I may have had to wait four years to wrestle The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew away from the rest of my family, but at least I’m finally reading it. It’s great. Here’s a passage:
“By his unpredictable and inconsistent twists and turns, Marshall had alienated not just myself and the Liberal Socialists, but his key Labour Front members. His wanting to restart the talks to save himself was too much for them. “You cannot eat your own vomit,” as one Liberal Socialist delegate put it in vivid Hokkien. Half an hour into the meeting, Marshall knew that if he tried to resume negotiations, he would have to do so on his own. He had overplayed his hand and was isolated.
That night, he went to a performance of Madam Butterfly with Lennox-Boyd and Lady Patricia Boyd, and then on to a Spanish restaurant to dine to the tune of guitars and the stamping feet of flamenco dancers. Meanwhile, I decided to stop him from staging a recovery. At a press conference that same evening at Malaya Hall, I made it clear that the PAP would have nothing to do with a reopening of the conference. I said it was a ‘final, desperate attempt to hang on to office, a sign of incredible political ineptitude’, and rounded it off with ‘Never in the history of colonial evolution has so much humbug been enacted in so short a time by so erratic a leadership.’ “