Lee Kuan Yew: The Man and the Vision
The Singapore Story:
Policies & Campaigns
The Man: Introduction
Lee Kuan Yew led Singapore to independence and served as its first prime minister. He was prime minister from 1959 until he stepped down in 1990. He ruled with the up most authority and had zeal for law and order. With a vision for transforming Singapore from a third world country to a first world country, he battled against colonists and communists and his efforts led to Singapore’s independence. He was in one word, a “legend”. Before we dwell into the remarkable achievements of Lee Kuan Yew, let us take a brief look at Singapore. Singapore is a dynamic city rich in contrast and colour with a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture. Brimming with unbridled energy, this little dynamo in Southeast Asia embodies the finest of both East and West.
A quick overview of Singapore:
Singapore on Discovery Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVP1GdvD2L4
Lee Kuan Yew
Born: 16 September 1923
Political party: People's Action Party [PAP]
Spouse: Kwa Geok Choo
Lee Kuan Yew was educated at Telok Kurau Primary School, Raffles Institution and Raffles College. His university education was delayed by World War II and the 1942-1945 Japanese occupation of Singapore. During the occupation, he operated a successful black market business selling tapioca-based glue called Stikfas. Having taken Chinese and Japanese lessons since 1942, he was able to find work transcribing Allied wire reports for the Japanese, as well as being the English-language editor on the Japanese Hodobu from 1943 to 1944. After the war, he briefly attended the London School of Economics before moving to Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University, where he studied law, graduating with Double Starred First Class Honours. (He was subsequently made an honorary fellow of Fitzwilliam College.) He returned to Singapore in 1949 to practise as a lawyer in Laycock and Ong, the legal practice of John Laycock, a pioneer of multiracialism who, together with A.P. Rajah and C.C. Tan, founded Singapore's first multiracial club open to Asians.
Marriage and his Wife
Kwa Geok Choo, ancestry root was at Min Nan Tong'an, a former pupil of Singapore's Methodist Girls' School and Cambridge University, Queen's Scholar from Malaya. She has a brother, Dr. Kwa Soon Bee who retired as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, and two sisters, Mrs. Yong Nyuk Lin and the late Mrs. Earnest Lau. Lee Kuan Yew first met her in 1944 at a party and courted her from 1946. She married him in secret in London in 1947 and then remarried in Singapore on 30 September 1950. She was one of the partners in a law firm, Lee & Lee. They now have two sons and one daughter. Her eldest son is Lee Hsien Loong and her second son is Lee Hsien Yang. Her daughter is Lee Wei Ling. Link: Family Members: Kwa Geok Choo
Where he lives
He reportedly lives in 38 Oxley Road. However, there have been rumours that he has moved to the Istana for higher security measures. However, that has yet to be confirmed.
In his memoirs, Lee Kuan Yew refers to his immigrant background as a fourth-generation Chinese Singaporean. His Hakka great-grandfather, Lee Bok Boon (born 1846), emigrated from the Dapu county of Guangdong province to the Straits Settlements in 1862 and Lee Kuan Yew’s father, Lee Chin Koon was a descendant to Lee Bok Boon. His mother Chua Jim Neo was a Hokkien Nyonya. Lee Kuan Yew, being the eldest child in his family, was born at 92 Kampong Java Road in...
Bibliography: Lee Kuan Yew, Harry. From Third World to First : The Singapore Story: 1965-2000. HarperCollins, 2000.
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