Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew❮EPUB❯ ❃ Lee Kuan Yew ✾ Author Zuraidah Ibrahim – Oaklandjobs.co.uk Lee Kuan Yew is Singapore's most influential son but he is not without his critics He has not flinched from taking them on even now after almost 60 years in the political fray Why is Lee so hard on hi Lee Kuan Yew is Singapore's most influential son but he is not without his critics He has not flinched from taking them on even now after almost years in the political fray Why is Lee so hard on his political opponents Could the People's Action Party ever lose its grip on power Lee Kuan PDF \ Are the younger leaders up to the mark Will growing religiosity change Singapore for the better of worse How will rising giants China and India affect Singapore's fortunes Lee fields these issues and many other uestions as he covers the terrain of the past and contemplates the expanse of the future for tis iland nation that he and his foundin generation uilt on the hopes of a people Based on hours of interviews at the Istana along with pages of photographs and a dvd insert the book features Lee in full flow combative thought provoking controversial. Disclaimer I am a naturalized citizen of Singapore having resided here for 28 years as of 2012 and married into a Singapore family 23 years ago I gave up US citizenship and never looked backLee Kwan Yew is simply the most seminal inspirational and effective political leader of the post World War II world One is hard pressed to find any statesman who comes close After the ordeals of British colonial rule and the Japanese occupation Singapore struggled to survive On that fateful day August 9 1965 when Singapore was ejected from its Federation from Malaysia Lee Kwan Yew was faced with the challenge of survival He not only endured but built a phenomenally successful republic a vibrant center for business services and tourism To do so he had to impose his will on a reluctant population and drag them in to the modern world He succeeded As he enters his final days he imparts some invaluable lessons and insights in this book to the citizens and next generation of leadersThe most engaging feature of this book is how it presents the human side of LKY His 60 year marriage to his wife Choo his role as a father and grandfather his recollections of his student days in the UK One has to be careful about taking LKY on and disagreeing with him; however while I loved 98% of his book I respectfully demurred on a few minor points LKY has a vision of Bill Clinton as a vibrant dynamic leader and characterizes his impeachment by the US Congress as shameful In reading LKY's book about the importance of integrity honesty and truth it is hard to rationalize his approval of Clinton My other disagreements concerned some of his views on genetics and intermarriage of Singaporeans It is hard to accept the notion that people are born with certain ualities that enable them to be superior With Singapore's outstanding education system the field can be levelled and the door open for advancement On intermarriage of Singaporeans with foreigners which Lee seems to frown upon I can only offer my own life and the incredible SIngapore Girl who accepted my proposal as a rebuttal to this notion Nevertheless this book is a great read about the accomplishments and legacy of one of the 20th Century’s greatest leaders I found this book interesting for Lee Kuan Yew's views and definitely not for the interview format in which they were presentedThe journalists barely contributed anything valuable at all they were clearly cowed by LKY unable to debate him into any concessions or to challenge his extreme views To their credit they did present others' well worn criticisms but after LKY rejects the arguments immediately gave up pursuing the issues any further The interview summaries are rather sycophantic uncritically praising pragmatism and finishing each time with twee sentimentsThe journalists and Lee Kuan Yew were very upfront with their belief that the role of the media is to support the government and I suppose there's no reason to expect a better effort on their part hereLKY's analysis of Singapore's strategic advantages and disadvantages was very impressive in its insight and it's not surprising that Singapore's economic policy and resultant growth far outclasses that of many Western countries Just compare Singapore's response to the GFC with Australia'sBut this technocratic approach value free pragmatism also contains a strong disregard for constitutionalism the belief that there are principles to which a government must abide; LKY is repeatedly dismissive of the concerns of the people eg the non compensated compulsory acuisitions of coastal properties and blurs national interest and partisan interests many timesI enjoyed Rachel Lin's chapter towards the end aside from the reuisite twee ending because many of her concerns were similar to my own; she does a lot to humanise the book in her responses to the man who regrets nothing I used to ride with Tunku Abdul Rahman in his car He treated me as a courtier I had to follow him to weddings and all social functions Everywhere they had new mosues I said Tunku why don't you build clinics? No no he said Kuan Yew you don't understand these things This is a Malay society They need to pray You just give them the right prayers and a little bit of better life