One of the most provocative commentaries on Singapore I’ve ever read. For sure it will be a tough one for a Singaporean to contemplate – we Singaporeans are conditioned to think of our little country as exceptional, best in everything – but I believe it is a mark of intellectual maturity and a growth mindset to listen openly to even the most scathing criticism. As Robert Frost once said, “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” If there is even one grain of truth in a criticism of me, I want to learn from it.
By Shaun Tan
Founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Staff Writer
The Rabbit Hole
6 August 2019
In the annals of modern Asia, Lee Kuan Yew looms like a colossus. The father of Singapore, the man who turned that tiny island into the financial hub of Southeast Asia, into a gleaming city of the future. Respected in both East and West, a model to the leaders of an emerging China, to Paul Kagame in Rwanda, and numerous other rulers who want prosperity and efficiency whilst retaining absolute power. A man both great and terrible; the singular, indomitable Lee Kuan Yew.
Yet there are aspects of his legacy that are less laudable. Partly by design, Singapore’s political culture and civil society are woefully underdeveloped. The other politicians in the party Lee founded are largely a parade of mediocrities. Singapore’s media scene is one of the most pitiful I’ve ever encountered, and its people one of the most vapid. Lee Kuan Yew was an intellectual giant. He left behind a nation of pygmies.
Read more at The Rabbit Hole
Steven Ooi, a First Class Honours grad from the National University of Singapore, retired from a distinguished 14-year career as a GP and English tutor in 2016. He continues to blog on issues of concern to General Paper and student life.
To view tutors recommended by him, click here
GP model essays here
GP is the journey of understanding life