is a Singaporean statesman. He was the first Prime Minister
of the Republic of Singapore
, governing for three decades. By the time he chose to step down to enable a stable leadership renewal, he had become the world's longest-serving Prime Minister.
As the co-founder and first secretary-general of the People's Action Party
(PAP), he led the party to eight victories from 1959 to 1990, and oversaw the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965 and its subsequent transformation from a relatively underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources into a "First World
" Asian Tiger.
"If we say that we believe in democracy, if we say that the fabric of a democratic society is one which allows for the free play of idea...then, in the name of all the gods, give that free play a chance to work within the constitutional framework." - Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Oct 4, 1956
"Repression can only go up to a point. When it becomes too acute, the instruments of repression, namely the army and the police, have been proved time and time again in history to have turned their guns on their masters." - Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Straits Times, May 5, 1959
"I pointed to an article with bold headlines reporting that the police had refused to allow the PAP to hold a rally at Empress Place, and then to the last paragraph where in small type it added the meeting would take place where we were now. I compared this with a prominent report about an SPA rally. This was flagrant bias." - Complaining about the Straits Times in 1959.
"If I were in authority in Singapore indefinitely without having to ask those who are governed whether they like what is being done, then I would not have the slightest doubt that I could govern much more effectively in their interests." - Mr Lee Kuan Yew, 1962