Lee Kuan Yew Quotes

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Lee Kuan Yew
GCMG, CH, SPMJ
李光耀

Lee Kuan Yew in 2002
1st Prime Minister of Singapore
In office
3 June 1959 â€“ 28 November 1990
President William Goode
(Yang di-Pertuan Negara)
Yusof Ishak
Benjamin Sheares
Devan Nair
Wee Kim Wee
Deputy Toh Chin Chye
Goh Keng Swee
S Rajaratnam
Goh Chok Tong
Preceded by Lim Yew Hock (as Chief Minister)
Succeeded by Goh Chok Tong
Senior Minister
In office
28 November 1990 â€“ 12 August 2004
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong
Preceded by S. Rajaratnam
Succeeded by Goh Chok Tong
Minister Mentor
In office
12 August 2004 â€“ 21 May 2011
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Secretary-General of the People’s Action Party
In office
21 November 1954 â€“ 1 November 1992
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Goh Chok Tong
Member of Parliament
for Tanjong Pagar GRC (Tanjong Pagar)
(Tanjong pagar-Tiong Bahru) (2011-2015)
Tanjong Pagar SMC (1955–1991)
In office
1991–2011
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Indranee Thurai Rajah
Personal details
Born Harry Lee Kuan Yew
(1923-09-16)16 September 1923
Singapore, Straits Settlements
Died 23 March 2015(2015-03-23) (aged 91)
Singapore General Hospital, Singapore
Political party People’s Action Party (1955-2015)
Spouse(s) Kwa Geok Choo
Children Lee Hsien Loong
Lee Wei Ling
Lee Hsien Yang
Alma mater Raffles Institution
London School of Economics
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
Chinese name
Chinese 李光耀

The acid test of any legal system is not the greatness or the grandeur of its ideal concepts, but whether, in fact, it is able to produce order and justice.
Lee Kuan Yew
China is a vast, disparate country; there is no alternative to strong central power.
Lee Kuan Yew
President Nixon was a pragmatic strategist. He would engage, not contain, China, but he would also quietly set pieces into place for a fallback position should China not play according to the rules as a good global citizen.
Lee Kuan Yew
All my life… I believed in Malaysian merger and unity of the two territories. You know that we, as a people, are connected by geography, economics, by ties of kinship.
Lee Kuan Yew
I always tried to be correct, not politically correct.
The exuberance of democracy leads to undisciplined and disorderly conditions which are inimical to development.
Lee Kuan Yew
America's greatest long-term influence on China comes from playing host to the thousands of students who come from China each year, some of the ablest Chinese scholars and scientists. They will be the most powerful agents for change in China.
Lee Kuan Yew
From 1945 to 1991, China was engaged in a series of wars that nearly broke them. This generation has been through hell: the Great Leap Forward, hunger, starvation, near collision with the Russians – the Cultural Revolution gone mad. I have no doubt that this generation wants a peaceful rise.
Lee Kuan Yew
It's irrelevant to me what young Singaporeans think of me. I've lived long enough to know that you may be idealised in life and reviled after you're dead.
Lee Kuan Yew
I'm reaching 87, trying to keep fit, presenting a vigorous figure, and it's an effort, and is it worth the effort? I laugh at myself trying to keep a bold front. It's become my habit. I just carry on.
Lee Kuan Yew
If you are going to lower me into the grave, and I feel something is wrong, I will get up.
Lee Kuan Yew
Freedom of the news media must be subordinated to the overriding needs of Singapore, and to the primacy of purpose of an elected government.
Lee Kuan Yew
The problem is to keep the monkey mind from running off into all kinds of thoughts.
Lee Kuan Yew
I support the view that free trade in goods and services is a win-win situation. I'm not so convinced that free flows of capital without restriction is a win-win situation.
Lee Kuan Yew
I have always thought that humanity was animal-like. The Confucian theory was man could be improved, but I'm not sure he can be. He can be trained; he can be disciplined.
Lee Kuan Yew
I would not score very highly on religious value.
My children were educated in what were then Chinese schools, and they learned English as a subject. But they made up when they went to English-language universities. So they didn't lose out. They had a basic set of traditional Confucian values. Not my grandchildren.
Lee Kuan Yew
You need a certain standard of literacy, moral and ethical values, to be able to run a one man, one vote system.
Lee Kuan Yew
If Singapore is a nanny state, then I am proud to have fostered one.
You either use the Internet or you are backward.
In the West, especially after World War II, the government came to be seen as so successful that it could fulfill all the obligations that in less modern societies are fulfilled by the family.
Lee Kuan Yew
Countries that are agricultural can, at a low standard of living, sustain themselves. You can be self-sufficient; the money economy is a relatively insignificant part of the total economy. Singapore never was an agricultural country.
Lee Kuan Yew
The First World became a popular phrase in about the 1970s and '80s. The World Bank then began categorizing countries in different categories, advanced to the least developed.
Lee Kuan Yew
In the East, the main object is to have a well-ordered society so that everybody can have maximum enjoyment of his freedoms. This freedom can only exist in an ordered state and not in a natural state of contention and anarchy.
Lee Kuan Yew
The big nest was in Afghanistan, thats not quite cleared, then there are nests in the Philippines, there are nests in Indonesia, the Malaysians are clearing up their nests.
Lee Kuan Yew
Those who believe that after I have left the government as prime minister, I will go into a permanent retirement, really should have their heads examined.
Lee Kuan Yew
Of-course we did, but we didn't reply because we knew once this leaks the others will scatter, so in the few days we moved quickly before the press got hold of it. The press did get hold of it a few days later, we nabbed, we were able to get 15, the others got away.
Lee Kuan Yew
Well if done a lot of hard work to try and get people to act rationally, the fact that weve had 15 deviant Muslims, plus 5 or 8 others that got away does not mean that all Muslims are deviant or extremists.
Lee Kuan Yew
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States and China are more likely to view each other as competitors if not adversaries. But the die has not been cast. The best possible outcome is a new understanding that when they cannot cooperate, they will coexist and allow all countries in the Pacific to grow and thrive.
Lee Kuan Yew
I was a product of the times, the war, the occupation, the reoccupation, my 4 years in Britain, admiring but at the same time questioning whether they are able to do a better job than we can.
Lee Kuan Yew
The ultimate test of the value of a political system is whether it helps that society to establish conditions which improve the standard of living for the majority of its people.
Lee Kuan Yew
As an East Asian looking at America, I find attractive and unattractive features. I like, for example, the free, easy and open relations between people regardless of social status, ethnicity or religion.
Lee Kuan Yew
China is not going to become a liberal democracy; if it did, it would collapse. I do not believe you can impose on other countries standards which are alien and totally disconnected with their past.
Lee Kuan Yew
I've got one grandson gone to MIT. Another grandson had been in the American school here. Because he was dyslexic, and we then didn't have the teachers to teach him how to overcome or cope with his dyslexia, so he was given exemption to go to the American school. He speaks like an American. He's going to Wharton.
Lee Kuan Yew
I knew that my niece was working nearby with some bank, so my wife rang up the mother and the mother called back to say that shes just called up to say she was alright.
Lee Kuan Yew
If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you're putting yourself out of business.
Lee Kuan Yew