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Transcripts – New York Times/IHT interview Lee Kuan Yew

Transcripts – New York Times/IHT interview Lee Kuan Yew
September 13
12:32 2010

The following is the transcript of the interview Seth Mydans had with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, for the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. The interview was held on 1 September 2010.

Mr Lee:  “Thank you.  When you are coming to 87, you are not very happy..”

Q:  “Not.  Well you should be glad that you’ve gotten way past where most of us will get.”

Mr Lee:  “That is my trouble.  So, when is the last leaf falling?”

Q:  “Do you feel like that, do you feel like the leaves are coming off?”

Mr Lee:  “Well, yes.  I mean I can feel the gradual decline of energy and vitality and I mean generally every year when you know you are not on the same level as last year.  But that is life.”

Q:  “My mother used to say never get old.”

Mr Lee:  “Well, there you will try never to think yourself old.  I mean I keep fit, I swim, I cycle.”

Q:  “And yoga, is that right? Meditation?”

Mr Lee:  “Yes.”

Q:  “Tell me about meditation?”

Mr Lee:  “Well, I started it about two, three years ago when Ng Kok Song, the Chief Investment Officer of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, I knew he was doing meditation.  His wife had died but he was completely serene.  So, I said, how do you achieve this?  He said I meditate everyday and so did my wife and when she was dying of cancer, she was totally serene because she meditated everyday and he gave me a video of her in her last few weeks completely composed completely relaxed and she and him had been meditating for years.  Well, I said to him, you teach me.  He is a devout Christian.  He was taught by a man called Laurence Freeman,   a Catholic.  His guru was John Main a devout Catholic.   When I was in London, Ng Kok Song introduced me to Laurence Freeman.  In fact, he is coming on Saturday to visit Singapore, and we will do a meditation session.  The problem is to keep the monkey mind from running off into all kinds of thoughts.  It is most difficult to stay focused on the mantra.  The discipline is to have a mantra which you keep repeating in your innermost heart, no need to voice it over and over again throughout the whole period of meditation.  The mantra they recommended was a religious one.  Ma Ra Na Ta, four syllables.  Come To Me Oh Lord Jesus.  So I said Okay, I am not a Catholic but I will try.  He said you can take any other mantra, Buddhist Om Mi Tuo Fo, and keep repeating it.   To me Ma Ran Na Ta is more soothing.  So I used Ma Ra Na Ta.  You must be disciplined.  I find it helps me go to sleep after that.  A certain tranquility settles over you.  The day’s pressures and worries are pushed out.  Then there’s less problem sleeping.  I miss it sometimes when I am tired, or have gone out to a dinner and had wine.   Then I cannot concentrate.  Otherwise I stick to it.”

Q:  “So…”

Mr Lee:  “.. for a good meditator will do it for half-an-hour.  I do it for 20 minutes.”

Q:  “So, would you say like your friend who taught you, would you say you are serene?”

Mr Lee:  “Well, not as serene as he is.  He has done it for many years and he is a devout Catholic.  That makes a difference.  He believes in Jesus.  He believes in the teachings of the Bible. He has lost his wife, a great calamity.  But the wife was serene.  He gave me this video to show how meditation helped her in her last few months.  I do not think I can achieve his level of serenity.  But I do achieve some composure.”

Q:  “And do you find that at this time in your life you do find yourself getting closer to religion of one sort or another?”

Mr Lee:  “I am an agnostic.  I was brought up in a traditional Chinese family with ancestor worship.  I would go to my grandfather’s grave on All Soul’s Day which is called “Qingming”.  My father would bring me along, lay out food and candles and burn some paper money and kowtow three times over his tombstone.  At home on specific days outside the kitchen he would put up two candles with my grandfather’s picture.  But as I grew up, I questioned this because I think this is superstition.  You are gone, you burn paper money, how can he collect the paper money where he is?  After my father died, I dropped the practice.  My youngest brother baptised my father as a Christian. He did not have the right to. He was a doctor and for the last weeks before my father’s life, he took my father to his house because he was a doctor and was able to keep my father comforted. I do not know if my father was fully aware when he was converted into Christianity.”

Q:  “Converted your father?”

Mr Lee:  “Yes.”

Q:  “Well this happens when you get close to the end.”

Mr Lee:  “Well, but I do not know whether my father agreed.  At that time he may have been beyond making a rational decision.  My brother assumed that he agreed and converted him.”

Q:  “But…”

Mr Lee:  “I am not converted.”

Q:   “But when you reach that stage, you may wonder more than ever what is next?”

Mr Lee: “Well, what is next, I do not know.  Nobody has ever come back.  The Muslims say that there are seventy houris, beautiful women up there.  But nobody has come back to confirm this.”

Q:  “And you haven’t converted to Islam, knowing that?”

Mr Lee:  “Most unlikely.  The Buddhist believes in transmigration of the soul.   If you live a good life, the reward is in your next migration, you will be a good being, not an ugly animal.   It is a comforting thought, but my wife and I do not believe in it.  She has been for two years bed-ridden, unable to speak after a series of strokes.  I am not going to convert her.  I am not going to allow anybody to convert her because I know it will be against what she believed in all her life.   How do I comfort myself?  Well, I say life is just like that.  You can’t choose how you go unless you are going to take an overdose of sleeping pills, like sodium amytal.  For just over two years, she has been inert in bed, but still cognitive.  She understands when I talk to her, which I do every night.  She keeps awake for me; I tell her about my day’s work, read her favourite poems.”

Q:  ‘And what kind of books do you read to her?”

Mr Lee:  “So much of my time is reading things online.  The latest book which I want to read or re-read is Kim.  It is a beautiful of description of India as it was in Kipling’s time.  And he had an insight into the Indian mind and it is still basically that same society that I find when I visit India. “

Q:  “When you spoke to Time Magazine a couple of years ago, you said Don Quixote was your favourite?”

Mr Lee:   “Yes, I was just given the book, Don Quixote, a new translation.”

Q:  “But people might find that ironic because he was fantasist who did not realistically choose his projects and you are sort of the opposite?”

Mr Lee:  “No, no, you must have something fanciful and a flight of fancy.  I had a colleague Rajaratnam who read Sci-Fi for his leisure.”’

Q:  “And you?”:

Mr Lee:  “No, I do not believe in Sci-Fi.”

Q:  “But you must have something to fantasise.”

Mr Lee:  “Well, at the moment, as I said, I would like to read Kim again.  Why I thought of Kim was because I have just been through a list of audio books to choose for my wife. Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, books she has on her book shelf.  So, I ticked off the ones I think she would find interesting.   The one that caught my eye was Kim.  She was into literature, from Alice in Wonderland, to Adventures with a Looking Glass, to Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility. Jane Austen was her favourite writer because she wrote elegant and leisurely English prose of the 19th century.  The prose flowed beautifully, described the human condition in a graceful way, and rolls off the tongue and in the mind.  She enjoyed it. Also Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.  She was an English Literature major.”

Q:  “You are naming books on the list, not necessarily books you have already read, yes?”

Mr Lee: “I would have read some of them.”

Q:  “Like a Jane Austen book, or Canterbury Tales?”

Mr Lee:  “No, Canterbury Tales, I had to do it for my second year English Literature course in Raffles College. For a person in the 15th Century, he wrote very modern stuff.  I didn’t find his English all that archaic.  I find those Scottish poets difficult to read.  Sometimes I don’t make sense of their Scottish brogue.  My wife makes sense of them.  Then Shakespeare’s sonnets.”

Q:  “You read those?”

Mr Lee:  “I read those sonnets when I did English literature in my freshman’s year.  She read them.”

Q:  “When you say she reads them now, you’re the one who reads them, yes?”

Mr Lee:  “Yes, I read them to her.”

Q:  “But you go to her.”

Mr Lee:  “Yes, I read from an Anthology of Poems which she has, and several other anthologies. So I know her favourite poems.  She had flagged them.  I read them to her.”

Q:  “She’s in the hospital?  You go to the hospital?”

Mr Lee: “No, no, she’s at home.  We’ve got a hospital bed and nurses attending to her.  We used to share the same room.  Now I’m staying in the next room.  I have to get used to her groans and grunts when she’s uncomfortable from a dry throat and they pump in a spray moisture called “Biothene” which soothes her throat, and they suck out phlegm. Because she can’t get up, she can’t breathe fully.  The phlegm accumulates in the chest but you can’t suck it out from the chest, you’ve got to wait until she coughs and it goes out to her throat.  They suck it out, and she’s relieved.  They sit her up and tap her back.  It’s very distressing, but that’s life.”

Q: “Yes, your daughter on Sunday wrote a moving column, movingly about the situation referring to you.”

Mr Lee:  “How did you come to read it?”

Q: “Somebody said you’ve got to read that column, so I read it.”

Mr Lee:  “You don’t get the Straits Times.”

Q:  “I get it online actually.  I certainly do, I follow Singapore online and she wrote that the whole family suffers of course from this and she wrote the one who’s been hurting the most and is yet carrying on stoically is my father.”

