Quotes by: Lee Kuan Yew

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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 – 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 – 12 August 2004
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong
Preceded by S. Rajaratnam
Succeeded by Goh Chok Tong
Minister Mentor
In office
12 August 2004 – 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 – 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
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
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
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
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