Kishore Mahbubani: Who are you?
Kishore Mahbubani was appointed Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on 16 August 2004 after having served 33 years in the Singapore Foreign Service (with postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC and twice as Ambassador to the UN, during which he also served as President of the Security Council). He was the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry from 1993-1998.
He is the author of Can Asians Think? published in Singapore, Canada, US, Mexico, India and People’s Republic of China and of Beyond The Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust between America and the World. His new book entitled The New Asian Hemisphere: the Irresistible Shift of Gobal Power to the East was published in New York in February 2008. He was also listed as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines in September 2005.
Question: Who are you?
Kishore Mahbubani: My name is Kishore Mahbubani. I am the dean and professor in the practice of public policy at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, which is in the National University of Singapore. Well I was though you call made in Singapore, I was in born and brought up in Singapore, I was born on 24th October 1948, United Nations Day 1948. I spend first I guess 25 years in my life in Singapore and then progressively spent many years overseas, because I joined the Singapore Foreign Service and I head postings in 73 - 74 in Cambodia during the war. In 76 - 79 in Malaysia, 82 to 84 in Washington DC and then 84 to 89, my first stint to Singapore’s Ambassador for the UN and then 98 to 2004, I served my second stint to Singapore as Ambassador the UN, so I have been the Ambassador to the UN twice now. Well, Singapore is a very much an immigrant society. Seventy-five present of the population is Chinese. Fifteen percent is Malay Muslim and about six percent is Indian and even among the Indians, the vast majority of them come from Tamilnadu from the South of India, my family came from I guess what is now Pakistan in Sindh. In fact, my family came to Singapore to because of the partition of India and Pakistan and when the Hindus in these left Pakistan my parents came to Singapore, so I belong to a minority within a minority in Singapore.
Mahbubani's Sindhi family was part of a small minority in the Singaporean melting pot.
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