That's very fair. He is certainly not above criticism, and I'm also inclined to agree that Singapore being a major port in on the Straits of Johore (already a major shipping route) and smack bang in the middle of a developing economic zone in East Asia following the war meant that it was going to succeed economically either way so long as they didn't do anything incredibly stupid. They didn't necessarily need him, they just needed someone with half a brain which he happened to fit. I don't know if I'm entirely as cynical about his belief in some form of democracy as you make it sound, but I I can also see your point where there is a long period where Singapore is on its feet and he still won't let anybody else 'play on his train-set'.>>9475
In his early political years, as in the 50s, he made the statement to the effect that fascism was the enemy of Singapore's republic. He also continually pushed for multicultural acceptance and mutual respect for all people and faiths in the country, even the much newer ones like the Christians who he just wanted to stop preaching as hard because it was causing problems, and they did and the problems largely stopped. There was no 'Singaporeans first' policy in the sense of SE Asians getting better treatment than Europeans. He was also very much a proponent of Singapore having a place in a community of nations, not just having some manifest destiny for greatness like Fascist parties tend to proclaim, nor did he prop himself up with a personality cult in the same way. He was relatively popular but there wasn't the same cult that you see cultivated under a Fascist regime. And a lightning bolt isn't an uncommon symbol, go figure. The BUF were also very isolationist in their policy while Lee was all about opening Singapore to the world, their goals were at odds if he was wanting to emulate them.