Remembering Lee Kuan Yew—And His Warning for America


Lee Kuan Yew gives the victory sign to his supporters in April 2011

Notice the insignia

One of the most influential statesmen of the 20th century has died, but the Main Stream Media will only tell you part of the story.

Lee Kuan Yew, the statesman who transformed Singapore from a small port city into a wealthy global hub, has died at the age of 91.

The city-state’s prime minister for 31 years, he was widely respected as the architect of Singapore’s prosperity.

But he was criticised for his iron grip on power. Under him freedom of speech was tightly restricted and political opponents were targeted by the courts.

A state funeral will be held on 29 March, after a week of mourning.

[Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew dies at 91BBC, March 22, 2015]

Left largely unanswered is why the late founding father of Singapore felt such authoritarianism was necessary.  Lee Kuan Yew once said: “In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion.”

Lee Kuan Yew’s “People’s Action Party” has the same symbol as that of Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, but “multiracialism” is a key tenet of the governing consensus in Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew pursued what he called an “ideology free” authoritarian system designed to maximize economic growth, openly restricting political freedom and freedom of speech in favor of keeping order and keeping the city-state’s various ethnic groups from tearing each other apart.

His pragmatism about race and IQ is best summarized in a recent interview with Charlie Rose.  Rose repeated the banalities that are required in order to keep a job in post-American America by telling the elderly statesman that America’s strength was “immigrants.”  The response?

Lee Kuan Yew: “Absolutely … But, mind you, immigration of the highly intelligent and highly hard-working, very hard-working people. If you get immigration from the fruit-pickers [chuckles for several seconds at the idea], you may not get very far!”

Keep in mind as you read the tributes this week that this (obviously true) statement alone would have ensured Lee Kuan Yew couldn’t have held down a job as a telemarketer in the Land of the Free.

What happens next in Singapore?  Ominously, the lust for cheap labor is as strong in Singapore as it is anywhere else.

And if the government shows any sign of instability, the city-state’s famous reputation as a great place to do business may fade overnight.

Democracy, capitalism, multiculturalism.  Pick 2 (at most).