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10/29/2009

Celebrating Singaporean - Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew LKY is invited by the Americans to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the people of South East Asia and the world. He was feasted in a gala dinner organised by the US Asean Businesss Council with the attendance of many eminent US leaders, past and present. Hilary Clinton, Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, Jim Webb, Kurt Campbell, all had kind words to say about him. Obama sent a letter that was read out in the dinner. Bill Clinton and senior George Bush had what they said recorded and played at the dinner. Not many leaders have been received in such a manner, with tributes, admiration and warmth from the American dignitaries. Bill Clinton said, 'His work as PM and now as MM has helped literally millions of people in Singapore and all across South east Asia to live better, more prosperous lives.' George HW Bush said, 'Few have done so much for their country or are as deserving of recognition for a lifetime service to his country and the South east Asian region as Mr Lee....' Henry Kissinger, an old friend, said, '...He has become a seminal figure for all of us...There is nobody who can teach us more about this than MM.' And George Schultz said about his 3 hour conversation with LKY, Kissinger and Helmut Schmidt in his kitchen, 'Man, was that an education. So(MM Lee), you have taught all of us a tremendous amount by what you've done, what you've said, the way you mean it when you say something, and I thank you.' Like him or hate him, you got to give it to him. He is greatly admired in the top echelon of American leaders. And a word from Asst Secretary of State Kurt Campbell, 'Thanks for coming and spending so much time with a group fo people who not only respect you but love you. I know we don't use that word in Singapore, but still, we love you.'

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

i will just say hahahaha..., regardless I do admit some goods that he had done.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Big deal. The queen once gave Robert Mugabe a knighthood.

In private enterprise you have to serve the customer, and if you do that well, you will get lots of money.

Being a political leader requires ruthlessness and amorality — it is more difficult to be honourable, diligent and willing to serve the most difficult of customer's needs to EARN your respect and money VOLUNTARILY.

Political leaders just need enough SHEEP to buy their bullshit — which is down to an age old formula described in Machiavelli's "The Prince". Read it online — it's free.

Anonymous said...

Americans are well-known for having a glib forked-tongue. In one corner of the mouth, they can praise LKY. In the other, they call him a dictator & suppresor of human rights.

Dun take everything at face value. Americans are not as charitable as most perceive them to be! There is always a trade-off, somewhere....!

Canadian Pizza said...

I will also love him and kiss him if he also pumps into my country (Canada) billions of Singaporeans money on the quiet and send troops and military medical teams to help in my countries war against my enemies.

Anonymous said...

Americans say all the good things when they need stooges, money and troops to fight their wars.

redbean said...

hi canadian pizza, welcome to the blog. and yes, i can see your point from the american perspective. i will be very troubled if lky will to be knighted by queen elizabeth or the praising was from george bush jr.

kissinger and schultz are heavy weights themselves.

Anonymous said...

The Americans are simply great in identifying their PAWNS; people they can make use of to advance their own(Americans) interests.

However, most Asians(including Russians) are able to see through the American Cunningness and few(Asians) are willing to betray their own Nations and Races.

Anonymous said...

I sense that Obama is asking another few round of billons into US economy from the Old fart in return for lavishing praise on him. No free lunch in the world, and so Obama learn from the pragmatic PAPpies.

redbean said...

what we have is money! and many more.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr President,

I refer to your recent compliment to our Minister Mentor, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. You said Mr Lee 'helped to trigger the Asian economic miracle.' But just how momentous or crucial has this 'trigger' been?

The 'Asian economic miracle' began with the miracles of the four East Asian dragons of Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore. Since all started industrialisation around the same time, how do we know if it was Mr Lee's Singapore that helped 'trigger the Asian miracle' and not Hong Kong, Taiwan or Korea instead?

We now know that the success of the Asian miracle is rooted in export oriented industrialisation. Countries that embarked on import substitution industrialisation failed to prosper. Yet, when Mr Lee first took over the reins of government in 1959, it was precisely the route of import substitution that he took. It was only in 1965 when Singapore was separated from its Malaysian hinterland that import substitution became untenable, forcing Singapore to embark on export oriented industrialisation instead. So if there had been a 'trigger' for the 'Singapore miracle', it must have been lady luck.

Moreover, Singapore's plans for industrialisation came largely from one man - the Dutch economist Dr Albert Winsemius who was also instrumental in bringing the first multinationals like Shell and Philips onto the shores of Singapore. So if we have to name one person who 'helped trigger the Singapore miracle', it would have been Dr Winsemius rather than Mr Lee.

Finally, if all it takes is just a 'trigger', why aren't we seeing more 'miracles' all around the world? The Singapore story is no secret but an open recipe for all to see and to emulate. Yet even in Asia itself we see so many countries languishing in poverty. Does it make sense to say that Mr Lee 'triggered' China more and the Phillippines less? It doesn't make sense. So clearly, it takes more than just 'triggers' for 'miracles' to happen. Thus it makes little sense to attribute the 'Asian miracle' to any single 'trigger'.


Thank you