16 April, 2024


Tribute To Lee Kuan Yew, The Great Statesman Of The East

By Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran

Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran - PM – TGTE

Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran – PM – TGTE

We at the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam offer our deepest condolences to the people of Singapore on the demise of Lee Kuan Yew, the Great Statesman of the East.

He was a true friend of the Tamils of Sri Lanka and spoke out with clarity and courage on their behalf and against the injustices meted out to them by successive, racist Sinhala governments.

Ironically, in 1965 when Lee Kuan Yew was asked which country in Asia was his model to emulate for the newly formed Singapore he said without hesitation ‘Ceylon’. At that time Sri Lanka had a robust economy, a highly literate population, and was showing an excellent set of development indicators.

Fifty years down the line, Singapore is among the leading nations of the world in terms of its economic and social achievements, while Sri Lanka sits along with many low performing States towards the bottom of the pile, with successive regimes in Colombo carrying out genocidal policies against its own Tamil people. Singapore, starting off as a small and underdeveloped island outpost, under Lee Kuan Yew’s able leadership, transformed itself to be a first-world metropolis.

Lee Kuan Yew | Photo courtesy The Age

Lee Kuan Yew | Photo courtesy The Age

As one of Asia’s richest countries in terms of per capita income, with public services on par with the best in the world, and a remarkable level of social stability for a multi-racial society, Singapore today is the cynosure of the world’s attention. If there is any term that can capture the reasons behind this transformation, it could only be the ‘sagacity’ of the leadership under Lee Kuan Yew. President Nixon once observed Lee Kuan Yew as a big man on a small stage, who “in other times, and other places, might have attained the status of Churchill, Disreali, or Gladstone.” President Obama described him as a “true giant of history.”

Despite his initial admiration for Sri Lanka, it is clear that Lee Kuan Yew led Singapore along a completely different path of rule of law, reward for the meritorious and justice for all ethnic communities living on the island-state. Unlike Sri Lanka, which enacted its notorious and racist ‘Sinhala Only’ policies back in the fifties itself, the new Singapore started off with official recognition to the languages spoken by different groups in the country, including Tamil which was spoken by only 7 percent of the country’s population.

Lee Kuan Yew, spoke in favour of the Tamils of Sri Lanka, not because of any special affinity towards them or antipathy towards the Sinhalese. He saw clearly that the Tamils had been gravely wronged, in fact persecuted severely for being honest and meritorious.

Always known for his blunt and brutally honest observations, when asked in 1998 about the Sri Lankan civil war, Lee Kuan Yew said, “One-man one-vote led to the Sinhalese majority domination over the minority Tamils who were the active and intelligent fellows who worked hard and got themselves penalised.”

More recently, in 2011, he called Mahinda Rajapaksa a ‘Sinhala extremist’ and described the 2009 Mullaivaaikkaal events ‘ethnic cleansing’, being one among the few global statesmen to have the courage to call a spade a spade. Elaborating on the theme he said “Sri Lanka is not a happy, united country. Yes, they have beaten the Tamil Tigers this time, but the Sinhalese who are less capable are putting down a minority of Jaffna Tamils who are more capable. They were squeezing them out. That’s why the Tamils rebelled. But I do not see them ethnic cleansing all two million-plus Jaffna Tamils. The Jaffna Tamils have been in Sri Lanka as long as the Sinhalese.”

Lee Kuan Yew’s observations on Sri Lanka were entirely in keeping with his perspective in general, of nailing down bright, shining lies wherever he saw them and upholding fairness wherever needed, irrespective of creed, ethnicity, language or community. His wisdom and integrity on the global stage will be sorely missed by all Tamils around the world.

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  • 13

    Lee Kuan Yew, First class honours graduate of Cambridge and the founder of present harmonious Sinhapore and Solemon Bandaranayake, an equivalent and eminent scholar of Oxford, the seeder of communal riots and destroyer of peace with Sinhala-Only and power hungry intellect of Sri Lanka had gone but their legacies linger on with contrasting living conditions of both people in their respective countries.

    The former resisted Malay-Only policy of Malaysia and was forced to secede without any natural resources but with only human power. Lee worked hard to build his nation single handedly by making all the languages equal though Tamil was spoken by only 4.7% of 7% Indian origins. Now Singapore has overtaken Malaysia in economic performance and many people from neighbouring countries including professional Sinhalese work there for better living conditions.

    The latter advocated a federal set up for bi-lingual Sri Lanka before he went to Oxford but when he found prime ministership was within his reach and only way of achieving that was to break the dynasty of Senanayakes he converted himself into Buddhism and advocated ‘Sinhala-Only’ within 24 hours of his being elected and won the election and became the prime minister. As promised to the ethnic majority Sinhala-Buddhists he enacted Sinhala-Only and alienated the other minorities. The inevitable protests were met with organised pogroms and ethnic cleansing. The latest ousted leader and his brothers finished the job with mass scale killing and military occupation of areas inhabited predominantly by Tamil speaking population. The result is destruction, poverty and misery for the masses.

    • 4

      Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran – PM – TGTE

      RE: Tribute To Lee Kuan Yew, The Great Statesman Of The East

      He also made Singapore have the highest average IQ in the World, 108, despite the dilution by the South Indian derived (Tamil and Sinhala) Paras.

      “Now Singapore has overtaken Malaysia in economic performance and many people from neighbouring countries including professional Sinhalese work there for better living conditions. ‘

      Those Sinhalese and Tamils, the Para-Sinhalese and Para-Tamils, who went to singapore also must have increased their Low IQs as well, by “Induction with the Chinese” as the IQ of the Singaporean Population is around 108 and that of the Sri Lankans 79.
      The data supports the Hypothesis of Tamil Mootals and Sinhala Modayas in Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

      National IQ Scores – Country Rankings


      ——– Country
      ———————– %
      1 Singapore 108
      2 South Korea 106
      3 Japan 105

      28 Sri Lanka 79

      The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

  • 6

    LKY would not have allowed the establishment of a “Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam” in Singapore!

    “He was often accused of being bullying, arrogant and intolerant, and some of his critics spent years in detention without trial.”

    • 10

      “LKY would not have allowed the establishment of a “Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam” in Singapore!”

      It was not necessary.

    • 7

      TGTE is present not just in Singapore, even in Malaysia.

      The word “Ceylon Tamils” become famous not because they were holding 65% of the Ceylon government’s job, but their achievement in Malaysia-Singapore, where they are extremely small minority. The famous phrase “Ceylon Tamil” does not indicate the Sri Lankan nationality, it is sub category of Indian races in Malaysia-Singapore. In Singapore, “Ceylon Tamils” are negligible but always holds minister posts.

