Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Alan C. Isaak

Second Advisor

Dr. Helenan S. Robin

Third Advisor

Dr. Lawrence Ziring

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


James David Barber's typology for categorizing political leaders forms the foundation for this study.

Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister of Singapore, and Tengku Abdul Rahman, former Prime Minister of Malaysia, are categorized vis-a-vis the active-positive, active-negative, passive-positive, and passive-negative continuua as defined by Barber. The classification is made by utilizing biographical data.

The classifications are then validated by survey data Utilizing the semantic differential, questionnaires were sent to 377 prospective respondents to determine their perceptions of Lee Kuan Yew and Tengku Abdul Rahman. Half of the survey items (21) measured the active-passive spectrum and half (21) measured the positive-negative.

The results obtained via the biographical data collection and the survey data collection methods were compared.