The Singapore Story: Memoirs Of Lee Kuan Yew

It was too tempting not to read this autobiography after finishing the book by Mohamad Mahathir, just to see how different both politicians’ perspectives were and how these supposedly existing enmities between us and our neighbours arose in the mid 1900s. I would in fact recommend others do the same as well, because both pieces of writing revealed interesting issues and world views that repeatedly clash with each other – even till today.

There could only be two possible reactions following the completion of this book (perhaps due to the limitations of my very own emotions after a dissertation): fazed (by the dirty game of politics) and utter nonchalance. Comparing between the past and present, as well as between our nation and other states, there seems to be an apparent similitude where the game of politics is still being played out in the same manner as it was half a century ago – by ‘capable’ leaders who step out and up at the opportune occasion just to retreat when a wrong move is made. Politics is indeed not for the faint-hearted.

I hate politics. But I do think this book is a good read. I felt like I’ve just woken up from a dream, suddenly realising that so much has taken place without my knowledge. It got a bit laborious at times though, trying to plow through the unfamiliar names in the middle of the book. But knowing that some of these people, or at least their antecedents, do still exist makes history even more exciting and apposite to the present-times. I would in fact want to push a bit further to suggest that Social Studies be chucked into the bin and replaced with the reading of this book. Let the youth hear the stories straight from the horse’s mouth. Even better still, make every politician write a book and use these as the course textbooks in schools instead. No, wait, take out the raw apprentices in the parliamentary government. Right, that’s it. How very exciting that would be.

But then again, that would become indoctrination, wouldn’t it?

Forget what I’ve just written above. What is more important is that I am now better equipped with my nation’s politics and historical backgrounds, which means that I can be more confident of my vote in the next general election. But I’m not telling anyone.

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