The World According to Lee Kuan Yew

By Cameron, Nadia | Business Asia, November 2000 | Go to article overview

The World According to Lee Kuan Yew


Cameron, Nadia, Business Asia


Free trade sits at the top of Singapore's foreign policy list, and it seems everyone is getting signed up. So what does Singapore's most respected political figure, Lee Kuan Yew have to say about all of this? NADIA CAMERON reports on the future prospects of the republic from one of the 20th century's most prominent statesmen.

DESPITE HIS considerable age, Lee Kuan Yew still holds plenty of clout and has influential viewpoints on all things Asia. And what's more, he's not afraid to express them.

One of the region's most longstanding and respected political leaders, Lee has an admirable background. Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990, Lee has witnessed British colonial rule decline throughout the Asia Pacific region, and led his country from a self governing state and member of the Federation of Malaysia to an independent, republic nation. Through cunning, charm and wit, Lee's master strokes have developed his country into what is now Asia's fastest growing nation.

Born in Singapore in 1923, Lee was educated at Raffles College, Singapore, and Cambridge, England, where he read law. After four years of practise as a solicitor, Lee helped found the People's Action Party (PAP) in 1954. In 1959, PAP won the general election and Lee became Singapore's first Prime Minister. Under his premiership, the party won eight consecutive general elections. Having held the position for 31 years, Lee resigned in 1990. He then took the newly created post of Senior Minister, where his strong political background and international distinction continue to influence the Asian region and Singapore's foreign policy today.

In both his long tenure as Prime Minister and as Senior Minister, Lee has had a close rapport with Australia. His most recent visit was at the Asia Society Australasia Centre's annual dinner in Sydney this month. His speech was prompted by the launch of the second of his memoirs, From Third World to First, an extensive autobiographical took into Singapore's radical development.

Looking all of his 77 years and walking meekly to the podium at the dinner, Lee's demeanour was anything but dynamic. His speech on "East Asia and the Pacific in the 21st Century", however, was a far cry from being outdated.

Lee's most fervent point was that global free trade and alliances between nations in the Asia Pacific region were paramount to the success of the region. For Singapore, this means pushing agreements between itself and other APEC nations.

"It is our long-term interest to press ahead with trade liberalisation," Lee said.

Concerned with the evident growth of China, South East Asian nations need to complete efforts of creating free trade areas if economic prosperity is to be obtained. To this end, Lee espoused that dream long held by many in Australia -- a large scale South East Asian free trade area that includes Australia.

"To meet the economic challenge of China's attractiveness to foreign investments, the ASEAN countries will have to combine their markets in an ASEAN free trade area," Lee said.

One way of achieving this, he believes, would be by establishing a new regional group of North and South East Asian countries within the APEC framework. Spurred on by the delay in development of free trade agreements (FTA) in AFTA-CER (ASEAN Free Trade Area - Closer Economic Relations) talks, this group would be able to renew free trade efforts throughout the region, Lee said. It would also provide a way to deal with the recent widening of APEC's constituents to include the Russian Federation, Chile and Peru.

"It will be useful to have a subgroup within APEC of East Asians and Australasians, just like the sub-group on the eastern side of the Pacific of US, Canada and Mexico," Lee said.

Effectively, the group would be "ASEAN plus three in North East Asia, plus two in Australasia".

"Such a group can better advance the common interests of the western side of the Pacific in trade liberalisation and in resisting any resurgence of protectionism," he said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The World According to Lee Kuan Yew
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.