The Pope of Singapore

Can Lee Kuan Yew's Legacy of Pragmatism Endure?

"Pragmatic" was a word used over and over again in glowing obituaries of Lee Kuan Yew, prime minister of Singapore for 32 years, since the day of its independence. "We are ideology-free," he told the New York Times in 2007.1 "[We ask:] Does it work? If it works, let's try it. If it's fine, let's continue it. If it doesn't work, toss it out, try another one."

Lee, who died on March 23, is being praised as a visionary statesman who guided his tiny country from its days as a sleepy colonial outpost to become a leading financial center with one of the world's highest GDPs per capita. And he accomplished all this in the midst of a dangerous and...

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #33, Summer 2015 Copyright © 2024 Salvo |


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