Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first Prime Minister, is a figure whose international stature far exceeds that of the tiny island over which he ruled for thirty years. Lee is the principal architect of Singapore’s political stability and its economic success and is often credited with being the leader of economic development throughout Asia. Yet the continuing interest in the man several years after his retirement from the prime ministership derives mainly from his contributions on the greater world stage.Lee was a leading figure in the recent revival Confucianism throughout the Chinese world and was the principle architect of the ‘Asian values’ campaign of the 1990s. In this role he has been at the forefront of both practical and theoretical efforts to reconcile undemocratic, illiberal elitism with the requirements of a prosperous capitalist economy operating in the global economy. Lee presents an ostensibly ‘Asian’ argument, but his essential message is global.
New Asian Library