What was Lee Kuan Yew’s Contribution?

To any student of economics, Singapore is a refreshing example of good policy triumphing over political opportunism. Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding father, passed away today and this is his legacy. The economic train wrecks that have become a hallmark of “modern democracy” is what he managed to avoid.

Implementation is always more difficult than theory. To be honest, Mr Lee was not an original thinker – and very few of us can claim such a tag – but he was a politician with a vision who chose the measured long term route over the easier short term one. Singapore’s success is that it now commands the highest per capita income of any non-natural resource endowed economy in the world. This is truly a great contribution to Singaporean’s individually, and as an example to other legislatures globally.

Being remembered for advancing good policy over political expediency should be a common moniker for our political leaders. How hard can this be? Mr Lee is the only leader in recent times who comes to mind who fits this description. Apparently, in politics, this is very hard to achieve.