself—which “is exceedingly difficult for foreigners to learn sufficiently to embrace China and be embraced by its society”—is another obstacle to China’s great-power aspirations. So is a culture that does not “permit a free exchange and contest of ideas.” (Mr. Lee adopted English as Singapore’s national language; he never fully adopted free expression.)

47 Responses to “A Wise Man for the World: Singapore’s philosopher-king on an ascendant China, the threat of Islamism and America’s entitlements crisis”

  1. 1 Amused Citizen

    Fools pander to the delusions of a dying toad.

  2. We all Singaporean of the right mind will surely respect what Lim Kuan Yew have done for Singapore. Most of his policies were right but off course some were wrong, But overall his rights are far more than his wrongs.

    Even somes of his wrongs were mostly public opinions which were debatable. .
    Many will agrees with me that Corruption that goes on in Singapore were POWER. Even with his relapse of Cancer, he still wanted to cover on but the more you cover, more creaks will appear.

    LKY started off on the right footing with a system call Top Down but his son LHL in order to save for the people goes his own form of Bottom Up which brings Singapore into our stages of Charotic . Almost all new Cabinet members are young SAF and Civil Servants whose only knowledge is from the BOOKs.

    Does books teaches everything you need in Life? If so, we do not need teachers for all different subjects. Just teach English and get our future Generations to read from BOOKS?

    1st wrong that happened were the building of 2 Casinos and most people suffered because of it. Sky punished us with 2 floods in Orchard Area.
    Then those who have to died, kill themselves in Bedok Reservior, WHY?

    When LHL become PM he announced the that 6.5M will the ideal but he forgot and change it to 6.9 which is the best numerology number after 9.6.
    Building up have been going on but going down to the sea have been a problem because of sand shortage.

    Now was reported that reclaimation from the sea will help increase our land mass. But for the last few years, damping sand have been a problems and MND have now projected reclaimantion to take place soon,
    May we be informed how are we going to get the sand require in the future?

  3. 3 Note

    Fascist dictator Adolf Hitler was chosen by the Time Magazine to be Man of the Year.

  4. Lee Kuan Yew should be awarded the MAN of the Century? Any objections

  5. The previous one is bad enough.

  6. There is always some Good in Bad man and I know for SURE he the ONE and only.

    LKY is best to live to be a Centurion as we needs him for the next few years and it will be Best 11.

    He have to be around to Help clean up the shits that LHL left behind in his last few year of POWER corruption OR we may lost our 1st World Standing that LKY and GCT built.

    EC will be out before 2014 because when you sell HORSE under a Bull Head, it will send out the HADE(hell) Kings to do the cleanup of SINS.

    LHL is sick and he needs nurses to help but he bad mouth them in his White Paper. KBH in the White Paper said we will not be Over Crowd as compare to HK. In life never compare as comparision only bring out the worse in a MAN. HK is part of China and if there needs more space, boundary can be re-drawn to make HK bigger. In Singapore, to be Bigger there is 3 WAYS: A) Buy Battam, B) Buy JB or C) Fill more SEA and that is what our Minister said in the White Paper, and i have asked – WHERE do we get the sand when we have not enough sand for the last few years??? Making it in his office?

    These are the Shits that have to be clean. How to balance our population by making more babies and not Buying them.

    Turn the 2 casinos into REAL intergrated resort without the Casinos and the BIG ? how.

    Why did 9/11 people died at Bedok Reservior when there are so many reserviors and the SEA to kill themselves?

    Why is there a Housing shortage when HDB is support to be so Efficient but there failed US badly NOW?

    COE i have give it a new meaning Compulsory Org. Extortion and PAP should be Pay And Pray/Prey.

    My call again for LHL to rest and give Singapore a Second Chance to continue to be 1st World by a new man.

    When a SICK man ran a Healthy Singapore – It will make US sick but we have not enough Doc, nurses, hospitals (get more filty rich to built more hospitals) and an MRT which is Many Rounds of Training for PAP and SMRT.

    It was said at coffee shop and in the streets that TIB belongs to MRS LEE and it is still a BIG ? today?

    So Please PRAY for Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and hope and wish he have a Healthy and Happy Life by those who LOVE Him but those who does not, PLease do not scold because When You Scold, you are in fact scolding yourself. YOU say it You Heard it but the other that you are scolding is not listening.

