Public Figure Profiles

Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew (16 September 1923 – 23 March 2015), born Harry Lee Kuan Yew, often referred to by his initials LKY and in his earlier years as Harry Lee, was a Singaporean statesman and barrister who served as the first prime minister of Singapore between 1959 and 1990. He is one of the most iconic people in Singapore and is widely recognised as the nation's founding father.Lee was born in Singapore during British colonial rule, which was then part of the Straits Settlements. He gained an educational scholarship to Raffles College, and during the Japanese occupation, he worked in private enterprises and as an administration service officer for the propaganda office. After the war, Lee attended the London School of Economics, but transferred to Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, graduating with starred-first-class honours in law in 1947. He became a barrister of the Middle Temple in 1950 and campaigned for the United Kingdom to relinquish its colonial rule upon returning to Singapore.

Lee co-founded the People's Action Party in 1954 and won his first seat in the Tanjong Pagar division in the 1955 election. He became the de facto opposition leader in the legislature to chief ministers David Marshall and Lim Yew Hock. Lee led his party to its first electoral victory in the 1959 election, and was appointed as the state's first prime minister. To attain complete self-rule from Britain, Lee campaigned for a merger with other former British territories in a national referendum to form Malaysia in 1963. Racial strife and ideological differences led to Singapore's separation from the federation to become a sovereign city-state in 1965.

With overwhelming parliamentary control at every election, Lee oversaw Singapore's transformation into a developed country with a high-income economy within a single generation. In the process, he forged a highly effective, anti-corrupt government and civil service. Lee eschewed populist policies in favour of long-term social and economic planning, championing meritocracy and multiracialism as governing principles, making English the lingua franca to integrate its immigrant society and to facilitate trade with the world, whilst mandating bilingualism in schools to preserve students' mother tongue and ethnic identity. Lee stepped down as prime minister in 1990, but remained in the Cabinet under his successors, holding the appointments of senior minister until 2004, then minister mentor until 2011. He died of pneumonia on 23 March 2015, aged 91. In a week of national mourning, about 1.7 million Singaporean residents and world leaders paid tribute to him at his lying-in-state at Parliament House and community tribute sites.

A co-inventor of "Asian values", Lee's rule has been described as authoritarian and often characterised as a hybrid regime or a guided democracy, especially in the West. Critics accuse him of curtailing press freedoms, imposing narrow limits on public protests, restricting labour movements from strike action through legislation and co-option, and bringing defamation lawsuits against political opponents. However, others argue his actions were necessary, and generally benevolent.

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Some of their strengths

Lee Kuan Yew has many admirable traits.

Based on spiritual traditions from around the world, they are someone who can be described as Kind, Passionate, Energetic, Imaginative, Creative, Generous, and Honest.

Smart and Sophisticated

According to Mysticism’s Astrology tradition, Lee Kuan Yew is someone who is a smart, sophisticated, and organized person who displays kindness and grace in every day interactions, and who also has a passionate soul. A person who is ambitious and motivated.

Adventurous and Free

Based on Daoism’s Ba-Zi or ‘Chinese Zodiac’ tradition, people who know Lee Kuan Yew well know them as someone who can be talented, wayward and free, like a big river or the ocean.

Optimistic and Frank

According to Hinduism’s Jyotisha or ‘Vedic Astrology’ tradition, many would also describe Lee Kuan Yew as someone who is optimistic, principled, adventurous, and direct.

A person who isn't shy about expressing their opinions, loves competition, loves learning things themself, who is known for being inventive and original, and who loves being surrounded by friends and loved ones.

Wise and Deep

Based on the Mayan Tzolk’in or ‘Mayan Astrology’ tradition, Lee Kuan Yew is someone who tends to have an internal innate wisdom, and who people tend to see as an "old soul".

They are also someone who is calm, comforting, and stable, and who loves stability and being a good friend and loyal partner.

Altruistic and Purposeful

According to Judaism’s Kabbalah tradition, Lee Kuan Yew tends to be someone who has a desire to be of service to a higher calling and who is always trying to perfect things. Who can be practical and polished, reserved and methodical, and who tends to trust internal judgment before trusting anyone else at face value.

Some of Lee Kuan Yew's challenges

While Lee Kuan Yew has many strengths, nobody is perfect. They also have some challenging traits they need to manage.

For example, Lee Kuan Yew can be Difficult, Perfectionist, Impulsive, Careless, Pushy, Restless, and Temperamental.

Difficult and Perfectionist

One of Lee Kuan Yew's key challenges is that they are someone who can be difficult and too much of a perfectionist.

Pushy and Restless

Lee Kuan Yew is someone who can be arrogant and bossy, who can have difficulty concentrating and focusing, be unable to separate emotions from business decisions, and who can engage in excessive spending in support of an expensive lifestyle and habits.

Critical and Bossy

Finally, Lee Kuan Yew also can be too focused on the small details of life, try to control whatever is happening, and be finicky and demanding.