Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going
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Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  219 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Lee Kuan Yew is Singapore's most influential son but he is not without his critics. He has not flinched from taking them on, even now after almost 60 years in the political fray. Why is Lee so hard on his political opponents? Could the People's Action Party ever lose its grip on power? Are the younger leaders up to the mark? Will growing religiosity change Singapore for th...more
Hardcover, 458 pages
Published 2011 by Straits Times Press
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John
Disclaimer: I am a naturalized citizen of Singapore, having resided here for 28 years (as of 2012) and married into a Singapore family 23 years ago. I gave up US citizenship and never looked back.

Lee Kwan Yew is simply the most seminal, inspirational and effective political leader of the post World War II world. One is hard pressed to find any statesman who comes close. After the ordeals of British colonial rule and the Japanese occupation, Singapore struggled to survive. On that fateful day ......more
Andrew
I found this book interesting for Lee Kuan Yew's views, and definitely not for the interview format in which they were presented.

The journalists barely contributed anything valuable at all: they were clearly cowed by LKY, unable to debate him into any concessions or to challenge his more extreme views. To their credit, they did present others' well-worn criticisms, but after LKY rejects the arguments, immediately gave up pursuing the issues any further. The interview summaries are rather sycopha...more
Jill
If Tom Plate's Conversations with LKY was a four star read for me, I would rate Hard Truths as a 4.5 star read. Hard Truths is presented as a dialogue in question and answer format and like Conversations with LKY, this allows LKY's voice to come through. You can almost hear the rhythm of his speech rolling off the pages of the book (and indeed, the copy I borrowed came with a DVD featuring excerpts from the interview where you really could hear LKY speak). By reproducing his blunt observations,...more
Nisá
"I used to ride with Tunku Abdul Rahman in his car. He treated me as a courtier. I had to follow him to weddings and all social functions. Everywhere, they had new mosques. I said, "Tunku, why don't you build clinics?" "No, no," he said, "Kuan Yew, you don't understand these things. This is a Malay society. They need to pray. You just give them the right prayers and a little bit of better life and they will be happy, they will work with you."

*This is coming from a Malay man with position himself...more
Lea Tan
This book gave great insights to the mind of Singapore's founding father in the most direct and provocative manner. Helped young sgeans understand the history and milestones that our grandparents and parents have been through. Awesome read.
PMP
I need to write Han Fook Kwang a thank you note. This could have been another concrete block of a book, but with some deft manouevring, Han convinced the titan of Asian geopolitics to drop the idea of a third instalment to his autobiography series, and submit instead to a series of interviews. Han and his team of young and old journalists cap and sock the revealing, highly-entertaing interview sequences with what appear to be factual backdrop, but in fact serve as sly little digs at the intervie...more
Clarence Wx
LKY is definitely a force to be reckon with. His pragmatic and practical ways have made Singapore what she is today, though it may be aggressive. This book has freshen my thoughts and opinions on Singapore and answered(or at least gave me a clearer picture) the many doubts and queries I personally have regarding the her present and her future. It is also nice to know some of my take in life coincides with LKY.
Jules
Very interesting read. Have come to appreciate Singapore a lot more, now that I understand its history a little better. Am quite in awe of Lee, and admire the way he thinks, and like how steadfast he is with his opinions. Quite liked the format of the book as well-made it very accessible.
Kuku
Good insight on LKY's personal thoughts and political views. May not agree fully with his views but respect his fortitude and self-belief
Erwinchong
I found the idea of this book intriguting and am glad to know most of the tough political issues faced on/ for my country...
Peter
Its tough to be a Singaporean.I am glad to be in this country.
Xi Xi
I like his sheer sense of realities.
very inspiring, I would say.
Max
YAYYY AM FINALLY DONE WITH THE BOOK! After two years heh.

This is the first LKY-related book that I've read, so it offered me a chance to understand his view on certain issues. It is at times depressing, but most times thought-provoking. This is really a book where the process of reading it matters than the end - I cannot remember the start of the book (It's been two years since then), but I remembered thinking over many of the remarks that LKY made, sometimes questioning them, and forming my own...more
Francis Joe
A great book of wisdom bringing his past experience and thinking into focus and providing a sounding board into the challenges of the future. Although some of his ways are extremely cruel but the interest of the larger society and his honesty and simple life exonerates all these.
Gloria Seah
A man with incredible vision. Whenever I feel like the going gets too tough, I pick this up and I kid you not when I say my strength is renewed. He is truly the last of his kind and there will be no other man like him. A book I will pass down to my children.
Catherine
An interesting book for those who follow Singapore's progress. For me, it did not offer much new information as I have followed the evolution of Singapore politics for many years now. Still the book will be a good background read for a younger and somewhat spoilt generation who have taken so much for granted. Singapore's evolution to a first world nation did not happen by chance but my making tough decisions and getting the people to ally behind the government. That grip unfortunately seems to b...more
Sylphær
This is my first Lee Kuan Yew book that I read. Perhaps it's not a fair review. Pertaining to this review, it is readable and digestible. Lee proved his worth as a leader and provides insights of his experiences to the next generation of Singapore leaders. We all can learn from him and his books but there won't be another Lee Kuan Yew from Singapore. I do not feel affinity towards him as a grandpa but as a leader he made tough decisions and lived by them - something that does not resonate well i...more
Becky Cheung
This book is a format of mostly questions and answers and I find it interesting to know his views on certain things.

These questions includes why is Mr. Lee so hard on his political opponent and could the People Action Party ever lose its grip on power and more...etc

You may or may not like Mr. Lee (he can be a controversial person -- some who like him regard him as a genius while those who dislike him label him as a dictator) but what you cannot deny is how he helps Singapore to the excellent sta...more
Toeprint
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ade
Berterus terang sehingga mengguris hati sesetengah pembaca. Yang menarik, LKY banyak menyentuh tentang Melayu dan Malaysia. Saya dapati terdapat keangkuhan dalam diri LKY apabila beliau menjawab soalan-soalan yang diajukan kepada beliau oleh wartawan.
Jay Yeo
Very good for young Singaporeans to get a feel of why and how Singapore is the way it is today, instead of merely looking at things without a situational context we might not have been appreciate in our younger years.

Deep respect.
J
It was interesting... but not as interesting as the memoirs. Also, LKY sounds pretty aggressive at times (scary!)
Daniel Oon
This is a great book, a compilation of questions that readers are 100% interested in. Recommended reading.
Anton Rifco
"I run this country as a CEO, not as a politician..." - Prime Minister Lee
Fany Wedahuditama
Nice way of putting it together... great book.. great Prime Minister...
Norn Ly
I want to read his books so much..I need all of his books.
Kelvin Chua
Utter bullshit....
Denitch Mallory
Denitch Mallory marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2014
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