Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew dies aged 91


leekuanyew-memoirsMr Lee Kuan Yew, who was Singapore’s first Prime Minister when the country gained Independence in 1965, has died on Monday (Mar 23) at the age of 91.

He was not just an ordinary politician but a superior orator and a very lucid writer–perhaps the writer of Singapore’s perennial bestsellers, his autobiography and numerous other books comprising his interviews and thoughts.

In 1999, Lee Kuan Yew published a two-volume set of memoirs: The Singapore Story, which covers his view of Singapore’s history until its separation from Malaysia in 1965, and From Third World to First: The Singapore Story, which gives his account of Singapore’s subsequent transformation into a developed nation. In 2005, Lee published Keeping My Mandarin Alive: Lee Kuan Yew Language Learning Experience, which documents his challenge learning Mandarin in his thirties and why it is important for overseas Chinese to learn and/or speak Chinese.

In 2011, Lee published My Lifelong Challenge Singapore’s Bilingual Journey which chronicles his struggle adopting Singapore bilingual policy in a multiracial society. Also in 2011, Lee published Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going which is a 458-page questions-and-answers book, in which he is interviewed by journalist from Singapore Press Holdings on issues which include the challenges he faced when Singapore first gained independence, the future political landscape, opportunities for youth in Singapore and also his personal views on homosexuality and family issues.

In 2013, Lee published two new books, The Wit and Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew and One Man’s View of the WorldThe Wit and Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew contains almost 600 quotations which provides a summary of his views on a wide range of topics on Singapore and the world. In One Man’s View of the World, Lee draws on his experience and insight to offer his views on today’s world and what it might look like in 20 years (source: Wikipedia).

Lee Kuan Yew Archives on his books and interviews

Mr Lee, who was born in 1923, formed the People’s Action Party in 1954, then became Prime Minister in 1959. He led the nation through a merger with the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, as well as into Independence in 1965.

He leaves behind two sons – Lee Hsien Loong and Lee Hsien Yang – and a daughter, Lee Wei Ling.

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