Best 102 of Lee Kuan Yew quotes - MyQuotes

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Lee Kuan Yew
By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

If you are a troublemaker, it’s our job to politically destroy you. Put it this way. As long as JB Jeyaretnam stands for what he stands for – a thoroughly destructive force – we will knock him. Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

The human being needs a challenge, and my advice to every person in Singapore and elsewhere: Keep yourself interested, have a challenge.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

My colleagues and I are of that generation of young men who went through the Second World War and the Japanese Occupation and emerged determined that no one–neither Japanese nor British–had the right to push and kick us around.  We determined that we could govern ourselves and bring up our children in a country where we can be proud to be self-respecting people.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

If you want to reach your goals and dreams, you cannot do it without discipline

By Anonym 14 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

It is not the practice, now will I allow subversives to get away by insisting that I’ve got to prove everything against them in a court of law or [produce] evidence that will stand up to the strict rules of evidence of a court of law.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I knew that my niece was working nearby with some bank, so my wife rang up the mother and the mother called back to say that shes just called up to say she was alright.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

But we either believe in democracy or we don't. If we do, then, we must say categorically, without qualification, that no restraint from the any democratic processes, other than by the ordinary law of the land, should be allowed. If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

The same law applies to me. Nobody has sued me for libel because I do not defame my enemies.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I’m not interested in changing either my suit or my car or whatever with every change in fashion. That’s irrelevant. I don’t judge myself or my friends by their fashions. Of course, I don’t approve of people who are sloppy and unnecessarily shabby or dishevelled… But I’m not impressed by a US$5,000 or US$10,000 Armani suit.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

The task of the leaders must be to provide or create for them a strong framework within which they can learn, work hard, be productive and be rewarded accordingly. And this is not easy to achieve.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

China can draw on a talent pool of 1.3 billion people, but the United States can draw on a talent pool of 7 billion and recombine them in a diverse culture that enhances creativity in a way that ethnic Han nationalism cannot.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

At the end of the day, what I cherish most are the human relationships. With the unfailing support of my wife and partner I have lived my life to the fullest. It is the friendships I made and the close family ties I nurtured that have provided me with that sense of satisfaction at a life well lived, and have made me what I am.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

It’s irrelevant to me what young Singaporeans think of me. What they think of me after I’m dead and gone in one generation will be determined by researchers who do PhDs on me, right? So there will be a lot of revisionism. As people revised Stalin, Brezhnev and one day now Yeltsin, and later on Putin. I’ve lived long enough to know that you may be idealised in life and reviled after you’re dead.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

Any time, every time, you can damn the Prime Minister and so long as it is not a lie and a criminal lie, nothing happens to you.  You can say a lot of things.  You can write books about him, damning him.  So long as it is not a libel, go ahead.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

We have to lock up people, without trial, whether they are communists, whether they are language chauvinists, whether they are religious extremists. If you don’t do that, the country would be in ruins.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I don't believe in love at first sight. I think it's a grave mistake.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I wish I can meet my wife in the hereafter, but I don't think I will. I just cease to exist just as she has ceased to exist.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

You begin your journey not knowing where it will take you. You have plans, you have dreams, but every now and again you have to take uncharted roads, face impassable mountains, cross treacherous rivers, be blocked by landslides and earthquakes. That's the way my life has been.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

Usually I read biographies of interesting people. I am not attracted to novels - make-believe, or recreations of what people think life should be.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

If, for instance, you put in a Malay officer who's very religious and who has family ties in Malaysia in charge of a machine gun unit, that's a very tricky business. We've got to know his background... I'm saying these things because they are real, and if I don't think that, and I think even if today the Prime Minister doesn't think carefully about this, we could have a tragedy.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

There are some flaws in the assumptions made for democracy. It is assumed that all men and women are equal or should be equal. Hence, one-man-one-vote. But is equality realistic? If it is not, to insist on equality must lead to regression.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I am not given to making sense out of life - or coming up with some grand narrative on it - other than to measure it by what you think you want to do in life. As for me, I have done what I had wanted to, to the best of my ability. I am satisfied.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I am ... a realist. The magnitude of what one terms license or civil liberties or personal freedom has got to be adjusted to the circumstances.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

If Singapore is a nanny state, then I am proud to have fostered one.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

If you can't think because you can't chew, try a banana.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I can only express the hope that faith in the judicial system will never be diminished, and I am sure it will not, so long as we allow a review of the judicial processes that takes place here in some other tribunal where obviously undue influence cannot be brought to bear. As long as governments are wise enough to leave alone the rights of appeal to some superior body outside Singapore, then there must be a higher degree of confidence in the integrity of our judicial process. This is most important.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I don't think I made a conscious decision as a career choice. From my school days I had decided, persuaded by my parents, to prepare myself for the law. Then the Japanese occupation came and we went through three and a half years of what I would call the university of life, it was hard, it was harsh.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