Mr Lee:  “What to do?  What else can I do?  I can’t break down.  Life has got to go on.  I try to busy myself, but from time to time in idle moments, my mind goes back to the happy days we were up and about together.”

Q:  “When you go to visit her, is that the time when your mind goes back?”

Mr Lee: “No, not then.  My daughter’s fished out many old photographs for this piece she wrote and picked out a dozen or two dozen photographs from the digital copies which somebody had kept at the Singapore Press Holdings.  When I look at them, I thought how lucky I was.  I had 61 years of happiness.  We’ve got to go sometime, so I’m not sure who’s going first, whether she or me.  So I told her, I’ve been looking at the marriage vows of the Christians. The best I read was,” To love, to hold and to cherish, in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, till death do us part.”  I told her I would try and keep you company for as long as I can.  She understood.”

Q: “Yes, it’s been really.”

Mr Lee: “What to do?  What can you do in this situation?  I can say get rid of the nurses.  Then the maids won’t know how to turn her over and then she gets pneumonia.  That ends the suffering.  But human beings being what we are, I do the best for her and the best is to give her a competent nurse who moves her, massages her, turns her over, so no bed sores.  I’ve got a hospital bed with air cushions so no bed sores. Well, that’s life.  Make her comfortable.”

Q: “And for yourself, you feel the weight of age more than you have in the past?”

Mr Lee: “I’m not sure.  I marginally must have.  It’s stress.  However, I look at it, I mean, it’s stress.  That’s life. But it’s a different kind of stress from the kind of stress I faced, political stresses.  Dire situations for Singapore, dire situations for myself when we broke off from Malaysia, the Malays in Singapore could have rioted and gone for me and they suddenly found themselves back as a minority because the Tunku kicked us out.  That’s different, that’s intense stress and it’s over but this is stress which goes on.   One doctor told me, you may think that when she’s gone you’re relieved but you’ll be sad when she’s gone because there’s still the human being here, there’s still somebody you talk to and she knows what you’re saying and you’ll miss that. Well, I don’t know, I haven’t come to that but I think I’ll probably will because it’s now two years, May, June, July, August, September, two years and four months.  It’s become a part of my life.”

Q:  “She’s how old now?”

Mr Lee:  “She’s two-and-a-half years older than me, so she’s coming on to 90.”

Q:  “But you did make a reference in an interview with Time magazine to something that goes beyond reason as you put it.  You referred to the real enemy by Pierre D’Harcourt who talked about people surviving the Nazi, it’s better that they have something to believe in.”

Mr Lee:  “Yes, of course.”

Q: “And you said that the Communists and the deeply religious fought on and survived.  There are some things in the human spirit that are beyond reason.”

Mr Lee:  “I believe that to be true.   Look, I saw my friend and cabinet colleague who’s a deeply religious Catholic.  He was Finance Minister, a fine man.  In 1983, he had a heart attack.  He was in hospital, in ICU, he improved and was taken out of ICU.  Then he had a second heart attack and I knew it was bad.  I went to see him and the priest was giving him the last rites as a Catholic.  Absolutely fearless, he showed no distress, no fear, the family was around him, his wife and daughters, he had four daughters.  With priest delivering the last rites, he knew he was reaching the end.  But his mind was clear but absolutely calm.”

Q: “Well, I am more like you.  We don’t have something to cling to.”

Mr Lee:  “That’s our problem.”

Q:  “But also the way people see you is supremely reasonable person, reason is the ultimate.”

Mr Lee:  “Well, that’s the way I’ve been working.”

Q:  “Well, you did mention to Tom Plate, they think they know me but they only know the public me?”

Mr Lee:  “Yeah, the private view is you have emotions for your close members of your family.  We are a close family, not just my sons and my wife and my parents but my brothers and my sister.  So my youngest brother, a doctor as I told you, he just sent me an email that my second brother was dying of a bleeding colon, diverticulitis.  And later the third brother now has got prostate cancer and has spread into his lymph nodes. So I asked what’re the chances of survival.  It’s not gotten to the bones yet, so they’re doing chemotherapy and if you can prevent it from going into the bones, he’ll be okay for a few more years.  If it does get to the bones, then that’s the end.  I don’t think my brother knows.  But I’ll probably go and see him.”

Q: “But you yourself have been fit.  You have a stent, you had heart problem late last year but besides that do you have ailments?”

Mr Lee:  “Well, aches and pains of a geriatric person, joints, muscles but all  non-terminal.  I go in for a physiotherapy, maintenance once a week, they give me a rub over because when I cycle, my thighs  get sore, knees get a little painful, and so the hips.”

Q: “These are the signs of age.”

Mr Lee:  “Yeah, of course.”

Q: “I’m 64.  I’m beginning to feel that and I don’t like it and I don’t want to admit to myself.”

Mr Lee: “But if you stop exercising, you make it worse.  That’s what my doctors tell me, just carry on.  When you have these aches and pains, we’ll give you physiotherapy.  I’ve learnt to use heat pads at home.  So after the physiotherapy, once a week, if I feel my thighs are sore, I just have a heat pad there.  You put in the microwave oven and you tie it around your thighs or your ankles or your calves.  It relieves the pain.”

Q:  “So you continue to cycle.”

Mr Lee:  “Oh yeah.”

Q:  “Treadmill?

Mr Lee:  “No, I don’t do the treadmill.  I walk but not always.  When I’ve cycled enough I don’t walk.”

Q:  “That’s your primary exercise, swimming?”

Mr Lee:  “Yeah, I swim everyday, it’s relaxing.”

Q: “What other secrets, I see you drink hot water?”

Mr Lee:  “Yes.”

Q: “Tell me about it.”

Mr Lee:  “Well, I used to drink tea but tea is a diuretic, but I didn’t know that.  I used to drink litres of it.  In the 1980s, I was having a conference with Zhou Ziyang who was then Secretary-General of the Communist Party in the Great Hall of the People.  The Chinese came in and poured more tea and hot water.  I was scoffing it down because it kept my throat moistened, my BP was up because more liquid was in me. Halfway through, I said please stop. I’m dashing off.  I had to relief myself.  Then my doctors said don’t you know that tea is a diuretic?  I don’t like coffee, it gives me a sour stomach, so okay, let’s switch to water.”

Q: “You know you had the hot water when I met you a couple of years ago and after I told my wife about that, she switched to hot water.  She’s not sure why except that you drink hot water, so she’s decided to.”

Mr Lee:  “Well, cold water, this was from my ENT man.  If you drink cold water, you reduce the temperature of your nasal passages and throat and reduce your resistance to coughs and colds.  So I take warm water, body temperature.  I don’t scald myself with boiling hot water.  I avoid that.  But my daughter puts blocks of ice into her coffee and drinks it up.  She’s all right, she’s only 50-plus.

Q:  “Let me ask a question about the outside world a little bit.  Singapore is a great success story even though people criticize this and that.  When you look back, you can be proud of what you’ve done and I assume you are.  Are there things that you regret, things that you wished you could achieve that you couldn’t?”

Mr Lee: “Well, first I regret having been turfed out of Malaysia.  I think if the Tunku had kept us together, what we did in Singapore, had Malaysia accepted a multiracial base for their society, much of what we’ve achieved in Singapore would be achieved in Malaysia.  But not as much because it’s a much broader base. We would have improved inter-racial relations and an improved holistic situation.  Now we have a very polarized Malaysia, Malays, Chinese and Indians in separate schools, living separate lives and not really getting on with one another. You read them.  That’s bad for us as close neighbours.”

Q:  “So at that time, you found yourself with Singapore and you have transformed it.  And my question would be how do you assess your own satisfaction with what you’ve achieved?  What didn’t work?”

Mr Lee:  “Well, the greatest satisfaction I had was my colleagues and I, were of that generation who were turfed out of Malaysia suffered two years under a racial policy decided that we will go the other way.  We will not as a majority squeeze the minority because once we’re by ourselves, the Chinese become the majority.  We made quite sure whatever your race, language or religion, you are an equal citizen and we’ll drum that into the people and I think our Chinese understand and today we have an integrated society.  Our Malays are English-educated, they’re no longer like the Malays in Malaysia and you can see there are some still wearing headscarves but very modern looking.”

Q:  “That doesn’t sound like a regret to me.”

Mr Lee: “No, no, but the regret is there’s such a narrow base to build this enormous edifice, so I’ve got to tell the next generation, please do not take for granted what’s been built.  If you forget that this is a small island which we are built upon and reach a 100 storeys high tower block and may go up to 150 if you are wise.  But if you believe that it’s permanent, it will come tumbling down and you will never get a second chance.”

Q:  “I wonder if that is a concern of yours about the next generation.  I saw your discussion with a group of young people before the last election and they were saying what they want is a lot of these values from the West, an open political marketplace and even playing field in all of these things and you said well, if that’s the way you feel, I’m very sad.”

Mr Lee:  “Because you play it that way, if you have dissension, if you chose the easy way to Muslim votes and switch to racial politics, this society is finished.  The easiest way to get majority vote is vote for me, we’re Chinese, they’re Indians, they’re Malays.  Our society will be ripped apart.  If you do not have a cohesive society, you cannot make progress.”

