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    Lee Kuan Yew Thought or PAPism is the ideology of the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, his son and successor Lee Hsien Loong, as well as the ideology of their political party, the People's Action Party.


    Lee Kuan Yew

    Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015) was the first Prime Minister of Singapore and is widely considered to be the city state's founding father. Lee was born in Singapore when it was still under British colonial rule as part of the Straits Settlements. During the Japanese Occupation in the midst of WWII, Lee managed to evade death as the Japanese ordered all Singaporeans of Chinese descent to be screened as part of the Sook Ching operation.

    The future leader of Singapore got a job with the Japanese propaganda department (Hōdōbu) in late 1943, as an English specialist. As Lee came to anticipate that the British Allied Forces would re-invade their former colony he quit his job at the Japanese propaganda department and spent the remainder of the war engaging in private enterprises and black markets. After being forced to kneel in front of a Japanese soldier he came to realize that the Japanese were a far more cruel and vicious occupying force than Singapore's former British colonizers. Lee Kuan Yew now understood that no Empire had the right to rule over them and that the people of Singapore would eventually have to take matters into their own hands and push for independence and self-determination.

    After the war and Japan's surrender to the Allied Forces, Lee got a Queen's scholarship and went to study abroad in London where his anti-colonial sentiments kept growing. He returned to Singapore in 1950 together with his wife Kwa, determined to end British colonial rule and create a unified and independent Malaya and Singapore. Lee turned heavily to the city's Chinese-speaking community and trade unions and was willing to cooperate with regional communist movements as he sought to create a popular front. The People's Action Party (PAP) was founded in 1954 and eventually, Lee sought to purge the Party of his former communist allies in wake of the 1956 Chinese Middle School riots.

    The People's Action Party won its first electoral victory in the 1959 election and with Lee Kuan Yew appointed as Singapore's first prime minister. He initially sought to unify Singapore with Malaysia but ethnic conflicts and ideological differences led to Singapore becoming a sovereign city-state in 1965. Lee and the PAP had overwhelming parliamentary control at every election and oversaw Singapore's transformation into a developed high-economy country, with a highly effective, anti-corrupt government and civil service.

    Lee eschewed populist policies in favor long term social and economic planning and did everything he could to attract foreign investment from multinational corporations. Singapore consistently ranks at the top of the World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business Report."

    However, Lee's rule has been described as authoritarian by critics, with accusations of curtailing press freedoms, imposing narrow limits on public protests, restricting labor movements from strike action through legislation, and co-option, and bringing defamation lawsuits against political opponents. Lee Kuan Yew finally stepped down as Prime Minister in 1990 after over 30 years in power.

    Lee Hsien Loong

    Lee Kuan Yew's eldest son Lee Hsien Loong has served as Prime Minister of Singapore and Secretary-General of the People's Action Party (PAP) since 2004. Although Lee Hsien Loong isn't quite as authoritarian as his father, other political parties still don't stand much of a chance against The PAP. Caning is still a widely used form of corporal punishment in Singapore. Press Freedom remains very low with journalists and netizens critical of the ruling party being forced to pay heavy fines for expressing their opinions.




    • Authoritarian Conservatism - Once I was more like you, but Lee Hsien Loong is more progressive.
    • Neoconservatism - We were allied during the Cold War, but you've gotten very annoying recently and I won't aid your crusade to contain China.
    • Imperialism - I led Singapore to independence but I still took help from former British colonial officials to purge communists and build up the city-state.
    • Ho Chi Minh Thought - Once were enemies but you've been moving in the right direction since you initiated the Doi Moi reforms.
    • Mahathirism - We've got a complicated relationship.


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