In His Memory: Lee Kuan Yew

By | March 26, 2015

It is most likely that many of you already heard the sad news about the passing away or Mr. Lee Kuan Yew–the founding father of Singapore. Having lived in Singapore for the good part of the past seven years, I feel I should write a few words about this legendary leader.

Low crime? check. Great local education system that is complemented with foreign universities and international schools? check. Advanced health and medical services? check. Clean environment? check. Vibrant economy? check. And the list goes on. Singapore is one of the most amazing places in the world and that didn’t happen by accident or by chance; it happened thanks to the visionary leadership of Lee Kuan Yew who admirably managed the process of turning Singapore from a mosquito-plagued tropical island into one of the most advanced countries in the world.

In the financial spirit of this blog, I think that there is one picture that sums it all up so I prepared the following infographic that shows by how many times the GDP per capita had grown between 1965 and 2013. Singapore leaves other countries in the dust, and by a wide margin.

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 4.04.39 PM

 

I highly recommend readers to watch some YouTube videos with interviews of this great person. For those who think that Singapore’s current focus on productivity and higher-value added economy is something new, you should watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sxt7S-oljwU from 1984. Even today, very few leaders in the developed world exhibit such a deep understanding of how the economy works (minute 24 in the video) and what implications policy actions might have. I wish that financial regulators today would have had even half the the acumen he had back in 1984 (minute 30 and on).

I wish the world to have more leaders such as Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, it will certainly make this world a better place.

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