      • 6

        ‘The word “Ceylon Tamils” become (in)famous not because they were holding 65% of the Ceylon government’s job…..’

        Q.Do you know how this happened?

        A. When a ‘Ceylon Tamil’ was appointed to any Government Post, anywhere in the World, He/She proceeded to pack the Department with other ‘Ceylon Tamils’ only.

      • 5

        Once MALAYA-SINAGAPORE railway was efficiently run by Ceylon Tamils even today best lawyers and doctors in Singapore and Malaysia are Tamils of SL origins.

        The 2nd richest man in MALAYSIA is a SL origin Tamil and the person owned the 2nd biggest port in S.E.Asia is again a SL origin Tamil…

        Recently when there was a financial crises with a Malaysian sovereign fund …the racisit Malay government brought a Malaysian Tamil from Abu Dhabi to put the house in order..

        and rumours are flying in Malaysia that the richest Tamil of SL origin lend money to Malay dominated government …to settle the sovereign fund crises…HE HE HE …..

        But the open secret is Murderpakse & Co have USD 600 MILLION in a Dubai bank ….JAYAWEWA

        • 2

          Exactly Cholan,

          See my comment above yours!

    • 3

      True he would have allowed a TGTE in Sing, but he was wise enough to ensure that a TGTE was never needed.

  • 9

    Thank you Rudra you have nailed it, and thank you PM Lee for showing the world or great leadership to all communities

  • 8

    Thank you Rudra. Will you and your fellow statesmen be attending the funeral? Oh sorry, I forgot, your stateless.

    • 7

      Rudra, Taraki, Roger and others

      Here is the obituary published in Guardian:

      Lee Kuan Yew obituary
      The founding prime minister of an independent Singapore, he sought to encourage prosperity through ensuring a dominant role for the state

      As first prime minister of Singapore, serving for three decades until 1990, and a continuing cabinet presence for the two that followed, Lee Kuan Yew, who has died aged 91, was a man whose story reflected his times. A relentless nation-builder like Tito, an instantly identifiable symbol like Haile Selassie, Lee also had a third dimension, especially in western eyes – statesman, philosopher king, embodiment of the wisdom of the east.

      Lee’s role in and articulation of events from the Pacific war and the Japanese occupation of Singapore till leaving politics completely in 2011 made him a pivotal figure of the modern world. To many he became the embodiment of the orderly transition of a region from western dominance to neo-Confucian success. Yet experience had taught him to be a pessimist, which drove him to work harder, to be more ruthless.

      Lee himself may not have changed the world outside little Singapore very much. Indeed, his greatest apparent achievement, the creation of a viable independent state, was the outcome of his biggest failure – Singapore’s expulsion from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965, two years after the organisation’s inception. His first vision of Singapore’s future, as part of a multicultural Malaysia, may prove in time to have been the correct one, but he can be at least partly judged by the achievement of his second vision for Singapore, the prosperous, prickly and obsessively hygienic city state.

      He did not create modern Singapore’s prosperity. The city state thrived naturally in a region of economic growth and rapid development of world trade. However, he certainly created the image of the state in his own likeness.

      Being liked was not part of his agenda. A combination of high intelligence and unswervable determination were Lee’s characteristics, and he transferred them, at least superficially, to modern Singapore. Without him, it may in time go a different way, more reflective of its multiracial background and potentially precarious existence. But while he was alive few dared think, let alone put forward, alternative visions.

      Lee has been described as many things. To Chinese, particularly during his days fighting Chinese chauvinism in the name of a multiracial Singapore identity, the Cambridge-educated lawyer brought up to believe in English education if not in British institutions, Lee was a “banana” – yellow on the outside, white inside. However, later in life, as Chinese identity and Confucian attitudes emphasising education, discipline and hierarchy became more important, he would be criticised for presenting himself as a fount of wisdom, a convincing articulator of modern Asia to western audiences, while actually behaving with all the intolerance of a Chinese emperor. At his worst, he could combine imperial hauteur with extraordinarily petty spite, relishing the destruction of irritating but unthreatening critics. At his best, he had an incisive mind and clear political judgment. For an avowed elitist, he had a remarkable ability to talk to a crowd.

      Born in Singapore, Lee was the eldest son of Lee Chin Koon and Chua Jim Neo, members of a comfortably off but not rich Straits Chinese family. The Straits Chinese were those who had been settled in the region for many years, losing much of their Chinese identity both to the language and institutions of their British rulers, and to the Malays, their neighbours whose tongue was the lingua franca of south-east Asia.

      The young Harry, as Yew was known in the English-language environment of the time, came first in Malaya in the Senior Cambridge exams (the equivalent of A-levels) of 1939 and was destined to go to Britain to study law. But the second world war intervened and he had to go to the local Raffles College instead, where he acquired some basic economics, and met his future wife, Kwa Geok Choo. The delay in going to Britain was but a minor inconvenience compared with the sudden and humiliating British surrender of Singapore in February 1942. Lee described his own initial humiliation at the hands of Japanese troops as “the single most important event of my life”.

      Little is known of his actual role during the occupation, other than that he learned Japanese (he had a remarkable facility for languages), worked for Domei, the Japanese news agency, and may in the latter days of the war been of help to the British. The obscurity with which this period has been shrouded subsequently gave rise to much speculation about his relationships with the British and the Japanese. But he saw enough of British failures not to want to ape them, and enough of Japanese brutality – mostly directed against the recent migrant Chinese than against the more compromising Straits Chinese – to resent them. As he later wrote, he emerged from the war “determined that no one – neither the Japanese nor the British – had the right to push and kick us around”.

      Combining drive with connections, he got himself to Britain in 1946 to study at the London School of Economics. But deciding he needed to aim higher, he talked his way into Fitzwilliam Hall, Cambridge, and graduated in 1949 with a starred first in law. His wife-to-be, whom he married the following year, also got a first.

      It was also during this time that he began to develop ambitions beyond returning home to a prosperous legal career. He recognised that the British could not recreate the comfortable, colonial Singapore of prewar days. Nationalism, socialism and communism were in the air. In a speech in 1950 to the Malayan Forum in London, he said: “The choice lies between a communist republic of Malaya and a Malaya within the British Commonwealth led by people who, despite their opposition to imperialism, still share certain ideals in common with the Commonwealth … if we [the returning students] do not give leadership, it will come from the other ranks of society.” Malaya, he noted prophetically, could be either “another Palestine or another Switzerland”.