and they will be happy they will work with youThis is coming from a Malay man with position himself And now you wonder why the Malay race will never progress or somewhat oppressed? Look in the mirror Religion and race are two separate components (the review is confined to the first 4 chapters)Mr LKY is full of charisma and state vision despite being controversial for his ardent advocacy of meritocracy and the genetic beliefswhat he did were to serve Singapore's interests and its future is his perpetual preoccupation He has an exceptional sense of crisis for his country When the outside world marvel at what Singapore has achieved and its stunning transformations he always keeps wary and vigillent for the country's looming threat He is too clearly about Singapore's advantages and predicaments What you see could be deceptive and illusionary the ostensible prosperity of the country could be transitory if the country falls into the pitfall of a policy blunder Singapore must have a powerful and productivehighly efficient government If Singapore failed to be aware of its singularity that distinguish it from any other state and if a mediocre governance prevails the country is doomed That could come as a reason for his relentless support for a strong government and meritocracy and that is the harsh truth of singaporeHe explicitly elaborated that Singapore is a sort of 80 storey mansion built on the unstable marsh The mansion would possibly collapse if blunder were to made Any threatening blunder would give birth to unpleasant conseuences even devastationsHis unduplicatable experience mould him the hard core and his penetrating views on complex international issuesWhy Singapore can earn the respects of the major powers and what a role can this city state play and wins its reputation in the international community and how can it proceed to survive amid its hostile neighbors the book gives illuminating perceptions Its bilingual policy and congenial interaction with almost all major powers were thoroughly and prudently conceivedwhereby Mr LKY dedicated all his toil and wisdomSingapore has an inextricable relations with the United State and China In reading the book I perceived Even before early 1980s Mr LKY has sensed the inexorable rise of China and began to establish close relations with it I really want to explore what made him so confident on his judgements If Tom Plate's Conversations with LKY was a four star read for me I would rate Hard Truths as a 45 star read Hard Truths is presented as a dialogue in uestion and answer format and like Conversations with LKY this allows LKY's voice to come through You can almost hear the rhythm of his speech rolling off the pages of the book and indeed the copy I borrowed came with a DVD featuring excerpts from the interview where you really could hear LKY speak By reproducing his blunt observations the hard hitting assessments of Singapore's future on politics etc almost verbatim you get a slightly different feel than you would reading his other books written in standard prose format like volumes 1 and 2 of The Singapore Story So why is Hard Truths worth at least an extra half star?Well for one thing while Tom Plate's book was based on 2 days' worth of interviews and came up to slightly over 200 pages Hard Truths was based on interviews held over 16 sittings from Dec 2008 to Oct 2009 Hard Truths clocks in at close to 450 pages and allows for a much detailed exploration of LKY's views on a wide range of topics from Singapore's vulnerability and race and religion to his family homosexuality and even whether he believes in feng shui And whereas Plate to my annoyance tried hard to inject his own personality and spin into Conversations with LKY Hard Truths is entirely about the man The only hint of the personalities of the Straits Times team behind Hard Truths comes through from the introductory paragraphs preceding each chapter where the journalists must about their responses to LKY I'm always impressed whenever I hear LKY speak whether he's giving a speech or is at a dialogue session His grasp of the issues the clarity of thought his tell it as it is approach You may not always agree with him but you can see where he's coming from and at the very least you respect how his actions are guided by a set of considered and consistent principles Which in LKY's case as he reiterates throughout the interview is his abiding concern for Singapore When I read Conversations with LKY the thing that struck me and really stuck in my mind was LKY's assessment of the uality of the US Secretaries of State over the years and how the Secretaries in recent years lack the deep understanding of Asia and their inability to appreciate how developments in the region fit into a cultural and historical context that has been shaped over the centuries That and his anecdote about Jimmy Carter being completely out of his depth as POTUS For Hard Truths the first thing that really struck me was LKY's defence of high ministerial salaries That it is fair to expect people to step up to serve not for the money but for the honour of serving one's country But you can only get people to make this sacrifice of their personal space and time for one term If you want your Cabinet to stay for 2 3 4 terms this isn't sustainable The second thing that stuck with me was LKY's account of his relationship with his wife how they