The Darker Side of Lee Kuan Yew

For all of Lee Kuan Yew’s accomplishments as the founder and architect of Singapore, his death has unleashed reminders by many that he could be petty and uncommonly vindictive. At 91, Lee had outlived most of his critics, but not all. There are too many episodes of that vindictiveness to be able to list them all. But one in particular, known as Operation Spectrum in 1987, blighted the lives of 22 young Singaporeans and, if the intent, as the Chinese say, was to kill the chicken to scare the monkey, it was successful. The operation intimidated a generation into staying studiously away from social causes or any other kind of agitation.

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