      Even before returning to Singapore, Lee had identified the strands necessary to make a successful politician with the aim of securing an independent, non-communist Malaya. The first was a commitment to greater social justice and income distribution. This was part of the ethos of the time, both in Britain, where Lee was involved with the Labour party, and with such exemplars of independence and social democracy as Nehru’s India. But it was also necessary politics. Lee believed that without a commitment to both anti-imperialism and socialism, radicals would win control of the freedom struggle.

      The other element in Lee’s equation was multiracialism, which he saw as necessary to prevent Malaya from dissolving into war between two nationalisms, a Chinese one which was communist in sympathy and a Malay one which tended to be exclusive and feudal.

      Back in Singapore, Lee the lawyer and Lee the politician were soon inseparable as he took up the cases of trade unionists, radicals and nationalists. Being from the British-educated Chinese elite, he had to work all the harder at being a leader to dialect-speaking Chinese and Indian union firebrands. His energy and application were prodigious, and he added fluency in Mandarin and Hokkien and passable Malay and even Tamil to his roster of languages.

      He was the driving force behind the creation of the People’s Action party (PAP) in 1954, including within it people sympathetic to the communist insurgency, then at its height in the Malayan peninsular. The PAP adhered to constitutionalism while Lee acted for those detained under the Internal Security Act.

      Lee’s fortunes as a politician benefitted from his bravura courtroom performances. It was this very success with juries that made him critical of the jury system. Judges were less easily swayed by emotion, and were appointed by the government. Once in power, Lee abolished juries.

      Despite his advocacy on behalf of leftists and nationalists, there were those who believed he connived to ensure that the left faction did not get the upper hand in the PAP. The party, which had been seen as the main agent of constitutional development in Singapore, swept aside more conservative forces to win the 1959 election by a large margin. Lee became chief minister of a self-governing state within the Commonwealth, promoting social reform but retaining political detention without trial.

      His principal objective became to achieve, in co-operation with the Malayan prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, independence through merger with a somewhat suspicious Malaya – which had been independent since 1957 – plus the territories of Sarawak and Sabah to form Malaysia. The PAP was divided on this and other issues and formally split in 1961, the left faction forming the Barisan Sosialis. However, the merger proposal was approved in a referendum.

      Lee further solidified his position by mass detentions, including those of prominent Barisan leaders. Though he justified the detentions by reference to the lingering communist threat and Indonesia’s avowed opposition to Malaysia, they came to symbolise Lee’s authoritarian tendencies. With the Barisan decapitated, he won the 1963 election and the Barisan never recovered.

      While unification made sense to the moderate majority of Singaporeans and Malayans, it soon ran into problems. Chief among them was the reluctance of the hyperactive Lee to play second fiddle to a Kuala Lumpur-based federal government led by the relaxed, aristocratic tunku, or prince. Lee insisted on the PAP trying to win seats in the peninsula itself, in the process setting itself up as the party more likely to protect Chinese interests than the Malaysian Chinese Association, the conservative Chinese element of the tunku’s ruling alliance. Lee made speeches which many regarded as racially inflammatory. Some Malays wanted him arrested. In the end, the tunku decided in August 1965 that the only way out was for Singapore to leave the federation.

      One vision had failed. Now Lee redoubled his efforts to create a new vision – of a republic of Singapore with its own identity and national interests that could hold its own among potentially hostile neighbours. Malaysia and Singapore still needed each other. The Indonesian policy of confrontation ended with the downfall of Sukarno in 1966. However, times were difficult, exacerbated by British military withdrawal, which created additional problems of finding jobs for a rapidly expanding population.

      The first 10 years after the expulsion from Malaysia saw Lee forge the society that is modern Singapore. It could have been done differently. Colonial Hong Kong, so similar in many ways, prospered as well without the guidance of a “philosopher king” or a “Moses”, as Lee was to be later described. Nonetheless, Lee was very much in charge of the new Singapore and thus deserves the credit, and the blame.

      The ingredients included a dominant role for the state. This combined aspects of social democracy, for example in major efforts to improve health and public housing, with “the mandarins know best” attitudes to social and economic activity.

      Foreign capital was relied upon to create jobs. This was a pragmatic recognition from the beginning that Singapore lacked the capital and knowhow to create industries. Meanwhile its entrepot role was, by definition, dependent on the services it could provide to foreigners.

      Nationalism was fostered too, which meant infusing an opportunistic, multiracial commercial hub with a Singapore identity, sense of pride, citizenship and separateness. It meant having strong armed forces, a Swiss-style national service and international assertiveness.

      For Lee, western notions of liberal democracy, free association, independent trade unions, juries and other aspects of the separation of powers might have proved an obstacle to achieving these nation-building goals. Yet he was well aware that the British had left behind some democratic expectations, and in order to compete economically, Singapore had to present itself to the outside world as a reasonably open as well as competently run state.

      Some government intervention in the economy was simply pragmatic. But much of it had political overtones. The state, for example, created what is now the largest commercial bank, the Development Bank of Singapore, though there was never any lack of private ones. Its forced savings scheme was a colonial-era provident fund that was used to generate savings that helped give Singapore the best infrastructure in Asia. The scheme gave the government control over far more money than it needed, thus enabling it to dictate not only the pattern of investment but housing and consumer spending. The nation amassed huge foreign reserves, which underpinned its growth, reflected in a currency that was as strong as the German mark.

      Emphasis on education, especially in science, helped Singapore develop as a base for multinationals. Lee’s government was very successful in identifying and fostering growth industries, whether it was the Asiadollar money market in the late 60s, oil exploration, production and refinery services in the 70s, or electronics in the 90s. However, critics – and even some government loyalists – noted a decline in the entrepreneurial spirit. Educated Singaporeans did not create enterprises: they went to work, very efficiently, for ones already created by foreigners, or the government. The administration was both extraordinarily pedantic and uncorrupt. Yet part of Singapore’s prosperity rested on it providing a safe haven for money made corruptly in neighbouring countries, smuggling or drug trafficking.

      Intellectually, Lee recognised the importance of money-making. Money brought power. Yet he exhibited the kind of distaste for businessmen common among Chinese mandarins, socialists and intellectuals. Thus Singapore’s indigenous capitalists were kept on a short leash. From time to time prominent examples were made of “misbehaviour”.

      For all its potential shortcomings, for all its dependence on the growth of neighbours, the rise of Japan and latterly of China, the reality is that for four decades from 1970 Singapore delivered economic growth rates almost as good as any in booming east Asia. There have been few hiccups. Thanks to the prosperity of its oil-producing neighbours, Singapore rode the oil crises easily. The mid-80s recession necessitated some minor policy adjustments, but generally, once the mould had been established, Singapore’s economic progress was as unruffled as its politics.