met how he got her into Cambridge and how he would read to her nightly after she became bedridden and lost her ability to speak after several strokes It reminded me that LKY wasn't just an elder statesman Singapore's first PM who did battle with the communists and cut down his political enemies He was also a husband and a father I stopped buying books a couple of years back as a space and cost saving measure opting to make use of the library instead the library gets my vote for greatest utility derived from my tax dollars I only buy books that I've already read love and absolutely have to own a copy of Hard Truths is one of those books An aged Moses writes the book of Deuteronomy leading up to his last days warning the nation of Israelites he had led through the unforgiving wilderness the past 40 years Moses reminds them of the unlikely circumstances on which their nation had emerged from inclining them to learn from their past mistakes and hold true to commandments that it might go well with them “Lee Kuan Yew Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going” flows in the same vein in essence preparing a new generation for a new set of challenges With the passing of his wife Lee knew the days he had left to make an impact on his life’s work the nation of Singapore were numbered A new generation of Singaporeans who had not experienced the tumultuous rise of early Singapore was about to inherit the nation he has given his blood sweat and famous tears of 1965 He had to make peace with his abiding concern that we should take this nation for granted lest it made him get up from his grave This led Lee to collaborate with The Straits Times editor Han Fook Kwang to produce “Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going” based on numerous interviews over hundreds of hours Every interview is reminiscent of Lee in parliamentary debate a relentless cut and thrust repartee yet weighted in sagely wisdom Personally I am a skeptic of the product of Lee’s unimaginative pragmatic authoritarian style of politics that has led Singapore to be dubbed Disneyland with the death penalty Gibson 1993 However Lee pulled no punches when weighing in on the issues of our Singaporean community through a grating political lens drawing me in from beginning to end From here on forth I will be discussing Lee’s views on issues prevalent in Singapore communityFirstly an issue faced by the Singaporean community is its lackluster national identity This is an issue as national identity determines one’s sense of belonging to a place in turn determining one’s commitment to a nation Shamai 1991 Lee in his book affirms the importance of a national identity citing the American Democrats’ resistance toward assimilation policies in favour of multi cultures as a problem for the state Han Fook Kwang 2011 Yet Lee does not seem to have an answer as to what our Singaporean National Identity could be based on except that of the “economic necessity of peace and stability and growth” Han Fook Kwang 2011 Singapore’s national identity has never been founded on firm ground lacking traditional means of ethnic nationalism and its nascence precludes the success of typically long term nation building efforts Ortmann 2009 Lee’s pragmatic approach to governance means that no values or ideology are ever held sacred in ensuring the survival of Singapore leaving the thin thread of “economic necessity” to unite a nation Saxena 2011 With nothing but the rational economic instincts of self preservation and self gain to unite us all it takes is an economic crisis or better opportunities elsewhere before it’s every man for himself once again To me to have Lee’s notion of a national identity is to have none at all Secondly a compounding issue is intolerance with regard to the openness to immigration in Singapore Intolerance is not a new challenge for Singapore though its focus has evolved over the decades from racial intolerance to that toward immigrants The controversial Population White Paper meted out in 2013 that projects a 69 million Singaporean population by means of increasing immigration National Population and Talent Division 2013 Locals responded with hostility toward the new immigration policy staging three major protests Chang 2013 In spite of the backlash Lee does not change his position about the influx of foreigners in Singapore asserting that the ends will justify the means Talking about the low fertility rate in Singapore and the economic ramifications of an ageing population he claims that Singapore will have much to owe to such an open borders policy just decades down the road in typical paternalistic fashion Han Fook Kwang 2011 I believe the intolerance of foreigners could inadvertently raise the Singaporean national identity Since the founding of Singapore “bloc notions” had been responsible for a heightened sense of national identity; first in the Malay community when the Chinese and Indians were welcomed by British colonial masters then in the Singapore community when we were separated from Malaysia Milner 2009 Though ethnic nationalism is off the cards a sense of civic nationalism could be cultivated through a “bloc notion” clearly defining group boundaries between Singaporeans and immigrants Ross 2009 What is truly Singaporean might then be distilled from the melting pot that is our city creating a core identity for our society