Launch of Lee Kuan Yew's new book

SINGAPORE - Straits Times Press, the book publishing unit of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), announced today the launch of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's new book.

Titled One Man's View of the World by Lee Kuan Yew, the 400-page volume conveys Mr Lee's views on the future of the major powers and regions of the world.

The book is made up of 11 chapters. The first seven cover countries or regions: China, the United States, Europe, other Asian powers (Japan, India and Korea), South-east Asia, Singapore and the Middle East.

Mr Lee also gives his views on the global economy and energy and climate change.

Mr Lee wrote in the preface to his latest book: "My understanding is based on my observations and interactions with various people over the course of the last 50 years in government, during which I managed Singapore's foreign policy and met many key figures who had first-hand experience dealing with the global issues of the day."

On whether big power play will cause the United States and China to clash militarily, he wrote: "There is at present no bitter, irreconcilable ideological conflict between the Americans and a China that has enthusiastically embraced the free market. The Chinese need friendly relations with the US to secure continued access to its markets, investments, technology and universities. And the US simply has no need to make a long-term enemy out of China."

He added that China would be active in pursuing its territorial claims knowing they are "the biggest boy in the neighbourhood".

As for tiny Singapore, it is too small to change the world, he wrote: "But we can try to maximise the space we have to manoeuvre among the big 'trees' in the region. That has been our approach and we will have to be nimble and resourceful to be able to continue to do so."

Mr Lee, who turns 90 in September, also reflects candidly on life and death in the book.

The final chapter is a series of conversations between Mr Lee and an old friend, former Chancellor of West Germany Helmut Schmidt. The two met to discuss international affairs over three days in May 2012, when Mr Schmidt visited Singapore.

The book was written with help from a team from The Straits Times, who provided research and editorial material, and conducted a series of interviews with Mr Lee. Excerpts of these interviews are included in each chapter.

The team comprised Han Fook Kwang, Zuraidah Ibrahim, Chua Mui Hoong and Elgin Toh, as well as Shashi Jayakumar, an Administrative Officer on secondment to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Global leaders have endorsed the book.

Former US Secretary of State George Shultz wrote: "Lee Kuan Yew once again gives us clarity of thought, eloquence of expression, the depth of important ideas, and common sense. A must-read book!"

Dr Henry A. Kissinger, US Secretary of State (1973-1977), wrote: "Lee Kuan Yew's unique talents built a nation and helped secure an era of peace and prosperity in Asia. For decades it has been my good fortune to know him as a strategic thinker, a partner in international security, and a friend. Now, on the occasion of his 90th birthday, he has distilled his thinking on international affairs for a broader audience. With fresh and candid analyses of subjects ranging across the globe, One Man's View of the World demonstrates the acute insights that fellow leaders have sought from Lee Kuan Yew for half a century."

The book will be launched by Mr Lee on August 6 at the Istana. It is available at all leading bookstores for $39.90 (inclusive of GST) from 5pm on August 6. Online shoppers can also order the book from from August 6.

The book will be available in Malaysia and around the region soon after the launch.

Mr Lee's previous books include My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore's Bilingual Journey (2011), Lee Kuan Yew: The Man and His Ideas (1998), as well as Mr Lee's two-volume memoirs, The Singapore Story (1998) and From Third World to First (2000).