LKY memoir launched in Laos

Founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's 2000 memoir, From Third World To First: The Singapore Story From 1965 To 2000, is now available in Laotian.

The translation of Mr Lee's book, about Singapore's progress since its independence in 1965, was a project by the Singapore Embassy in Vientiane, the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the Lao Writers' Association and copyright holders Straits Times Press.

Minister of State for Manpower Teo Ser Luck and Lao Vice-Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Savankhone Razmountry were guests of honour at yesterday's launch at Mercure Hotel Vientiane.

In his speech, Mr Teo, who is accompanying President Tony Tan Keng Yam on his state visit, recounted Singapore's early days.

"Few people had confidence that an independent Singapore could survive. However, with determination, appropriate policies, together with help from our friends, we were able to slowly develop our country," Mr Teo said. Laos and Singapore share common experiences in their modern histories, he added.

Both countries weathered tough times in the early days of independence, grappling with issues such as poverty and social tensions. In his book, Mr Lee recounts how Singapore dealt with these challenges.

There are lessons to be learnt from each other, Mr Teo pointed out. He said: "I believe our experience - both our successes and especially our mistakes - could serve as a useful reference for both countries."

He added: "Let us then work hard together, so our countries may have an even brighter future."

The project was funded by 11 sponsors, mostly Singapore companies with a presence in Laos such as SilkAir. The book has been translated, or is being translated, into over 10 languages.

Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2017, with the headline 'LKY memoir launched in Laos'. Print Edition | Subscribe