One Man’s View Of The World by Lee Kuan Yew

One Man’s View Of The World by Lee Kuan Yew

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

As one of Asia’s most prominent leaders in the 20th century, Lee Kuan Yew has serenity, pragmatic spirit, acceptance of reality and what he cannot change; determination and courage enough to be independent, build and turn Singapore into a “model” country. And above all, wisdom is to know what “must accept” and “what can be changed”.

“One Man’s View of the World.” Is a collection of thoughts, life-long interviews of Lee Kuan Yew for major issues of the world and himself.

Back to Singapore:

Singapore must accept the world as it is because my country is too small to change the situation. But we can try to maximize the space that can help the country navigate between the “multi-tree” in the region. That has been our approach and we have to be agile and flexible so we can continue to do so.

On the domestic side, there are three factors that make up Singapore’s success story – turn this country into the safest place to live and work, treat every citizen equally and ensure long-term success for every generation of Singaporeans.

There are three basic factors that we have built over these years, we will lose our current advantage. Investors, both at home and abroad, need to feel confident investing in Singapore. These three factors ensure their profitability is sustainable in the future. If we don’t integrate and link globally in this way, we will be mercilessly devastated by the world cycle.


Within 100 years will Singapore still exist? I’m not sure. America, Central, England, Australia – these countries exist for hundreds of years. But Singapore has only recently formed a national image. The previous generation of Singapore built it from scratch – and how well we did it. When I lead the country, I have done my best to strengthen national interests. Ngo Tac Dong did the same. And now, under Ly Hien Long and his team, the country will grow at least in 10, 15 years. But then, the trajectory we will follow will depend on the younger generation of Singapore. Whatever these options are, I am absolutely certain that if Singapore has a poor government, we will spend our lives. This country will sink into nothingness.

“What is your biggest concern about Singapore?” – I have no worries. I have done my part, my mission is completed. I have built a clean, talented and open-minded system. I can’t do anything anymore, I can’t live forever like a young, middle-aged 40, 50-year-old man energized forever.

“But are you sad when you look at the road in front of Singapore?” – To tell you the truth, I no longer want to know what will happen. No need to be sad. It depends on the growing generation now. What will they do, will they share the same values ​​with their parents?

About China

The re-export of China as a power on the international stage is one of the most dramatic events of our time. With extraordinary economic growth, developing on an unprecedented scale in human history that hardly 40 years ago could have imagined, this country’s growth will certainly continue for several decades. come with the forecast that by 2020 there will be the highest GDP in the world. The rise of this nation is equally remarkable, from a monotonous and pale people into a strong integrated nation with global interests.

In order to understand and predict what China will be in the next twenty years, we need to understand the people and society of this country. Throughout the thousands of years of history, Chinese people still believe that the country can only be at peace when there is an absolute central government. A weak central government is synonymous with confusion and confusion, and if it is powerful, it will lead to a peaceful and prosperous China. Every Chinese person is imbued with this thought and it is also a principle belief that is drawn from the practical and historical lessons they themselves have experienced. Perhaps in the near future, Chinese people remain faithful to this way of thinking and that state of mind has existed for thousands of years before communism was cultivated here.

Many Westerners want to see China become a Western-style democratic country, but this expectation has no practical basis at all. With a prejudiced view of the world, Americans most consistently assume that a country will not be able to succeed without a parliamentary democracy that is like the president and the parliament is elected by popular vote and every few The year must be re-elected once. Chinese people have never had a tradition. As the owner of a vast territory of 1.3 billion people with a distinctive culture and a different history, Chinese people will develop the country in their own way.

The central problem is whether people believe in repeated Chinese assurances that the country is looking for nothing more than a peaceful rise and that the country will never become hegemonic? There are two ways to look. One is that China will become quietly silent and quietly increase its influence without acting as a aggressor. Another view is that they will show off their strength and try to intimidate other countries. I think they will choose the first way, but at the same time strengthen. Deng Xiaoping believes that China should avoid noticing while strengthening its potential. He believed in hiding his ability, or as the Chinese call it nurturing (refusing to wait for time). The Chinese know that they need 30 to 40 years more peace to catch up with the rest of the world. They have come to the conclusion that if they remain the same route, avoid offending the current great powers and make friends with every country, they will only become stronger and stronger. They are more and more hands-on to solve internal problems and continue to develop their economy.

China is also vigilant to avoid Japanese and German cars. The rise of Germany and Japan led to a power competition in Europe and Asia, the influence and resources led to two horrible wars in the twentieth century, and completely ended the unrest. get up of them. If China participates in a war, the country will have to risk facing internal instability, conflict and chaos, and may fall back – a big gap. Therefore, for Chinese people, rational calculation would be “We have waited so long to have this opportunity to catch up with the developing world. Why hurry and jeopardize our slowly rising process? ”

Of course that does not mean that China merely gives in when there is a conflict with another country. As the balance of power changes, the country will be more free to show what it likes and dislikes. And as former Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said, where China’s core interests are threatened, Chinese people will have to assert themselves.

Come back Vietnam

From optimism after my visits to Vietnam in the 1990s, my own view on their reform programs has changed so much. I now believe that the generation of older leaders in Vietnam is not able to fundamentally break socialist thinking. At first, they agreed to embark on a journey of reform because they found that the country was not going anywhere. But since then they have not shown the true determination in overhaul of the system, which people have witnessed in China.


What Vietnam does not like China is that they lack a leader like Deng Xiaoping , a person who has a firm foothold in the party system and has a strong belief that radical reform is the only way out country. The reason Vietnam lacks such a character is due to the war against America. When Chinese people have decades of peace to record their management experience, taking practice as a guideline to adjust their beliefs and ideologies, the Vietnamese are trapped in a war. Brutal assault on Americans, learning nothing about how to run the country. Moreover, most successful entrepreneurs among the Vietnamese in the South – those familiar with the way of capitalism – left Vietnam in the 1970s.

Vietnamese people are one of the most powerful and capable people in Southeast Asia. Their students who come to Singapore under ASEAN scholarships are serious about their studies and often have the highest scores. For such smart people, it is a pity that they cannot develop their potential. Hopefully, when the war generation fades away and the younger group replaces, they will see how well Thailand develops and become confident in the importance of the free market.

(By Meraki)