Most people have never heard of Lee Kuan Yew… but he’s an incredibly important figure in one of the world’s most cutting-edge economies. As Singapore’s first prime minister, he governed for 3 decades, overseeing his country’s transformation into a modern, developed economic powerhouse.
Prior to Lee’s tenure, Singapore was fairly provincial backwater under British colonial rule; completely devoid of natural resources, its only real importance was as a conveniently located trading post.
Post-independence, Lee’s government passed substantial labor, immigration, and tax reforms that were incredibly favorable to businesses and foreign investors. These policies are widely viewed as the spark for Singapore’s economic growth, and Lee is still heavily revered today for those decisions.