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Collection: Charlie Munger - #26 'Lee Kuan Yew'



I wanted to go back to Singapore and ask you a question involving Lee Kuan Yew, particularly his housing policies.

I’m curious how you think California should address the insane costs of construction, new development right now, and how you would try to create housing in California that would be affordable across all socio-economic areas to avoid kind of the social evils that Lee Kuan Yew has managed to avoid back in Singapore.


Well, that’s like asking some ordinary klutz, who’s drunk, if he can’t come up with something like Albert Einstein. It’s just too much. Lee Kuan Yew is the best nation builder that probably ever existed. And what he accomplished in Singapore considering what he started with, it was a miracle.

And of course, I don’t know how to create that everywhere. I’m not sure Lee Kuan Yew could have done it if he didn’t have a bunch of fellow Chinese there. I’m not sure that any other ethnic group would have done it. I think he had a very – it looked like a terrible hand.

And by the way, there’s an interesting story there. He needed an army when he first took over and nobody would help him. And only one nation in the whole world would help him and that was Israel. And he said, “How can I accept? I’m surrounded by Muslims who hate me. How can I accept military advice from Israel?” And he finally figured it out. He accepted the help and he told everybody they were Mexicans. (Laughter)

Well with that little joke we’ll end the meeting. (Applause)



[YAPSS Takeaway]

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