through which immigrants might be able to take as true north for successful assimilation Thus I disagree with Lee’s insistence that economic principles are the antidote for these issues of our community believing instead in an organic social construction of national identity through a bloc notion which could in turn give immigrants a reference for assimilationThe third issue in community in Singapore raised in “Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going” is meritocracy Meritocracy is the concept that “pay and privilege should be awarded solely on the basis of merit however defined” Arrow Bowles Durlauf 2000 In theory meritocracy should eualize opportunities in Singapore offsetting ineualities in family background with the promise of social mobility through the rational and neutral allocation of resources Teo 2018 Lee affirms the merits of meritocracy citing benefits such as the recruitment of the most capable leaders in government to navigate the “sampan” that is Singapore in “rough waters” controversially justifying their astronomical income Han Fook Kwang 2011 He also maintains that meritocracy cultivates a competitive society polishing Singapore’s most valuable resource—its talent Han Fook Kwang 2011 Lee’s position on meritocracy does not budge leaning back on Singapore’s precarious geopolitical context at the risk of coming across as overly paranoid However the meritocracy has been “practiced so extremely” in Singapore that it has backfired on its initial promises of social mobility leading us to the fourth issue ineuality Though a bright eyed believer in socialist ideals in his youth he had come to accept the “realities” of social Darwinism in his early days as a politician Evident in policies like the Graduate Mothers’ Scheme Lee’s controversial take on ineuality is that it is a result of genetics which causes a wide disparity between the elites and those he refers to as “duds” in no ambiguous manner Han Fook Kwang 2011 Lee’s seemingly parochial attribution of capabilities to genetics has hence led to the internalization of narratives of mobility and worth producing a long held acuiescence toward ineuality in Singaporean society Teo 2018I have chosen to discuss the third and fourth issues in community together as I believe ineuality and meritocracy are intimately related Lee’s obstinacy on his stance on meritocracy is theoretically backed but lacks empathy While Lee is right that economic prosperity is high on Singaporeans’ list of priorities due to strong Asian values this relentless economic pursuit has cast a shadow over the plight of those lagging behind on the socioeconomic ladder Though Singapore’s economic machine has managed to prosper the nation in absolute terms the relative deprivation felt by those marginalized by ineuality is cause for worry Rahim 1999 It simply does not matter how rich one becomes if he looks to his left and right and sees the rest have become even richer Meritocracy as practiced in Singapore rubs salt in the wounds of the marginalized with the narrative that those at the top deserve to be where they are and inversely those at the bottom deserve to be where they are This dissuades the affluent elite from wealth redistribution policies and is compounded by the fact that top policymakers make up the affluent elite as well Lee’s regime has left bodies in its wake as it bulldozes to economic conuest and does not show signs of slowing down anytime soon especially if it continues to be undergirded by the meritocratic narrative of deservedness The fifth and last issue raised in “Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going” pertains to the target audience of the book – the next generation of youth in Singapore and our infamous political apathy Likening youth to fruit strawberries and durians in particular has been a common theme in recent years and Lee seems to agree to a tangent When asked to share his views on the political apathy of youth in Singapore he puts it simply saying “they’re too comfortable” Han Fook Kwang 2011 The “prospect of losing everything” Lee remarks was what had kept him going and wistfully comments that the youth of today might never grasp such an outlook Han Fook Kwang 2011 He is right After all what is there to fight for when all has been laid on a silver platter?I appropriately conclude this review on this note as Lee’s greatest contribution through “Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going” are not his astute observations or nuggets of wisdom but his ability to draw even the most apathetic into the debate on issues in Singapore In all his obstinance and paranoia Lee inadvertently answers the one uestion that defines my generation why should I care? While most would be prepared to gobble down every of Lee’s views in reverence of Singapore’s biggest political celebrity it is his shortcomings that have defined this book for me Lee wasn’t always right and our leaders might never be There will always be a need for the unlikely members of society to throw down the gauntlet with regard to the evolving issues of our Singaporean community Works CitedArrow K Bowles S Durlauf S 2000 Meritocracy and Economic Ineuality Princeton New Jersey Princeton University PressChang R 2013 October 6 Third Population White Paper protest draws smaller crowd Retrieved from The Straits Times W 1993 January 4 Disneyland with the