On the night of 14 August 1983, I dropped a bombshell in my annual National Day Rally address. Live on both our television channels, with maximum viewership, I said it was stupid for our graduate men to choose less-educated and less-intelligent wives if they wanted their children to do as well as they had done. . . . It had taken me some time to see the obvious, that talent is a country’s most precious asset. . . .
The implications were grave. Our best women were not reproducing themselves because men who were their education equals did not want to marry them. . . .
This lopsided marriage and procreation pattern could not be allowed to remain unmentioned and unchecked. . . .
I quoted studies of identical twins done in Minnesota in the 1980s which showed that these twins were similar in so many respects. Although they had been brought up separately and in different countries, about 80 percent of their vocabulary, IQ, habits, likes and dislikes in food and friends, and other character and personality traits were identical.
Obviously, this caused a controversy. However, one Western academic stood up for Lee Kwan Yew . . . Richard Herrnstein (yeah, that guy).
Lee Kwan Yew also has realistic views on sex differences: “Women want to marry up, men want to marry down.”
He goes on:
But we should have foreseen that the better-educated would have two or fewer children, and the less-educated four or more. Western writers on family planning had not drawn attention to this already familiar though less stark outcome in their own mature countries because it was not politically correct to do so. . . .
Since that speech, I have regularly released the statistical analysis of the educational backgrounds of parents of the top 10 percent of students in national examinations. Singaporeans now accept that the better-educated and more able the parents, the more likely are the children to achieve similar levels.