      Internationally, Lee played a key role in the development of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean). At first he had been somewhat suspicious, fearing it could become a vehicle for Indonesian domination, or an expression of pan-Malay identity. However, he soon embraced it as an anti-communist buffer which linked countries with formal ties to the US (Thailand and Philippines) to the anti-communist but “neutral” Indonesia and Malaysia. Anti-communism cemented Singapore’s ties with the US when it badly needed implied protection as well as investment. With ties to Washington and Beijing, Lee helped to ensure that Asean participated fully in the cold war to force Vietnam out of Cambodia.

      In practice, politics seldom stood in the way of business opportunities. After all, Singapore was commerce (not ideology) in action. But once the Soviet empire had collapsed, foreign policy emphasis changed to a wholehearted pursuit of economic goals. Again, Singapore was quick to see the advantages of turning Asean attention to trade, providing a new raison d’etre for the group. Freer trade was not just good for Singapore but for the region’s ethnic Chinese business community, many of whom saw Singapore as their spiritual home and salted away profits there.

      In social as in economic affairs, Lee tried to shape society to an extent attempted perhaps only by Mao Zedong in recent times. What began in the early years as a voluntary family-planning campaign ended up with the state trying to influence marriage choices and “enhance” Singapore’s genetic quality by encouraging graduates to reproduce among themselves. Myriad rules, taxes, incentives and exhortations confronted the citizen. The result was an orderly society, but only marginally freer of crime than Hong Kong. It was a society where people were afraid to speak out. Lee the great debater was now the winner by default, whether in parliament or the courts.

      While continuing with parliamentary elections, Lee muzzled the press, international as well as local, and stamped hard on opponents of the PAP. Opposition politicians were hounded by legal actions – often for libel, which Lee invariably won – and bankrupted. Social workers were branded as communists and detained till they confessed, often after coercive treatment.

      Quite why Lee, revered as the father of the nation, found it necessary to use such sledgehammers was not clear. In the 50s, the communists were real and ruthless. But as time went on, real threats vanished. Yet the unrelenting ambition did not, and Lee was unable to change his self-image as a political streetfighter, the gang boss who forever had to prove his ruthlessness. Beyond that, he had a sense of insecurity about the future of Singapore after he was gone. Partly this was a sense that society would go soft with success, or, like the Malays, surrender to the easy languor of the tropics. The younger generation knew only success and the cultivation of wealth.

      He, with his recollections of Japanese occupation, the expulsion from Malaysia, the potential threat from Indonesia, always imagined the worst. Singapore could not afford gentlemanly disagreements or real debates. The leaders led, and that was it.

      Increasingly, there was only one leader. Comrades from the heroic anti-colonial days retired, drifted away or were pushed out – in the case of President Devan Nair in 1985, after a humiliating allegation of alcoholism that he contested. New blood was brought into the PAP, but increasingly it became a tightknit elite. It retained an effective command structure but the mass base eroded.

      The so-called second generation had no real political experience but was full of intellectual accomplishment. Goh Chok Tong, who succeeded Lee as prime minister in 1990, was a competent and well-liked bureaucrat, but Lee remained in cabinet as senior minister. In 2004, Lee’s eldest son, Lee Hsien Loong, became prime minister, and his father “minister mentor”. He resigned from that cabinet position in May 2011 following an electoral setback when the PAP share of the vote fell to its lowest level since independence. He then took no further part in public life.

      Goh had been unable to deliver the “kinder, gentler” Singapore that had been expected. The force of Lee’s personality, the moral authority that he commanded, left him the arbiter of anything he cared about. Like a Mao in miniature, he seemed both to enjoy and have contempt for the adulation that surrounded him. Never a tolerant man, he began to show some of the symptoms of age. International acclaim added to his convictions of his own brilliance and righteousness.

      Some saw excesses of personal power, not just in his treatment of opponents but in the rapid promotion of his sons. The Singapore courts silenced a string of suggestions of dynastic politics.

      With Goh and Hsien Loong minding day-to-day affairs, Lee was free to devote his energies to the world. He saw in the economic success of east Asia the triumph of “Confucian values”: discipline, order, respect for education and authority over western values of individualism, liberalism and democracy. He even succeeded for a while in promoting Singapore as the centre of “Asian values”. Lee was especially heartened by China’s economic success, defended its political repression and criticised Taiwan’s new-found democracy. China’s success fitted not only with his own philosophy but with the increasing emphasis in Singapore on its predominantly Chinese, as distinct from multiracial, character.

      Lee Kuan Yew’s grip on Singapore
      Letters: The late dictator created a clean, intensely ordered state, but Singaporeans had no say in anything
      Read more
      Ethnic prejudice lurked just under Lee’s image of technocratic rationalism. He combined assumptions about Chinese cultural supremacy with belief in genetic theories which influenced social policy in Singapore. But if Lee’s actions were sometimes driven by gut instinct, his head was more often the winner, particularly in international affairs. He could set aside his underlying distaste for America, with its crude culture and populist politics, and his Chinese ethnic sentiments to deliver masterly analyses of regional and global affairs. Only occasionally did he let prejudices get in the way of Singapore’s national interest – which, he clearly saw, lay with keeping US forces in the region.

      Perhaps only he could succeed in making oppressive Singapore the main Asian critic of the US commitment to human rights and personal freedoms while ensuring that Singapore remained a key to the strategic plans of American military and multinationals alike.

      Mostly – though not always – he could guard his tongue sufficiently to keep his Malay neighbours co-operative. His sheer length of service gave him a regional prestige that only Suharto could match, and his successors would not inherit. Suharto, with 180 million people and a vast archipelago to rule, had a big stage, while Lee gave every sign of regarding Singapore – with a population of 5 million in 700 square kilometres – as far too small for his talents.

      Indeed, it was far too small. Its size accounted for his obsession that its every detail, down to choice of roadside trees, fit with his plans or prejudices, as well as his eagerness to advise larger countries on how to run their affairs.

      Because of his background and early life, he could operate and dominate in many different milieus, but was totally at home in none of them. That perhaps accounted for his ruthlessness. He had permanent interests, not permanent friends. In sum, always a leader rather than a fullower, he set his own agenda.

      Kwa Geok Choo died in October 2010, and Lee is survived by their two sons and a daughter. Lee Hsien Loong continues to be prime minister; his brother, Lee Hsien Yang, is chairman of the civil aviation authority; and their sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, is director of the national neuroscience institute.

