SINGAPORE - A new book by Mr Lee Kuan Yew was launched today.
Titled One Man's View of the World, the 400-page volume carries Mr Lee's views on the future of the major powers and regions of the world. The book is published by Straits Times Press, a fully-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings.
The launch event was held at the Istana, and was attended by Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, and 125 other guests, including foreign diplomats, academics and business leaders.
Said Chairman of the SPH Board of Directors, Dr Lee Boon Yang, in a speech at the launch: "At age 90 and freed from the limitations imposed by Cabinet membership, Mr Lee has been remarkably candid in his analysis. He is not interested in being politically correct. He is concerned with being, simply, correct."
Having spent more than five decades representing Singapore on the international stage - as Prime Minister, Senior Minister, then Minister Mentor - Mr Lee has come to be known as one of the world's most respected statesmen. He has met movers and shakers of his time, from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, and from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama.
It is from this wealth of international experience that Mr Lee draws the wisdom and insight that form this book.
Mr Lee wrote in the book's preface: "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."
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, who turns 90 this year, also reflects candidly on life and death. The final chapter is a conversation between him and an old friend, former Chancellor of West Germany Helmut Schmidt, on leadership and on Europe.
A team from The Straits Times 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 included Han Fook Kwang, Zuraidah Ibrahim, Chua Mui Hoong and Elgin Toh; and Shashi Jayakumar,an Administrative Officer on secondment to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
One Man's View of the World is the latest in a series of books by SPH on Mr Lee. Previous books include Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going (2011), 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).
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."
German Chanellor Helmut Schmidt (1974-1998), wrote: "When I met my friend Lee Kuan Yew for the first time at the end of the 1970s, I was instantly stunned by his strategical oversight and brilliant intellect. In his latest book, the eminent statesman and political mastermind sheds a profound light on the main driving forces in international affairs and geopolitics.
"Enriched by his wealth of experience, Lee presents a sharp and convincing analysis, highlighting the consequences of the inevitable rebalancing of global power between the United States and China.
"Furthermore, he distinctly reveals Europe's perspective of self-inflicted marginalisation if its politicians further fail to take the right action. With its farsightedness and its political wisdom, Lee's One Man's View of the World indeed provides most valuable guidance for the 21st century world's complexity."
Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, endorsing the book, said: "Lee Kuan Yew's penetrating insight and sharp analysis of Northeast Asia and the world has proven - once again - why he is considered the pre-eminent elder statesman of our generation.
"In a rapidly changing world that is full of unforeseen challenges, Lee is a steadfast voice of reason, clarity and hope. Another masterful piece of work that will be an invaluable guide as we chart the future."
The book is available at all leading bookstores for $39.90 (inclusive of GST) from 5pm today. Online shoppers can also order the book from www.stpressbooks.com.sg.