An icon of different things to different people, either you love him or hate him, he was without doubt, instrumental in developing Singapore from almost nothing since kicked out of Malaysia (again depending on interpretation), to a first world country to be emulated by developing countries.
Just imagine a small country (often referred to with disdain, as a 'little red dot') without any natural resources, other than human, could be transformed into a developed country ranking high in terms of per capita income. Nothing is perfect, the excellent results come with a price - that of personal freedom. Singapore is also known as a 'fine city' as in people are likely to get fined for numerous offences unknown to other countries, with the best example being 'no chewing gum is allowed'. No smoking in most places, no graffiti and so on.
The main reason for its success seems to be meritocracy, one of the best criteria for choosing personnel to fill different positions regardless of race or origin. This has the effect of attracting top talents in different fields from all over the world to Singapore to help make it what it is today.
The passing of Lee Kuan Yew will not see the end of his name being used for comparison with other world leaders. May his soul rest in peace.
'This was Lee Kuan Yew's actual living room. I think most HDB flats have better furnishings and decor than his. It speaks volumes of the priorities of the man. He was not ensnared by the trappings of wealth and hence was not greedy for the dollar. Greed will inevitably result in compromising principles and ideals, which may put him on the path of making "wrong decisions". Someone who lives in this room ... I'd trust him whole-heartedly with public finances and the country's resources, don't you! Hence the room is not so much a reflection of his frugality but a showcase for his definitive values in life.' - Malaysia-Finance Blogspot.
Lee Kuan Yew once uncovered a CIA plot, turned down a $3.3m bribe and embarrassed the US
'Apparently, a CIA agent had been caught trying to purchase information from Singapore intelligence officials. He then offered Lee $3.3 million for personal and political use if the failed affair was kept under wraps.
Thinking more about the future of his country, Lee refused, and asked instead for $33 million in formal economic-development aid for Singapore.'