THE BIG IDEAS OF
MR LEE KUAN YEW
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy 9th Anniversary Conference On the occasion of his 90th birthday 16 September 2013
INSPIRING LEADERS • IMPROVING LIVES • TRANSFORMING ASIA
The mission of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy is to educate and inspire future generations of leaders who will help to raise the standards of governance throughout Asia, improve the lives of its people and, in doing so, contribute to the positive transformation of the region.
The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy is part of the National University of Singapore, an established institution ranked 2nd in Asia and 25th worldwide by QS Rankings*.
*QS World University Rankings 2013
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this conference on “The Big Ideas of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.” We have three reasons to celebrate today. Firstly, Mr Lee Kuan Yew turns 90 today. I am sure you will all want to join me in wishing him a happy birthday and many more happy and healthy years ahead. Few people have contributed as much to the development of their nation as Mr Lee has. Hence, it is only appropriate to mark this occasion with a conference to celebrate his ideas. Secondly, our School will turn nine this year. Indeed, it was on the occasion of Mr Lee’s 80th birthday that the idea was mooted of naming a school of public policy after him. It was also the first time that any institution was named after him. We were launched a year later. Few could have dreamt that we could have come so far so fast. In nine years, we have become the third best-endowed school of public policy in the world, the second most generous and probably the first in launching a bold and integrated multidisciplinary curriculum. This year, we also want to thank in particular the Lee Foundation for its generous gift of $20 million to our School and NUS, and the Singapore Tote Board for its generous gift of $17 million for the years 2015 to 2019. Thirdly, we will celebrate a festival of ideas. The ideas of Mr Lee have clearly influenced the development of Singapore. Paradoxically, this is true even though Mr Lee once said, “I am not great on philosophy and theories. I am interested in them, but my life is not guided by philosophy or theories. I get things done and leave others to extract the principles from my successful solutions. I do not work on a theory. Instead I ask: what will make this work? If, after a series of such solutions, I find that a certain approach worked, then I try to find out what was the principle behind the solution.” We have assembled a truly stellar cast of speakers who will undoubtedly focus on the impact of Mr Lee’s ideas on the history of Singapore and the continuing relevance of many of his key ideas for the future of Singapore. With an eye on the future we will publish a volume on the proceedings of this conference. On behalf of the School, I want to thank all of you for your strong support and for participating in this historic conference. May you have a great day of reflection and learning. KISHORE MAHBUBANI Dean
PROGRAMME “THE BIG IDEAS OF MR LEE KUAN YEW”
Date Venue Time
: 16 September 2013 (Monday) : Shangri-la Hotel : 9.00 am – 5.15 pm
Welcome Address by Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
Opening Remarks by Mr S R Nathan, former President of Singapore
Panel Discussion: The Role of the State Speakers: Mr Janadas Devan and Mr Seng Han Thong Moderator: Professor Tommy Koh
Panel Discussion: Rule of Law Speakers: Professor S Jayakumar and Chief Justice (Ret) Chan Sek Keong Moderator: Professor Tommy Koh
Lunch and Special Address Speaker: Minister Heng Swee Keat Moderator: Professor Kishore Mahbubani
Panel Discussion: Geopolitics Speakers: Mr Bilahari Kausikan and Ambassador Chan Heng Chee Moderator: Professor Kishore Mahbubani
Panel Discussion: Governance and Implementation Speakers: Mr Peter Ho and Ms Yong Ying-I Moderator: Professor Kishore Mahbubani
Closing Remarks by Professor Kishore Mahbubani
SPEAKERS’ BIOS MR S R NATHAN Mr S R Nathan has had an illustrious career in the Singapore Public Service, holding diverse and key positions in his 50 year-long career. He established the National Trades Union Congress, and served in the Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and Defence Ministries. Mr Nathan was First Permanent Secretary in the Foreign Ministry from 1979 to 1981. After his retirement from public service, Mr Nathan became Executive Chairman of the Straits Times Press. At various points, he also served as Singapore’s High Commissioner to Malaysia and Singapore’s Ambassador to the US. Mr Nathan also established what is now the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, at the Nanyang Technological University. In 1999, Mr S R Nathan was elected President of Singapore and served two terms before retiring in August 2012. Mr Nathan is now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Singapore Management University, Nanyang Technological University, the Institute of South East Asian Studies as well as the National University of Singapore. He is also the Chairman of the CapitaLand Hope Foundation. MINISTER HENG SWEE KEAT Mr Heng Swee Keat was elected a Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC on 7 May 2011. He was appointed Minister for Education on 21 May 2011. Prior to this, Mr Heng was the Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Mr Heng has also served as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, overseeing economic policy, trade negotiations, and the regulation and development of industry. Before assuming this appointment, Mr Heng was the Chief Executive Officer of the Trade Development Board. Between 1997 and 2000, Mr Heng served in the Prime Minister’s Office as the Principal Private Secretary to the then-Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Mr Heng has also served in various positions in the Singapore Civil Service. In 2001, Mr Heng was awarded the Gold Medal in Public Administration, and the Meritorious Medal in 2010 for his contribution to the Public Service in Singapore.
MR JANADAS DEVAN Mr Janadas Devan, Director of the Institute of Policy Studies, was educated at the National University of Singapore and Cornell University in the United States. He taught English in various institutions in Singapore and the US, and later wrote for a range of publications in the region, before joining The Straits Times in 1997. He served as the paper’s leader writer for many years, writing unsigned editorials on a wide variety of subjects. He wrote a weekly column on politics and economics, in which he covered international and domestic developments. He also wrote a column on language for The Sunday Times. In 2008, he became the editor of the paper’s opinion pages, and in 2010, became the paper’s Associate Editor. He also did a weekly radio broadcast, “Call from America”, for Radio Singapore International, from 2000 to 2008, on American life and society. He left The Straits Times in July 2012 on being appointed the Government’s Chief of Communications at the Ministry of Communications and Information.