      • Lee Kuan Yew, statesman, born 16 September 1923; died 23 March 2015


    • 1

      Rudra is an US citizen as are several hundred thousand other Tamils. Go ‘white-van’ him and see how long before a call from the US Ambassador comes in .. or even the marines. Urrrahh.

  • 11

    You must be a fool to think that LKY supported the Tamils for any reason other than the selfish. If you think so then you don’t know the Chinese nor their mindset! The Chinese never do anything without a motive nor one that would benefit themselves! He detested all Indians especially South Indians – Tamils, Malayalees etc for their ways and dark skin. He promoted racial discrimination against Indians afraid that with their capability and intelligence they would “take over” Singapore. He did not differentiate between Sri Lankans, Indians or Pakistanis grouping them as one. Indians would get jail and caning for a crime while the Chinese wouldn’t. Indians were told they were black and stupid as well as inferior. Unless an Indian excelled over the Chinese and they could not find a Chinese person to do the job, they hired the Indian. His government only hired Indians in token positions. He played a role to end the war in Sri Lanka only because he did not want the tamils to come as refugees to Singapore and have to chase them away looking bad or losing face in the world arena. Singapore is not harmoniuous. The Malays had their land stolen, are kept down trodden and are not allowed to migrate to Singapore. He preferred Chinese migrants over others. Perhaps you should have lived in Singapore and find out how much discrimination the Indians and Malays face in Singapore before writing such shitty statements!

  • 8

    LKY did a great job for Singapore and it would be silly to argue against that.

    It is all well to refer to him as having been a great friend of the SL Tamils; but Tamils from Singapore whom I have met have spoken of how Singapore allegedly discriminates in favour of the ethnic Chinese, to the detriment of other communities including the Tamils. They have claimed that they are often overlooked for appointment to jobs even when they are the best qualified for the positions because they were not Chinese. I can’t attest to the truth or otherwise of that but that has been their story.

    • 2

      Know All:-

      “They have claimed that they are often overlooked for appointment to jobs even when they are the best qualified for the positions because they were not Chinese”

      Sounds like the claim of Tamils everywhere, who have an inflated idea of themselves!

      • 2



  • 9

    LKY was able to harness and cultivate the best of all races, with discipline, inclusiveness and equality, to make this tiny island with well planned, structured development, a rich and prosperous country, an envy of third worlds.

    Our leaders failed to grasp the opportunity, foresight or ideas of LKY or that of Ali Jinnah, and the Eelam Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka should not be denied the freedom of self determination, to live in peace and with dignity, to lead, develop and prosper like Singapore or Hong Kong in the region.

    Our tribute to a great leader who lead by example and a dear friend to Tamils. His legacy will live on.

  • 5

    I just wondered why no one from Sri Lanka was sending condolences to our founding father of Singapore.Glad Mr Rudra did.Mr Lee had a soft spot for minorities.He understood the Tamil problem but said Singhalese mindset cannot be changed unless they become enlightened about human issues.

  • 5

    Anpon Sarawasadee, probably a Thai, is grossly unfair by the Father of Singapore. No one leader can please all his people. One has to be judged by the aggregates. And there, LKY is outstanding. He admitted he took strong measures for the common good that may have incurred the displeasure of some. Don’t forget from 1965 till Deng showed up, the Chinese communists would have loved to have “their men” ruling the little State – and this could have been another Laos or whatever. LKY steered the stormy seas around him judiciously and took Singapore from Third World to the First – almost single-handedly.

    He was more than fair by the Tamil people in his country. He had special regards for the able Lankan Tamils around him. He loved all Sri Lankan people although he may have had his own opinions some of its leaders. I know he had a very affectionate relationship with Dudley Senanayake. If much what he has said about this country is acted upon, we could be on the path to Singapore – the avowed dream of many, many Lankans.

    I hope the Sirisena administration will honour LKW’s ceremonies appropriately.


  • 6

    Thank u my friend for such a excellent article The late Mr Lee coined the abbreviation “the 3 J’S — THE JEWS,THE JAPANESE & THE JAFFNA TAMILS ,they are a Force to recon with .

    • 8

      Lee was right in calling the japs and Jews as “Js”( there racial reference began with J) but his including the Jaffna Tamils among the Js is just ridiculous .Lee would have been better off to call them as the 2 Js and 1t !! Even Homer nods!!

      • 1


        Even the CTs (Colombo Tamils) called them JTs, as separate from themselves!

    • 0

      Yes Selva,
      They are a Force to be Reckoned with, especially when they Feel that they are not Appropriately Respected!

  • 5


    Life is a contradiction.

    Lee Kuan Yew[May his soul rest in Peace] was an Ethnic Chinese.But he gave equal status to the TAMIL Language,though it was a small percentage who spoke that.

    He was a wise man.

    Look at SWRD; a descendant of a Tamil[NILAPERUMAL].He wanted Sinhala only!

  • 7

    Mr. LKY can be rightly be named as the father of Singapore and is a practical man right through his life. Even after retiring he did his best for Singapore. In that context he outwardly made Singapore an inclusive society but exclusive only to those with the “LKY thinking”. In that context he made English the working language and made every body English educated, one Single version of National Anthem (Unlike Sri Lanka which now claims to have 2 versions) and that is intelligible in Malay, signboards in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.

    What interests me is the change in behavior of Mr. Lee. However disagreeable the foreign leader can be, Mr. LKY never chose to criticize the leader in harsh language. In the recent past, however he called MARA a Sinhala extremist. Of course he is no more among the living to call SIRA too a Sinhala extremist because he would talk only in Sinhala. Mr. LKY, being a GCMG of UK (and very rightly can be called Sir Lee Kuan) perhaps was not that well or did not hear at all the Queen shaking hands with SIRA without gloves and SIRA taking credit for that. If he did hear was healthy enough to express opinion, I wonder what he would have said about that?

    Did Mr. LKY have any passion for the Tamils as some try to paint it? My answer is No. If confidential opinions are sought from so called minorities of Singapore, namely the Tamil speaking Singaporeans then it would reveal that there is considerable discontent stating to the effect that they have no place, despite several Tamil Singaporeans were and are in the Cabinet. It is a known fact that former President Nathan who held two terms and former President Devan Nair are Tamil speaking Singaporeans. Nevertheless they feel they are subject to the majoritarian rule of the yellow skinned Singaporeans. The Singaporeans of Muslim faith too say that their pride and dignity is at stake. But to the credit of Mr. LKY he was able to hold all of them together whether they liked it or not.

