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Speech by Singapore PM Lee KuanYew At The 37TH Nehru Memorial, Delhi (21 Nov 2005)

A very interesting speech.

Lee Kuan Yew, in his own words

“I have always taken a keen interest in both China and India. Like all democratic socialists of the 1950s, I tried to forecast which giant would make the higher grade. I had rather hoped it would be a democratic India. By the 1980s, however, I accepted that each had its strengths and weaknesses and that the final outcome would depend on their economic policies, the execution of those policies, the responsiveness of the government is to the needs of the people, and most of all the nature of the culture of the two civilizations.

Whether Asia will take its place in the world as Nehru wanted depends on how both India and China work together as they rise and actively set out to avoid ending up in opposing camps. It is vital that they understand where they stand vis-à-vis one another. They must not be paranoid and suspicious of each other in a game of one-upmanship. Instead they can cooperate and compete economically, and each improve its performance by using the other’s progress as benchmarks for what they should do better.
India’s bilateral relations with China have improved significantly in recent years after both sides decided to resolve long outstanding issues.”

To read the whole speech, click Singapore PM’s speech in India in 2005 .

According to Lee, India is doing great in service sector, but there is no way a broad based industrial revolution across fundamental sectors like agricultural and manufacturing can be bypassed for a quick and easy economic growth using business process outsourcing.

Speeches like this carry more weight today than ever before considering the possibility of ASEAN emerging in a structure similar to European Union.


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