Having an education is one thing, being educated is another.— Lee Kuan Yew
The most unbelievable Lee Kuan Yew quotes that will activate your inner potential
If you want to reach your goals and dreams, you cannot do it without discipline
If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you're putting yourself out of business.
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.
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.
I have no regrets. I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There's nothing more that I need to do. At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.
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.
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.
For the young, let me tell you the sky has turned brighter.
There's a glorious rainbow that beckons those with the spirit of adventure. And there are rich findings at the end of the rainbow. To the young and to the not-so-old, I say, look at that horizon, follow that rainbow, go ride it.
Please do not assume that you can change governments. Young people don’t understand this.
If you can't think because you can't chew, try a banana.
Between being loved and being feared, I have always believed Machiavelli was right. If nobody is afraid of me, I’m meaningless.
Well if done a lot of hard work to try and get people to act rationally, the fact that weve had 15 deviant Muslims, plus 5 or 8 others that got away does not mean that all Muslims are deviant or extremists.
The big nest was in Afghanistan, thats not quite cleared, then there are nests in the Philippines, there are nests in Indonesia, the Malaysians are clearing up their nests.
If Singapore is a nanny state, then I am proud to have fostered one.
I was a product of the times, the war, the occupation, the reoccupation, my 4 years in Britain, admiring but at the same time questioning whether they are able to do a better job than we can.
At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.
What I fear is complacency. When things always become better, people tend to want more for less work.
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.
What are our priorities? First, the welfare, the survival of the people.
Then, democratic norms and processes which from time to time we have to suspend.
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.
We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think.
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.
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.
The human being needs a challenge, and my advice to every person in Singapore and elsewhere: Keep yourself interested, have a challenge.
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.
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.
I don't believe in love at first sight. I think it's a grave mistake.
I always tried to be correct, not politically correct.
Usually I read biographies of interesting people.
I am not attracted to novels - make-believe, or recreations of what people think life should be.
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.
I have never been over concerned or obsessed with opinion polls or popularity polls. I think a leader who is, is a weak leader. Between being loved and being feared, I have always believed Machiavelli was right. If nobody is afraid of me, I'm meaningless.
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.
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 way you can govern a Chinese society.
Even from my sick bed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up.
If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society…So what happens? There will be less bright people to support dumb people in the next generation. That’s a problem.
There is nothing to prevent you from pushing your propaganda, to push your programme out to the students or with the public at large…and if you can carry the ground, if you are right, you win. That’s democracy.
I do not yet know of a man who became a leader as a result of having undergone a leadership course.
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.
They say, oh, let’s have multiparty politics.
Let’s have different parties change and be in charge of the Government. Is it that simple? You vote in a Division Three government, not a Division One government, and the whole economy will just subside within three, four years. Finished.
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.
Every person, genius or moron, has a right to reproduce himself.
I wouldn't call myself an atheist. I neither deny nor accept that there is a God... So I do not laugh at people who believe in God. But I do not necessarily believe in God - nor deny that there could be one.
It is essential to rear a generation at the very top of society that has all the qualities needed to lead and give the people the inspiration and the drive to make it succeed. In short, the elite.. Every society tries to produce this type. The British have special schools for them: the gifted and talented are sent to Eton and Harrow.
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.
Whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him. Or give it up. This is not a game of cards.
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.
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.
You marry a non-graduate, then you are going to worry if your son or daughter is going to make it to the university.
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.