    It is also widely known that the demand for Singapore as a port city and a port of trans-shipment would loose its significance if and when the much talked of KRA canal project is implemented and the Port in Hambantota is viewed as a per-requisite to the KRA canal by the Chinese strategists. Certainly this is too much for Mr. LKY and it is rumored that MARA gave an undertaking to an LKY emissary that Port of Hambantota would not come up way back in 1994 – 1995 which MARA true to his Giruwapattu style did away with the undertaking. Therefore, to me, it is not a wonder why Mr. LKY broke his own rules with respect to Foreign leaders like MARA.

    • 4

      The Singapore national anthem is in MALAY LANGUAGE majority Chinese never protest this……

      There are many SL origin Tamils in higher positions in Singapore government service……in Sri Lanka ?????

      Chinese,Malay and Tamils call we are SINAPOREANS here they call ape anduwa …and demila ….

      • 3

        We also need to know that :
        Four of the six Foreign Ministers of Singapore were Tamils. Mr Rajaratnam was also the Deputy Prime Minister and Mr Devan Nair was once the President of Singapore. The current Finance Minister is a Tamil.

        When a very small minority Singapore Tamils and Singapore Malays are very proud to be called Singapore Citizens, Singapore speaks for itself. Their culture, heritage, religion and language are protected by law, no complaints, TQ.

        Do we realise that there is no Muslim fanaticism or extremism in Singapore, even though they are closely surrounded by Muslim majority countries, and troubled Phillippines.

        The reason being, people are told to serve the country with love, adjust , accommodate, trust, respect and accept, and keep moving forward.

        • 2

          I refer to reply comments of Cholan and Manicka Vasagar. I did say in my comment that the so called minorities are given places in Singapore and gave specific examples. But nevertheless they claim to be subjected to majoritarian rule of the yellow skinned Singaporeans. If there were any love and affection AND TRUE EQUALITY towards them, despite the slogan “ONE SINGAPORE” there would not have been any comments of this nature. Incidentally it was LKY who has been saying that all humans are not equal and giving instances of performances identified in terms of various social profiling.

          The point I wish to make is not the places given to minorities but LKY would certainly attack anyone in harshest possible terms if the interests of Singapore is tampered with and our fellows think that LKY is indeed a supporter of their cause.

  • 5

    Excerpts from: “From Third World To First – The Singapore Story:

    “Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew”

    My first visit to Sri Lanka was in April 1956 on my way to London.
    That same year, Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike won the election
    as leader of the new Sri Lanka Freedom Party and became prime minister.

    He had promised to make Sinhalese the national 1anguage and Buddhism the
    national religion. He was a brown “pukka sahib” English-educated and born a
    Christian; he had decided on nativism and converted to Buddhism, and
    had become a champion of the Sinhalese language. It was the start of the
    unraveling of Ceylon. A dapper little man, well-dressed and articulate,
    Bandaranaike was elated at having obtained an election mandate from
    the Sinhalese majority to make Ceylon a more nativist society. It was a
    reaction against the “Brown Sahib” society – the political elite who
    on inheriting power had modeled themselves on the British, including their lifestyle.

    Sir John Kotelawala, the prime minister whom Bandaranaike
    succeeded, went horse riding every morning. Bandaranaike did not
    seem troubled that the Jaffna Tamils and other minorities would be at a
    disadvantage now that Sinhalese was the national language, or by the
    unease of the Hindu Tamils, the Muslim Moors and the Christian Burghers
    (descendants of Dutch and natives) at the elevated status of Buddhism as the
    national religion. He had been president of the Oxford Union and
    spoke as if he was still in the Oxford Union debating society. I was
    surprised when, three years later, he was assassinated by a Buddhist monk. I
    thought it ironic that a Buddhist monk, dissatisfied with the country’s slow
    rate of progress in making Buddhism the national religion, should have done it.

    In the election that followed, his widow, Sirimavo Bandaranaike,
    became prime minister on the sympathy vote. She proved to be a less voluble
    but much tougher leader. When I met her in Ceylon in August 1970, she
    was a determined woman who believed in the non-aligned ideology. Ceylon
    favoured the withdrawal of all US troops from South Vietnam, Laos and
    Cambodia, and a Nuclear-Weapons Free Zone in the Indian Ocean, free of big

    As a younger man, I patiently explained my different
    foreign policy objectives, that Singapore would be gravely threatened if
    South Vietnam were to fall into the hands of the communists, threatening
    Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. The insurgency would spread into
    Malaysia, with serious consequences for Singapore. We could not subscribe to
    this high-minded ideology when it had serious consequences for our future.

    Other great powers in the region, China and Japan, would in time expand
    their naval build-up.

    Ceylon was Britain’s model Commonwealth country. It had been
    carefully prepared for independence. After the war, it was a good
    middle-size country with fewer than 10 million people. It had a relatively good standard
    of education, with 2 universities of high quality, a civil service
    largely of locals, and experience in representative government starting with
    city council elections in the 1930s.

    When Ceylon gained independence in 1948, it was the classic model of
    gradual evolution to independence.

    Alas it did not work out. During my visits over the years, I watched
    a promising country go to waste. One-man-one-vote did not solve a
    basic problem. The majority of some 8 million Sinhalese could always
    outvote the 2 million Jaffna Tamils who had been disadvantaged by the switch
    from English to Sinhalese as the official language. From having no
    official religion, the Sinhalese made Buddhism their national religion. As
    Hindus, the Tamils felt dispossessed.

    In Oct 1966, on my way back from a prime ministers’ conference in
    London, I visited Colombo to meet Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake. He was
    a gentle if resigned and fatalistic elderly man.
    At dinner, a wise and sad-looking elderly Sinhalese explained that
    what had happened was inevitable with popular elections. The Sinhalese
    wanted to be the dominant race; they wanted to take over from the British as
    managers in the tea and coconut plantations, and from the Tamils who were
    the senior civil servants. They had to go through this tragedy of making
    Sinhalese the official language for which they had paid dearly, translating
    everything from English into Sinhalese and Tamil, a slow and unwieldy process.

    The universities taught in three languages: Sinhalese to the majority,
    Tamil to the Jaffna Tamils, and English to the Burghers. At the
    university in Kandy I had asked the vice-chancellor how three different
    engineers educated in three languages collaborated in building one bridge.

    He was Burgher, and wore a Cambridge university tie so that I would
    recognise he had a proper PhD. He replied, “That, sir, is a political
    question for the ministers to answer!” I asked about the books. He replied that
    basic textbooks were translated from English into Sinhalese and Tamil,
    always three to four editions late by the time they were printed.

    The tea plantations were in a deplorable condition. The locals who
    had been promoted were not as good supervisors as their British predecessors.

