Charlie Munger is a huge fan of Lee Kuan Yew  (LKY)the founder of Singapore.

Below are 5 learnings which Charlie Munger has graciously shared across forums

  • Sometimes you need to centralise power.

“It’s no accident that Singapore has a much better record, given where it started, than the United States. There, power was concentrated in one enormously talented person, Lee Kuan Yew, who was the Warren Buffett of Singapore.”

  • Figure out what works and do it

“If you want one mantra, it comes from Lee Kuan Yew. … Figure out what works and do it. You just go at life with that simple philosophy from your own national group, you’ll find it works wonderfully well. Figure out what works and do it

  • Build Laws which might look crazy, but actually solve a unique problem 

Singapore was 70 per cent Chinese and 30 per cent, Malay. Every Chinese thinks that the Chinese are superior to the Malays. He thinks that’s terribly counterproductive if anybody should say so, so he passes a law. You can’t say that if you’re a Chinese in Singapore, you can say there is any superiority in the Chinese. I think that is a very sensible law for Singapore to have.

  • Kill problems when they are at the seed stage for good.

But I think Singapore’s habit of stepping hard on things that will grow like cancer is the correct way to govern. In America, we tend to wait until they are unfixable and we want to fix them. If you want to take a problem when it’s solvable and wait till it’s unfixable, you can argue you’re so damn foolish that you deserve the problem

  • Learn and copy from wherever it works. 

He’s got a drug problem. He searches the world over for the right solution to the drug problem. He finds it in the United States. Isn’t that a very interesting thing. Somebody in Singapore reading books and deciding the United States was the answer to Singapore problems. He copied the military’s drug problem policy. Anybody in Singapore would pee in a bottle instantly on-demand and if they flunked would immediately go on a tough compulsory rehab.

And lastly the funny story from the below video.

Singapore needs aid, especially in the military.  But geographically it is surrounded by countries where Muslim is the main religion. Considering the picky situation no country is willing to give military aid except one, Israel.

No person in the right frame of mind would take aid from Israel knowing that you are surrounded by countries who are anti- Israel.

So what does LKY do? He takes the aid but tells that it’s from Mexico :)))


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