Lee Kuan Yew's world views in new book

Interview with Lee Kuan Yew for "One Man's View of the World" (insert) focused on international issues at the Istana, on May 10, 2012. 

SINGAPORE - A new book by former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew will be launched next Tuesday.

The 400-page book, titled One Man's View Of The World, contains Mr Lee's views on geopolitics and the future of world powers such as China and the United States.

There is also one chapter on Singapore, in which he reflects on the developments of the political landscape in the last few years.

Published by The Straits Times Press, the book has 11 chapters, the first seven of which cover countries and regions. The next three are on the global economy, energy and climate change, and Mr Lee's candid reflections on life and death.

The final chapter is a series of conversations from May last year between Mr Lee, 89, and an old friend, former chancellor of West Germany Helmut Schmidt, 94.

Excerpts of interviews that Mr Lee had with a team of writers from The Straits Times are also included in the chapters.

The same team - comprising Mr Han Fook Kwang, Ms Zuraidah Ibrahim, Ms Chua Mui Hoong and Mr Elgin Toh - provided research and editorial help for the book.

Mr Shashi Jayakumar, a civil servant on secondment to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, rounded out the group.

Like the first two volumes of Mr Lee's memoirs, 1998's The Singapore Story and 2000's From Third World To First, the new book mines Mr Lee's 50 years in government and contains his personal recollections of countries and their leaders.

He has met every major post-war Chinese leader, from the late chairman Mao Zedong to current President Xi Jinping, and American presidents from the late Lyndon B. Johnson to present leader Barack Obama.

However, One Man's View Of The World is not focused on the past. Instead, it projects into the future.

Applying his characteristically unflinching judgment on foreign societies, Mr Lee probes the psyche of their people and draws conclusions on their chances for success and where they will end up in tomorrow's global hierarchy.

As for Singapore, it is too small to change the world, he writes, 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".

Global bigwigs have endorsed the book.

Former US secretary of state George Shultz wrote that "Lee Kuan Yew once again gives us clarity of thought, eloquence of expression, the depth of important ideas, and common sense".

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said that it "demonstrates the acute insights that fellow leaders have sought from Lee Kuan Yew for half a century".

And Tun Daim Zainuddin, former Malaysian finance minister, called Mr Lee's analysis "truly par excellence", and one that can come "only from one of the finest statesmen of this region and our time".

Mr Lee will launch the book next Tuesday at the Istana. It will be available at leading bookstores for $39.90 from 5pm on the same day. Online shoppers can order the book from www.stpressbooks.com.sg

rchang@sph.com.sg


Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.

Purchase this article for republication.

SERVICES