- Gebundene Ausgabe: 752 Seiten
- Verlag: Harper (3. Oktober 2000)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0060197765
- ISBN-13: 978-0060197766
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,6 x 5,5 x 23,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 22.040 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
From Third World to First: The Singapore Story: 1965-2000 (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 3. Oktober 2000
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In this memoir, the man most responsible for Singapore's astonishing transformation from colonial backwater to economic powerhouse describes how he did it over the last four decades. It's a dramatic story, and Lee Kuan Yew has much to brag about. To take a single example: Singapore had a per-capita GDP of just $400 when he became prime minister in 1959. When he left office in 1990, it was $12,200 and rising. (At the time of this book's writing, it was $22,000.) Much of this was accomplished through a unique mix of economic freedom and social control. Lee encouraged entrepreneurship, but also cracked down on liberties that most people in the West take for granted--chewing gum, for instance. It's banned in Singapore because of "the problems caused by spent chewing gum inserted into keyholes and mailboxes and on elevator buttons." If American politicians were to propose such a thing, they'd undoubtedly be run out of office. Lee, however, defends this and similar moves, such as strong antismoking laws and antispitting campaigns: "We would have been a grosser, ruder, cruder society had we not made these efforts to persuade people to change their ways.... It has made Singapore a more pleasant place to live in. If this is a 'nanny state,' I am proud to have fostered one."
Lee also describes one of his most controversial proposals: tax breaks and schooling incentives to encourage educated men and women to marry each other and have children. "Our best women were not reproducing themselves because men who were their educational equals did not want to marry them.... This lopsided marriage and procreation pattern could not be allowed to remain unmentioned and unchecked," writes Lee. Most of the book, however, is a chronicle of how Lee helped create so much material prosperity. Anticommunism is a strong theme throughout, and Lee comments broadly on international politics. He is cautiously friendly toward the United States, chastising it for a "dogmatic and evangelical" foreign policy that scolds other countries for human-rights violations, except when they interfere with American interests, "as in the oil-rich Arabian peninsula." Even so, he writes, "the United States is still the most benign of all the great powers.... [and] all noncommunist countries in East Asia prefer America to be the dominant weight in the power balance of the region." From Third World to First is not the most gripping book imaginable, but it is a vital document about a fascinating place in a time of profound transition. --John J. Miller
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Lee Kuan Yew hat sehr klare Vorstellungen über die erstrebenswerte Art einer menschlichen Gesellschaft, und diese Überzeugungen konnte er in Singapur in die Tat umsetzen. Produktiv arbeiten, Geld verdienen und sich weiterbilden, das sind seine Werte. Er kämpft für Sauberkeit im Stadtbild und gegen Korruption, aber auch gegen Kommunismus im sowjetischen Sinne. Die Beglückung der Untertanen ist ihm wichtiger als Demokratie, und der Erfolg gibt ihm in gewissem Sinne recht. Eine Art kapitalistischer Fidel Castro, wie dieser (Mein Leben) hat er die Welt und ihre Politiker gesehen und kann entsprechend viel berichten.
Durch die klare chronologische und zugleich in Kapiteln thematische Gliederung ist das Buch gut lesbar und sehr lehrreich. Wer etwas über den wirtschaftlichen Aufstieg Ostasiens während des Kalten Kriegs und danach erfahren möchte, ist hier richtig. Lee Kuan Yew nimmt kein Blatt vor den Mund und hat zu allen politischen Strömungen eine Meinung. Seine außerordentliche historische Bildung, sein Geschäftssinn und seine Sprachkenntnisse führen zu außergewöhnlichen Einsichten. Wirtschaftliche Entwicklung ist ihm wichtiger als Demokratie, ideologisch ist er pragmatisch wie Helmut Schmidt, dem er politisch nahesteht.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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"From Third World to First" is organized by themes. In one chapter, he recounts four decades of progress in (say) building an armed forces. Then, at the beginning of the next, the timer is reset to the 1960s and a new narrative begins about attracting investors to Singapore. This format better allows Lee to explain his motivations in each area, but readers who are unfamiliar with Singapore's history will likely be disconcerted.
The impression one gets is of a government that meticulously addresses each problem area, working with a cool efficiency: a sharp contrast with the tumultous events of the first book.
While Lee is generous with praise, especially for his colleagues, the narrative is often self-serving. It's not exactly boasting - the man's achivements are very real - but it left a sour taste in my mouth. His trademark scathing criticisms, often directed at political enemies, are also less than graceful. His often ruthless treatment of the opposition is glossed over.
Still, the book is a good read, particularly for its gripping subject matter: the journey of a tiny, resource-poor island into affluence, set in the midst of the Cold War. Non-Singaporean readers will be particularly interested with the second half of the book, which is entirely devoted to Lee's personal dealings with assorted international leaders.
A minor annoyance: the editing is sloppy. Grammatical quirks are scattered throughout the text, which is surprising considering Lee's usually excellent grasp of the language.
First part is about development of Singapore - social, economic and political. The second part deals with foreign relations.
As an Indian, I truly admire Singapore. From what it was in 1965 to what it is today, is an educating experience. Awesome to most third world nations - fighting poverty, population growth and other social maladies.
Lee Kwan Yew had a clear vision, set himself clear goals. Above all, what led to his success is his execution skills.
Rule of law certainly helped. What I adore is the team he surrounded with to create such laws and ensure its implementation regardless of obstacles.
Singapore is a wealthy society today. Secure economically and politically.
In my observation, he had 3 primary principles towards building a nation
a) Rule of Law
b) creating a fair society (not welfare society)
c) Expenses less than income (as simple as that)
All his domestic policies were based on above principles.
I like the way he treated hawkers in Singapore's streetwalks. While ensuring cleanliness of Singapore, he provided alternative solutions so that hawkers continued their business for livelihood in a better environment. Contrast this to Maharashtra government's (Indian state) efforts in cleaning and sprucing up Mumbai's Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus area. Vendors keep coming back.
Singaporeans enjoy high savings rate, because of CPF. A guaranteed security for its citizens when they retire. Contrast this to America's 401k. When Enron collapsed, savings of many employees evaporated even as executives pocketed millions in bonus pays!
Although Singapore is a free market economy, its philosophy concerning workers and employees are caring and genuine, unlike in the United States.
Singapore is an epitome of benign dictator ship, democracy, capitalism and socialism co-existing for the general welfare of the nation.
Lee's book is a revelation for all countries of the world. The three primary principles can act as a catalyst is resolving problems.
The first part of the book deals with the various projects he initiated or oversaw that changed Singapore. Lee Kuan Yew gives an overview of what he did to deal with those problems facing every developing nation - crime, education, housing, investment etc...
Reading his memoirs, one cannot help but admire this man's moral character and sense of purpose, other leaders of developing nations would do well to learn from this man.
The second part of the book gives Mr Yew's views on nearly every country Singapore has had significant dealings with. His views are, as he himself says on many occasions, not meant to be politically correct. This means that those fluent in `diplomatese' may find his language crude and some of his views upsetting.
Not surprisingly the last part of the book, which deals with his family and his personal life is very brief. Given the formal tone throughout, it would not be in keeping to speak at length about his own personal life, although no doubt that would be interesting reading.
For those students of economics or politics and for those curious about Singapore or the Asia-Pacific region in general, I would highly recommend this book. The writing is extremely clear and the chapters are arranged in a logical order, (unlike the haphazard ranting in other memoirs) which makes reading a pleasure rather than a pain. Read this book to be inspired.
He demonstrates a great deal of ingenuity in leadership and public policy, despite his authoritarian traits. In some respects, he exhibits some socialistic traits (e.g. national housing plan, state airline and telecom, state-owned hospitals) in his approach to politics, yet he has some rather astute and brilliant ideas on political economy (e.g. individual savings accounts, medical savings accounts) that market-oriented conservatives in the West long for. He outlines his ideas and implemented policies with clarity and detail. Perhaps, one of his most brilliant displays of leadership and grasping macroeconomic principles is his implementation of a worker savings scheme or mandatory IRA as opposed to the costly pay-as-you-go Social Security schemes of the West. Just as Chile's system had done, Singapore suceeded in spurring capital investment. The savings scheme allowed workers to build equity instead of relying on intergenerational wealth redistribution schemes like Social Security. The problem with pay-as-you-go state pension schemes is that the capital is not invested, but disbursed immediately to recepients and this only after administrative overhead for the bureaucracy is docked. It only represents a national liability not an asset. He rightly understood that homeowners make better stewards than renters and sought to increase home ownership through various measures such as forced savings.
His authoritarian brand of capitalism and leadership has had a positive role in Singapore's economic development. Singapore's commitment to the rule of law and order has kept it free from corruption and the so called crony capitalism (e.g. the nepotism and corruption of the Marcos' and the Suharto's.) All things considered, Kuan Yew Lee exhibits extraordinary leadership ability in a seeming ordinary world. People can criticize Lee for having made Singapore into little more than a thinly disguised dictatorship with an authoritarian brand of capitalism and a stern rule of law society, but most so called democracies in the world afford their citizens considerably less economic freedom than Singapore. While democracies relish in their so called personal freedom, they seem to think everything is up for a vote whether an individual's property or the fruits of his labor. Moreover, democratizing has become analogous with socializing. Singapore is by no means a free-market utopia, but Singapore's public sector only taps about 15% of the national economy. Perhaps, the West could get some economics lessons from Singapore.