via BBC News
This BBC News article provides an excellent summary of everything you should know about Lee Kuan Yew, plus some memorable quotes from our founding father.
There is one other interesting anecdote about LKY that I would like to share, and it can be found in The Papers of Lee Kuan Yew, a massive multi-volume collection of all of his publicly recorded speeches and interviews which I helped to edit back in 2012 to 2013.
I cannot remember the exact page or volume because I don’t have them now with me, but it was an interview about his WWII experience during the Japanese occupation.
According to Mr Lee, he very narrowly escaped execution during the occupation. Apparently, a sentry outpost manned by Japanese soldiers was rounding up Chinese passersby at random, and Mr Lee was one of them.
Mr Lee sensed that something was amiss, and asked the soldiers if he could go back home to grab his clothes first. The soldiers agreed, although Mr Lee actually returned to his gardener’s bunk and hid there for two days. When he emerged from his hideout and walked past the same outpost a second time later, it was manned by a different group of soldiers.
Mr Lee later discovered that all of the Chinese men who were rounded up a few days earlier were actually taken to a river and shot dead. Japan had very strong tensions with China at that time, so this was the Japanese army’s way of punishing the Chinese.
So thanks to LKY’s quick wits and intuition, he managed to survive WWII. And the rest is history. Amazing how a brief moment in time could have had such a massive impact had the opposite outcome occurred.
If you really want to find out more about Mr Lee, I highly recommend that you browse the volumes I mentioned above. It can be found in our Singapore National Library’s main branch at Bugis, Level 7. During the time I spent editing and reading all of his interviews and speeches, the constant takeaway that I got was that he was an incredibly eloquent and intelligent man, someone who knew exactly what he wanted out of Singapore and how to go about achieving it.
Rest in peace, Lee Kuan Yew. Thank you making for Singapore a safe, prosperous, uncorrupted, and multi-cultural nation. These four pros alone far outweigh any other shortcomings about our country.