If Singapore had taken the democratic route, would it have been as chaotic as India? Is democracy a spoiler for India? ‘The people’, as I see it, includes future generations, and governments have a special responsibility to resist popular pressure for tax breaks and welfare measures that undermine the prospects of future generations. It’s ironic that while a man of Chinese ethnicity internalised Chanakyan strategy, Indians have paid lip service to it. When comparing the United States and Singapore, it is important to note that Singapore was essentially catching up to America. The death of Lee Kuan Yew shook the foundation of the world and the media as usual, begun to trumpet what he stood for. The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was a lifelong admirer of the United States, but not an uncritical fan of the superpower, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday.. Read more at straitstimes.com. Freedom is the woman who can ride buses and trains alone; freedom is not having to avoid certain subway stations after night falls.” Lee Kuan Yew always insisted that the proof is in the pudding: rising incomes for the broad middle class, health, security, economic opportunity. He transformed Singapore from a third world city-state into a major world city. For instance, a large number of candidates can divide votes so that a totally unpopular candidate can squirm his way to power. This is your life and mine! When democracy arrived in Russia after the collapse of communism in 1991, it was pretty much free for all. On the one hand, Americans hold as a self-evident truth that their democracy is the best form of government. In this speech, Lee Kuan Yew had clearly given solid bits of advice to the audience as well as to all Filipinos, and it is this particular speech from whence the famous words “ I do not believe that democracy necessarily leads to development. And yet in the western view, “God was in his heaven and everything was right with the world.” The suffering of the Russian people didn’t matter to them. “Democracy is one way of getting the job done, but if non-electoral procedures are more conducive to the attainment of valued ends, then I’m against democracy. During Putin’s first stint in power (from 1999-2008), the Russian economy recorded an average growth of 7 per cent annually. In short, Lee Kuan Yew was pragmatic, rather than ideological. In the words of Lee Kuan Yew, the late Singapore strongman, “The exuberance of democracy leads to undisciplined and disorderly conditions which are inimical to development.”. This is precisely what Lee had done in Singapore. He lived through both the Japanese occupation in the 1940s and British colonial rule. Singapore scored in the bottom half, behind South Korea and the Philippines. In the US, western democracy could not prevent the theft of the 2000 Presidential elections where Al Gore got more votes than George W. Bush and still lost. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake. Gen Augusto Pinochet, a western stooge who killed thousands of Chileans, was a tyrant. All of this has made me think about the impact of ourselves and our executives in leading the organizations and corporations that we are part of. But for Lee Kuan Yew, “the ultimate test of the value of a political system is whether it helps that society establish conditions that improve the standard of living for the majority of its people.” As one of his fellow Singaporeans, Calvin Cheng, wrote this past week in The Independent, “Freedom is being able to walk on the streets unmolested in the wee hours in the morning, to be able to leave one’s door open and not fear that one would be burgled. The death of the founding father of Singapore last Monday is an appropriate occasion to reflect on nation building. This has happened most starkly in India where the Congress party ruled India for over five decades despite not getting the majority of the votes. In a democratic form of government the party or candidate that gets the most votes is the winner. He has been cited in books on counter terrorism and society in the global south. 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 … In Lee’s … And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever. In the 1950s, Lee Kuan Yew and his colleagues in the PAP outmaneuvered a violent Communist party to emerge victorious in the election of 1959. The contrast between Singapore’s ranking in the first two categories, and the third, reminds us of a fundamental question of political philosophy: What is government for? 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. And in 2012, less than 1 percent of Singaporeans reported that they struggled to afford food or shelter, by far the lowest percentage in the world. Remembering Lee Kuan Yew: Iron Fist Rule That Made Singapore What It Is Today.. « on: April 17, 2016, 12:08:42 AM » Si Lee Kuan Yew ay kamay na bakal ang pina-iral, disiplina, strikto kaya umunlad ang Singapore, Ayaw mo bang umunlad? The popularity of the concept waned after the 1997 Asian financial crisis , when it became evident that Asia lacked any coherent regional institutional mechanism to deal with the crisis. Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. In contrast to Lee’s strong sense of nationalism, India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was completely delusional. Lee’s believes the culprit is uncontrolled democracy. SINGAPORE, March 23 — Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who died on Monday aged 91, was renowned for his sharp tongue, quick wit and controversial remarks. — Reuters pic. I believe that what a country needs to develop is discipline more than democracy” were taken. … Opposition campaigns have typically been hamstrung by a ban on political films and television programs, the threat of libel suits, strict regulations on political associations, and the PAP’s influence on the media and the courts.”