Death Penalty Retrieved from Wired Fook Kwang Z I 2011 Lee Kuan Yew Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going Singapore Straits Times PressMilner A 2009 the Malays John Wiley and SonsNational Population and Talent Division 2013 January A Sustainable Population for a Dynamic Singapore Retrieved from Strategy Group S 2009 Singapore The Politics of Inventing National Identity Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs 23 46Rahim L Z 1999 The Singapore Dilemma The Political and Educational Marginality of the Malay Community Oxford University PressRoss M H 2009 Culture in Comparative Political Analysis In A S Mark Irving Lichbach Comparative Politics Rationality Culture and Structure pp 134 161 New York Cambridge University PressSaxena N 2011 Virtuous cycles the Singapore public service and national development Singapore Ministry of Foreign AffairsShamai S 1991 Sense of place an empirical measurement Geoforum 347 358Teo Y Y 2018 This Is What Ineuality Looks Like Ethos Books This book gave great insights to the mind of Singapore's founding father in the most direct and provocative manner Helped young sgeans understand the history and milestones that our grandparents and parents have been through Awesome read Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going – How True are They?Centred around 32 hours of interviews with our late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going Han et al 2011 documents some of Mr Lee’s most contentious views on various communal issues This book review seeks to evaluate Mr Lee’s thoughts from a psychological perspective and explore their implications on issues surrounding ineuality the integration of the Muslim and immigrant communities freedom of the press and gender against the backdrop of an increasingly globalised twenty first century SingaporeMr Lee espouses Social Darwinism with an almost deterministic slant Not only does he believe that “human beings are created uneual” p 186 he is also of the contentious view that around 70 to 80 per cent of a person’s attributes is dictated by their genetic makeup p 114 Thus he proposes that mediocre parents are likely to give birth to duds intelligent parents will almost invariably pass on their good genes to their descendants while the union of a graduate man and a non graduate woman tend to produce a mix of offspring who are cognitively well endowed and others who are less so p 200 Granted research has shown that the heritability of general intelligence is considerably high in the neighbourhood of 50 to 80 per cent Plomin 2001 and intelligence also appears to play a substantial role in predicting long term socioeconomic success Results from meta analyses of multiple regression studies have demonstrated that intelligence accounted for approximately 20 to 30 per cent in the variance of educational and occupational achievements respectively Strenze 2007 a moderate strength of effect Cohen 1988 The attendant conseuence according to Mr Lee is that as a society develops social homogamy arises and the population inevitably organise itself into strata p114 where the genetically gifted and successful pass on the advantages to their children in a manner that is reminiscent of the Matthew effect in sociology – the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer Merton 1968 While Mr Lee’s theory seems to check out at first blush it ultimately falls prey to an overly narrow conceptualisation of intelligence However not all is gloom and doom; Mr Lee also sees the importance of ameliorating the effects of the widening rungs in the social echelon by ensuring eual opportunities for all p 212 More recently educational programmes such as the Institute of Technical Education ITE Skills Subject Certificate ISSC have also been introduced to encourage the less academically inclined students to pursue alternative paths to success This shows that the government has come to recognise that intelligence can come in multiple forms and are invested in helping people who possess the less conventional forms of intelligence apply themselves in societyMr Lee also highlights the difficulties in integrating the Muslim community into the larger Singaporean community due in part to their distinct religious practices and the pressure to observe their religious injunctions p 229 which has inhibited their interaction with individuals from other religions in a social context p 234 and discouraged intermarriage p 228 He goes as far as to claim that the teachings and practices of Islam at least in its political manifestation are incompatible with modernity p 236 Similar sentiments have also been widely echoed by right wing political commentators in the West such as the likes of Steven Crowder The Liberty Daily 2017 and Milo Yiannopoulos The Rubin Report 2016 In two polls of 2000 Canadians conducted by Léger Marketing in 2013 and 2014 42 per cent of Canadian Muslims believe the difference between Western society and their own cultures is too great to be reconciled Todd 2015 The challenge in integrating the local Muslim community is also compounded by the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism catalysed by Saudi Arabia’s propagation of Wahhabism p 234 Arabisation has taken the Singaporean Muslim community by storm over the past decade Shanmugam 2016 as Malay vernaculars – such as tudung hari raya and terima kasih – are superseded by their Arabic counterparts such as hijab Eidul Fitri syukran while Malay women are trading in their baju kebaya for the Arabian abayas and donning the niab the head dress that covers the entire face apart from the eyes Saat 2018 The impetus is thus on the religious and community leaders to promote the practice of moderate Islam and to defend the Muslim community against religious extremism and exclusivityIn the face of a greying population and falling fertility rate Mr Lee recognises the importance of immigrants in sustaining the economy and replacing ourselves pp 266 – 267 According to a Sunday Times survey conducted in 2006 a majority of Singaporeans objected to the government’s open door policy out of fear of losing jobs; thought that foreign talent enjoyed all the benefits of living in Singapore but none of the responsibilities; and were unconvinced that importing foreign talent would create jobs pp 269 – 270 Mr Lee however believes that we can minimise the foreigners’ influence on the locals by spreading them out across the country and that foreigners can serve as a healthy source of competition to motivate Singaporeans to achieve p 279 Today it is relieving to know that Singaporeans’ attitude towards immigrant has improved over the years In a recent study by the Institute of Policy Studies IPS published in 2019 almost 90 per cent of respondents felt that they could learn a lot from the immigrants’ cultures and that it is a good idea to have people of various nationalities living together in the same neighbourhood Zhuo 2019 However the same poll also suggests that the general sentiment among Singaporeans is that immigrants should be doing to integrate into society ibid Community leaders should thus take cue from the findings and create opportunities for the integration of immigrantsMr Lee concedes that it is important for the press to adopt an independent view but is adamant that press freedom must not undermine government policies p 85 Cognisant of the profound threats and vulnerabilities facing our nation such as the resentment from neighbouring countries which see us as the “interloper” in the region p 17 who are living off their resources p 25 Mr Lee proclaims that the peace and progress as enjoyed by millions of Singaporeans today is not an entitlement but the result of careful social engineering and stringent selection of competent leaders He asserts his position that liberal democracy is infeasible and will lead to political instability in a multicultural Singapore pp 53 – 54 which could lead to the nation’s demise Likening the country to a chronometer Mr Lee aptly sums up our state of vulnerability “You drop it you break it it's finished Some countries you get a second chance you buy spare parts you put it back again I'm not sure we'll ever get a second chance p 47 para 3 Instead he suggests that the “economic necessity of peace and security” p 58 serves as an utilitarian thread that holds the social fabric together As pessimistic as it may seem it is likely that this common interest may continue to be the mortar of our society until we can arrive at a viable alternativePerhaps one of Mr Lee's controversial beliefs lies in the domain of gender differences He suggests that women are inherently biologically different from men in uniue ways that make them suitable and thus mainly responsible for child rearing pp 361 to 362 – a position that would deeply offend the liberal minded in this day and age However there is an abundance of literature in psychology that supports Mr Lee’s postulation that women are superior to men in the One common line of argument postulates that women make for better caregivers in general as they are likely to be agreeable than men Budaev 1999; Costa Terracciano McCrae 2001; Feingold 1994 Agreeableness is one of the core traits known collectively as the Big Five in personality psychology; these are personality traits that have been derived through factor analysis Agreeable people are tender minded compassionate friendly and helpful ualities that are conducive to successful childcare In a separate speech at the National Day Rally in 1983 Mr Lee famously the die was cast there was no way for them to revert our policies and have the women return to their primary role as mothers; they would not be in favour of it Saw 2016 Women have already become an indispensable part of the economy ibid Even until today these views are still relevant in guiding government policies in paternity and maternity leaves so as to create a egalitarian working environment for both genders The book has provided me with valuable insights into the astute opinions of the late Minister Mentor and furthered my understanding of the uniue set of challenges and social issues in Singapore It was an engaging read as the combative Mr Lee presented his arguments in a logical compelling and illuminating fashion that is intelligible even to the politically uninitiated A treasury of wisdom and immense knowledge Lee Kuan Yew Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going is a timeless masterpiece that has aged well and which is worth re reading for years to comeReferencesBudaev S V 1999 Sex differences in the Big Five personality factors Testing an evolutionary hypothesis Personality and Individual Differences 26 801 813Cohen J 1988 Statistical power analysis for the behavioural sciences 