Lee Kuan Yew - Singapore Prime Minister Essay

6836 Words Mar 14th, 2010 28 Pages

Lee Kuan Yew led Singapore to independence and served as its first Prime Minister. He was regularly re-elected from 1959 until he stepped down in 1990. Lee Kuan Yew was educated in England, and under his guidance Singapore became a financial and industrial powerhouse despite a lack of abundant natural resources. Lee ruled with ultimate authority, and his zeal for law and order was legendary. In 1990, he stepped down (though he remained in the cabinet as Senior Minister and now Minister Mentor) and was succeeded as Prime Minister by Goh Chok Tong.


He is a fourth-generation Singaporean. His great-grandfather had left Dapu County, Guangdong Province for Singapore at the age of 16. Lee's grandfather, Hoon Leong,
…show more content…
Lee faced many problems after gaining self-rule for Singapore from the British, including education, housing, and unemployment. In response to the housing problem, Lee established the Housing and Development Board (HDB), an agency which began a massive public housing construction programme to relieve the housing shortage.


After Malayan Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman proposed the formation of a federation which would include Malaya, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak in 1961, Lee began to campaign for a merger with Malaysia to end British colonial rule. He used the results of a referendum held on September 1, 1962, in which 70% of the votes were cast in support of his proposal, to demonstrate that the people supported his plan. During Operation Coldstore, Lee crushed the pro-communist factions who were strongly opposing the merger and who were allegedly involved in subversive activities.

On September 16, 1963, Singapore became part of the Federation of Malaysia. However, the union was short-lived. The Malaysian Central Government, ruled by the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), became worried by the inclusion of Singapore’s Chinese majority and the political challenge of the PAP in Malaysia. Lee openly opposed the bumiputra policy and used the Malaysian Solidarity Convention's famous cry of

Related Documents