【No news is good news】

“I have always thought it strange that a country figures prominently in the world press mainly when it is in trouble…Nobody in the rest of the world heard much about Singapore until it was captured by the Japanese in 1942 or again until there were riots in 1955 and 1956 in the course of one of which two members of your fraternity were killed. I have come to believe that, so far as the foreign press is concerned, no news is good news.”

Speech at Foreign Correspondents Association, 16th Sep, 1959






“I would say the greatest was Deng Xiaoping. At his age, to admit that he was wrong, that all these ideas, Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, they are just not working and have to be abandoned, you need a great man to do that…”

- Tom Plate's Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew


──《李光耀对话录》(Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew )汤姆.普雷特(Tom Plate)著

【On Deng Xiaoping (again)】

Deng Xiao Ping is a great man because he changed China froma broken-backed state, which would have imploded like the Soviet Union, into what it is today, on the way to becoming the world's largest economy.

- "Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going"




【On Xi Jinping】

“I would put him in Nelson Mandela's class of persons. A person with enormous emotional stability who does not allow his personal misfortunes or sufferings to affect his judgement. In other words, he is impressive.”

- TIME Nov 19, 2007




【On Americans】

“The Americans are great missionaries. They have an irrepressible urge to convert others.”

- 1992, The Wit & Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew




【On thegreatest US President that he'veseen】

“But for the misfortune of Watergate, I would say Richard Nixon. He had a realistic view of the world. He was a great analyst, realistic, but also a tactician to get things done. But this need with wanting to know everything and to make sure he got re-elected became obsessive.”

- Tom Plate's Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew


“如果没有水门事件,我认为是理查·尼克森(Richard Nixon)。他的世界观很务实,分析力很强,实事求是,还精於谋略,把事情办好。但他凡事过问的性格,加上极希望连任,令他为人变得过於执着。”

──《李光耀对话录》(Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew )

汤姆·普雷特(Tom Plate)著

【On the worst US President】

“my name is Jimmy Carter, I'm a peanut farmer, I'm running for president. The next thing you know, he was the president!”

- Tom Plate's Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew


“我的名字是吉米·卡特(Jimmy Carter),我是种花生的,现在竞选总统。然後,他就当了总统!”

──《李光耀对话录》(Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew )

汤姆·普雷特(Tom Plate)著

【On George W. Bush】

“I would not put him (George W Bush) the second worst. Iwould say Bush Jr. had melancholy advisers…Bush Jr. knew he didn't have much experience. It is virtue to know yourself”.

- Tom Plate's Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew



──《李光耀对话录》(Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew )

汤姆·普雷特(Tom Plate)著

【On Bill Clinton】

“Very clever man, very political, likeable fellow because he's got that outgoing personality… When he talks to you, you are the most important person in the world. But I think, it's generally true, he breaks the rules… Well, in his case, it's partly his character. I don't know. I mean, he had a difficult childhood and so on, so forth”.

- Tom Plate's Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew



──《李光耀对话录》(Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew )

汤姆·普雷特(Tom Plate)著

【On British politicians】

“In Britain, if you look at the First Class Honours list of Oxford or Cambridge and trace their careers, you will find that these people end up not in politics, but in banking, finance and the professions.”



【On Lee Hsien Loong】

“If I were not the Prime Minister, he [Lee Hsien Loong]could have become Prime Minister several years earlier. It is against my interest to allow any family member, who's incapable, to be holding an important job because that would be a disaster for Singapore and my legacy.That cannot be allowed.

- 2005 The Wit & Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew




【On whetherhe was proud of his son being the PM】

“Yeah, but at the same time, I must be very careful that heis not going to smudge the record.. Well, he has got a tough time, but he has got more resources than I had when I started.”

- Tom Plate's Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew



──《李光耀对话录》(Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew )

汤姆·普雷特(Tom Plate)著


“I always tried to be correct, not politically correct.”

- 2000 The Wit & Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew



“What are our priorities? First, the welfare, the survival of the people. Then, democratic norms and processes which from time to time we have to suspend.”

- 1986 National Day Rally



Even from my sick bed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up.

- 1988 National Day Rally



“My colleagues are not intimidated by me. Far from it. They speak their minds. Nothing has happened to them. But if we allow vicious, evil attacks to pass unchallenged - then the whole system must be undermined.”

- 1988 The Wit & Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew



“I have been accused of many things in my life, but not evenmy worst enemy has ever accused me of being afraid to speak my mind.”

- 1955, The Wit & Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew



“One-man-one-vote is a most difficult form of government..Results can be erratic.”