Q: “But is that a concern that the younger generation doesn’t realize as much as it should?”

Mr Lee:  “I believe they have come to believe that this is a natural state of affairs, and they can take liberties with it.  They think you can put it on auto-pilot.  I know that is never so.  We have crafted a set of very intricate rules, no housing blocks shall have more than a percentage of so many Chinese, so many percent Malays, Indians. All are thoroughly mixed.  Willy-nilly, your neighbours are Indians, Malays, you go to the same shopping malls, you go to the same schools, the same playing fields, you go up and down the same lifts.  We cannot allow segregation.”

Q:  “There are people who think that Singapore may lighten up a little bit when you go, that the rules will become a little looser and if that happens, that might be something that’s a concern to you.”

Mr Lee: “No, you can go looser where it’s not race, language and religion because those are deeply gut issues and it will surface the moment you start playing on them.  It’s inevitable, but on other areas, policies, right or wrong, disparity of opportunities, rich and poor, well go ahead.  But don’t play race, language, religion.  We’ve got here, we’ve become cohesive, keep it that way.  We’ve not used Chinese as a majority language because it will split the population.  We have English as our working language, it’s equal for everybody, and it’s given us the progress because we’re connected to the world.  If you want to keep your Malay, or your Chinese, or your Tamil, Urdu or whatever, do that as a second language, not equal to your first language.  It’s up to you, how high a standard you want to achieve.”

Q:  “The public view of you is as a very strict, cerebral, unsentimental.  Catherine Lim, “an authoritarian, no-nonsense manner that has little use for sentiment”.”

Mr Lee:  “She’s a novelist, therefore, she simplifies a person’s character, make graphic caricature of me.  But is anybody that simple or simplistic?”

Q:  “Sentiment though, you don’t show that very much in public.”

Mr Lee:  “Well, that’s a Chinese ideal.  A gentleman in Chinese ideal, the junzi (君子) is someone who is always composed and possessed of himself and doesn’t lose his temper and doesn’t lose his tongue.  That’s what I try to do, except when I got turfed out from Malaysia.  Then, I just couldn’t help it.”

Q:  “One aspect of the way you’ve constructed Singapore is a certain level of fear perhaps in the population. You described yourself as a street fighter, knuckle duster and so forth.”

Mr Lee:  “Yes.”

Q: “And that produces among some people a level of fear and I want to tell you what a taxi driver said when I said I was going to interview you.  He said, safer not to ask him anything.  If you ask him, somebody will follow you.  We’re not in politics so just let him do the politics.”

Mr Lee:  “How old is he?’

Q: “I’m sorry, middle aged, I don’t know.”

Mr Lee: “I go out.  I’m no longer the Prime Minister.  I don’t have to do the difficult things.  Everybody wants to shake my hands, everybody wants me to autograph something. Everybody wants to get around me to take a photo.  So it’s a problem.

Q:  “Yes but…”

Mr Lee:  “Because I’m no longer in charge, I don’t have to do the hard things.  I’ve laid the foundation and they know that because of that foundation, they’re enjoying this life.’

Q: “So when you were the one directly in-charge, you had to be tough, you had to be a fighter.”

Mr Lee: “Yes, of course.  I had to fight left-wingers, Communists, pro-Communist groups who had killer squads.  If I didn’t have the guts and the gumption to take them on, there wouldn’t be the Singapore.  They would have taken over and it would have collapsed.  I also had to fight the Malay Ultras when we were in Malaysia for two years.”

Q:  “Well, you don’t have a lot of dissidents in prison but you’re known for your libel suits which keeps a lot of people at bay.”

Mr Lee:  “We are non-corrupt.  We lead modest lives, so it’s difficult to malign us.  What’s the easy way to get a leader down?  He’s a hypocrite, he is corrupt, he pretends to be this when in fact he’s that.  That’s what they’re trying to do to me.  Well, prove it, if what you say is right, then I don’t deserve this reputation.  Why must you say these things without foundation?  I’m taking you to court, you’ve made these allegations, I’m open to your cross-examination.”

Q:  “But that may produce what I was talking about, about a level of fear.”

Mr Lee:  “No, you’re fearful of a libel suit?  Then don’t issue these defamatory statements or make them where you have no basis.  The Western correspondent, especially those who hop in and hop out got to find something to show that they are impartial, that they’re not just taken in by the Singapore growth story.  They say we keep down the opposition, how?  Libel suits.  Absolute rubbish.  We have opponents in Parliament who have attacked us on policy, no libel suits against them and even in Parliament they are privileged to make defamatory allegation and cannot be sued.  But they don’t. They know it is not true.”

Q:  “Let me ask a last question.  Again back to Tom Plate, “I’m not serious all the time.  Everyone needs to have a good laugh now and then to see the funny side of things and to laugh at himself”.”

Mr Lee:  “Yes, of course.”

Q:  “How about that?”

Mr Lee:  “You have to be that.”

Q:  “So what makes you laugh?”

Mr Lee:  “Many things, the absurdity of it, many things in life.  Sometimes, I meet witty people, have conversations, they make sharp remarks, I laugh.

Q:  “And when you laugh at yourself as you said?”

Mr Lee:  “That’s very frequent.  Yeah, I’m reaching 87, trying to keep fit, presenting a vigorous figure and it’s an effort and is it worth the effort?  I laugh at myself trying to keep a bold front.  It’s become my habit.  I just carry on.”

Q:  “So it’s the whole broad picture of things that you find funny?”

Mr Lee: “Yes, life as a whole has many abnormalities, of course.”

Q:  “Your public life together with your private life, what you’ve done over things people write about you and Singapore, that overall is something that you can find funny?”

Mr Lee:  “Yes, of course.

Q:  “You made one of the few people who laugh at Singapore.”

Mr Lee:  “Let me give you a Chinese proverb “do not judge a man until you’ve closed his coffin.  Do not judge a man.”  Close the coffin, then decide.  Then you assess him.  I may still do something foolish before the lid is closed on me.”

Q:  “So you’re waiting for the final verdict?”

Mr Lee:  “No, the final verdict will not be in the obituaries.  The final verdict will be when the PhD students dig out the archives, read my old papers, assess what my enemies have said, sift the evidence and seek the truth?  I’m not saying that everything I did was right, but everything I did was for an honourable purpose. I had to do some nasty things, locking fellows up without trial.”

Q:  “For the greater good?

Mr Lee:  “Well, yes, because otherwise they are running around and causing havoc playing on Chinese language and culture, and accusing me of destroying Chinese education.  You’ve not been here when the Communists were running around. They do not believe in the democratic process.  They don’t believe in one man, one vote.  They believe in one bullet, one vote.  They had killer squads.  But they at the same time had a united front exploiting the democratic game. It gave them cover.  But my business, my job was to make sure that they did not succeed.  Sometimes you just got to lock the leaders up.  They are confusing the people.  The reality is that if you allow these people to work up animosity against the government because it’s keeping down the Chinese language, because we’ve promoted English, keeping down Chinese culture because you have allowed English literature, and we suppress our Chinese values and the Chinese language, the Chinese press, well, you will break up the society.  They harp on these things when they know they are not true.  They know that if you actually do in Chinese language and culture, the Chinese will riot and the society must break up.”

Q:  “So leadership is a constant battle?”

Mr Lee:  “In a multiracial situation like this, it is.  Malaysia took the different line; Malaysians saw it as a Malay country, all others are lodgers, “orang tumpangan”, and they the Bumiputras, sons of the soil, run the show. So the Sultans, the Chief Justice and judges, generals, police commissioner, the whole hierarchy is Malay. All the big contracts for Malays.  Malay is the language of the schools although it does not get them into modern knowledge.  So the Chinese build and find their own independent schools to teach Chinese, the Tamils create their own Tamil schools, which do not get them jobs. It’s a most unhappy situation.”

Mdm Yeong:  “I thought that was the last question.”

Q:  “This is the last part of the last question.  So your career has been a struggle to keep things going in the right way and you’ve also said that the best way to keep your health is to keep on working.  Are you tired of it by this point?  Do you feel like you want to rest?”

Mr Lee:  “No, I don’t.  I know if I rest I’ll slide downhill fast.  No, my whole being has been stimulated by the daily challenge.  If I suddenly drop it all, play golf, stroll around, watch the sunset, read novels, that’s downhill.  It is the daily challenge, social contacts, meeting people, people like you, you press me, I answer, when I don’t…. what have I got tomorrow?”

Mdm Yeong:  “You have two more events coming up. One is the Radin Mas Community.”

Mr Lee:  “Oh yeah. I got it.”

Mdm Yeong:  “And then you have other call, courtesy call on the 3rd.”

