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Famous Quotes of The Singaporean’s Statesman Lee Kuan Yew


These are famous quotes of Lee Kuan yew

The first Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, respected throughout the world as a forceful Leader who inspires Justice, Dedication and Fear.
Factors that every Great Leader knows on how to transform Chaotic Nations into Prosperity.

As a result, Singapore transformed from a back water port island state into a World Class Economy. Singapore is currently ranked at 8th in the Global Cities Index

By the time he chose to step down to enable a stable leadership renewal, he had become the world’s longest-serving Prime Minister. He governed for 30 years.

Lee Kuan Yew

Below are some interesting Quotes made by this Great Man. Enjoy.

On DEMOCRACY

“But we either believe in democracy or we not. If we do, then, we must say categorically, without qualification, that no restraint from the any democratic processes, other than by the ordinary law of the land, should be allowed… If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought.”
– Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition leader, April 27, 1955

“If it is not totalitarian to arrest a man and detain him, when you cannot charge him with any offence against any written law – if that is not what we have always cried out against in Fascist states – then what is it?… If we are to survive as a free democracy, then we must be prepared, in principle, to concede to our enemies – even those who do not subscribe to our views – as much constitutional rights as you concede yourself.”
– Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Legislative Assembly Debates, Sept 21, 1955

“What are our priorities? First, the welfare, the survival of the people. Then, democratic norms and processes which from time to time we have to suspend.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, 1986 National Day Rally

“If you are a troublemaker…it’s our job to politically destroy you. Put it this way. As long as JB Jeyaretnam stands for what he stands for – a thoroughly destructive force – we will knock him. Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, The Man And His Ideas, 1997

“I think in Singapore, we stand a chance of making the one-man-one-vote system work. With amendments as we have done, you know, like GRCs.. We need to make it work. And I believe with pragmatic adjustments, given these favourable conditions, we can have more open debate.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, 1990 National Day Rally

“I feel sanguine enough to say that there has never been a better set of conditions for open democratic politics because there is no need for unified front politics.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, 1990 National Day Rally

“Political reform need not go hand in hand with economic liberalization.. I hold unconventional views about this.. I do not believe if you are a libertarian, full of diverse opinions, full of competing ideas in the market place, full of sound and fury, therefore you will succeed.”

– Lee Kuan Yew, 2005

“There is nothing to prevent you from pushing your propaganda, to push your programme out to the students or with the public at large…and if you can carry the ground, if you are right, you win. That’s democracy.”
– Lee Kuan Yew telling students to form political parties, Straits Times, Feb 1, 2005

“Please do not assume that you can change governments. Young people don’t understand this”
– Lee Kuan Yew on the results of the 2006 election

On JUSTICE

“Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love-it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they’re conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict.”
Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition PAP member speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

…you attack only those whom your Special Branch can definitely say are communists.  Then you attack those whom your Special Branch says are aiding communists.  Then finally, when you have gone that far, you attack all who oppose you.”
Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition PAP member speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

“These powers will not be allowed to be used against political opponents within the system who compete for the right to work the system. That is fundamental and basic or the powers will have destroyed the purpose for which they were forged.”
– Lee Kuan Yew speaking in Parliament on the Preservation of Public Security Act, a precursor to the ISA, Oct 14, 1959

“We have over a hundred political detainees, men against whom we are unable to prove anything in a court of law. Nearly 50 of them are men who gave us a great deal of anxiety during the years of Confrontation because they were Malay extremists. Your life and this dinner would not be what it is if my colleagues and I had decided to play it according to the rules of the game.”
– Lee Kuan Yew speaking to the Singapore Advocates and Solicitors Society, Mar 18, 1967

“I will make him crawl on his bended knees, and beg for mercy.”
– Lee Kuan Yew on J. B. Jeyaretnam, as reported by Devan Nair, 1981

“It is not the practice, now will I allow subversives to get away by insisting that I’ve got to prove everything against them in a court of law or [produce] evidence that will stand up to the strict rules of evidence of a court of law.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, 1988

On FREEDOM

“My colleagues and I are of that generation of young men who went through the Second World War and the Japanese Occupation and emerged determined that no one–neither Japanese nor British–had the right to push and kick us around.  We determined that we could govern ourselves and bring up our children in a country where we can be proud to be self-respecting people.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, “The Battle for Merger” (1961)

“Let us get down to fundamentals. Is this an open, or is this a closed society? Is it a society where men can preach ideas – novel, unorthodox, heresies, to established churches and established governments – where there is a constant contest for men’s hearts and minds on the basis of what is right, of what is just, of what is in the national interests, or is it a closed society where the mass media – the newspapers, the journals, publications, TV, radio – either bound by sound or by sight, or both sound and sight, men’s minds are fed with a constant drone of sycophantic support for a particular orthodox political philosophy? I am talking of the principle of the open society, the open debate, ideas, not intimidation, persuasion not coercion…”
– Lee Kuan Yew, Malaysian Parliamentary Debates, Dec 18, 1964

“The ideas of individual supremacy and the right of free expression, when carried to excess, have not worked. They have made it difficult to keep America society cohesive. Asia can see it is not working.. In America itself, there is widespread crime and violence, old people feel forgotten, families are falling apart. And the media attacks the integrity and character of your leaders with impunity, drags down all those in authority and blames everyone but itself.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, Sept 1995

On MEDIA BIAS

“I pointed to an article with bold headlines reporting that the police had refused to allow the PAP to hold a rally at Empress Place, and then to the last paragraph where in small type it added the meeting would take place where we were now. I compared this with a prominent report about an SPA rally. This was flagrant bias.” 
– Lee Kuan Yew commenting on the Straits Times, 1959.

 

On EQUALITY

“It is essential to rear a generation at the very top of society that has all the qualities needed to lead and give the people the inspiration and the drive to make it succeed. In short, the elite.. Every society tries to produce this type. The British have special schools for them: the gifted and talented are sent to Eton and Harrow.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, August 1966

“The human being is an unequal creature. That is a fact. And we start off with the proposition. All the great religions, all the great movements, all the great political ideology, say let us make the human being as equal as possible. In fact, he is not equal, never will be.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, from a speech during the 1960s, Success Stories

“We must encourage those who earn less than $200 per month and cannot afford to nurture and educate many children never to have more than two… We will regret the time lost if we do not now take the first tentative steps towards correcting a trend which can leave our society with a large number of the physically, intellectually and culturally anaemic.”
– Lee Kuan Yew, 1967

“If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society…So what happens? There will be less bright people to support dumb people in the next generation. That’s a problem.”
-Lee Kuan Yew in 1983 National Day Rally

“I started off believing all men were equal. I now know that’s the most unlikely thing ever to have been, because millions of years have passed over evolution, people have scattered across the face of this earth, been isolated from each other, developed independently, had different intermixtures between races, peoples.”

Abdul Malik Omar
Reporter
The AMO Times
theamotimes@gmail.com

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