From Third World to First

The Singapore Story - 1965-2000

by Lee Kuan Yew

Number of pages: 752

Publisher: Harper

BBB Library: Corporate Success

ISBN: 978-0060197766

About the Author

As leader of the People's Action Party (PAP), Lee Kuan Yew oversaw the separation of Singapore from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965 and its subsequent transformation from a volatile, underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources into a stable, First World Asian Tiger. He has remained one of the most influential political figures in South-East Asia. Under the administration of Singapore's second Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong, he served as Senior Minister. He currently holds the post of Minister Mentor, a post created when his son, Lee Hsien Loong, became the nation's third prime minister on 12 August 2004.


Editorial Review

The story of Singapore’s transformation is told here by Singapore's charismatic, controversial founding father, Lee Kuan Yew. Rising from a legacy of divisive colonialism, the devastation of the Second World War, and general poverty and disorder following the withdrawal of foreign forces, Singapore now is hailed as a city of the future. This miraculous history is dramatically recounted by the man who not only lived through it all but who fearlessly forged ahead and brought about most of these changes.

Book Reviews

Lee Kuan Yew has been one of the most intriguing and exasperating leaders of the post-World War II era. It is not just that he was among the most brilliant and frank, or that he shaped an entire country to his own fancy.

IT IS easier to admire Lee Kuan Yew than to like him. Blessed with a powerful mind, driving energy and a strong personality he made the Singapore story one of success, and established himself as one of the world's great pundits. Worse still for his detractors, he has brought out a political memoir that, for a book of this kind, is written with a trenchant, lucid style and a flair for the exciting tale, even when the raw materials are textual negotiations or marathon debates.

Books on Related Topics

Wisdom to Share

In the second half of the twentieth century, the emergence of scores of new states has made international politics and economics truly global for the first time in history.

Unfortunately, the explosion of information has not been accompa¬nied by a similar increase in knowledge.

A thoughtful discussion of Indonesia and the fall of its President Suharto is matched by Lee Kuan Yew's account of his encounters with China and its leaders.

The continents interact, but they do not necessarily understand each other.

The uniformity of technology is accompanied by an implicit assumption that politics, and even cultures, will become homogenized.

But history shows that normally prudent, ordinary calculations can be overturned by extraordinary personalities.

No matter how good the system of government, bad leaders will bring harm to their people.

Running a government is not unlike conducting an orchestra. No prime minister can achieve much without an able team.

The single decisive factor that made for Singapore's development was the ability of its ministers and the high quality of the civil servants who supported them.

Lee Kuan Yew does not ask us to change our patterns, but only to refrain from imposing them on societies with different histories and necessities.