Notable quotes by LKY

“If Singapore depends on the talent it can produce out of three million people, it’s not going to punch above its weight. Lee Kuan Yew

We were 1m, then 2m, then 3m before we added all the foreigners to 5m. When we were 1m and 2m, we were already producing the talents that built the foundation for our economic miracles. We were producing talented Singaporeans even then. Unless those were not talents, then we are just slapping our own stupid face.

Now we are 5m. Did the increased population with foreign talents, throw out any great talents? The only foreign talent that is worth mentioning is Olivia Lum of Hyflux. The rest were plain employees, sitting on their fat asses and get fat pay which any Singaporeans can also do so given the chance. Many of the CEO positions can easily be filled by Singaporeans and you will not see any difference in performance, maybe even better.

The three local banks were built by Singaporean talents. Without local talents there would not be any big local banks to think of. SIA, SMRT, Creative, Singtel were also locals. Not sure about Temasek and GIC. The hospitals with their specialists and state of the art equipments were mainly run by Singaporeans and Malaysians. By the way, I think Singaporeans have never regarded the Malaysians as foreigners historically.

Did we produce lesser talents when we were 1m and 2m than we are now? There are some great talents in R and D, imported. But these are instant trees. Would their offsprings be more talented than the offsprings of coolies and labourers, washerwomen and salesmen? What about the risk of offsprings from fake papers and fake talents?

If we can produce talents before, when we were 1m and 2m, I don’t see why we can’t produce talents when we are 3m. The bigger the population, the bigger the pool of genes, but not necessary will produce better talents. Many small countries are producing more talents than bigger countries with bigger populations.

Today we are punching above our weights by individuals who were produced during a time when the population was a million or less.


Anonymous said...


thank you for making this point. kuan yew has obviously never heard of the phrase "less is more".

incidentally, with all these "wonderful" foreigners, (i refuse to call them "talents"; let's be honest and call a spade a spade) we haven't been able to raise the country's birth rate or productivity. in fact, these have Fallen!! 'nuff said!

Anonymous said...

The yoda keeps on repeating the same old mantra that most Singaporeans have long brushed aside as fallacious.

Even the UK realised that the import of too many foreign footballers have now resulted in the suppression of their own local development programs. Not only is the idea of relying on foreign players suppressive, it inhibits the development of local talents because, although it is a fast cure, clubs do not now see it necessary to spend lots of money developing local talents. It is not a long term solution.

This is the same as our fast track reliance on foreign sportsmen and sportswomen to bolster our medals, but in the end the country suffers from lack of development of local talents to continue the trend.

Anonymous said...

Well, by common knowledge, most know that the fastest economic progress today depends on consumption.
As money is the mantra of Sin, this tiny island has almost been totally developed as a haven of consumption.
Depending on the native population alone would have resulted in our market and hence economic development gone into doldrum long ago.
Yes, more have to be imported, Sin cannot afford the shopping complexes and all the food malls to be empty. The more people brought in the more money Singaporeans will make. Lee Kuan Yew must have known this very well.

Anonymous said...

LKy is an old Machiavellian dog, and will die as one. He says things that changes according to what's convenient for his latest position. He is unprincipled, amoral and completely treacherous and out to win at all cost. Like a poisonous snake in your backyard -his only loyalty is to himself. Trust him at your own risk. Hasn't he not already sold old Singaporeans down the river to get to his present position?

Anonymous said...

An old snake will just be as venomous or even more so than a young snake. Young or old, snakes will never change their biting habits. They would never change their character.

WL said...

Well, looks like what we thought we had achieved in the last 40 years is only an illusion because we actually had no talent! It is only with the advent of "foreign talent" in the last few years that we are now punching above our weight. Hard Truth or Fallacy?

By comparison, New Zealand has a population of 4 million and is punching above its weight with its own talent. They have had 3 Nobel laureates, olympic and world champions, successful inventors, musicians, film directors, clean government, not too bad a standard of living...Hard Truth or Fallacy?

Anonymous said...

Talent is universal, opportunity is not.

It's the lack of opportunity that is depriving the 'talents' to bring our nation forward.

Too much opportunities has been reserved for a very specific group of 'talents' hence the outcome now.

Anonymous said...

The Ceo of Mediacorp was acting while they went looking for a foreign talent. Luckily cldn't find one or else he would not be ceo or acting ceo. They hunted goodyear for Temasek, gupta for DBS. Now make another local acting while SATS hunting for a foreign talent.

If we don't give recognition to our locals, how are they going to be talents?

Anonymous said...

When big men utter rubbish they get away with it.Israel has a small population, yet it produces more talents than you can imagine. May be Singapore has to import foreign talents for self serving purpose of the people in power and foreign talents won't bother raising quintetential questions about the amount and whereabout of our reserves,how the people's CPF has been hyjacked, spiralling cost of living due to COEs, GST, high transport fees and many other high insane taxes and highly insane high salaries of ministers and MPs.

The said...

The problem is the government extremely loose use of the term "Fallen Talent", oops, Foreign Talent. That 5 million population includes about one-third foreign talents. Surely those 1-2 million foreigners who jostle with us in the buses and MRTs cannot be classified as "talents". Those that push up HDB prices are not really talents.