The Man Who Saw It All

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND THE ARTS / NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF SINGAPORE

Lee Kuan Yew transformed Singapore, and his influence still resonates around Asia

In years past, Lee Kuan Yew's office was famous among visitors for its arctic air conditioning and Spartan furnishing. A few Chinese scrolls apart, there was little decoration and sometimes barely a sheet of paper to be seen. Singapore's founding father first moved into the office on the second floor of the former British governor-general's residence in 1971, having already served six years as Prime Minister. He retired in 1990 to become Senior Minister and later Minister Mentor, but still works out of the same rooms.

The L-shaped office may have changed little over the years, but at...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!