The Plain-spoken Mr Lee Kuan Yew

The English word “mealy-mouthed” comes from the German Mehl im Maule behalten, “to carry meal in the mouth, that is, not to be direct in speech,” the dictionary says. Its opposite is “plain-spoken,” as in “Mr Lee Kuan Yew is as plain-spoken as Dr Singh is mealy-mouthed.” This is not an English lesson, however. It’s just that the word came to mind while reading this AFP report “Lee Kuan Yew urges Muslims to ‘be less strict’.”

Shocking! “How can he say that?” the secularists of India will exclaim, recoiling in horror. How racist of him! (Muslims don’t constitute a race. Free hint to retards.)

Isn’t there some sort of international law which makes criticizing Muslims a punishable crime?

Anyway, the title of that article is provocatively misleading. Here’s a bit from it that I find very revealing about the man and his style.

Lee also revealed that he had donated to charity all his earnings of S$13 million ($10 million) since stepping down as prime minister in 1990 after 31 years in power.

Singapore’s cabinet ministers are the highest paid in the world as part of a strategy to prevent corruption and attract talent from the private sector.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew, I wish India had someone like you to lead it. But when it comes to the kind of leaders a country gets, it is a random draw — just like one has no choice in what kind of parents one gets.

It’s all karma, neh?

[Hat tip: Rajeev Mantri for the link to the AFP article.]

Author: Atanu Dey


4 thoughts on “The Plain-spoken Mr Lee Kuan Yew”

  1. Just got my copy of the book from Kinokuniya at Orchard last weekend. Many of Lee’s comments are brusque, brazen and blunt, but you can’t deny that he calls a spade a spade, he tells it like it is. I’m amazed such a book got published at all. When I pondered about some of his statements that sound insulting or derogatory, I find there is a lot of practical truth in them too.

    I am a second generation Singaporean without much exposure to the history of this country, but I doubt we would be where we are today in 40 short years without someone with the skill and fighting spirit of LKY. My mum used to tell me about the Japanese occupation, separation from Malaya and the hard times we had in the 1940s through the 60s. We literally had nothing. Residents of this island had run away here to escape the oppression in Malaya and other lands. We had no natural resources, no oil, not even water, nothing.

    On the other hand, if the country had been as big and diverse as Indonesia or India, I don’t think MM Lee would have achieved what Singapore has today. Things were easy to control here because we have just three main races – Chinese, Malay and Indian. Three main languages. LKY says in his book that we chose English as the national language, a foreign language, because it would not unjustly favour one particular nationality.

    We live in interesting times, and I look forward to the next 40 years.


  2. Memo to the Maino family, from Mr. Kuan Yew, via Mr. Dey:

    “People get educated, the bright ones rise, they marry equally well-educated spouses. The result is their children are likely to be smarter than the children of those who are gardeners,” he said. “It’s a fact of life. You get a good mare, you don’t want a dud stallion to breed with your good mare. You get a poor foal.”

    Mr. Kuan Yew fails to mention what kind of foal you get if a dud stallion, (himself the offspring of a vicious, murderous donkey) breeds with an even dud-lier mare.


  3. Anybody that finds Mr. Lee discriminatory here displays a double standard wider than a supertanker considering Malaysia has institutionalized racism against minority Chinese and Indians as part of their national policy. Putting down the cream of the crop and the resulting brain drain shows up as much weaker GDP per capita than Singapore. Besides, how lacking in self-confidence can a majority race get if they have to put down others to feel better?

    On the subject of Islam in Singapore its shocking how a minority of Muslims can even choose to sent their children to useless Islamised schools that teaches no skills or knowledge for any sort of professional employment whatsoever despite being living in an already advanced nation. Can you say waste of human capital before the word stupid? One of the reasons Mr. Lee is justifiably critical of Islam.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: