Lee Yuan Kew: Started like Nigeria, ended like Singapore 4

Lee Yuan Kew


Start from here
Your Successor matters
On 12 June 2005, Lee granted an interview to China Central Television (CCTV) and laid emphasis on the need to renew the talents in the country’s leadership. He explained;

in a different world like this, we need to carve a niche for ourselves; though we have a small size, we can however perform a role that would be important to the world. To achieve this, you need people at the top, decision-makers with foresight, good minds, who can take in ideas and seize opportunities just as we did… My own job was to find those that will succeed me (successors) and I found them. They are their doing the work, and their own job is to also find their own successors. In the light of this, we need to continue to hunt for honest, dedicated, talented and able people that are ready to sacrifice themselves for their country and work for the people. If this is achieved, they will work for another generation and this continues. The moment this can’t be sustained, all hope is lost’.

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Retirement       
At a tree-planting event where Lee was interviewed, he was asked if he would still function even when retired, he replied, ‘I am very sure this would not affect my mind, my will or my resolve. Also, people that are disabled, on the wheel chairs still make their own contribution. Here I am with two legs, so I will make my own contribution’.
A Hero leaves
 The death of Lee Yuan Kew was announced on 23 March 2015 by the Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loon at the age of 91. Lee died at 02:18 Singapore Standard Time. Public morning was declared and a state funeral was held for him on 29 March and well attended by world leaders. Later in the day, Lee was cremated at the Mandai Crematorium.

What is your Legacy
By the records, Lee brought a lot of advancements to Singapore as the Prime Minister between 1959 and 1990. The achievements include;

11. The rise of Singapore’s Gross National Product per capital from $1,240 in 1959 to $18,437 in 1990.
  2. Unemployment rate dropped from 13.5% in 1959 to 1.7% in 1990.
33. Singapore’s external trade rose sharply from $7.3 billion in 1959 to $205 billion 1990.
  4. Life expectancy at birth rose from 65 years in 1960 to 74 years in 1990.
  5.  Number of public flats increased from 22,975 in 1959 to 667,575 in 1990.
 6.The population of Singapore rose from 1.6 million to 3 million between 1959 and 1990.
  7. The literacy rate in Singapore rose from 52% in 1957 to 90% in 1990.
  8. Coming in of visitors to Singapore rose from 0.1 million to 5.3 million between 1960 and 1990.
  9. Also, during Lee’s reign in Singapore, Singapore stopped being a developing country and became one of the most developed in Asia. Though they have no natural resources, the only natural resources Singapore possesses according to Lee are its people and their strong work ethic.



The Master Planner
What made Lee more recognized and respected among the other Asian leaders in the international stage is his hatred towards corruption and leaving power at the right time. It is obvious Lee really loves Singapore. ‘What made Lee different from other Asian nation-builders are not what he did, but what he didn’t do – he didn’t steal, he was not corrupt and he didn’t stay long in power’.
The Thinker
Before Lee took over Singapore, the per capita income was about $400 a year but now, it is close to $40,000. Due to his leadership, Singapore, a medium-sized city, has become an economic and international player especially in international trade. We have no other strategic thinker that is better than Lee Yuan Kew today. De facto, two generations of American leaders benefited from his counsel.

Coming back to Nigeria
Looking at Africa and Nigeria especially, we have more than what a nation needs to survive. The population is more than 190 million (human resources), we have natural resources including crude oil, gold, tin, coal, columbite and many more. Nigeria was once living on agriculture before the black gold came to erode our sense and instill in us laziness and the popular ‘oil money’. We became non-functional. You and I know oil prices would continue to change till the end of time, and might even lose its relevance in the world market due to technological advancement. What would Nigeria now depend on then?
Some parts of the country are requesting for restructuring or secession, looking inwardly, this may look violent, selfish and bad at first and at far, however, this is still the best solution to the country’s problem. Truly, it is not going to be easy at the start just like how it wasn’t easy in Singapore, we have got to pay the price and we might not even live to enjoy the proceeds of resetting the country to factory mode, however, we knew we did it for the good of the country, ourselves and the generations to come. This might be the price to pay for growth and development. Nigeria and Singapore almost started at the same time, how come they have eluded us in terms of development. 


Truly, they had a selfless, well-educated and innovative leader which is one of the bane of Africa. Nigeria has always been riddled with very bad leaders that are not educated and don’t know any shit about leadership than politics. They are more concerned about the next election than governance. All it ever occurs to them is how to steal for their unborn generation. African leaders are cursed. This behooves on educated youths to come out of their shell and demand for their right, to fight for what they believe in and if it would take a violent revolution, so it be as long as it changes the order of the day.
Thanks for following the story from the beginning to the end. We hope you learnt one or two things and help us share to inform the ignorant about their rights and what we are actually losing being Nigerians.

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