Lee Kuan Yew views on Jamaica and the 1970s Socialist administration of Michael Manley.
“At Kingston, Jamaica, in April 1975, Prime Minister Michael Manley, a light-skinned West Indian, presided with panache and spoke with great eloquence. But I found his views quixotic. (Definition: Exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical) He advocated a “redistribution of the world’s wealth.” His country a well-endowed island of 2,000 square miles, with several mountains in the center, where coffee and other sub-tropical crops are grown. They had beautiful holiday resorts built by Americans as winter homes… One Sunday afternoon, when Choo and I walked out of the barbed wired enclosure around the hotels used for the conference to see the city on foot, a passing car came to a halt with the driver shouting, “Mr. Lee, Mr. Lee wait for me.” A Chinese Jamaican, speaking Caribbean English came up. “You mustn’t forget us. We are having a very difficult time.” He gave me his card. He was a real estate agent. Many professionals and businesspeople had left for America and Canada and had given him their homes and offices to sell. He had seen me on Jamaican Television and was anxious to speak to me. Chinese, Indians and even black Jamaican professionals felt there was no future under the left-wing socialist government of Michael Manley. The policies of the government were ruinous…. Thereafter, I read the news of Jamaica with greater understanding.” – – – Lee Kuan Yew — Page 364, From Third World to First The Singapore Story: 1965-2000
Lee Kuan Yew is the founder of modern Singapore and the so-called minister mentor of a government led by his eldest son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The elder Mr. Lee led Singapore for 31 years and is credited with turning a resource-poor, malarial island into a modern financial center with one of the world’s highest per capita incomes.
A British-educated lawyer, he became prime minister in 1959 when the city-state gained its independence from Britain as part of the Federation of Malaysia. At that time, according to Mr. Lee, the country had “less than $100 million in the kitty.” Expelled from the Malaysia in 1965, partly over disagreement over the federation’s pro-Malay policy (three quarters of Singapore’s population is of Chinese descent), the country under Mr. Lee’s leadership built up its wealth to a considerably larger sum. As of 2009, Singapore was assessed to have sovereign wealth funds of between $200 billion to $300 billion – a substantial indicator of the country’s progress. – New York Times