Lee Kuan Yew, who died in March 2015, is known for being the longest serving prime minster in the world and the creator of modern Singapore. His legacy is not without controversy, however. He was a smart yet fierce politician who was not afraid to completely destroy his rivals and those he believed might undermine his authority. In the early 1960s, his leftist policies led many to fear that Singapore was going to be the Cuba of Southeast Asia. He campaigned for Britain to relinquish its colonial rule, merging with Malaysia in 1963.
However, after Singapore was kicked out of the Federation of Malaya in 1965, where he had worked so hard to “project a unified, multicultural, socialistic approach,” Lee Kuan Yew was devastated. Leading a newly independent Singapore from 1965 on, he guided the country through tumultuous times in Southeast Asia and oversaw its transformation from a relatively underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources to a vibrant economy. Read more