Mr Lee:  “We are social animals.  Without that interaction with people, you are isolated.  The worst punishment you can give a person is the isolation ward. You get hallucinations.  Four walls, no books, no nothing.  By way of example, Henry Kissinger wants to speak to me.  So I said okay, we’ll speak on Sunday. What about?  We are meeting in Sao Paolo at a J P Morgan International Advisory Board. He wants to talk to me to check certain facts on China. My mind is kept alive, I go to China once a year at least. I meet Chinese leaders.  So it’s a constant stimulus as I keep up to date.  Supposing I sit back, I don’t think about China, just watch videos.  I am off to Moscow, Kiev and Paris on the 15th of September.  Three days Moscow, three days Kiev, four days Paris.  Moscow I am involved in the Skolkovo Business School which President Medvedev, when he wasn’t President started.    I promised to go if he did not fix it in the winter.   So they fix it for September.  I look at the fires, I said wow this is no good.”

Q:  “It’s not going to be freezing if there are fires.”

Mr Lee: “No but our embassy says the skies have cleared.  Kiev because the President has invited me specially and will fly me from Moscow to Kiev and then fly me on to Paris.  Paris I am on the TOTAL Advisory Board together with Joe Nye and a few others.  They want a presentation on what are China’s strengths and weaknesses.  That keeps me alive.  It’s just not my impressionistic views of China but one that has to be backed by facts and figures. So my team works out the facts and figures, and I check to see if they tally with my impressions.  But it’s a constant stimulus to keep alive, and up-to-date. If I stop it, it’s downhill.”

Q:  “Well, I hope you continue.  Thank you very much, I really enjoyed this interview.”

  • mice is nice

    LKY meditates?!

    wah, our mighty fa…fa…the(r) of S’pore got problem staying focused on the mantra? must be not working for him.

    look left look right, both side of the shoulder is a devil with a pitchfork of course not serene!



    God is watching us from a distance,he really is.

    there are only two ways in life ultimately-the GOOD or the BAD.

    hope,we are all caught on the GOOD side of life’s ways.

  • Peter Sellers

    That is the irony of life.

    When we come to the end of it, we must all look at the score-card. And look in the mirror. If we don’t like what we see, there’s nothing we can do about it.

    The final score will not be known for years, perhaps decades down the road. The jury is out.

  • Lefleche

    Sometimes the feeling that you must always be going on and on with things to occupy your mind is a sign that you do not have inner peace. It is sad to hear that MM, with all his achievements seems to have no peace. I hope he finds the peace soon. Everyone should be able to lay his burden down at the end of the day and find inner peace. That could include coming to terms with what he has done, both the good and the bad, and seeking as well as dispensing forgiveness where there is a need.

  • John Moe

    [I’m not saying that everything I did was right, but everything I did was for an honourable purpose. I had to do some nasty things, locking fellows up without trial.”]

    Oh The old man acknowledges his past action [I’m not saying that everything I did was right]it read as what he did was ‘WRONG’.

  • ahkong

    From what I observe LKY neurotransmitters are firing at a fast rate only been checked by the schedules and exposure he has. If he were to be isolated he will die prematurely. He is suffering from Da Vinci syndrome a mental illness.

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  • ahkong

    LKY also need political juvenile like CSJ to play with so that he remains psychological healthy. Nevertheless it costs the taxpayers almost 3 millions dollar a year and many more personal sacrifices like JB Jeyaratnam etc to maintain him which only cost $200 per month to solve all his problem relating to Da Vinci syndrome.

  • Old Guy

    thanks for the complete transcript TOC

    MM Lee’s old grandfather story

    Like some kindhearted old soul !!

    Isn’t he?

  • Wiseman

    When MM Lee dies, we must keep his brain in a jar, put it in a lab and keep it alive…

    Just like Albert Einstein

    It’s such a pity if it should perish!

  • traveller

    How many of us (who live lives with just a small percentage of what the man has achieved) would spend two hours each day reading poems to an invalid wife who cannot respond? Because he had to make tough decision and took tough actions to ensure Singapore’s survival we have an impression of a man without feelings. But it is precisely that he is a person of such deep passion, devotion and conviction that he was able to take such actions. It is the same well. A short story writer like Catherine Lim will never underdstand that.
    Has he found peace? For himself, I think he has achieved a certain level of serenity. It’s the condition of his wife that has made him suffer; he feels her pain.
    In life, he taught us how to live. I think he has a lesson to teach us how to live when we are near our end. With vigor and honor.

  • mars


    “Paris I am on the TOTAL Advisory Board together with Joe Nye and a few others. They want a presentation on what are China’s strengths and weaknesses.

    So my team works out the facts and figures, and I check to see if they tally with my impressions.”

    I assume that my team refers to civil servants who does the work but MM collects the board of advisory fees.

  • YC Yong

    Great interview and insight on the live of an Extraordinary Stateman at his twilight year. Hope he will continue to shoulder on and may a “miraculous cure” comes his wife way.

  • Idol

    Many more good years MM. Thank God he has placed you in Singpore. A tiny 600 sq km then and resourceless island.
    Under Lim Yew Hock or David Marshall or in Malaysia under those Malay extremists there would never had been a Singapore of today. Period.
    Thank God for have given you 87 good and healthy years or enriching and fulfilled life to the envy of many.
    How many have lived such a wonderful life? How many?
    I know those ingrates who curse you will have the boomerang coming back at time soon. They will reap wat they sow. Maybe their lives will end sooner than they think. Below 50?

  • Amran

    Didn’t know there are so many stupid and clueless Singaporean out there. No wonder Old and and servants can still bluff their way again and again…. hmm…

  • Amran

    Btw, if he loves his wife so much, why is he still flying around?

  • ewan

    Now he really have got Malaysia’s UMNO upset.

  • oioi


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  • Michael Wong

    Singapore is so blessed to have LKY. I feel that the younger Singaporeans are not appreciative of him. If they had our Dr MM in Malaysia, then they will see the destruction of our country, a really fail state

  • Douchebag

    I have a big issue with the fact that he’s worried our next generation will undo the whole Singapore legacy, and that has precisely to do with his iron-fisted character. If he can “let go”, the younger generation will study history on their own terms and determine their own future. All the objective records are in National Archive already. We don’t have to wait until he dies than the PhD folks open up records.

    He damn well got a lot of baggage. I still remember that televised debate between him and a group of undergraduates. “If I’m not sitting here, would I still be debating with you?” his famous quote in the session. Haha, it was ridiculously funny. Totally unnecessary. Why the freaking hell is he still debating with young people?? Why can’t he assume a guardian/mentor role NOT for his own party but the young people at large, the way Morpheus might lead Neo?

    If he can let go at a much earlier time, allowing himself to fade from the political arena into the public arena and engage more with young people, perhaps people still might regard him as a wise, sagely grandfather. Perhaps the leftists would have come into the open and talk/write more about the 50s a lot earlier. Now we have a DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL culture where there’s nothing but silent regrets where no one f***ing dare says anything! (Go see Boo Jun Feng’s Sandcastle.)

    Lao Lee, don’t blame the young for being apathetic. Your iron-fisted attitude has everything to do with how we become your kuai-kuai followers from generation to generation. Hope I won’t see you at the next election. It’s for your and our own good.

  • Brendan

    Yes. He has done the best for S’pore. He needs a well deserved break. In order to achieve this, we need relieve him of his political duties as a statesman so he can spend more time with his family esp. his wife.

    THOSE who continue to vote for him is akin to taxing him heavily in work and is not going to do him or his family any justice.

    His issue is not knowing to go back home after work and on weekends to spend time with his loved ones. Let us, as his good boss help him. Shalom.

  • Sam Appalasami

    It is simply amazing to see how LKY’s mind works even at this advanced age. Singapore is trully blessed to have such a stateman. Hope his ideas and contributions will be remebered by the younger generation. How a great thinker like LKY could be an agnostic!
    Sam A

  • Oldfark

    You hve done your job. Thk u for yr service. Bye! Bye! loving memory !

  • buffalo bill

    P.HD’s not have the final verdict but a Holy God who will judge us.

  • http://- orang Singapura

    The ST disallows the public to air their views.
    Most letters end up in the bin.
    Maybe the government can do it themselves.
    Check out what China has done.
    From the BBC website…
    “Thousands of Chinese people have posted comments on an internet forum that promised to send their messages direct to the government.
    Four days after the site was launched by the state-run People’s Daily, more than 27,000 messages had been posted.”

  • orang Singapura

    Has anyone wondered WHY MM only gives TV interviews and his views to foreign correspondents?
    Simply because there is no one locally who has the guts to ask him a question..without shaking in their boots or peeing in their pants, first.
    Maybe too there is no one who can pose an intelligent enough question!!

  • missyeley

    i really like the comment that is written by traveller. :)

  • HoneyBee


    Well said. He has everything (inc. Pension + CPF ) to retire gracefully and spend the tranquill moments with his family (not many of us old have), so why can he bow out gracefully??? That’s all the people ask for, is that too much?

  • A true Malaysian

    Catholics do meditate? This is new to me.

  • Richard

    Yes, Catholics do meditate… And by the way, this whole thing started in KL, MALAYSIA where John Main, teacher of Laurence Freeman, was taught by an Indian guru.

