Sunday, June 17, 2018

Review: The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew

The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew by Lee Kuan Yew
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fascinating story. I know there are two schools of thought about Lee Kuan Yew and I know the issue is too complex to be answered so simply. But what immediately struck me is that the story of the Singaore riots is uncannily like the story of Godhra. Certain parties wanted to create a communal rift between Malay Muslims and the Chinese and they used the media to malign Lee and take advantage of said rift for ulterior motives. Very similar to what happened in Gujarat when certain elements used the media to create the perception of Modi being a despot and a dictator. Modi was blamed for 2002 and Lee was blamed for the 1964 riots. Replace the UNMO/Malaysia with the Congress, PAP/Lee with BJP/Modi, Utusan Melayu with NDTV and you have basically the same plot.

But putting the India perspective aside, the book is a fascinating insight into how Singapore was formed despite the Brits not wanting it to be formed, the Malays deep hostility towards Singapore, presence of Communists and the nefarious pressure of Sukarno. Say what you will about Lee, the small nation is now considered one of the most developed in the world. Given it's turbulent history and it's unfortunate geopolitical situation, that's quite an achievement.

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