The Irony of Lee Kuan Yew’s “Insightful” Worldview

My wife passed me a physical copy of an article entitled “Foreseeing Red: Lee Kuan Yew on China” published in the current issue of Time Magazine. Turns out that three researchers from Harvard University (Graham Allison, Robert Blackwill & Ali Wyne) have interviewed him on his views on China, United States and the rest of the world and will be publishing a book entitled “Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, The United States & the World“. In the article from Time, there were the printed excerpts on his views about China. 

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Why I am glad to predict the Punggol East by-election wrongly

To start, I predicted the result of the Punggol East by-election wrongly as my guess is 51% for the ruling party and 48% for Workers Party with the 1% split for the minnows. Of course, with no polling data available, the way I came to the prediction was to look at the historical datapoints we have in the past. Most of the people including myself (and I am no pundit but a private citizen) would have made the following assumptions and come to the prediction that the ruling party, People’s Action Party (PAP) is the likely winner to the by-election. [Read more…]

Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson

Written by Daron Acemoglu and James A Robinson, the central theme of the book “Why Nations Fail” is to explain the huge differences in incomes and standards of living that split the rich countries of the world from the poor, and put forward a perspective based on how institutions created from politics can evolve the way towards progress or fail depending on their nature of being inclusive and extractive. The book also sought to debunk known theories such as the geography hypothesis advocated by the ecologist and evolutionary biologist, Jared Diamond, the culture hypothesis and finally the ignorance hypothesis proposed by the economists. There are interesting insights extracted from this book that any interested reader of politics and economics will enjoy and how they can be applied in context on Singapore in the present day. [Read more…]