- Dec 19 1984



【On hiscritics】

“Not all who oppose the PAP are communists; some arecommunists, some reactionaries, some opportunists and some merely confused.”

- 1961, The Wit & Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew




【On interfering in S'poreans' private lives】

“I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yes, 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.”

- The Straits Times, 20 April 1987




【On a typical S'porean】

“You know the Singaporean. He is a hard-working, industrious, rugged individual. Or we would not have made the grade. But let us also recognise that he is a champion grumbler.

- 1977 The Wit & Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew




【On Americans' view of Singapore】

“They don't know where Singapore is, they are notinterested. They think of only Michael Fay, then maybe caning, chewing gum…strange odd place this Singapore”.

- Tom Plate's Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew



──《李光耀对话录》(Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew )

汤姆·普雷特(Tom Plate)著

【S'pore as a nanny state】

If Singapore is a nanny state, then I am proud to have fostered one.

- From Third World to First, The Singapore Story: 1965-2000




【Of S'poreans and Dogs】

“If you can select a population and they're educated and they're properly brought up, then you don't have to use too much of the stick because they would already have been trained. It's like with dogs. You train it in a proper way from small. It will know that it's got to leave, go outside topee and to defecate. No, we are not that kind of society. We had to train adult dogs who even today deliberately urinate in the lifts.”

- The Man and His Ideas



──《李光耀其人及其思想》(The Man and His Ideas)

【On governing:】

“You've got to do one of two things when you've got to keep people happy: either, give them something that will satisfy them, better food, better clothes, better homes; or if you can't do that, then give them the vision of greatness to come”.

- Luncheon held by the Australian Institute of Management at the Australia Hotel, Sydney,Australia, 22 March, 1965, Lee Kuan Yew in his own words, 1959-1970



──李光耀1965年3月22日出席澳大利亚管理学院(Australian Institute of Management)於悉尼澳大利亚酒店(Australia Hotel)举行的午宴时发言

【On why Heaven does not need a Population White Paper】

“I wish I can meet my wife in the hereafter, but I don't think I will. I just cease to exist just as she has ceased to exist – otherwise the other world would be overpopulated.”

- One Man's View of the World.



──《李光耀观天下》(OneMan's View of the World)

【On love】

I don't believe in love at first sight. I think it's a grave mistake. You're attracted by physical characteristics and you will regret it.

- Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going



──《新加坡赖以向前发展的硬道理》(Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going)

【On saying no】

“You lose nothing by being polite. The answer is 'No', but please say it politely and give the reasons… Explain to me why 'No'. Don't change 'No' to 'Yes'. Don't be a fool. If there was a good reason why it is 'No', it must remain 'No', but the man must be told politely.”

- to Civil Servants at the Victoria Theatre,30 Sep 1965




【On life】

“Life is notjust eating, drinking, television and cinema…The human mind must be creative,must be self-generating; it cannot depend on just gadgets to amuse itself.”

- Speech at Chinese New Year and Hari Raya Haji Celebrations held at Joo Seng Community Centre, 28th Feb 1970




【On eugenics】

“There are many sons of doctors who have married doctors. Those who married spouses who are not as bright are tearing their hair out because their children can't make it. I have lived long enough to see all this play out.”




“So when the graduate man does not want to marry a graduate woman, I tell him he's a fool,stupid. You marry a non-graduate, you're going to have problems, some children bright, some not bright. You'll be tearing your hair out. you can't miss. It's like two dice. One is Jack, Queen, King, Ace, other also Jack, Queen, King, Ace. You throw a Jack, Queen, King, Ace against dice two , three, four, five,six, what do you get? You can't get high pairs, let alone a full flush.”

- Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going


──《新加坡赖以向前发展的硬道理》(Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going)


“Rest on laurels? I wish I could do that. No, you rest when you're dead”.

- 1978, The Wit & Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew




【On himselfnot being 'light-hearted”】

“I would not call myself 'fun-loving' or 'light-hearted'. But I am not serious all the time. Everyone needs to have a good laugh now and then, to see the funny side ofthings, and to laugh at himself”.

- Tom Plate's Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew



──《李光耀对话录》(Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew ),汤姆.普雷特(Tom Plate)着

【On leadership】

“I do not yet know of a man who became a leader as a result of having undergone a leadership course.”

- 1957, The Wit & Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew




【On leadership】

“Amazingly,throughout most of the contemporary Western world leaders in government requireno special training or qualification. Many get elected because they sound and look good on television. The results have been unhappy for their voters.”

- 1996, The Wit & Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew