TZ: "Lee Kwan Yu said it was one of his biggest mistakes - educating (to the college level) the women."This is a good example of why personal experience, even decades of direct personal and relevant experience, should never be overly relied upon when dealing with the historical record. Mr. Lee is an interesting and highly intelligent man, but he was clearly too influenced by the assumptions of the Western elite, whose policies he tried to imitate without thinking through their logical intermediate-term consequences.
TO: I'm a Singaporean born and bred for 26 years, and never heard anything like that. In anything, the PAP government pushed, and still pushes for massive education for everyone, and was a major proponent of abortion and sterilisation in the 70's in an effort to get women out of the household, as well as other measures to destroy extended families. The closest thing I've ever heard him quoted on is that educated women should have more kids, not that they should stop being educated altogether.
“If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society…So what happens? There will be less bright people to support dumb people in the next generation. That’s a problem.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1983
"“The successful, whether you’re a scholar, a Mandarin or a successful businessman or successful farmer, you had more than one wife. In fact you can have as many as your economic status entitles you or can persuade people to give their daughters up to you. In other words, the unsuccessful are like the weak lions or bucks in a herd, they were neutralised. So over the generations you must have the physically and the mentally more vibrant and vital, reproduce. We are doing just the opposite. We introduced monogamy. It seems so manifestly correct. The West was successful, superior. Why? Because they are monogamous. It was wrong. It was stupid.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, Population and Development Review, Vol. 13 No.1, 1987
“Once you have women educated with equal job opportunities they do not see their future as bearers of children. So fertility rate has gone down, I don’t see it going back to 2.1, which is the replacement rate. The only way it can happen is if you ‘diseducate’ or ‘uneducate’ the women and that doesn’t make sense. The economy will suffer.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, 7th anniversary of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, 2011
But Mr. Lee is completely wrong about the economy. Economies with educated women are actually correlated with much slower economic growth as well as higher debt, in addition to the much higher levels of immigration that Mr. Lee himself has said are inevitable and necessary as a result of the sub-replacement level fertility rates.
"Among the topics raised was whether the “Stop at Two” campaign launched in the 1960s had created today’s ageing population and need for incoming immigrants. Disagreeing, Mr Lee said: “Stopping at two has nothing to do with what’s happened. It’s happening throughout the developed world.” Instead, he attributed the current situation to the rising education levels among women today and economic development. Mr Lee then referred to a study by the Institute of Policy Studies and emphasised on the need for immigrants to make up population in view of the projected low fertility rate of 1.24 per woman."
It is informative to see how Lee's views on the consequences of female education transformed from 1983 to 2011 as a result of witnessing them. He went from "that's a problem" in the theoretical sense to understanding exactly how the problem manifests, although he still didn't grasp the obvious connection between a higher percentage of educated women with equal job opportunities and reduced economic growth. Which is a little strange, because even if you subscribe to the Keynesian idea that demand produces growth, it should be readily apparent that more children means more consumers which means more economic growth.
What appears to be difficult for solipsistic women and their intellectual white knights to understand is that the equal education and opportunity they so value necessarily means a lower standard of living for them and everyone else. That's not because Mr. Lee is sexiss or because I am misogyniss, the observation is no more credibly debatable than the idea that if you drop a ball, gravity will cause it to hit the floor.
"They do not see their future." Mr. Lee could have simply ended his statement there and it would have been equally apt.