Lee Kuan Yew: Grand master of the game
Nothing much new here, except the caricature. Gulf News:
If he played chess, you could call Lee Kuan Yew the grand master of the game. It was his vision, drive and single-mindedness that set the small island state on a course of stubborn independence, turning the trading post into an international powerhouse of shipping, trade, commerce, banking, tourism and industry while keeping its principles at the fore.
But chess is a Russian game. For Yew, a master of the traditional board game maejong would be a better analogy given his and his island’s Asian ties.
There is a Chinese proverb: Do not judge a man until his coffin is closed. Though he may be nearing the end of his long life, he’s unwilling to decide on his legacy. …
“So, when is the last leaf falling?” as the man who made Singapore in his own stern and unsentimental image, contemplating age, infirmity and loss.
“I can feel the gradual decline of energy and vitality,” he said in a recent interview. His ‘Singapore model’ of economic growth and tight social control made him one of the most influential political figures of Asia. “And I mean generally, every year, when you know you are not on the same level as last year. But that’s life.” …
“We don’t have the ingredients of a nation, the elementary factors,” he said in an interview with the International Herald Tribune, “a homogeneous population, common language, common culture and common destiny.”
Younger people worry him, with their demands for more political openness and a free exchange of ideas, secure in their well-being in modern Singapore. “They have come to believe that this is a natural state of affairs, and they can take liberties with it,” he said. “They think you can put it on auto-pilot. I know that is never so.”
The kind of open political combat they demand would inevitably open the door to race-based politics, he said, and “our society will be ripped apart.” …
“I’m not saying that everything I did was right,” he said, “but everything I did was for an honourable purpose. I had to do some nasty things, locking fellows up without trial.”
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