The Last Fools –
The Eight Immortals
of Lee Kuan Yew
They have been in the shadows for too long. So we decided to do something about it.
While much has been written about the politicians who transformed Singapore from Third World to First, far less recognition has been given to a select group of public servants who made it happen on the ground. This band of bureaucrats have always been out of the spotlight, unnoticed and largely forgotten. Until now.
They built the world’s best airport, a world-class airline, and a stellar sea port. They erected public housing and introduced accessible healthcare for millions of Singaporeans. They moulded a security and leadership system that has been in place for decades. You name it, they probably did it.
Why the moniker ‘Eight Immortals’? Simply because these civil servants were so powerful that they were nicknamed after the fabled deities of Chinese mythology. While the heavens had the likes of Lu Dongbin, He Xiangu and Lan Caihe, Singapore had J. Y. Pillay, Sim Kee Boon and Lee Ek Tieng, among others. Yes, they are that legendary.
Writing this book, which began in 2020, saw us trawling through years of newspaper articles, research papers, books, and even companies’ annual reports We searched for and interviewed old friends and family members of these men. We listened to countless audio recordings.
Two years, eight writers and plenty of drafts later, we present the finished product: 224 pages of an epic read, cocooned in a vibrant cover of yellow and black.
Want to read a book that is a blend of history, inspiration and motivation? Then this is the one for you. Journey through Singapore’s formative years with a flip of each page. Pick up leadership lessons in every chapter. Be in awe at countless displays of boldness, vision and intrepidity. We promise that you will never see Changi Airport or the Singapore River in the same light again.
Online, The Last Fools tops the chart on Amazon Singapore. On the shelves, it’s been a bestseller at Books Kinokuniya, Times, WHSmith and Popular bookstores. It debuted at No 1 on The Sunday Times bestselling charts.
We’d love to share even more, if you’d like to know more. Simply get in touch with us for collaborations and speaking engagements. Like the director’s cut of a movie, our writers will bring you behind the scenes, sharing new perspectives that might make you want to reread the whole book again.
Meet the Writers