“My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore’s Bilingual Journey” by MM Lee Kuan Yew (Excerpts)

  • “Lee Hsien Loong was able to converse with Hu Jintao in Mandarin because he spent 12 years in Chinese schools. Will Singapore be able to find another Prime Minister equally comfortable in Mandarin?
    At a meeting in 2004, then Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi wished Hsien Loong, who was then Deputy Prime Minister, success in his career, using the phrase 歩歩高升 (bu bu gao sheng), which means ‘to attain eminence step by step’.
    Hsien Loong’s spontaneous rejoinder – 高处不胜寒 (gao chu bu sheng han) – came as a surprise to Wu Yi. The phrase, which means ‘it’s lonely at the top’, was from Su Dongbo and demonstrated a degree of Chinese literary knowledge atypical among Singaporeans.” – Lee Kuan Yew

... in his book, ‘My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore’s Bilingual Journey’

  • ‎”When the Korean War broke out, rubber prices skyrocketed and Tan Lark Sye made a lot of money. He offered $5 million and more than 500 acres of land in Jurong to build the (Nanyang University)…In his opening speech for the construction of Nanyang University on 26 July 1953, he said, “We are now sowing a cultural seed here and our Chinese culture in Malaya will glow as the sun and moon, and coexist with the sky and earth. Chinese culture will never be extinct and our culture will last forever like Malaya itself.”

    However, although Tan Lark Sye presented himself as a fervent advocate of Chinese Language and culture, his rhetoric did not match his actions. He sent all his children to English-language schools.” – Lee Kuan Yew 

…in his book, ‘My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore’s Bilingual Journey’Perhaps ironically, Malaya did not last, not as long as the sun and moon 🙂


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