    Without strict discipline, the tea pluckers were picking not only
    young shoots but also full-grown leaves which would not brew good tea.

    Their coconut plantations had also suffered. It was said the old
    Sinhalese, the price people had to pay to learn how to run the country.

    I did not visit Ceylon for many years, not until I had met their
    newly elected prime minister, Junius Richard Jayewardene, in 1978 at a
    CHOGRM (British Commonwealth Conference) in Sydney.

    In 1972 Prime Minister Mrs.Bandaranaike had already changed the country’s name,
    Ceylon, to Sri Lanka, and made it a republic.

    The changes did not improve the fortunes of the country. Its tea is still sold as “Ceylon” tea.

    Like Solomon Bandaranaike, Jayewardene was born a Christian,
    converted to Buddhism and embraced nativism to identify himself with the people.

    In his 70-odd years, he had been through the ups and downs of
    politics, more downs than ups, and become philosophical in his acceptance of
    lowered targets. He wanted to move away from Sri Lanka’s socialist policies
    that had bankrupted it. After meeting me in Sydney, he came to
    Singapore, he said, to involve us in its development. I was impressed by
    his practical approach and was persuaded to visit Sri Lanka in April1978. He
    said he would offer autonomy to the Tamils in Jaffna. I did not realise
    that he could not give way on the supremacy of the Sinhalese over the
    Tamils, which was to lead to civil war in 1983 and destroy any hope of a
    prosperous Sri Lanka for many years, if not generations.

    He had some weaknesses. He wanted to start an airline because he
    believed it was a symbol of progress. Singapore Airlines (voted as the Best
    Airline Year 2000 in the Fortune Magazine’s recent issue) employed a good

    Sri Lankan captain. Would I release him? Of course, but how could an
    airline pilot run an airline? He wanted Singapore Airlines to help. We did.

    I advised him that an airline should not be his priority because it
    required too many talented and good administrators to get an airline off
    the ground when he needed them for irrigation, agriculture, housing,
    industrial promotion and development, and so many other projects. An
    airline was a glamour project, not of great value for developing Sri Lanka. But
    he insisted. So we helped him launch it in six months, seconding 80 of
    Singapore Airlines’ staff for periods from three months to two
    years, helping them through our worldwide sales representation, setting
    overseas offices, training staff, developing training centres and so on.

    But there was no sound top management. When the pilot, now chairman of the
    new airline, decided to buy two second-hand aircraft against advice, we
    decided to withdraw. Faced with a five-fold expansion of capacity,
    negative cash flow, lack of trained staff, unreliable services and
    insufficient passengers, it was bound to fail. And it did.

    It was flattering to have Sri Lanka model their country after Singapore.
    They started a housing programme in 1982 based on ours, but there
    was no adequate financing. They set up a free trade zone only slightly
    smaller area than the area of Singapore which might have taken off but for
    the Tamil Tigers whose terrorist tactics scared investors away.

    The greatest mistake Jayewardene made was over the distribution of
    reclaimed land in the dry zone. With foreign aid, he revived an
    ancient irrigation scheme based on “tanks” (reservoirs), which could store
    water from the wet side of the mountains. Unfortunately, he gave there
    claimed land to the Sinhalese, not the Tamils who had historically been the
    farmers of this dry zone. Dispossessed and squeezed, they launched the Tamil
    Tigers. Jayewardene’s private secretary, a Jaffna Tamil loyal to him
    told me this was a crucial mistake. The war that followed caused 50,000
    deaths and even more casualties, with many leaders assassinated. After more
    than 15 years, it shows no sign of abating.

    Jayewardene retired in 1988, a tired man. He had run out of solutions.

    Ranasinghe Premadasa, who succeeded him, was a Sinhalese chauvinist.
    He wanted the Indian troops out of the country, which was not sensible.

    They were doing a nasty job for Sri Lanka. When the Indian troops left,
    he was in a worse position. He tried to negotiate with the Tamil Tigers and
    failed. He was not willing to give enough away.

    I met him on several occasions in Singapore after he became
    president and tried to convince him that this conflict could not be solved
    by force of arms. A political solution was the only way, one considered fair by
    the Jaffna Tamils and the rest of the world; then the Tamil United
    Liberation Front, the moderate constitutional wing of the Tamil home rule
    movement, could not reject it. I argued that his objective must be to
    deprive the terrorists of popular support by offering the Tamils autonomy to
    govern them through the ballot box. He was convinced he could destroy them.

    In 1991 and 1992 he sent the Sri Lankan army to fight major battles
    against the Tamil Tigers. They did not succeed. In 1993, at a May Day
    Parade, a suicide bomber approached him in a street procession. He and many
    others died. His successor, Mrs. Bandaranaike’s daughter, President
    Chandrika Kumaratunga, tried negotiation and war. She recaptured the Jaffna
    peninsula but did not destroy the Tamil Tigers. The fighting goes on.

    It is sad that the country whose ancient name Serendip has given the English
    language the word “serendipity” is now the epitome of conflict, pain, sorrow and hopelessness.

  • 5

    V Rudrakumaran – PM TGTE

    Your ego is overtaking you, you are the only Prime Minister in the world that has not got one square inch of land to govern. Your egoistic ideas lost the Tamils any chance of recognition in Sri Lanka, the country that was unfortunate allow you to be born. You are expressing crocodile sympathies to Late Lee Kuan Yew, under the false misguided theories, you displayed the typical Tamil attitude to seek sympathy even by claiming some association for your cause by selling a dead man’s name. you are a disgrace to Tamils, uttering stupid thoughts to gain popularity. Your stupidity has no boundaries, continue in your grandiose idiotic manner, until Tamils hate you for your selfish, self promoting ideas, they could not have better idiot than you.

    • 1

      Tilak de Silva’s right to abuse Rudra and his anti-Tamil prejudice is patently clear. But it may well be, unless the majority Sinhala Nation get their act together – even after nearly 7 decades of continued bloodshed and missed opportunities – Rudra’s thoughts might have the day. Let us remember Maragarent Thatcher and the world scoffed at Mandela and the ANC for decades.

      Fortunately, Sirisena, Ranil W, CBK, Mangala and others understand the mood and potential influence of the international community and have come together to save the country. Will they get the support of the vast majority to usher in peace, prosperity and future or is it one more backslide to chaos, disorder and all those features of a basket case.


    • 1

      Tilak de Silva

      “you are the only Prime Minister in the world that has not got one square inch of land to govern.”

      Dr. Lobsang Sangay was elected prime minister-in-exile of Tibet in 2011.

      Stupid as stupid does.