    John Main was with the British Foreign Service at that time and the experience made him join the monastry to become a Catholic Monk. There, his superiors forbade him from meditating and he stopped for over 10 years as monks take a vow of obedience. But later, he read some old Christian texts and discovered that they used a form of prayer similar to repeating a mantra. And so he got started again.


    I know all this because I was also taught meditation by Ng Kok Song and Laurence Freeman. But I slacked…. hmmmm time to start again.

    This is the best thing I read coming from LKY in recent years / decades as most other things he said made me feel only disgust for the man. So perhaps there is light at the end of a rather long and dark tunnel after all.

    THREE CHEERS to Ng Kok Song :)

  • A true Malaysian

    Richard, thanks.

    For that matter, meditate should not be confined to a specific religions like what many perceive to be widely practised by Buddhist and Hindu, but it certainly needs close guidance by the so-called ‘guru’.

    I find it ‘weird’ for Catholics, Christian and for that matter Islam to always refer to their holy books to justify certain acts, which in this case, meditation.

    There are many truths out there. Why only confine to holy books? This is what I cannot understand. You mean to say that, anything not being written in these holy books are ‘unlicensed’ or ‘false’?

  • Nas

    Less than a year ago, in an interview with either Nat Geo or Charlie Rose, he was Buddhist with the rejoinder “We are more tolerant”. He was also saying that in the context of distancing himself and his government from Christian extremists, as if that will suddenly make the Christian extremists in his government vanish into thin air.

    At this interview, and for the sake of winning back his extremist Christian voter base, he now also practises a Christian form of meditation.

    This man is someone who someone who changes his religious status like we change our underwear.

  • spirit of saddam

    @ traveller,
    “in life he taught us how to live”…..
    Oh really ?

    the best examples will be his 2 sons and 1 daughter, don’t you agree?

    let’s see, the 1st son is PM and put there by your idol LKY. My observation tells me LKY did not groom him well, otherwise he will not be so spineless and useless.

    Next is the daughter, and I am sure she is no role model for women and is a lost cause in terms of procreation which LKY himself is worried about and also worried about her growing old by herself.
    You can confirm LKY’s concern by reading her contributions to ST forum.

    As for the 2nd son, I believe he is the only one that is normal i.e he has this common desire for different partners, but unfortunately he is not LKY’s ideal type of man.

    Perhaps you can elaborate what you mean when you said, he taught us how to live ?
    Other than how wonderful he treats his wife, I view LKY as a man who is arrogant, ego-centric, power crazy, no sense of shame, no sense of fairplay, vindictive and gifted with a forked tongue.
    Seriously, not my kind of inspiration on how to live.

  • thomasfoo

    Singapore’s success is attributed to this man, Lee Kuan Yew for his vision, his policy and his leadership. May the Lord grant him good health and long life. Will God please bless Mrs. Lee too. In God we trust.

  • RED-man

    I can’t help to wonder if all those PAUL LAN PAH (carry balls) comment actually come from one person. Kept saying Oldfart is good, but have nothing to support their praise.

    Get a life….. You know what, I think oldfart is starting to hear the maker knocking at his door and waiting to drag him into that eternal fire place. In short, he is losing it!

  • picknose

    i hate PAP liars.
    i have issues with these liars.
    they can all go to hell.

  • timehasCOMEforAZRAELtocollect

    A short story writer like Catherine Lim will never underdstand that.
    Has he found peace? For himself, I think he has achieved a certain level of serenity. It’s the condition of his wife that has made him suffer; he feels her pain………….

    ha ha ha..
    he feels her pain? so his wife sickness make him suffer? if your MOTHER is sick..your father won’t suffer mey? you don’t even know where to get medical care for your OWNED parents..let alone worrid for him?
    he is tryin a pleabargainin with GOD for he had absoluteLEE no control over GOD..
    in singapoor he control all…
    i wouldn’t feel any sympathies @ ALL for him and his famiLLEE

    HOW MANY FATHERS had he sent to the GALLOWs without a fair trial?

  • present loon

    I am right,he is a great man.Alas,no grace and wisdom in him as he has even admitted himself.

  • fargowin

    Malaysia has the misfortune of being ruled by Muslims, hence their intolerant attitude to you non-malays.

    It was the Chinese and Indian minorities that have begun to lift Malaysia out of third world poverty, and those malay bastards should be grateful to them for this but like I said before, that is too much to ask from a Muslim.

    Malaysia is a xenophobic country – the bitter truth is that malays are afraid of competition from other races – they are indeed lazy and want everything for free.

    If Malaysia is to divide into two countries with malays taking the east and the west to the Chinese and Indians – watch the malays starting to migrate to the west illegally for a better future.

    It is no wonder Singapore is a country which is 50 years ahead of Malaysia. Malays are fool racists indeed.

    The writer should know that most of non-malay community realised what the government have done to them is unforgiven.

    If we still depending on government we won’t be in top position in overseas, for example (60% in NASA is Indians), two-thirds of the community of practicing doctors in Singapore is Malaysian Chinese.

    We (non-malay community) have been proven our intelligence around the world but not in Malaysia. So what we have to do just emigrate or use Malaysia as an investment base.

    Actually we (non-malays) should know that government will never change their policies unless there is a ‘protest’, here we don’t do that – that is the problem, anything the government says we just simply raise the Barisan flag.

    It will be good idea if we emigrate, like one say in English, ‘Where is a will, there is a way.’

    But always remember the ‘will’ for non-malays is not in Malaysia.

  • cool man

    Who wants to stay home and serve here where meritocracy gives way to racial preference? I am a two-time graduate in University Malaya (masters and bachelors degree) and I used to hope that my children could enter a local university someday.

    But with sliding university ranking and invisible barriers to keep non-malay students away, I have changed my mind. If I have the opportunity and money avails itself, I will send my children to overseas universities and ask them to emigrate there. We can rot and die here, but not the children.

    This brain drain is not a problem to Umno at all. In fact, Umno is happy to see more and more of our talents leaving. Their power base will then be more secure.

    All this started with Dr Mahathir. He believed that a half competent malay was better than a fully competent non-malay to serve the nation. This is clearly reflected in the progressive exclusion of non-malays from teaching profession academia, public service and other areas in the public sector as well GLCs since the early 1980s.

    During Dr Mahathir’s ethnic cleansing of the Malaysia public service, thousands of qualified non-malays left the country for Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Such departure was view positively by Dr Mahathir – it meant that there were more positions available for malays. That short-term thinking has had dire consequences.

    During the regional economic boom of 1990s, Malaysia prospered. There was plenty of money. Incompetence and corruption did not matter – a failure could always be rectified through bailout; high costs (e.g. Proton) could always be neutralised through subsidies (for export) or higher prices (for local consumption).

    The scenario today is different. Competition is stiff. Newcomers such as Vietnam are breathing down our neck. Giants (India and China) have awakened and are marching unimpeded.

    Malaysia needs to exploit all its resources to meet the global challenge. Ignoring 40% of its most valuable resource (e.g. human capital – Indians, Chinese and East Malaysians) is no way to meet the challenge.

    Najib needs to put in place a policy for exploiting the most valuable resource Malaysia has – its people, including the Indians, Chinese and others. Otherwise, this resource will move away to the competitors of Malaysia.

    If deployed properly, the talents will be a source of competitive advantage. If not deployed appropriately, the talents will become a source of relative competitive disadvantage for Malaysia when they end up in other countries.

    Majority of the non-malays work in multinational companies. With the rate our government and GLCs pissing off these MNCs! These MNCs are moving out of Malaysia.

    Get real! Why majority of the non-malays don’t work inside GLCs? What do you think they would do when these MNCs are gone? Work in GLCs or emigrate outside Malaysia?

    Some of my friends are always skeptical of Singapore.

    Of course, Singapore intention is to protect their own interests (isn’t what a government is for) – talented people are very mobile nowadays. Singapore also encounters brain drain to the West (US, EU, Australia), so they need new talents to come in.

    They prefer Malaysians, as there are cultural ties – easy to adapt to the environment (multiracialism, language, weather, etc), like their Mr Everest climbers.

    But they also welcome white mans, Thais, Indians, and Hong Kong Chinese too etc. Just take a MRT ride or go to the housing estate – you see many foreigners (not the illegal immigrant type).

    We have our own national interests and should protect it, but we have more outflow of talent than inflow. Just see how we treat the economist who had a different method of calculating the bumi ratio of the economy – how to attract talent?

    Some of my Malaysian friends have been offered citizenship and a few have accepted……….so those talents not going back to Malaysia.

    Singapore is following US policy, US still attracted the best brains from all over the world regardless of color, check out the composition of employment in term of nationality in Silicon Valley and Nasa, you will know why it succeed, America is land of immigrants.

    Umno policy is that if Umno cannot have it no other Malaysian should have it. Umno prefers a Mat Salleh (because that is a temporary situation) to have it rather than any other non-Umno Malaysian to have it.

    I have been advising my relatives and friends for a long time since years ago – to encourage their children to apply for a Singapore scholarship to attend a university in Singapore even it that means she/he has to serve Singapore for 10 years.