  7. Landragon:
    Are you aware that you are fighting a losing battle? Even Lee Kuan Yew is no match for his only enemy now: God Himself?
    Are you also aware that as you speak, there is probably another Lee Kuan Yew being born, or perhaps is already in our midst, maybe not inside the PAP?
    Are you also aware that the march of democracy in the world is relentless, and Singapore like many other developed countries in the world, has no more need of anymore Lee Kuan Yew – type political leaders?

  8. The LKY i m referring to is the ONE and only that i know and i love as many hatred him but i love him for what he is.

    I am not a politician and never interested in IT. I am talking about the facts of Life, we have a peaceful and happy life and looking forward for it to get better.

    The facts is the world is moving backward as you can see, Japan cannot find a PM, Americans leaders cannot agree in everything, The POPE resign which have never happen before Japan is the one and only place that received 3 nuclear strike and Indian products 11 Dragon babies in a birth.

    You may not like LKY or maybe Singapore is not your country but sitll needs him Around..

  9. While I respect your mania for Lee Kuan Yew, I think you better wean yourself off him, the earlier the better. You are asking for something that is not logically and physically possible. If you still love this country, it is better for you to find a suitable replacement as soon as possible.I am sure there are better leaders. The future will depend on these leaders.

  10. We Singapore definitely needs a new leader as our younger LHL is cancel and will pass on soon. But because of POWER politic he still think he is Able to lead our Healthy Singapore to Better Future with figure like 6.9, more babies buying, giving out freebies with the right hand and taking back with his left with BOTH hands in his pockets?

    LKY is not to lead BUT to guide us to a brighter tomorrow comes what may!!

  11. 11 Bill

    Landragon123, you have lost it or putting up an act. You are the type that live for yesterday. You should be excited to see what a new leader would bring to the table. The only truth is change. You don’t change, you start to gather moss.

  12. You think so?
    At 60 i have done the bangee and now 69 have start 3 new ventures and carry on my 3 existing agencies . Now tell me who gather moss?

    Obama talk of changes and he change was to print more money, you want that to happen in Singapore, YOU would if you are not Singaporean.

    We have politician talking about representing the people, But do not have anyone in parliament, Who are there – American Running Doc. Hoping you are not ONE?

  13. Hey, to prove that you are not “gathering moss” I think you should go for a written English course. Your essay is full of English mistakes and hard to understand. Dare to take up the challenge?
    You seem to imply that Lee Hsien Loong is not using the Lee Kuan Yew style as a guide to leadership and that’s why he fails as a leader. Are you saying that ?

  14. 14 Greateagle

    LKY was good when he had a FANTASTIC TEAM in the founding generation, wisemen all if not streetwise from huble beginnings.
    After the passing of that generation and he took sole control with his supposedly prodigies and son.
    The results is short of DISASTROUS

  15. Yes you are right i m poor in English for i never pass my English and my Ólevel is without English.

    No you are wrong about our PM, he have cancel, many knows but his is suffering from Supperior Mantally thinking he wants to be better than his father by digging for more money and the easlierist way out was to built CASNIOS. With 2 casnios we to flood in ORCHARD.

    If you offer a FREE English course to improve my English, you are welcome.
    I am retire but still works like LKY because we are born to work till death but on my 68 birthday, Comfort sacked me as their Taxi Driver WITHOUT any reason and LTA was informed about it, but there can not interfierce as NTUC i think i BIGGER than LTA for NTUC use to be ran by 2 Cabinet Minister and many other minister whereas LTA only have ONE minister? correct me if that is WRONG?

    LKY use Crown English but i use clown English because he was a Lawyer who sue his opposition and donate their money (crime money) to charities but he does not knows that is a SINS. He repaid his Sins by donating $12 M and bought extra KAMAR with it and that is why i say he can be a centurion.

    LKY is still good but not his SICK son who now trying to create history for been the only PM to die in office (if he did not retire soon) LHL also bought KARMA with his $300K but for how long only GOT knows.

  16. Today Japan remember the dead citizens after 3/11 strike to tell the world in clear loud details that Sins have to be paid and only GOD can do it.
    Crimes are handle by the country own court but SINS are handle by the court in the SKY.

