18 July 2010

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore, Dr. Mahathir and Malaysia : Try make a 'good' story from the words given

Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew: Citizen Singapore: How to Build a Nation (Giants of Asia series)

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Lee Kuan Yew, his then Singapore counterpart, would go down in history as a very remarkable intellectual and politician at the same time. 
His comments appeared in this latest book on Lee written by an internationally syndicated veteran American journalist and columnist Tom Plate. 
Commenting further on LKY, Dr. M said : "He is a bog frog in a small pond. He had ambitions to become the Prime Minister of all Malaysia."
" He tries to lecture people but people dislike that.People do regard him as an intellectual, as something more than just ordinary politicians," he added.
How does an American present an accurate and non—judgemental view of Singapore? For columnist Tom Plate, he took that challenge head—on — and being from Los Angeles, he approached the story as if he was writing a screenplay on a blockbuster that is Singapore.
Tom Plate, author of “Conversations With Lee Kuan Yew”, said: “You come into a room, and you start talking with him and he cracks a joke and you say something. And then you disagree, he agrees, and back and forth, and it’s almost like a movie.
“No footnotes, a lot of dialogue and it’s an intimate but issue oriented profile of a political giant.”
The 200—plus page book covers topics ranging from Mr Lee’s views on China and US presidents to revelations about his family life.

For the author, it was also an opportunity to dispel some Western perceived myths about Singapore.
Mr Plate said: “He’s state of the art political management — I mean this is not a chewing gum, caning environment; this is a serious place, brilliant people.
“We Americans don’t know everything, we’ve made our share of mistakes, but we make a terrible mistake when we write Asia off.”

I highly recommend this book to all Malaysians if you really want to see how LKY views Malaysia and Singapore. Reading this book makes me wonder, what would happen to Malaysia if Singapore stays with us. For me, Dr. M and LKY are different but the same.

What I learnt from this book? 1.LKY makes me think that Malays are lazy as our long-lived culture made them so 2. Work culture is very important in building nations 3. I       need to learn more about Confucianism 4. LKY is a great man 5. Malays in Malaysia need to change.

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