Back to Patriarchy Website HomePageRed_Small_Left.gif (871 bytes) To Contents PageRed_Small_Left.gif (871 bytes) To Contents PageRed_Small_Left.gif (871 bytes)

Article posted into Patriarchy Website on 15th Nov 1997 by Israel CS Lim.

Lee Kuan Yew On Polygamy For Nation Building:


A speech was delivered 11 years ago. But it's worth reiterating. The speaker was one who was at the helm, leading Singapore to where it is in the world today, the one whom Singaporeans will always be grateful for, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The concerned Prime Minister, now Senior Minister of Singapore, during a talk on "How To Keep Our Bearings In The Midst Of Rapid Changes", gave directions to the would-be leaders of Singapore, the University students.

The talk was held at the National University of Singapore, jointly-organised by the Democratic Socialist Club and Political Association on 12 Dec 1986. The full text of the speech was published in The Straits Times, 15 Dec 1986.

In closing, he addressed the issue of the dangerously declining birth rate and he suggested that it was erroneous to follow the West in being monogamous and a shift has to be made to steer Singapore away from the disastrous consequences ahead. He recommended polygamy as the solution, for correcting the declining birth rate, for dealing with the problem of the increasing number of unmarried women, for nation building and more....

Singapore’s Senior Minister, KY Lee is reputedly known throughout the world for his foresight and wisdom. Undoubtedly, his dynamic leadership has brought Singapore to where it is in the world today.

Israel CS Lim
Patriarchy Website

Below is an extract of the closing of the speech...


I asked an officer whom I met…. He’d been studying in Japan. He’s in the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces). I asked him how is that so many of our students who’ve been to Japan come back with Japanese graduate wives when there are so few graduate women?

He gave me an interesting answer. He said their chances of being married to a fellow Japanese graduate is less than if they were not a graduate.

And marrying a Singaporean has tremendous risks. They never heard of Singapore, they know nothing of what they can be expected to live up to. But he tells me that they feel the Singaporean will be less demanding and less dominating as a husband.

In other words, he thinks the Japanese women are not happy under this arrangement. Well, whether they are happy or not, their country is not in peril. We are.

We have not anticipated the consequences, or we lack the wisdom to know that you can change the education pattern and the employment pattern but if you cannot change the cultural values of what makes a good spouse, the man’s choice, then you have dislocation.

We are trying to sort it out by providing a venue, encounters, meeting places. If the man is not looking in that direction, how does it solve itself?

This is not a problem that is going to go away but I’m glad we did make some progress. And I could not resist showing you these tables because I think you ought to make a rational choice.

We’ve got to shift this, and shift this quickly or disastrous consequences will come in 20 years. We are so small, we are so thorough, our policies go right across the whole society; we’ve got no rural base where changes are slower, and a wrong turning can be a very painful one.

For the girls my advice is, theirs is a rational choice, is backed by history, that’s the way to bring up a good family, secure and safe, marry upwards, hypergamy but in these circumstances, do not ignore other options.

I’ll end up with an anecdote. Three years ago I was talking to some journalists, analysing these figures for them, trying to break it gradually across.

And she said to me "But, Prime Minister, if a man wants to marry me for my genes, I don’t want to marry him."

And I thought to myself, "What a silly ass of a girl."

When the Japanese zaibatsu chairman says "Find me a son-in-law" to the vice-minister, he is wanting to ensure that his grand-children will measure up.

And the way the old society did it was by polygamy.

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.

When Mr. Tanaka was asked in the Japanese Diet five, six years ago "You’ve got another mistress with children there," he nodded in vehement agreement. He said, "That’s quite right."

And the more Tanakas there are in Japan, I have no doubt the more dynamic will be Japanese society. There was no embarrassment.

But we have worked ourselves into an awkward position. We’ve got to work ourselves out of it and your generation has got to do something about it.

= End of Speech =



Polygamy As Solution For Nation Building:

Israel CS Lim
Nov '97


Go Top

More Comments:

After so many years in ministry and more than 6 years of intensive research and study on this subject, with so much scriptural substantiation on this website and with much more that are going to be posted, I want to announce my finding that it is not morally wrong nor scripturally wrong nor biblically wrong to be polygamous and I have to concur with Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the Senior Minister of Singapore that polygamy (polygyny) is a viable option to dynamic nation-building and the way to solve many social problems.

After years in pastoral counseling, I also have to agree with Mr Goh Chok Tong, Prime Minister of Singapore when he said that Singaporean men are generally "Kia Bor" which means "fear wife" for I see that many are generally too wife-beholden than called for. From my experience, such a syndrome will eventually produce "good-for- nothing" husbands and dominating "tigresses of the home", which simply means more marital failures.

I also want to state that true Christianity is not western culture and need not and should no longer stay under the dominion of it, especially if Singapore is to find an identifiable identity of her own.

Israel CS Lim
May '99


Read also: Will Singapore Law Allow Polygamy?

Back to Patriarchy Website HomePageRed_Small_Left.gif (871 bytes) To Contents PageRed_Small_Left.gif (871 bytes) To Contents PageRed_Small_Left.gif (871 bytes)