    At least, that will provide him for the future. So what is 10 years! He is free to utilise his talent as he pleases after that 10 years. I have 3 nephews who got Singapore scholarships, then served the Singapore government and are now working and being successful in Hong Kong and America.

    They are heads of multinational companies. They will never be allowed to succeed in Malaysia because there is identification of race with jobs. All jobs even slightly connected with the Umno government must have malay employees. That is the new NEP.

    Dear Malaysians, I don’t understand why the brains should not leave this country. The malays are definitely feel threaten by these brains, so we rather let them leave the country.

    Malaysia pays peanuts and racially biased! That is why! Simple as that! Go to England, Australia and even the US hospitals and take a count of how many Malaysian born doctors are there, good doctors, man!

    I traveled the world over and have lived in UK, Australia and the US. I have talked and met to these doctors. They not being unpatriotic, it is the Malaysia that is not doing the right thing!

    I think Singapore should attack Malaysia and expand its territory to southern Johor. All the Indians and Chinese should migrate to southern Johor, and together with Singapore, forms a new Singapore.

    Ex-Malaysians in exiles like myself will support this feasible plan. I am sure millions of overseas and mainland Chinese and Indians are excited about my suggestion.

    When all the Muslim brothers from Uganda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nigeria, Indonesia etc etc, become bumis and enjoy the handout from NEP, there will be the day when the malays realize that they are being marginalize by its own Umno policy.

    You can start counting the increasing numbers of Mamak in politics!

    In Malaysia, we Malaysian Chinese just need to compete with fellow Malaysians only (where mostly lazy people). Easy to become rich – as we are governed by stupid and lazy people.

    We can easily own several houses, luxury condos, own a bungalow at good location, as own and drive luxury cars in Malaysia.

    In Singapore, not so easy, we have to compete with Singapore Chinese, Hong Kong Chinese, China Chinese and Taiwan Chinese. Not easy to become rich as Singapore government too smart.

    Malaysia will continue to lose its talents not only to Singapore, and other countries but the Umno malays don’t give a damn. Their thinking is so long as the malays benefit, the country can go to the pigs and dogs.

    They hold the entrenched view that it is better for Malaysia to be another Zimbabwe or Nepal if being in the ranks of Singapore and Japan means malays losing out to the others.

    Lim Keng Yaik said that Singapore was a small country, so it was easily to govern. In fact, it is not so. Because of its size, it lacks most of the factors of production that we learn in economics.

    Land is scarce, and its domestic market is small. However, it recognises that what it has is its labours. No wonder that it is wooing all the brains from Malaysia, since Malaysia does not appreciate them.

    Instead, Malaysia seems to be attracting the top criminals as shown by the sharp increase in crime rate. Malaysia with its oil, tin, rubber, oil palm etc, will forever not be able to beat a small country like Singapore because of its incompetent leaders and their cronies who are only interested in their own pockets.

    Before the NEP, UM was one of the top universities in the world. After the NEP, it has become trash because it rejects the best minds. The only pro of NEP is if you are in Umno or a friend of theirs.

    All the Singaporeans I have met were very nice to me and treat me like one of theirs. We are the same people and I am always in favour of reunification with Singapore.

  • oversee

    Najib can formulate any policy. On the ground level where the heads are not qualified themselves as their staff – many problems will arise.

    Further the NEP will somehow make good talents frustrated and will certainly be the main causes of frustrations. At best we can get the second rate staff to stay – the top ones will have no problem seeking better salaries and futures elsewhere without the glass ceiling overhanging their heads.

    Our national sense of belonging will be lost when day in and day out we feel the impact of marginalisation in almost every sphere of educational or economic activities.

    I think we are in even more for hubs of abandoned projects because it is the brains that matters, not real estate buildings which politicians are only good at how to initiate to build for their own gains. When coming to real research and real productive work, you only have lots of unemployable graduates lining up to fill them.

    Best of luck Malaysia, while Malaysians of the best calibre are in our neighbouring countries creating state of art products and discoveries.

    The people with brains first go to Singapore, then Australia, then the US. Apparently roughly 2 million Malaysians have emigrated since the 1970s. Wow, what a brain drain that is……….

    Let alone those whose have already left. How about those who came back earlier with their foreign wives! The immigration department has made their renewal of visa a living hell, and they are not allowed to work no matter how qualified they may be. Eventually these “loyal Malaysians” also end up packing their bags and leave.

    The politicians can say one thing but it never gets implemented at the ground level. Look at the mess surrounding Malaysia “My Second Home” campaign – how many have actually come here and then left in deep frustration!

    The racists in Umno will also make certain that such policies will be doomed to fail. They would rather give citizenship to unruly and uneducated illegal Indonesians than some non-malay PhD holders.

    Get your children out of this sucking country before it is too late! This is a hopeless and dirty country with all the lousy ministers and corrupted politicians.

    I am afraid there is nothing second class citizens like us can do.

    Emigrate to other countries looks to be a better option. Of course, the exodus has started decades ago. In fact, Umno will be most happy to see us go (race ratio, you know what I mean).

    Umno does not depend on the second class citizens for the brains. They have the many universities in Bolehland to train their kind and churn out any number of experts you want. So brain drain is not a problem.

  • Richard

    @ A True Malaysian…

    In this case, the justification for Christian meditation did not come from “official” Holy books such as the Bible or perhaps some official documents issued by the Pope or Vatican officials. They came from the writings of what are called “desert fathers” who were early Christian monks (living in the desert), I think around 3rd or 4th century.

    Anyway, agree with you regarding truths outside of holy books. Some of the Christian meditators I know have this concept of the “small bible” which is the book versus the “BIG BIBLE” which is the entire universe.

  • Richard

    @ Nas

    I don’t think Christian extremists will approve of meditation and will endear themselves to LKY or anyone else who meditates.

  • ten

    No catholic will do meditation or chanting of Mantra. They have blurred the religion by going beyond. The suggestion of Buddhisht and other mantra suggest that the catholic guy has stepped out of his catholic boundary to embrace other things.

    Ma Ran Na Ta is not a Christian or Catholic. These mantras are the ancient language where people use to communicate with god or higher beings. It could be Pali or Thai.

    People who do so much evil would not believe in religions or god or higher beings. Because once they start to believe, they see the penalties for doing evil.

    When he is ready to go, you would know if they are real. Like we say, there is no free lunch in this world.

  • Nas

    Richard, you are right but I don’t know if LKY knows the same.

  • Richard

    @ ten

    Maranatha is the not a Thai or Pali word. It is last word of the Christian Bible. It is in the Aramaic language, apparently the language used by Jesus, and it means “Come Lord”.

    It is true that not many Christians or Catholics will accept meditation and that many consider it “stepping outside the boundary”. However, there is growing acceptance and many Catholic churches in Singapore now have Christian meditation groups, with approval of the priests and the archbishop.

    The first such groups were started by Ng Kok Song (Peter Ng) in the late 1980s and I was introduced to Christian meditation, via an announcement during Sunday mass, at Church of Christ the King at AMK in 1989.

  • sad

    [I’m not saying that everything I did was right, but everything I did was for an honourable purpose. I had to do some nasty things, locking fellows up without trial.”] – sounds like Hitler.
    Reading Beyond the blue gate (Teo Soh Lung) was like reading The Diary of Anne Frank.

  • Raz Zaqz

    Michael Barr wrote this in 2006. Very interesting read about some Singapore policies from him.

    Subject: FEER – The Charade of Meritocracy

    The Charade Of Meritocracy
    October 2006

    By Michael D. Barr

    Mr. Barr is a lecturer at the University of Queensland and author of Lee Kuan Yew: The Beliefs Behind the Man (Routledge, 2000) and Cultural Politics and Asian Values: The Tepid War (Routledge, 2002).

  • A true Malaysian


    Perhaps Catholics and Christian should explore, “What if there is no God?”. (Buddhist believes in no creator God)

    Anyway, there shouldn’t be any seeking of ‘justification’ from any authority for human beings to do or not to do, so long as what we do or going to do do no harm to ourselves and other living beings.

  • Jackie

    Cool man,
    Wow ! its not that we do not know about
    communal politics in Malaysia but your
    post is a quite a read. Definitely speaking from your heart.

  • anonymous

    Raz Zaqz,

    The article you posted is COMPLETE propaganda.Read PAGE 10 of this link if you want to know what’s happening.

  • the Razzler

    Thanks for this great interview and insight on the live of an Extraordinary Statesman.

    His wisdom & outlook is always inspiring.

  • Just Let Me Go

    Just stop Please, Just let me go Alejandro, Just let me go

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  • Political SalesMaN

    “What a joke, LKY meditates? On whom , God or Satan? That Seth Mydan chap from NYT must be a fool to have missed out the most crucial question that the old fart and his cronies in the PAP completely avoid talking about!It is about “STOP AT TWO” policy that he implemented and the universe of problems it has caused incumbent Singaporeans (This policy has murder million of “Innocent & Defendless Fetus” they are our Brother & Sister)It chopped off a generation of our folks who would have produce multitudes to avoid the ugliness of bringing in alien breadcrumbs that we see more and more around us these days. At that times he claimed that 2 million was an ideal population for Singapore. Now he says 6.5 million is the best. Where is the formula? It is written in Gods’s Diary, how long a man still live. One can ‘meditate’ swim, jog.roam the world, have the best food,best pay and best scientific treatments to prolong life and claim personal indispensability, But the Law of Diminishing Returns has already set onto a seat that has long turned barsi, What remains is Karma to claim victory. And, When it comes, all hell breaks loose!”

