|uly 12, 2008 01:32 AM|
Singapore's Success Due To Integrity, Says Kuan Yew
By Zakaria Abdul Wahab
SINGAPORE, July 12 (Bernama) -- Singapore has become successful and earned the respect of the world community today because it has been governed by able leaders who have high integrity and are not corrupted, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew said Friday night.
He said that when Singapore became independent, the country did not have any wealth or resources to develop and, in addition, was facing many threats such as from the communist terrorists and the workers' union and even problems inside his People's Action Party (PAP).
But with a first-class team of able and practical leaders who had strong will and belief in the country, Singapore managed to get out from the bad situation, Lee said at a dialogue session at the Economic Society of Singapore, here.
He said the leaders then, including himself, had to make tough decisions to develop Singapore, including changing the labour laws, uniting the people by putting the Malays, Chinese and Indians in the same flats so that they could mix together, and making the people a workable society.
He said Singapore progressed well until today because it had been managed by dedicated leaders who had a high sense of honour and level of integrity, honesty and competency and were not corrupted.
Lee also said that the country was different from others as it had no room for making mistakes.
Lee, who is currently Minister Mentor, said the country made the right decision by investing in defence and education by allocating the biggest budgets for the two sectors.
Now the "little red dot", which many Singaporeans and others refer to Singapore as, was able to defend itself and no one could just march into the country and take it over, Lee said.
He said the government also made the right move when it introduced English in the education system and put the mother tongue languages of the Chinese, Malays and Indians on equal footing.
Lee said the English language had not only become the world's most spoken language but was also the language of the Internet world, and this had benefited the Singaporeans most.
The former prime minister also said that the present leadership should now look for new leaders to replace them when they retired in less than a decade from now.
He said that if they failed to recruit new leaders, the country would be taken over by the opposition parties who would have their own capable leaders, but he doubted that it could happen.