Lee Kuan Yew’s Shadow

Picture credit: Norbert Eder

One of the most provocative commentaries on Singapore I’ve ever read. For sure it will be a tough one for a Singaporean to contemplate – we Singaporeans are conditioned to think of our little country as exceptional, best in everything – but I believe it is a mark of intellectual maturity and a growth mindset to listen openly to even the most scathing criticism. As Robert Frost once said, “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” If there is even one grain of truth in a criticism of me, I want to learn from it.

By Shaun Tan
Founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Staff Writer
The Rabbit Hole

6 August 2019

In the annals of modern Asia, Lee Kuan Yew looms like a colossus. The father of Singapore, the man who turned that tiny island into the financial hub of Southeast Asia, into a gleaming city of the future. Respected in both East and West, a model to the leaders of an emerging China, to Paul Kagame in Rwanda, and numerous other rulers who want prosperity and efficiency whilst retaining absolute power. A man both great and terrible; the singular, indomitable Lee Kuan Yew.

Yet there are aspects of his legacy that are less laudable. Partly by design, Singapore’s political culture and civil society are woefully underdeveloped. The other politicians in the party Lee founded are largely a parade of mediocrities. Singapore’s media scene is one of the most pitiful I’ve ever encountered, and its people one of the most vapid. Lee Kuan Yew was an intellectual giant. He left behind a nation of pygmies.

Read more at The Rabbit Hole

Steven Ooi, a First Class Honours grad from the National University of Singapore, retired from a distinguished 14-year career as a GP and English tutor in 2016. He continues to blog on issues of concern to General Paper and student life.

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About gptuitionsg

A dedicated English and GP tutor with First Class Honours from the National University of Singapore, Steven Ooi retired from the profession after a 14-year career during which he was one of the most sought-after private tutors in Singapore. He is the recipient of the Minerva Prize from NUS, which is awarded to the top English Language honours student of each cohort. This website, which has consistently ranked among the top 10 on Google and has received over 530,000 hits, has now been converted into a GP resource site cum listing of recommended tutors. If you are a GP or English tutor who wishes to be listed here, please email Steven Ooi at stevenooi18 @ yahoo.com (remove the spaces). Interested parties will be assessed and interviewed by him, and qualifications will be checked. These procedures are necessary to uphold quality standards. DISCLAIMER: While every reasonable effort has been made to assess the competence and verify the qualifications of recommended tutors here, no guarantees are made and you engage them at your own risk. By using this website, you agree that you will not hold the webmaster Steven Ooi responsible for any consequences — direct or otherwise — that occur in relation with your use of this website.
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