Lessons from Lee Kuan Yew
Yesterday, 26 March 2015, people queued to pay respect to the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. The queue started at Hong Lim Park closed before 6am. Then the people were advised to go to Padang instead. Individuals, families, friends from different walks of life showed their respect for the founding father of Singapore.
There are many things to be grateful for what Mr. Lee Kuan Yew did to Singapore. In remembering his legacy, here are some lessons from his thoughts and opinions:
- Never mind what the people think.
“I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yes, if I did not, had I not done that, we wouldn’t be here today. And I say without the slightest remorse, that we wouldn’t be here, we would not have made economic progress, if we had not intervened on very personal matters—who your neighbor is, how you live, the noise you make, how you spit, or what language you use. We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think.”
- Keep yourself updated.
“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.”
- It is what we produce that entitles us to what we get.
“Whatever our race or religion, it is what we produce that entitles us to what we get, not our race or religion. Developing the economy, increasing productivity, increasing returns, these make sense only when fair play and fair shares make it worth everyone’s while to put in his share of effort for group survival and group prosperity,”
- An educated man is a man who never stops learning.
“My definition of an educated man is a man who never stops learning and wants to learn. I am not interested in whether a man has a Ph.D or not, or an M.A. for that matter, or a diploma. Mao never had one, neither had Khrushchev, nor Stalin.”
- Cherish your relationship
“At the end of the day, what I cherish most are the human relationships. With the unfailing support of my wife and partner I have lived my life to the fullest. It is the friendships I made and the close family ties I nurtured that have provided me with that sense of satisfaction at a life well lived, and have made me what I am.”