Why the Enduring Admiration for Lee Kuan Yew
Anafu, Moses, New African
Lee Kuan Yew (pictured right), the founding president of Singapore, succeeded partly because he combined a rare intellectual capacity with an equally rare executive capacity, which usually exclude one another. For now, writes Dr Moses Anafu, the people of Singapore have accepted a tight discipline as the price of prosperitu. But what happens when the system is no longer in a position to deliver its side of the bargain? How do they manage the rush into "freedom" when the constraints on society are removed?
For now, writes Dr Moses Anafu, the people of Singapore have accepted a tight discipline as the price of prosperity. But what happens when the system is no longer in a position to deliver its side of the bargain? How do they manage the rush into "freedom" when the constraints on society are removed?
I FIRST CAME ACROSS LEE KUAN Yew's name in 1968 while reading Kwame Nkrumah's book. Dark Days in Ghana. In the immediate wake of the 24 February 1966 coup that overthrew him, Nkrumah received many messages of support from all over the world. Only a representative sample of these letters was published in the book.
Written in the heat and passion of the moment, most of them were a shade too emotional, a few were outright hysterical. In this medley, the statement by Lee Kuan Yew, the then president of Singapore, struck me as a piece apart. It was short and written with a judicial calm.
Lee began his statement by saying that it had taken him two weeks to compose his thoughts. He had visited Nkrumah's Ghana on two occasions and did not "believe that [the] political changeover has written finis to the chapter of what has gone before". He went on: "The Ghanaians arc a vigorous and lively people and they deserve all the vision and leadership which you strove to give them, to make Ghana into a strong modern part of an Africa whose unity you have always espoused... May what you stand for, a united Africa and a great Ghana, triumph and flourish".
No other statement of solidarity in the book could match Lee's in gtandeur, genuineness and beauty of simplicity. Who was this Far Eastern leader, I began to wonder, who could write so well-meaningly abouc our country and its future? At the time and given where I was, I could find no material to hand which might have enlightened me …
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Publication information: Article title: Why the Enduring Admiration for Lee Kuan Yew. Contributors: Anafu, Moses - Author. Magazine title: New African. Issue: 511 Publication date: November 2011. Page number: 64+. © 2005 IC Publications Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2011 Gale Group.
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