SPEAKERS’ BIOS MR SENG HAN THONG A journalist for 21 years with the Chinese Press of Singapore Press Holdings, Mr Seng Han Thong entered Parliament in 1997. He is currently Deputy Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Transport, member of the GPC for Manpower and member of the Government Cut Waste Panel. He is also the Chairman of Singapore Taxi Academy, board member of Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and member of Ngee Ann Kongsi Committee of Management. Over the years, Mr Seng has sat on the Boards of various government statutory boards, including Public Utilities Board, Land Transport Authority, Information Development Authority, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic. Mr Seng was also Assistant Secretary-General of the National Trades Union Congress from 1999 to 2012 and CEO of NTUC Media Co-operative from 2006 to 2011. He has been advisor to a number of trade unions, Chinese clans, as well as cultural and trade associations. PROFESSOR TOMMY KOH Professor Tommy Koh is Ambassador-At-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Special Adviser to the Institute of Policy Studies, Chairman of the Centre for International Law and Rector of Tembusu College at the National University of Singapore. He is CoChairman of the China-Singapore Forum, the India-Singapore Strategic Dialogue and the Japan-Singapore Symposium.
PROFESSOR S JAYAKUMAR Professor S Jayakumar began life in academia, then went into politics for thirty years before returning to academia and legal practice. A former Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Minister, he had also served as Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Labour, as well as Minister for Law, a post he held for some 26 years. He was also co-ordinating Minister for National Security. Before entering politics, he was Dean of the NUS Faculty of Law. After retiring from politics in 2011, he chairs the NUS Law Faculty’s Advisory Council and also chairs the International Advisory Panel of the Center for International Law (CIL). Professor Jayakumar and Professor Tommy Koh jointly host the CIL’s Fireside Chats on International Law. He is also Consultant in the law firm of Drew and Napier. His recent publications include Pedra Branca: The Road to the World Court (with Professor Tommy Koh) and Diplomacy: A Singapore Experience.
CHIEF JUSTICE (RET) CHAN SEK KEONG Born on 5 November in 1937 in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia, Mr Chan Sek Keong graduated from the University of Malaya in Singapore with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree in 1961. He was called to the Malayan Bar and the Singapore Bar a year later. He practised as a lawyer in the Federation of Malaya and Singapore for 24 years before joining public service in Singapore for 26 years as a Judicial Commissioner/Judge of the Supreme Court of Singapore, Attorney-General and finally as Chief Justice of Singapore. He retired on 5 November 2012. As Attorney-General, he has advised the Government on many public law issues. As a judge, he has delivered many judgments on such issues. He has also given many lectures and speeches and has published papers on public law and on the rule of law in Singapore. MR BILAHARI KAUSIKAN Mr Bilahari Kausikan is currently Ambassador-at-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Prior to this he was the Permanent Secretary of MFA from 2010 to 2013, and Second Permanent Secretary from 2001. He has also held other positions in the Ministry and abroad, including Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and Ambassador to the Russian Federation.
AMBASSADOR CHAN HENG CHEE Ambassador Chan Heng Chee is Ambassador-at-Large with the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in the Singapore University of Technology and Design. She is also Chairman of the National Arts Council. In July 2012, she was appointed a Member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights, and in November 2012 as Singapore’s representative to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. Ambassador Chan has served as Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States, Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, High Commissioner to Canada and Ambassador to Mexico. Previously, she was Executive Director of the Singapore International Foundation and Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. She was the founding Director of the Institute of Policy Studies.
SPEAKERS’ BIOS MR PETER HO Mr Peter Ho is the Senior Advisor to the Centre for Strategic Futures and a Senior Fellow in the Civil Service College. He is Chairman of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Singapore and of the Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering. He is a member of the National University of Singapore Board of Trustees, a board member of the Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellowship, and a council member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies. He is also a member of Statoil’s Strategy Advisory Council and the McKinsey Center for Government Advisory Council. When he retired from the Singapore Administrative Service in 2010 after a career in public service stretching more than 34 years, he was Head, Civil Service, concurrent with his other appointments of Permanent Secretary (Foreign Affairs), Permanent Secretary (National Security and Intelligence Coordination), and Permanent Secretary (Special Duties) in the Prime Minister’s Office. Before that, he was Permanent Secretary (Defence). MS YONG YING-I Ms Yong Ying-I is a career public servant who has served in various agencies including the Ministries of Finance, Trade & Industry, Home Affairs, Communications & IT, Manpower and Health, the last two of which as their Permanent Secretary. An economist and MBA by training, she was the founding CEO of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), the founding Chairman of the Workforce Development Agency and served as Principal Private Secretary to then-Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. She presently helms the Public Service Division of the Prime Minister’s Office as the Singapore Government’s chief human resource officer, with the goal of sustaining a first class Public Service. She guides the Public Service to be future-ready, to be better prepared for longer term challenges and risks. She also leads the National Research Foundation, which is the Government’s programme office guiding the nation’s research innovation and enterprise strategies, funding research programmes nation-wide and catalysing new capability development. She is Chairman of the Civil Service College and IDA.
PROFESSOR KISHORE MAHBUBANI Professor Kishore Mahbubani has had the good fortune of enjoying a career in government and, at the same time, in writing extensively on public issues. He was with the Singapore Foreign Service for 33 years (1971-2004) during which he had postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC and New York, where he served two postings as Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN and as President of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002. He was Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1993 to 1998. Currently, he is the Dean and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore. In the world of ideas he has spoken and published globally. His new book is The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World.
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