Lee Kuan Yew: Blazing the Freedom Trail
Anthony Oei
Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2015
ISBN: 9789814677776

It was the 1950s, a tumultuous time for post-war Singapore. Disgruntled with the British ruling power, anti-colonial forces comprising nationalist freedom fighters and communists were calling for independence. The main contenders for ruling power were the People's Action Party, led by nationalist Lee Kuan Yew, and the Communist Party of Malaya, headed by Chin Peng.

Displaying their calibre and political acumen, Lee Kuan Yew and his team overcame all adversities. Lee, who became Singapore's first Prime Minister in 1959, orchestrated the movement to build a prosperous and peaceful Singapore, and to mould a new Singaporean. In one generation, they elevated the nation from Third World to First World status.

This updated edition of the book, first published in 2005, explores the leadership of Lee during Singapore's first 31 years. He is a symbol of Singapore's success. When he stepped down in 1990, he left "gold standards" — a clean and efficient government, world-class infrastructure and a business-friendly economy.

The success story of Singapore as an independent nation is a saga worth telling and preserving for posterity. The point at issue is whether Singapore could have achieved as much without Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father and master craftsman of modern Singapore.

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