2nd ed Hillsdale NJ Lawrence Earlbaum AssociatesCosta P Jr Terracciano A McCrae R R 2001 Gender differences in personality traits across cultures Robust and surprising findings Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 812 322 331 doi1010370022 3514812322Feingold A 1994 Gender differences in personality A meta analysis Psychological Bulletin 1163 429 456 doi1010370033 29091163429Han F K Ibrahim Z Chua M H Lim L Low I Lin R Chan R 2011 Lee Kuan Yew Hard truths to keep Singapore going Singapore Straits Times PressSaw S 2016 Population policies and programmes in Singapore Second ed Singapore ISEAS Yusof Ishak InstituteShanmugam K 2016 January 20 Religion terrorism and threats to Singapore the region The Straits Times Retrieved from R 2001 The genetics of g in human and mouse Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2 136–141Merton R K 1968 The Matthew effect in science The reward and communication systems of science are considered Science 1593810 56 63Saat N 2018 August 15 Arabisation and the threat to Singapore culture Today Retrieved from T 2007 Intelligence and socioeconomic success A meta analytic review of longitudinal research Intelligence 35 401–426The Liberty Daily 2017 May 24 Steven Crowder Political Islam incompatible with Western civilization Video file Retrieved from Rubin Report 2016 March 24 On the Brussels attacks Pt 1 | Milo Yiannopoulos | politics | Rubin report Video file Retrieved from D 2015 March 26 Most Canadians believe Western and Islamic societies irreconcilable Poll Vancouver Sun Retrieved from T 2019 August 4 Most Singaporeans agree they can learn from immigrants but feel the group needs to integrate into society The Straits Times Retrieved from Anyone who have any interest in politics should give this book a read This is a inspiring book that includes hard truth that is unpopular although it’s true It talks about issues ranging from businesses to racial harmony in Singapore Even from my sickbed even if you are going to lower me to the grave and I feel that something is going wrong I will get up” This famous uote strikes a chord with many Singaporeans as a testament to how much Lee Kuan Yew has sacrificed his blood sweat and tears for this country ever since Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965 Although I have never been supportive of how he ruled Singapore with an iron fist but I am still able to fully admire him for how he managed to transform Singapore from a fishing village into a first world nation Lee’s “Hard truths to keep Singapore going” is an eye opening memoir which talks about highly controversial issues ranging from race and religion to personal trivia uestions revealing to us the personal side of him The first issue I would be discussing is the surge of foreign migrants in recent years which became one of the biggest sources of unhappiness among Singaporeans This was especially clear in the 2011 General Elections where both rational and emotional reactions surfaced Kishore Mahbubani 2015 Students found themselves struggling while their foreign counterparts went onto academic honour rolls and took top awards in many competitions; adults had to fight for jobs and housings with the foreign talent pool The government granted about 18500 new citizenships every year from 2008 to 2012 Goh 2013 and this gave rise to a large wave of dissatisfaction among the locals The 2013 population White Paper exacerbated the problem as the number of foreigners increased by 66 percent from the year 2000 to 2009 A reason used by Lee to justify the need for immigrants is our aging population as well as falling birth rates which would ultimately lead to a decline of our economy Locals expressed their dissatisfaction through social media platforms and the service industry has even received complaints about how the Chinese nationals struggle to serve our non Chinese speaking citizens and tourists due to the language barrier The high influx of foreigners means that their presence is made excessively visible in public places and some even received heavy backlash from locals about their inconsiderate behaviours The falling sense of national identity can be seen in a 2017 survey whereby almost half of the 2000 respondents feel that excessive foreign talent can dilute the cohesiveness of society Mohan 2018Although I am not supportive of the idea of the government opening the immigration floodgates but in certain situations it is deemed as necessary Singaporeans often lament about how foreigners are “stealing” their rice bowls but I deem this argument invalid as most of the jobs which they are doing are those of which Singaporeans are not willing to do They are considered unwanted jobs like climbing up the scaffoldings at construction sites sweeping the roads and washing the dishes However as a student myself I do see how foreign students are indeed excelling their studies with flying colours while we struggle to match their standards This has placed excessive unnecessary pressure on us and as what many of us would put it these foreign students are here to “spoil bell curve” The next issue raised by Lee is the issue of religious and racial divide In recent years the Christians have also begun to make their voices heard and presence known in public over the controversial issues like homosexuality and the building of casinos The percentage of Christians increased