    This is a clear lessons to the World and it Government, NOT to SINS.
    What people are doing the Sky is watching and all Sins have to be paid sooner of later.

  17. 17 LY Lim

    Although I did not grow up with him and neither did I climb tree nor catch “longkang” fish with him. But over the few occasions which I managed to get up close, our PM Mr. Lee Hsien Loong came across as a man of decent and respectable character.

    He may not be as healthy as we hope for but his effort to lead the nation to next level is obvious and commendable.

    God bless.

  18. Is he worth the pay of 4X USA President?

  19. In life do not talk about money and those money talker are either greed or funny.

    An observer just see at eye level but did not see up or down to find the real answers. 4 X is worth every cents as LKY have said that WE have to pay people for their Worth.

    Although PAP is power corruption but it is still better then Real Corruption for corruptions have not limits and no figures to compare.

    I never doubt LHL is trying his BEST ever thought he is very sick, But if trying your best will bring SINGAPORE down is not answer. Know your limits and do not play GOT for god is in the SKY and what you do HIS is watching.

  20. 20 Note

    Who is more sick, LHL or LKY?

  21. LKY is not sick and it is not usual for man with a passer in heart and at 90, who don’t go to hospital for a regular check-up?

    At 61 LHL is by right, still young but with a relapse of Cancel, life is not easy . Please do not PLAY hero as HEROS are converted no make. People only become hero after their death and not before?

  22. 22 Note

    Are you saying that LHL will die before LKY?

  23. The possibility is very HIGH?

  24. That is rubbish. LKY is already 89 years and 6 months old. The chance of him dying earlier than LHL is much higher. If you buy life insurance you will know that older people have to pay higher premium because they are more likely to die.

  25. Your age to die is not set in stone. When you die and how you die is decided by the SKY and not by your goodself?

    This famous saying goes like that – good people dies young – and since most of you thinks LHL is good, Isn’t right that he should die young.

    Anyway he will never reach his father present age of 89 anyway, so saying good bye early is a relief. Don’t you feel he have suffered enough as a man with a relapse of cancel and still trying to good the bad that he have created?

    Although i do not gamble But taking a bet with Observer will be interesting if you DARE? I keep to my logic, how about YOU?

    I was an insurance agents for 12 years with 3 major insurances companies from 1989 TO 2001 and the policy never states when you will die.

    GE cut off date was 89 and AIA was 100 and i sold general insurance for Aviva.

  26. 26 Laughing Citizen

    Lol … so many idiots worship an invertebrate liar.

  27. LKY keep going in and out of hospital. LHL is fit like a bull. LKY is so much older than LHL. So what you say is pure rubbish.

  28. So you are saying a father must die before his children? Two children have cancel whereas the father is only old age with a heart pacer.

    Do you know that those who goes to hospital often will live longer with doc help whereas those who do not visit the hospital usually die a sudden death.

  29. LHL’s cancer (note spelling) has already been cured. LKY had a stroke , so heart and brain have also got problems. Please be more scientific!

  30. LHL cancel ( it is clown English) is a relapse and you are observer for the wrong things. Relapse case usually have a max of 3 years and it is now over 2 years.

    Stroke is a very common in man as like earthquake it happens every day. My friends have 3 and still strong and healthy. LKY heart is a pacer and it is touch and go for him But good man live longer because he is afraid to die so god will save him and he goes to hospital regularly to check?

    A layman like me learns from experiences and not from books like most of our new and young ministers.

    Just like the recent White Paper, the reader just read what others wrote for them and do not even have the time to go through it first, that is why i said that the White paper is in fact Grey?

  31. LHL’s cancer was in 1992. It has already been treated. Please stop spreading rumours about his health.

  32. 32 Reflective Citizen

    Soon the bloke will realise the poverty of his being, and the futility of all his endeavours.

  33. Observer only look at eye level and never looks up or down to see everything that is happening.

    After the announcement that 2 casinos were to be built, a relapse of his cancel and the Cabinet was change to have TCH as his deputy. In Singapore where non violent are our way of life, Generals are not suitable to lead US.

    To be reflective about Singapore, please take note that poverty will never be part of Singaporean life as we as a nation are always Hardworking, and adaptable to change for the better.

