STEPHANIE GARCIA WRITES – The world weighs in as the Father of Modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, shares his most pugnacious opinions in his latest book.
One Man’s View of the World, a fitting title for a book whose author single handedly took a nation from rags to riches, was released on August 6. And while the book is widely celebrated by political figures worldwide, not everyone is singing its praises, particularly neighbors in Malaysia.
The Star Online, a leading Malaysian news site, was particularly critical, claiming that the 89 year old is “trapped in the old mindset” and calling his ideas “obsolete.” Malaysia Chronicle and The Malay Mail Online shared similar opinions on their Web sites.
While ‘One man’ may not have won over everyone, China is flattered by LKY’s rave review of its rapid growth and leaders, such as Xi Jinping. Of Xi, Mr. Lee said, “I would put him in the Nelson Mandela class of persons.” There are certainly not many higher compliments that a world leader can be paid. And of US President Barack Obama? A decidedly less favorable impression. “That such experienced advisers have left him is not a good sign.”
Finally, when Lee Kuan Yew considered his own nation’s future trajectory his response was surprisingly dismal, yet nostalgic. “Will Singapore be around in 100 years? I am not so sure… Singapore was never a nation until recently. An earlier generation of Singaporeans had to build this place from scratch – and what a fine job we have done.”
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