from 146% in 2009 to 188% in 2015 and this has created an atmosphere of fear that the religious leaders might attempt to influence politics with their own religions In 2015 thousands of Christians and some Muslims donned white on the day Hong Lim Park was swarmed in pink This clash of views among the different religious groups in Singapore is also highly controversial as all parties have their own different beliefs and seek to promote values which they believe in The government also implemented various policies such as putting racial uotas for public housing estates to ensure that the different religions mingle and changing the electoral system to bridge the gap among the different races and religions to safeguard the interests of the minorities In 2016 the government announced the system of reserved elections where an election is reserved for a specific racial group if that group has not seen any representative for five continuous terms Yong 2016 However I feel that such policies only serve to further highlight the inherent distinction and divide among the different races especially in the most recent change to the presidential election By doing this it undermines the abilities of the minority group and also sparked off a debate on how the candidate’s race is determined by the panelThe next issue is the problem of ineuality which goes beyond income ineuality but also human intellect Singapore ranked 149 out of 157 countries on an index which rank how successful countries have been in tackling income ineuality between the rich and poor CNA 2018 as 73% of Singapore’s wealth is owned by the top 20% Koh 2016 Despite several measures implemented by the government such as offering of financial assistance schemes for students SkillsFuture for the lower waged workers to upgrade their skills and various pioneer generation packages for the elderly wealth ineuality is still a pressing problem which remains an uphill task “I can give you extra tuition better environment but the incremental benefits are not that much And their peers with bigger engines will also make progress So the gap will never be closed” The truth has never been presented so well and Lee offered us a very harsh truth of how society is like We are all born different and have different maximum capacities; there is only so much which some people can do Teo 2018 Albert Einstein once said “If you judge a fish on its abilities to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing it is stupid” The government has recognized the need to extend their scope beyond just the academics field but also to non academic related ones like the sporting and musical scene such as the Singapore Sports School as well as School of the Arts Despite these efforts I am still very pessimistic as we all know it is difficult to rely on sports or the arts to survive in a society like Singapore where the most recognition and credits still go to those with academic merits Another issue is how millennials today are generally politically apathetic Youths today are described as the “strawberry generation” – unable to take hardships and deeply self entitled Most younger Singaporeans tend to turn away from the public service industry and instead lean towards the private service where career prospects are brighter and lucrative Personally I am of the view that the government is one of the reasons why youths are not willing to enter the political arena We need no reminders on how punishments are meted out to those who attempt to speak out against the government; these people have nothing to gain but everything to lose the way our government handles their critics is highly unacceptable That aside it is also how the lure of the private sector is too strong where things are stable and certain Simply put youths today have everything served to them on a plate and the comforts their private sector career can bring them far outshines what the political scene offers them Therefore they do not see a purpose in fighting for any cause Last but not least Singapore is also grappling with the issue of a brittle economy where we heavily rely on external parties for our economic growth Singapore’s economy is mainly driven by external factors such as exports financial services and tourism Sloman The economy relies largely on Western countries and MNCs for growth as seen in how Singapore’s external demand for it exports grew from 70 to 76% in the last 10 years and thus any changes in the global landscape would shake the economy of Singapore A country with almost no natural resources it is indeed a challenge to rely on ourselves Therefore in May 2000 the first NEWater plant was built and it became the fourth source of national tap Malaysia was no longer Singapore’s only supplier of clean water making us a self sustaining country Lee’s book is definitely an unconventional one which truly broadened my views about the man himself as well as the struggles Singapore was once put through I appreciate how Lee dared to voice out his honest opinions on even the most controversial topics at hand allowing me to better understand why he did what he did despite how there are still some policies and actions of his which I am skeptical about Some parts of the book really struck me hard because of his brutal honesty but it has definitely allowed me to look at his governance and leadership in a different light