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The Lee Kuan Yew school of public policy

December 12, 2010

I always chuckle when I hear about Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. It sounds a bit like the Pol Pot School of Democracy or the George Bush Institute of Literary Studies.

Here’s some examples of the Lee Kuan Yew school of public policy:

At an address to a community centre meeting in 1967 Lee said: ‘We will be to blame if youngsters ten years from now become hooligans, ruffians and sluts. They can be trained to be otherwise. Even dogs can be trained as proved by the Police Training School where dogs, at a whistle, jump through a hoop, sit down or attack those who need to be attacked’ (quoted in George, T.J.S. (1984) Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore (Singapore: Eastern Universities Press): 194).

‘I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yet, if I did not, had I not done that, we wouldn’t be here today. And I say without the slightest remorse, that we wouldn’t be here, we would not have made economic progress, if we had not intervened on very personal matters – who your neighbour is, how you live, the noise you make, how you spit, or what language you use. We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think. That’s another problem’ (From Lee Kuan Yew’s speech at the 1986 National Day Rally, quoted in the Straits Times, 20 April 1987).

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