Straits Times Press launches Lee Kuan Yew-inspired children's book What's Inside The Red Box?

SINGAPORE - The Straits Times Press, the book publishing arm of Singapore Press Holdings, on Wednesday (Dec 9) launched a children's book inspired by the Republic's first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Titled What's Inside The Red Box?, the 32-page children's picture book tells the late Mr Lee's story and his work in making Singapore what it is today. Told from the perspective of young children interacting with Mr Lee, it features colourful illustrations that encourage young readers to think beyond themselves and for their country.

The book also features the late Mr Lee's famous red box, considered by many as a symbol of his dedication to the country.


The red box was used by Mr Lee as a briefcase while he was serving in political office, and contained his speech drafts, letters, readings, notes and cassette tapes with his recorded instructions.

General manager of Straits Times Press Susan Long said in a statement: "What's Inside The Red Box is written very simply and told from the perspective of young children, who often wonder what lurks inside adult briefcases or laptop bags.

"It captures vividly the legacy of Mr Lee and how he worked daily towards achieving the big dreams he had for Singapore. Most importantly, we hope this book will inspire kids to do their part to make the world a better place."

The book, targeted at children aged between three and seven years old, is illustrated by Ms Phua San San, in collaboration with a team from the Straits Times Press and is sponsored by Mapletree Investments.

Mr Hiew Yoon Khong, group chief executive of Mapletree said: "Much of Singapore today, whether it is the city's well-organised and green environment or the offer of opportunities on the basis of meritocracy, can be attributed to the vision Mr Lee had for the country.

"Through this book, we hope that, from an early age, Singaporeans will know that what they enjoy today stems from the vision of a man who dared to dream big and that they too, should not be afraid to have a bold vision and work hard to turn it into reality. This is in line with a key focus of Mapletree's CSR initiative, where we strive to empower and enrich communities through education."

There is also an activity page at the end of the book, where young readers are encouraged to jot down their ideas. They can also take a photograph of it and send it to, to stand a chance to win a prize.

What's Inside The Red Box? is available at leading bookstores at $16, including GST. The books can also be purchased from the STP online bookstore at