      • 0

        oh and btw .. these day’s land means very little indeed … the world is virtual .. anyone plugged into the modern economy would know that.

    • 0

      Again not true .. there are a number of govts in exile – one has to remember the Timorse and the Western Saharans .. not to mention De Gaul .. it is not an uncommon position.

  • 2

    When a student named Ali presented a proposal about forming P-A-K-I-S-T-A-N at a dinner in London in early 40 s …many people laughed at him ….

  • 2

    Tilak de silva, so far you are not corrected. Until reach a goal, Rudra acts as TGTE PM. This is a way followed by other countries before independence. You are not mistaken but your neighborhood brought you this way. Like your 90% majority are same alike. Wait and see

  • 3


    “When a student named Ali presented a proposal about forming P-A-K-I-S-T-A-N at a dinner in London in early 40 s …many people laughed at him”

    Who was behind Choudhry Rahmat Ali’s 1933 pamphlet titled “Now or Never; Are We to Live or Perish Forever”? Most top universities were recruitment agencies for Colonial spies, Cambridge is one of the top agency.

    Now look at Pakistan, half gone in 1971. Is there a functioning state in Pakistan at present? Pathetic.

    “many people laughed at him”

    Many people never stop laughing at the idea of Pakistan and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

    Does any one visit Pakistan as tourist destination?

    • 0

      Pakistan problem started because of the untimely death of Mr.Jinnah who was the only person at that time to united all ethnic groups and religions.Indeed in his independence day speech he has mentioned about his vision of a country where all races and religions live together…

      Unfortunately there were no leaders like Mr.Jinnah to guide the country after him…

      Pakistan to day has become the playing field for western powers and fanatic mullahs ..don t worry soon this SL will become like another Pakistan because of the local fanatic saffron clad Ayatullahs and racists politicians

      One day may be very soon West and China will divide this country …..

      I have brought about this Pakisatn matter to nail the canard of some Modayas about Rudrakumaran …todays dream is tomorrows reality ..

      These cowards know only how to hide under bed with their wives ..with fear we have seen this till 2009 may

      • 2


        Jinnah might have been a secular leader however the idea of Pakistan was essentially one of Islamic Nationalism.

        Read this article:

        The idea that created Pakistan
        NADEEM F. PARACHA — UPDATED DEC 25, 2014 03:20PM


    • 0

      Native V,

      Was’nt the original reference to Pakistan made by Poet Iqbal somewhere in the 1930/1940s? He was also mocked and jeered to then.


      • 2


        Poet and nationalist Iqbal’s thought process at the time of colonial rule was evolving, please read the article by By Murtaza Razvi and the link is


        • 2

          Native V,

          Thank you for the interesting link. I was made to understand the rich journalism (English)of The Dawn by a Tamil Brahmin senior journo friend of mine in Chennai – and since then I have read their superlative writing whenever I can. Their critique on Islamic Fundamentalism is something our Gnanassara variety will learn quite a bit from.

          Anyway, it looks like there is so simple answer to my question although I read somewhere Iqbal coined the abbreviations that went out to make Pakistan.

          BTW, your repertoire of reference material is pretty impressive.


          • 2


            “BTW, your repertoire of reference material is pretty impressive.”

            Thanks to my Elders.

  • 2

    Tilak De Silva.

    Are you sure that this essay of Lee Kuan Yew by the author is stupid?

  • 1

    V Rudrakumaran – PM TGTE

    Thank you for this – a fitting tribute for a giant who made the tiny country proud by his unique vision for it; He is well deserved to be celebrated as founding father of this country (only an area of 716.1 km^2 and ppn of 5.399 M, whereas SL 65,610kM^2 & 20.48M; its NE 18,880kM^2 & 2.6M; North only 8884kM^2 & 1.06M). At the outset, he fore saw where to take Singapore in years to come; went on a mission; executed his plans and strategies with perfection and precision; ended up where he wanted to be, simple as that. Besides, all the positives that have been said about him here, there were lots criticism as well about his handling of things to achieve what he wanted to be achieved, including bull dozing those who descent his ideologies or methods, but at the end of the day, the end justified the means, and he is being celebrated. More challenging had to be faced with were, he didn’t have any commodities, any land or not even sufficient drinking water- operating desalination plant to supplement the amount extracted from natural sources. How the country has transformed into today is, when you walk out in Singapore you kind of get the feeling of as if walking in a court room, as maintenance of discipline and respect for law and order is so high. They have got an infrastructure which cater for all their needs at the standard expected of a developed country, and into the habit of maintaining it. This is something passed on from their leader’s vision, which he leant from the West and put into practice with his own imagination, turned out to be much improved version which got even Western leaders got excited to say LHY was a big leader on a small stage, or the like. To motivate a nation’s population, the leader should be a real and set himself as an example, which is what largely we didn’t see among our leaders in SL. To quote one example, once Singapore Airline pilots seemed to have gone on strike for a pay hike citing pilots from other developed nations doing similar work have been drawing much higher salary than them. Failing at all level to resolve the stand-off, matter referred to LKY as pilots’ request. He had been overseas and not fully understood their demand, however prepared to meet them at short notice. Listening to their request what he said to them was your request seems ok, but one thing, You check the salaries of the Heads of State of those pilots you compare your salary with, and find out if they draw same salary as mine, I have no problem directing my minister of Aviation for consideration your demand, and we will meet tomorrow that would give sufficient time to for you all to work out, he shook hands with everyone and left the venue. Apparently, the pilots went back to work right away no more demands, however they were given a reasonable increase subsequently as with other employees. How many other leaders that could operate as he did, not only in SL but in this region. One doesn’t need to be highly educated to do service to the nation but he must have the real patriotism, not smart patriotism and people whom he/she serve in their mind all the time. Other good example was Kamarayar from Tamil Nadu State. Don’t want to get into LKY’s view on SL ethnic issue, except his foresighted advice. When rebel movements started, LKY’s suggestion to our Sinhala Leaders was to devolve more power to moderate Tamils to rule all including the rebels through ballot box, which he thought would make Tamil rebels irrelevant. But, that didn’t go down very well with our leader of the time as in a two party ruling system that SL has been to, if one in power conceded some powers towards minorities rights, which becomes a political capital for the other party in opposition. This has been the pattern, even now what MR is having some hope on, to resurrect his politics is the very issue- denial of minorities (if Tamils have been made weaker enough, they will jump to Muslim, which we saw, State sponsored riots and provocation) rights, this LKY saw as ethnic cleansing, perhaps he might be right.

    LKY is one of the fine world leaders and his life is a lesson for those who aspire to become a leader to learn.

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