  • lobo76

    wow… i didn’t know Mrs Lee was in such bad shape.

    Frankly, if I were him (with the physical discomforts) and Mrs Lee as she is, I would fly her and ‘myself’ to Switzerland (after donating all my assets to some charity), and … well, do something which Switzerland is uniquely famous for. Especially since there is no religious chains tying me down.

    I hope I don’t get any ISD calls for posting this…

  • Traveller

    The reason why LKY would not do as you suggest is because he is not the type of person you are.
    As for the person who posted about civil servants and his fees, I hope he knows that LKY donates all fees he collects to charity. I am not sure if he get fees for being on this particular advisory board though.
    All these unsavoury postings just shows how ignorant and many Singaporeans are about the sacrifices of a generation of leaders without whom we would be struggling to make a living instaed of the luxury of making postings.

  • PeterC


    I empathized with you and I welcome you and you family to our little Red Dot where meritocracy counts.

    Leave the frustrations and Mahathir behind and help our nation to float above the water margin at all time.

    We may yet see a re-merger on terms more favorable in the not too distant future when Malaysians come to their senses.

  • Raz Zaqz

    Was my post deleted earlier?

    The Charade Of Meritocracy
    October 2006

    By Michael D. Barr

    The legitimacy of the Singaporean government is predicated on the idea of a meritocratic technocracy. A tiny number of career civil servants play a leading role in setting policy within their ministries and other government-linked bureaucracies, leading both an elite corps of senior bureaucrats, and a much larger group of ordinary civil servants. Virtually all of the elite members of this hierarchy are �scholars,� which in Singapore parlance means they won competitive, bonded government scholarships�the established route into the country�s elite.

    Scholars not only lead the Administrative Service, but also the military�s officer corps, as well as the executive ranks of statutory boards and government-linked companies (GLCs). Movement between these four groups is fluid, with even the military officers routinely doing stints in the civilian civil service. Together with their political masters, most of whom are also scholars, they make up the software for the entity commonly known as �Singapore Inc.��a labyrinth of GLCs, statutory boards and ministries that own or manage around 60% of Singapore�s economy.

    The basis of the scholars� mandate to govern is not merely their performance on the job, but also the integrity of the process that selected them. The educational system is designed to cultivate competition, requiring top students to prove themselves every step of the way. Singapore�s schools first stream students into elite classes after Primary 3 and 4. They then compete for entry into special secondary schools and junior colleges, before vying for government and government-linked scholarships to attend the most prestigious universities around the world.

    These scholarships typically require several years of government service after graduation, and the scholars are drafted into the Administrative Service, the officer corps of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), or the career track of a statutory board or GLC. The government insists that all Singaporeans have equal opportunities to excel in the system, and that everyone who has made it to the top did so purely by academic talent and hard work. Other factors such as gender, socioeconomic background and race supposedly play no more than a marginal role, if they are acknowledged as factors at all.

    On the point of race, the Singapore government has long prided itself on having instituted a system of multiracialism that fosters cultural diversity under an umbrella of national unity. This is explicitly supposed to protect the 23% of the population who belong to minority races (mainly ethnic Malays and Indians) from discrimination by the Chinese majority.

    But this system conceals several unacknowledged agendas. In our forthcoming book, Constructing Singapore: Elitism, Ethnicity and the Nation-Building Project, Zlatko Skrbi� and I present evidence that the playing field is hardly level. In fact, Singapore�s system of promotion disguises and even facilitates tremendous biases against women, the poor and non-Chinese. Singapore�s administrative and its political elites�especially the younger ones who have come through school in the last 20 or so years�are not the cream of Singapore�s talent as they claim, but are merely a dominant social class, resting on systemic biases to perpetuate regime regeneration based on gender, class and race.

    At the peak of the system is the network of prestigious government scholarships. Since independence in 1965, the technique of using government scholarships to recruit cohorts of scholars into the administrative and ruling elite has moved from the periphery of Singaporean society to center stage. Even before independence, a makeshift system of government and Colombo Plan scholarships sent a few outstanding scholars overseas before putting them into government service, including most notably former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. Yet as late as 1975 this system had contributed only two out of 14 members of Singapore�s cabinet. Even by 1985, only four out of 12 cabinet ministers were former government scholars.

    By 1994, however, the situation had changed beyond recognition, with eight out of 14 cabinet ministers being ex-scholars, including Prime Minister Goh. By 2005 there were 12 ex-scholars in a Cabinet of 19. Of these, five had been SAF scholars, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. A perusal of the upper echelons of the ruling elite taken more broadly tells a similar story. In 1994, 12 of the 17 permanent secretaries were scholars, as were 137 of the 210 in the administrative-officer class of the Administrative Service.

    The government scholarship system claims to act as a meritocratic sieve�the just reward for young adults with talent and academic dedication. If there is a racial or other bias in the outcomes, then this can only be the result of the uneven distribution of talent and academic application in the community. As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong put it when he spoke on national television in May 2005, �We are a multiracial society. We must have tolerance, harmony. � And you must have meritocracy � so everybody feels it is fair�.� His father, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, was making the same point when, in 1989, he told Singapore�s Malay community that they �must learn to compete with everyone else� in the education system.

    Yet if Singapore�s meritocracy is truly a level playing field, as the Lees assert, then the Chinese must be much smarter and harder working than the minority Indians and Malays. Consider the distribution of the top jobs in various arms of the Singapore government service in the 1990s (based on research conducted by Ross Worthington in the early 2000s):

    • Of the top 30 GLCs only two (6.7%) were chaired by non-Chinese in 1991 (and neither of the non-Chinese was a Malay).

    � Of the 38 people who were represented on the most GLC boards in 1998, only two (5.3%) were non-Chinese (and neither of the non-Chinese was a Malay).

    � Of the 78 �core people� on statutory boards and GLCs in 1998, seven (9%) were non-Chinese (and one of the non-Chinese was a Malay).

    A similar outcome is revealed in the pattern of government scholarships awarded after matriculation from school. Of the 200 winners of Singapore�s most prestigious scholarship, the President�s Scholarship, from 1966-2005 only 14 (6.4%) were not Chinese. But this was not a consistent proportion throughout the period. If we take 1980 as the divider, we find that there were 10 non-Chinese President�s Scholars out of 114 from 1966-80, or 8%, but in the period from 1981-2005 this figure had dropped to four out of 106, or 3.8%. Since independence, the President�s Scholarship has been awarded to only one Malay, in 1968. There has been only one non-Chinese President�s Scholar in the 18 years from 1987 to 2005 (a boy called Mikail Kalimuddin) and he is actually half Chinese, studied in Chinese schools (Chinese High School and Hwa Chong Junior College), and took the Higher Chinese course as his mother tongue. If we broaden our focus to encompass broader constructions of ethnicity, we find that since independence, the President�s Scholarship has been won by only two Muslims (1968 and 2005).

    If we consider Singapore�s second-ranked scholarship�the Ministry of Defence�s Singapore Armed Forces Overseas Scholarship (SAFOS)�we find a comparable pattern. The Ministry of Defence did not respond to my request for a list of recipients of SAF scholarships, but using newspaper accounts and information provided by the Ministry of Defence Scholarship Centre and Public Service Commission Scholarship Centre Web sites, I was able to identify 140 (56%) of the 250 SAFOS winners up to 2005.

    Although only indicative, this table clearly suggests the Chinese dominance in SAFOS stakes: 98% of SAFOS winners in this sample were Chinese, and about 2% were non-Chinese (counting Mikail Kalimuddin in 2005 as non-Chinese). Furthermore I found not a single Malay recipient and only one Muslim winner (Mikail Kalimuddin). A similar picture emerges in the lower status Singapore Armed Forces Merit Scholarship winners: 71 (25.6%) of 277 (as of late 2005) scholars identified, with 69 (97%) Chinese winners to only two non-Chinese�though there was a Malay recipient in 2004, and one reliable scholar maintains that there have been others.

    The position of the non-Chinese in the educational stakes has clearly deteriorated since the beginning of the 1980s. According to the logic of meritocracy, that means the Chinese have been getting smarter, at least compared to the non-Chinese.

    Yet the selection of scholars does not depend purely on objective results like exam scores. In the internal processes of awarding scholarships after matriculation results are released, there are plenty of opportunities to exercise subtle forms of discrimination. Extracurricular activities (as recorded in one�s school record), �character� and performance in an interview are also considered. This makes the selection process much more subjective than one would expect in a system that claims to be a meritocracy, and it creates ample opportunity for racial and other prejudices to operate with relative freedom.

