13th May 2015, 01:59 PM
Elder statesman - Mr Lee KY
The following is an extract from an article written by Ms Chan Heng Chee titled:
The Three Lee Kuan Yews That I Know:
Tough Prime Minister; Perfectionist Writer; Elder Statesman
As ambassador in Washington, I accompanied him and Mrs Lee when he visited the US as Senior Minister and later Minister Mentor. Whatever his title, Americans at the highest levels - presidents, secretaries of state, defence or treasury, elected representatives - made time for him. They wanted to hear his assessments of Asia and the world.
Ex-presidents and prime ministers of other countries do not normally get a White House meeting with American presidents. Mr Lee was the rare exception. The captains of industry and business, the chairmen and CEOs too were eager to get a share of his time and insights.
Mr Lee knew how to put a point across that landed the punch and left a strong impression with his American hosts. He never told anyone what they wanted to hear. He told them what he thought. In these meetings he infused American officials and industry with confidence and trust in Singapore and Singaporeans. He created our brand name, and investments flowed into our country.
Mr Lee was strong and energetic when he came to the US in the mid-1990s. His visit was the best thing for an ambassador, for his name opened doors. I noticed then that sometimes when asked a question, he would admit frankly that he did not know the answer. He was a mellower and more philosophical Lee Kuan Yew."