Life is better than death. But death comes eventually to everyone. It is something which many in their prime may prefer not to think about. But at 89, I see no point in avoiding the question. What concerns me is: How do I go? Will the end comes swiftly, with a stroke in one of the coronary arteries? Or will it be a stroke in the mind that lays me out in bed for months, semi-comatose? Of the two, I prefer the quick one.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I think in Singapore, we stand a chance of making the one-man-one-vote system work. With amendments as we have done, you know, like GRCs.. We need to make it work. And I believe with pragmatic adjustments, given these favourable conditions, we can have more open debate.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

We have over a hundred political detainees, men against whom we are unable to prove anything in a court of law. Nearly 50 of them are men who gave us a great deal of anxiety during the years of Confrontation because they were Malay extremists. Your life and this dinner would not be what it is if my colleagues and I had decided to play it according to the rules of the game.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

We must encourage those who earn less than $200 per month and cannot afford to nurture and educate many children never to have more than two… We will regret the time lost if we do not now take the first tentative steps towards correcting a trend which can leave our society with a large number of the physically, intellectually and culturally anaemic.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

If I have to shoot 200,000 students to save China from another 100 years of disorder, so be it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

With few exceptions, democracy has not brought good government to new developing countries. What Asians value may not necessarily be what Americans or Europeans value. Westerners value the freedoms and liberties of the individual. As an Asian of Chinese cultural backround, my values are for a government which is honest, effective and efficient.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

Nine holes of golf will take you one-and-a-half, two hours. I run in 20 minutes, I feel better off. So the cost benefit made me drop golf.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

You know, the cure for all this talk is really a good dose of incompetent government. You get that alternative and you'll never put Singapore together again: Humpty Dumpty cannot be put together again... my asset values will disappear, my apartments will be worth a fraction of what they were, my ministers' jobs will be in peril, their security will be at risk and their women will become maids in other people's countries, foreign workers.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

The ideas of individual supremacy and the right of free expression, when carried to excess, have not worked. They have made it difficult to keep America society cohesive. Asia can see it is not working.. In America itself, there is widespread crime and violence, old people feel forgotten, families are falling apart. And the media attacks the integrity and character of your leaders with impunity, drags down all those in authority and blames everyone but itself.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

Freedom of the press, freedom of the news media, must be subordinated to the overriding needs of the integrity of Singapore, and to the primacy of purpose of an elected government.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

Between being loved and being feared, I have always believed Machiavelli was right. If nobody is afraid of me, I’m meaningless.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yes, if I did not, had I not done that, we wouldn't be here today. And I say without the slightest remorse, that we wouldn't be here, we would not have made economic progress, if we had not intervened on very personal matters - who your neighbour is, how you live, the noise you make, how you spit, or what language you use. We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I started off believing all men were equal. I now know that's the most unlikely thing ever to have been, because millions of years have passed over evolution, people have scattered across the face of this earth, been isolated from each other, developed independently, had different intermixtures between races, peoples, climates, soils... I didn't start off with that knowledge. But by observation, reading, watching, arguing, asking, that is the conclusion I've come to.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

They say people can think for themselves? Do you honestly believe that the chap who can’t pass primary six knows the consequence of his choice when he answers a question viscerally, on language, culture and religion? But we knew the consequences. We would starve, we would have race riots. We would disintegrate.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

Supposing Catherine Lim was writing about me and not the prime minister... She would not dare, right? Because my posture, my response has been such that nobody doubts that if you take me on, I will put on knuckle-dusters and catch you in a cul de sac... Anybody who decides to take me on needs to put on knuckle dusters. If you think you can hurt me more than I can hurt you, try. There is no other way you can govern a Chinese society.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

Life is not just eating, drinking, television and cinema...The human mind must be creative, must be self-generating ; it cannot depend on just gadgets to amuse itself.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I have been accused of many things in my life, but not even my worst enemy has ever accused me of being afraid to speak my mind.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

The human being is an unequal creature. That is a fact. And we start off with the proposition. All the great religions, all the great movements, all the great political ideology, say let us make the human being as equal as possible. In fact, he is not equal, never will be.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

Even from my sickbed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel that something is going wrong, I will get up. Those who believe that after I have left the government as prime minister, I will go into a permanent retirement, really should have their heads examined.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yes, if I did not, had I not done that, we wouldn't be here today.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

Without the elected president and if there is a freak result, within two or three years, the army would have to come in and stop it.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Lee Kuan Yew

One-man-one-vote is a most difficult form of government.. Results can be erratic.