    Now that we face some teething problems for some new ministers does not know their job and depended on their second-hand deputy to write report for them and will read it without a second look – that was what happened to the 6.9M white paper.

  34. You can say anything you want about LHL’s health. Without any proof or evidence, only a fool will believe you.

  35. My family members always say that I am killing my time here at web, however I know I
    am getting know-how every day by reading such nice

  36. 36 Suffer gladly

    I am ex-Singaporean. I do not hate LKY. I hate all the idiots who voted for him and his kind.

    Don’t blame the opposition for not being talented. People cheer when the opposition is jailed or charged in court. Which talented person should join the opposition to stand up for these ingrates’ rights? Better to exploit them and get rich.

    I wish the very worst PAP life for you.

  37. 37 Shelby

    I like it when individuals come together and share opinions.
    Great site, keep it up!

  38. 38 Arami

    Only complete fool’s believe this sick and evil old man farting.
    Most came to see………listen to his speculations using fabricated words……..laughing behind his back when they leave.

  39. 39 lee fuck yew

    some ppl here are smoking too much ganja…..

    lky’s greatest achievement is getting rid of sgp opponents to his rise to power….other than that,most of what he does is jus following Dr. Albert Winsemius economic blue print for sgp

    the greatest and wisest man in sgp is Dr Winsemius….without his,sgp cannot succeed from a 3rd world nation to 1st world in jus a short 50yrs.

    give credit when credit is due….lky ‘s credit is he is a old fart who shamelessly took credit from others and Dr Winsemius’s is setting sgp to greatness!

  40. Politics is to get rid of your opponents and rules. Are you saying that there are politicians who wants only to shout nonsences like CSC and just a papet of foreign power?

  41. 41 Arami

    As citizen i’m concern……. sick and evil old fart brutes against commoners……putting them in jail for a very long period of time without a fair trial (typical political coward) citizens want transparency and an explanations to this issues. (an issue that may affect everyone)

    Frankly CSJ done nothing wrong and a good job shouting at Mr Goh during the canvassing and the only thing i find is some of us just not used to this kind of scenarios which is becoming common these days.

    It really convinced me that CSJ is not a fake……..a true opposition and not the fake A or B teams to continue with the same agenda to rule us which i’m so concern…..but will leave it to the rest of the Singaporeans eyes to see and made their decisions.

  42. Are U looking forward to “CSJ Becoming your mp or PM? To my judgement, he is worst than a MAD dog, barking at shadow which he think is Ghost, BUT there is NO ghost in this World!!!

    The sickest man around now is LHL with a relapsed Cancel and a mental illness thinking he is better than his DAD, lky???

  43. 43 Arami

    Whoever become the next PM is not my choice, Singaporeans have eyes to see and can made decision, i can only wish the next PM the best of luck when the time come if i’m still around.

  44. 44 Arami

    Whoever becomes the next Singapore PM is not going to be my choice, Singaporeans had eyes to see and can decide what they want, i can only wish the next new PM the best of luck if i’m still around.

  45. I believe everything published made a lot of sense. But, what about this?
    suppose you composed a catchier title? I am not suggesting your content isn’t solid., but suppose you added a title that grabbed folk’s attention?
    I mean A Wise Man for the World: Singapores philosopher-king on an ascendant China, the threat of Islamism and Americas entitlements crisis | Lee Kuan Yew
    Watch is kinda vanilla. You should look at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they write post titles to get people interested. You might add a related video or a related pic or two to get people excited about what you’ve got to say.

    In my opinion, it would bring your posts a
    little livelier.

  46. WHEN A SICKMAN RULE – There is not Rules?

    How about that as a TITLE?

    The 89 cooks gave us foods that was no really pleasant, but we have our Fill, Now the 61 give foods all with poison and if nothing done, we will die a slow death.

    As the death toll will be so high, we will not be bury, and will be tossed into Bedok Reservior to accompany the ghosts already there to make a haunted lake for future Generations to remember LHL – The ONE and Only PM who keeps working although he is so SICK.

    He is better than the 89 as it was said that he will wakeup if he heard that our country is in trouble. BUT the funny thing now, HE did not wakeup because the cook who is causing the PROBLEMS is his blood and soul?

  47. What’s up, I would like to subscribe for this webpage to obtain most recent updates, thus where can i do it please help out.

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