MARCH 2015

Lee Kuan Yew and ISS: a tale of parallel visions.

An international school never operates in isolation of its host country. The events of the last few weeks, most notably the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's Founder, highlighted to all of us at ISS, how we are inextricably linked to Singapore and how ISS is embedded in Singapore's history.

Mr Lee, in his memories, The Singapore Story, describes how he and his team built the Singapore we know today from a tiny post- colonial island rife with social, political and economic issues. The description of the challenges, tensions and competing ambitions of that era appear almost insurmountable yet through tenacity, a compelling vision and building a team of like-minded individuals, Singapore's success is not in question.

One member of this indomitable team was ISS' Founder Mr. Chan Chee Seng. Mr. Chan rarely mentions the role he played in building the country, and ISS' connection with Lee Yuan Yew's vision; usually leaving the tale for others to discover and tell. Mr. Lee, in his memoirs, described Mr. Chan as loyal, courageous, energetic, a judo black belt, and a good campaigner. He honoured the critical and central role he played in 1963 in winning a decisive vote that, had it gone wrong, would have completely changed Singapore's landscape.


As I have come to learn, ISS' beginnings stem from the same drive, commitment and vision Mr. Chan demonstrated as part of Lee Kuan Yew's team. After numerous years of public service as The Government Whip, MP for Jalan Besar, and Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Chan retired from politics at a time when Singapore was focused on attracting foreign investment. A significant hurdle to this goal was the lack of international schools to serve incoming families. As a service to Singapore and a personal contribution to Mr. Lee's vision, in 1981, Mr. Chan used his personal resources to establish ISS. For over thirty years now ISS has played an important part in supporting Singapore's economic development.

As Mr. Lee was lying in state, the staff of ISS lined up to pay their respects, reflect on his outstanding achievements and how our school owes its essence to his great vision. Mr. Chan, in turn, was afforded one final opportunity to serve his former leader and was selected to accompany Mr. Lee's cortege as a pallbearer from Parliament House on its journey to the official state funeral.

Rest in peace Mr. Lee and thank you for your vision,

Margaret Alvarez on behalf of ISS International School



(Mr. Chan Chee Seng is in the 3rd row from the front, 2nd from the right)





他是天生的领袖 Born Leader,他是新加坡现代历史的缔造者,他是大智大勇的战士。










(Translation of above text to English)

Whenever I heard my mobile ring, whether during the day or night, my heart lurched.  

“What’s happening to you lying there in hospital” I ask myself and I know everyone else is doing the same. 

I am worried, and so is everyone else. I pray and so does everyone else.  He is a born leader, the founder of our modern Singapore and a great and courageous soldier.

He is our political leader, we spent time


together, enjoying local Singapore food, visiting Malacca and KL. We fought together to regain political power. We also fought alongside each other in the parliament and among our fellow citizens to win over our political opponents.

He is a great leader and an internationally well known figure.

Time doesn't stand still…...

He is forever our leader and in our hearts

Chan Chee Seng

Elementary School  

Talented Teachers

The most important factor in improving student learning in any school is the quality of the teachers. The rapport of the Elementary teachers at ISS...

Middle School  

What does an e-portfolio do for ISS Middle school students?

Within the past year, ISS has expanded the use of e-Portfolios for all students in Middle School. Using templates established in Google Docs, each student has been instructed on how to establish their own online e-Portfolio to keep a record of their various accomplishments....

High School  

Grade 10 Personal Projects

During the last two years of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP), all students are required to complete the Personal Project. This is designed to encourage students to...


Thank you for coming to the Fun Fair!!!!

Thanks to everyone for making this year's Fun Fair a huge success! We are very appreciative of everyone's participation, creativity, and enthusiasm. Most importantly, your contributions will make a huge difference...

Enjoy this content? Tell your friends about it!

ISS International School
“Educating To Make A Difference”
Elementary & Middle School Campus

25 Paterson Road, Singapore 238510
Tel: (+65) 6235 5844 | Fax: (+65) 6732 5701

High School Campus

21 Preston Road, Singapore 109355
Tel: (+65) 6475 4188 | Fax: (+65) 6273 7065

Part of ISS Education Group


ISS is registered by the CPE
Registration no: 201316975E
Registration period: 16 June 2011 to 15 June 2015