HANOI • A Vietnamese translation of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's memoirs was launched here yesterday, on the second anniversary of his death. Called The Singapore Story: Memoirs Of Lee Kuan Yew, it was translated and published by Omega Books and the Vietnam Intellectual Cooperation Centre.
Mr Lee was the first senior Singapore leader to visit Vietnam in 1992, during the initial stages of the country's Doi Moi reform period.
He developed a keen interest in the country and close friendships with many Vietnamese leaders, including the Communist Party of Vietnam's then General Secretary Do Muoi, who visited Singapore in 1993, Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng said at the book launch.
"Mr Lee had laid the foundation on which our excellent bilateral relations rest upon today... With this book, more Vietnamese friends will be able to learn about the Singapore story, deepening the understanding and relations between our peoples," Mr Baey said at the event held at the Hoa Binh Hotel.
Remembering Mr Lee Kuan Yew
PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG, in a speech at an official dinner hosted by Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc:
"The Vietnamese language version of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's memoirs was launched this afternoon. It was a meaningful occasion and a meaningful day to choose because today is the 2nd anniversary of Mr Lee's passing. Mr Lee would have been very happy to see this close friendship between our countries and leaders flourishing beyond him, and developing from the foundations that he laid."
MR PHUC, in his toast at the dinner:
"(Mr Lee) was an excellent strategist of the Singaporean people and also a long-time friend of Vietnam. We will always remember that during the early days of Vietnam's reform, it was Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who was very persistent in giving Vietnam valuable and sincere advice that inspired Vietnam to reach its success today."
Mr Baey, a member of the delegation accompanying Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on his official visit to Vietnam, highlighted how the book gives insight into significant periods of Singapore's history, including the Japanese Occupation and the lead-up to independence.
"Mr Lee led the country through the most difficult periods in her history and tirelessly worked to transform it into the First World cosmopolitan city-state it is today," said Mr Baey, who also thanked the Vietnamese government on behalf of the Singapore Government for supporting the project.
Vietnamese Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Dang Dinh Quy said in response that his country's politicians appreciated Mr Lee's honest and far-sighted comments. "Many Vietnamese leaders remember Mr Lee Kuan Yew as an honest and a long-time (friend), and appreciate his honesty and sincerity towards Vietnam," he said in Vietnamese.
He added that many readers, from leaders to young people, would find the books interesting and useful. "Nothing can connect two countries more strongly and for a longer time than the knowledge and sharing of cultural values," he said.