Two volumes of memoirs by Singapore's first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew will be available for downloading at selected e-book stores from Monday.
They include an author's note in which he expresses his wish that the books - The Singapore Story and From Third World To First - reach a new generation of online readers.
He says that he wrote the books to apprise younger Singaporeans of the Singapore he grew up in: "It was to give them an understanding of the difficulties Singapore faced then in its struggle to survive in the midst of larger, newly independent nations pursuing nationalistic policies."
The two-part memoirs, the first out in 1999 and the second in 2000, detail his early years till Independence in 1965, and his life from then up to the 1990s.
They describe his battles against colonialists, communists and communalists and the challenges he and his colleagues faced in building Singapore's education, defence, economy and infrastructure.
He also relates anecdotes of significant moments in his life and gives insights into the men he worked with, including Cabinet colleagues Goh Keng Swee, S. Rajaratnam and Toh Chin Chye and leaders such as Malaysia's Tunku Abdul Rahman.
In the digital edition's note, he says that while globalisation and technlogy have changed the world and Singapore since then, threats remain and the challenge to national survival is grave.
"It is my hope that the experiences of my generation find relevance with a generation that grew up with digital literacy and technology," adds Mr Lee, who turns 91 on Sept 16.
More than 430,000 copies of both books have been sold in Singapore and Malaysia.
The e-books, produced and sold under licence from Singapore Press Holdings which owns the publication rights to the memoirs, will be available for $34.99 each at major e-book retailers.
The Singapore Story will be available on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore, Google Play, Kobo, Ebooks.com, Booktique, E-Sentral, Overdrive, ebrary, Net Library and Cyberlibris; while From Third World To First will be available on Google Play, E-Sentral, Kobo, Booktique and Ebooks.com.
This article was published on Aug 23 in The Straits Times.
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