Lee Kuan Yew
Singapore's Founding Father
16 September 1923 – 23 March 2015
I came to know of Lee Kuan Yew when I was assigned in Singapore way back in 2006. At that time, Singapore was already a fabled place, not for its spices or gold but for what it had become as a country.
I felt back then that the entire ASEAN region was abuzz with Singapore's success story and its other member states were pondering on adopting the same success strategy.
In Singapore itself, Singaporeans would talk about their country's success story crediting Mr. Lee for it.
What then can we glean from Singapore's success story in Mr. Lee's development model? Here are five things I can identify.
- Of paramount importance is a leader's concern for the welfare of its citizens. Looking at the policies in Singapore, these are geared towards the attainment of common good and shared aspirations. It may be strict in a sense but the result is a disciplined populace with a character at par with the best of civilizations.
- Knowing what makes sense, what doesn't make sense, what will work or not work in a given context.
- Sticking to one's values and beliefs by not allowing external forces shake life's fundamental principles.
- Unwavering dedication to one's vision.
- Dreaming great, living simply.
This is how I see "The Great Singapore Leader" as his Utopian legacy is deeply embedded on us who have came to know this place of paradisal magnificence we call Singapore.