Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi: “Lee was a far-sighted statesman, and a lion among leaders.”
Japan’s Shinzo Abe: “A great Asian who laid the foundation for Singapore’s prosperity today.”
Germany’s Angela Merkel: “Mr. Lee led Singapore to become the epitome of progress and modernity in Southeast Asia.”
Former US President Barack Obama: “Lee Kuan Yew was a true giant of history, and the great strategist of Asian affairs.”
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair: “Mr. Lee was one of the most extraordinary leaders of modern times” and “the first to understand that modern politics was about effective government, not old-fashioned ideology.”
All these people’s emotions and respects have been triggered by the demise of one man who single-handedly transformed a once-corrupt, neglected and resourceless city-state into a resounding epitome of modernity, holistic living, and an epicenter of business and people alike!
We’re talking about Lee Kuan Yew, who can rightly be referred to as the father of Modern Singapore.
We might have watched in the film ‘Anniyan’ or ‘Aparachit’, Singapore didn’t undergo a linear growth unlike its European or the American counterparts that are trying to become Singapore. It all can be attributed to the vision, the tirelessness, the commitment and the determination that Lee Kuan Yew had towards making his motherland a great one.
Lee Kuan Yew shares a lot of similarities with the Father of India – Mahatma Gandhi. Just like Gandhi, Lee went to the Great Britain, studied law and went on to create the People’s Action Party. However, unlike Gandhi, Lee Kuan saw some active participation in Politics after the Independence.
He was the Prime Minister of Singapore for eight consecutive terms and held some ministerial or advisory position for 56 years until 2011.
The Steps for the Future
Lee Kuan was a visionary like no other – when nations around were thinking about how to capitalize on the agonies of the past, he was thinking about the future of his dear Singapore. He implemented policies that span every segment of state-improvement.
His policies included
- Tourism Development
- Economic Reforms
- Production Optimization
- Anti Corruption
- Population Control
- Water Management
- Foreign Policies
If we think about it, Lee knew what exactly to concentrate on. Right from getting the UN Membership and creating the ASEAN, he exerted the presence of Singapore on the planet, so it will not be forgetten.
What can we learn:
There’s enough of material and blogs about what Lee Kuan has done for Singapore, and it is best left for historians and scholars. However, what we need to look at is the things that we can be inspired by.
Getting the priorities right – Lee Kuan did not care about the ‘trophies’ like building monuments, but more at developing what is needed for a great Singapore.
Focusing on smaller elements – Who ever thought population and matchmaking would be government initiatives? But Lee Kuan set it up, knowing these little elements play important roles in making the nation as wholesome as it is today.
Giving the 100% – Until he was 85, Lee Kuan was committed to making Singapore a better place. Though he was no longer the Prime Minister, (which he relinquished in 1990), he continued to contribute in making Singapore more awesome than it already is!
So, the next time you visit Singapore, take some moment to contemplate on this great man, because most of what Singapore is now – that transition from being a third-world country to a first-world country in less than three decades is attributable only to the legend called Lee Kuan Yew!