MARUAH Essay Contest for Young Singaporeans on their vision for a Singapore beyond Lee Kuan Yew

30 April 2023

As the Singapore government prepares to observe the 100th anniversary of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s birth, Maruah seeks to encourage young Singaporeans to reflect on Mr Lee’s contributions to Singapore and to articulate a vision for Singapore beyond Lee Kuan Yew.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew has loomed larger than anyone else over the nation and people of Singapore ever since the early 1950s when he emerged as a lawyer for trades unions and anti-colonial activists. Over the course of his 31-year tenure as Prime Minister and eventual transition into the role of Minister Mentor and elder statesman, Mr Lee’s policies and personality have shaped Singapore. Mr Lee’s mark can still be seen in our economic development, physical transformation, social policy and authoritarian style of governance today.

Mr Lee stepped down as Prime Minister in 1990 and a generation of Singaporeans has grown up in the 33 years since then. This generation of Singaporeans has benefited from Mr Lee’s legacy and will shape the future of Singapore in the years to come. As the 100th anniversary of Mr Lee’s birth approaches, Maruah would like to encourage young Singaporeans to evaluate Mr Lee’s legacy and consider how they would retain or modify his legacy for Singapore in the future.

Maruah invites Singaporeans born in or after 1990 to submit an essay of up to 2,000 words on the topic:

“What does Mr Lee Kuan Yew mean to you and what is your vision for a post-Lee Kuan Yew Singapore?”

A total of six $1,000 prizes will be awarded, with three $1,000 prizes reserved for contributors who have never enrolled in a local or overseas university. All participants must be Singapore citizens born in 1990 or later.

The essays will be judged based on factors including relevance to the topic, critical thinking, originality of ideas and depth of knowledge. The decision of the judging panel will be final.

All submissions must be submitted online at this link and received by 15 July 2023 11.59pm.

Winning essays will be published on Maruah’s website and social media.