. Lee walked his talk. ... democracy has worked and produced results only when there is … "I have never believed that democracy brings progress, I know it to have brought regression. As the table above shows, over the past 50 years, real per-capita GDP in Singapore grew 12-fold. —Kishore Mahbubani, National University of Singapore, founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, author of Has the West Lost It? What matters is good government.” According to the Singapore strongman, the government’s primary duty is to create a “stable and orderly society” where “people are well cared for, their food, housing, employment, health”. A child born in the United States has three times the chance of dying in infancy of one in Singapore. How did Putin achieve that? The people are his biggest asset as well as the source of peril. It lost points mainly for Lee Kuan Yew’s People’s Action Party’s tight management of the political process. The economy, remote controlled by the IMF, was in free fall, without the bottom in sight. Was he a tyrant? Its potential has lain fallow, underused.”. But in the case of Singapore, it is hard to deny that the nation Lee built has for five decades produced more wealth per capita, more health, and more security for ordinary citizens than any of his competitors. But I'm not impressed by a $5,000 or $10,000 Armani suit." Lee Kuan Yew GCMG CH SPMJ (born Harry Lee Kuan Yew; 16 September 1923 – 23 March 2015), often referred to by his initials LKY, was a Singaporean statesman and lawyer who served as Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. Around 2300 years ago, Chanakya, the original master of statecraft and policy and the mentor of the greatest empire in Indian history, wrote in the Arthashastra: “The foremost duty of a ruler is to keep his people happy and contented. As the Singapore Prime Minister was fond of saying, “I do not believe you can impose on other countries standards which are alien and totally disconnected with their past.” In his view, “to ask China to become a democracy, when in its 5,000 years of recorded history it never counted heads” was completely unreasonable. Our business model is you and your subscription. Now, the Americans and their NATO friends claim they are introducing democracy in Libya. Claim: A quote attributed to former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew says, "The Philippines' version of democracy as of late is best called a government by stupid people, of stupid people." It is to be acknowledged that Lee Kuan Yews pragmatism is made easier as Singapore is a small island nation where control is more easily exercised, yet this does not discount Lee Kuan Yew’s achievement and his fundamental challenge to the worth of democracy. 53. The second basket in assessing governance focuses on what experts call the effectiveness of the governmental process itself. According to one of the greatest strategists of the 20th century, that would be more or less correct. First up, he rejected the notion that western democracy and values are universal. Who can disagree? During his long rule, Singapore became the most-prosperous country in Southeast Asia.. Lee was born into a Chinese family that had been established in Singapore since the 19th century. For Americans in particular, this contrast presents a conundrum. On these criteria, how has Singapore performed over the course of its first five decades versus the United States; or the Philippines (which the U.S. has been tutoring in democracy-building for a century); or Zimbabwe (an African analogue that declared independence from the United Kingdom just a few years after Singapore, and where dictator Robert Mugabe has been as dominant a national force as Lee Kuan Yew has been in Singapore)? From 1963-1965, Lee attempted to integrate Singapore into the Malaysian Federation in order to fend off the Communists and maintain economic and political stability. It is yet another example of the rejection of western ideas by the emerging world. Under him, Singapore became a de facto one-party state. He imposed western democracy on a poor and divided country, causing chaos that slowed economic growth and caused numerous caste and religious conflicts. He is on the advisory board of Europe-based Modern Diplomacy. According to one of the greatest strategists of the 20th century, that would be more or less correct. In Zimbabwe, 55. For the past seven years, Singapore has also been ranked the best place in the world to do business by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Lee and Putin, on the other hand are nation builders. Which raises a question: What is the ultimate purpose of government? They will not support a weak administration.”. March 20, 2013 Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, attends the Standard Chartered Singapore Forum in Singapore. When he took over as Prime Minister, Singapore’s annual per capital income was $400; today it is estimated at $56,000. "This book is a call for intellectual and emotional engagement in reshaping the governance of the world we live in. Singapore's late leader governed undemocratically but effectively. According to its report, “Singapore is not an electoral democracy. The concept was advocated by Mahathir Mohamad (Prime Minister of Malaysia, 1981–2003, 2018–present) and by Lee Kuan Yew (Prime Minister of Singapore, 1959–1990), as well as other Asian leaders. In current dollars, the average Singaporean’s income grew from $500 a year in 1965 to $55,000 today. The West treats democracy as religion – so sacred that it will bomb countries into the stone age in order to sow the seeds of democracy in those places. The monthly salary of the man in the street went from $80 to almost $600. Graham Allison, a co-author of the book Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World, published an article where he highlights five of Mr. Lee’s lessons. His detractors deride him as the “breaker of modern India”. Rather, the pictures of once proud pensioners now reduced to trading their World War II medals for a loaf of bread were gleefully published by TIME, Newsweek, and The Economist.