LEE KUAN YEW

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Should We Choose ‘Asian Values' Over Western Dreams?

Lee Kuan Yew, one of the greatest and tallest leaders that Asia produced, postulated and articulated the theme and idea of 'Asian values'. Asian values--broadly speaking, commitment to family and society--were understood in contradistinction to ' Western values', which stood for individualism and the nature of social organization accruing from these. It was held that Asia corresponded and moved to a certain set of values that could present a challenge to dominant and aggressive Western values.
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A Portrait Of A 'Soft' Dictator

The "soft" dictator is the transformed, contemporary version of Hitler; no Auschwitz for him, as that would cause an international furor. Lee Kuan Yew throttled free speech, censored newspapers, and castigated fault-finding of his sophisticated city-state. But Singapore remained an attractive citadel for foreign investors, and its denizens quietly compromised their individual liberty for efficient metro networks and state-subsidised housing. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi apparently models himself after Yew. He is a free-market fundamentalist who serenades Big Business and eschews subsidies. And he seriously abhors criticism. A brief review of Modi's totalitarian ways are in order.