    Is there evidence that such biases operate at this level? Unsurprisingly, the answer to this question is �yes.� Take for instance a 2004 promotional supplement in the country�s main newspaper used to recruit applicants for scholarships. The advertorial articles accompanying the paid advertisements featured only one non-Chinese scholar (a Malay on a lowly �local� scholarship) amongst 28 Chinese on prestigious overseas scholarships. Even more disturbing for what they reveal about the prejudices of those offering the scholarships were the paid advertisements placed by government ministries, statutory boards and GLCs. Of the 30 scholars who were both prominent and can be racially identified by their photographs or their names without any doubt as to accuracy, every one of them was Chinese. This leaves not a shadow of a doubt that those people granting government and government-linked scholarships presume that the vast majority of high-level winners will be Chinese.

    The absence of Malays from the SAFOS scholarships and their near-absence from the SAF Merit Scholarships deserves special mention because this is an extension of discrimination against the admission of Malays into senior and sensitive positions in the SAF that is officially sanctioned. The discrimination against Malays has been discussed in parliament and the media, and is justified by the assertion that the loyalty of Malays cannot be assumed, both because they are Muslim and because they have a racial and ethnic affinity with the Malays in Malaysia and Indonesia. Current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has historically been a vocal defender of this policy.

    This discrimination hits Malay men hard, first because it deprives many of promising careers in the army, and second�and more pertinent for our study of the elite�it all but completely excludes potentially high-flying Malays of a chance of entering the scholar class through the SAF. A Chinese woman has a much better chance of winning an SAF scholarship than a Malay man.

    Yet even before the scholarship stage, the education system has stacked the deck in favor of Chinese, starting in preschool. Here is the heart of Singapore�s systemic discrimination against non-Chinese. Since the end of the 1970s, the principles of �meritocracy� and �multiracialism� have been subverted by a form of government-driven Chinese chauvinism that has marginalized the minorities. It was not known to the public at the time, but as early as 1978, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew had begun referring to Singapore as a �Confucian society� in his dealings with foreign dignitaries. This proved to be the beginning of a shift from his record as a defender of a communally neutral form of multiracialism toward a policy of actively promoting a Chinese-dominated Singapore.

    The early outward signs of the Sinicization program were the privileging of Chinese education, Chinese language and selectively chosen �Chinese values� in an overt and successful effort to create a Mandarin- and English-speaking elite who would dominate public life. Two of the most important planks of this campaign were decided in 1979: the annual �Speak Mandarin Campaign� and the decision to preserve and foster a collection of elite Chinese-medium schools, known as Special Assistance Plan (SAP) schools.

    The SAP schools are explicitly designed to have a Chinese ambience, right down to Chinese gardens, windows shaped like plum blossoms, Chinese orchestra and drama, and exchange programs with mainland China and Taiwan. Over the years the children in SAP schools have been given multiple advantages over those in ordinary schools, including exclusive preschool programs and special consideration for preuniversity scholarships.

    For instance, in the early 1980s, when there was a serious shortage of graduate English teachers in schools, the Ministry of Education ensured there were enough allocated to SAP schools �to help improve standards of English among the Chinese-medium students, in the hope that they will be able to make it to university��a target brought closer by the granting of two O-level bonus points exclusively to SAP school students when they applied to enter junior college. By contrast, neither Indians nor Malays received any special help, let alone schools of their own to address their special needs. They were not only left to fend for themselves, but were sometimes subjected to wanton neglect: inadequately trained teachers, substandard facilities and resources and the �knowledge� that they are not as good as the Chinese.

    This account of discrimination against non-Chinese might lead the reader to assume that the quarter of Singaporeans who are not Chinese must form a festering and perhaps even revolutionary mass of resentment. Such an assumption would, however, be a long way from the mark. Non-Chinese might be largely excluded from the highest levels of the administrative elite, but just below these rarefied heights there plenty of positions open to intelligent and hardworking non-Chinese�certainly enough to ensure that non-Chinese communities have much to gain by enthusiastically buying into the system, even after the glass ceilings and racial barriers are taken into account. There are many grievances and resentments in these levels of society but the grievances are muted and balanced by an appreciation of the relative comforts and prosperity they enjoy. For most, any tendency to complain is subdued also by knowledge that it could be worse, and the widespread assumption among members of minority communities that it will be if they seriously pursue their grievances. As long as the Singapore system continues to deal such people a satisfactory hand, if not a fair one, it should be able to cope with some quiet rumblings in the ranks.

    While this discrimination is not sparking a reaction that threatens the regime in the short term, the resulting injustices are certainly undermining the myth that the regime operates on meritocratic principles. This is worrying in the longer term because this myth, along with the capacity to deliver peace and prosperity, is one of the primary rationales by which Singaporeans reluctantly accept the many unpopular aspects of the regime, such as the lack of freedom and democracy, the intrusion of government into most aspects of private life, the pressure-cooker lifestyle and the high cost of living.

    The rhetoric of meritocracy has given Singaporeans the consolation of believing that their ruling elite are the best of the best and can therefore be trusted almost blindly on important matters, even if they are highhanded and lack the common touch. As this illusion gradually falls away�and today it is already heavily undermined�the trust that Singaporeans have for their government is becoming increasingly qualified. It remains to be seen how long the regime can avert the logical consequences of the contradictions between the myth and the reality.

    Mr. Barr is a lecturer at the University of Queensland and author of Lee Kuan Yew: The Beliefs Behind the Man (Routledge, 2000) and Cultural Politics and Asian Values: The Tepid War (Routledge, 2002).

  • Raz Zaqz

    Oops missed out the link in the earlier post.

  • Raz Zaqz

    Oops again … I thought my earlier post was missing and I had re-posted. Sorry for the multiple postings.

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  • Alan Wong

    Maybe it is old age.

    Maybe it is a form of having to pay the price for the things that he has done.

    Trying to embrace religion only at the end-journey of one’s life shows that there is this fear. The fear of having to account for one’s wicked and evil deeds when the final day approaches.

  • lobo76


    Well, it is technically not a suggestion. I was just saying it is what I would do. =)

    From the interview, he seems to be living … to keep living. There doesn’t seem to be a goal anymore. All his activities seemed orientated to just keep alive.

  • lobo76


    because it is too long? Why don’t you just post a link instead?

  • i can cook better

    Seth Mydans is too lame with his interview. yawn..zzzzz..yawn
    The questions that beg to be ask of LKY should be:
    a) Why are’nt you pursuing the IBA for implying your judiciary is compliant?

    b) What is this X factor that you have that makes you relevant to the PAP while your peers Goh KS, Toh CC, S Rajaratnam, E W Barker, etc, had to retire more than 20 years earlier ?

    c) Can you elaborate on the nature of your work, especially the activities involved when you were serving the Japanese Imperial Army during occupation of Singapore ? And were you in contact with Nathan at that point in time?

    d) You have publicly declared many times you donated money to charity. Can you put a figure on the amount for the benefit of citizens who are inspired ?

    e) Is it really true, it will take 50 man-years to account for Singapore’s reserves ? We’re talking 2010 accounting system and sophisticated computers here, Mr Lee and not 1960s or 70s period.

    f) Till this day, am I right to say none of your ministers are required to declare their net worth ? Perhaps you can set an example by doing so. How about it Mr Lee ? Transparency for the citizens. Give or take to the nearest 10$Million will suffice…and of course that should include Mrs Lee’s wealth too. :)

  • Chinese in Malaysia

    Great man but narrow minded. Who is he to think that Malaysia should go alone with his will. Singapore is an accidental success story should you wish to put it. Right timing, right place with right ex colonial govt backing it up. Remember Christmas Island? Who said it was belonged to Singapore? Later, the island was exchanged with Australia for a military training base. He could be regarded as a clever person than usual people of Singapore at that time. What made him the leader of the island was because his parents gave him an opportunity to study English. The time was an English world. After all just lucky to be there. Putting himself in other countries may lead to chaos with such atitude showing no mercy or disrespectful.

  • limth

    There a quite a number of Singaporeans who complains that LKY is building a dynasty by pushing his son to be the PM. Well, at least he has pushed a son that has merits. Not that others are not qualified but can you imagine someone who have little merits being propped up like what is happenning in quite a few neighbouring countries. Do learn to be thankful for goodness if not greatness. I may not be a Singaporean but I believe LKY has done well all in all for Singapore even if Utopia it is not.

  • ikickedTRAVELLERluggage

    Traveller 14 September 2010

    As for the person who posted about civil servants and his fees, I hope he knows that LKY donates all fees he collects to charity. I am not sure if he get fees for being on this particular advisory board though.
    please lark..don’t act so STUPID and innocent ere…
    every $$$$$ he donated to charities is not HIS money..he made YOU the SUEyee pay and its YOUR blood/sweat/tear $$$$$ that endup in charities under leekingyou ^HONOUR^…
    1st to ungkat..get YOUR fact$ right!!!

  • traveller

    I am one of those who’s happy to pay his taxes because this government does not squander the reserves it has built and the taxes it has collected.As far as I know my luggage is still with me.

    On his religious beliefs, he has always stated that he is an agnostic. He has spoken of doing his duties as a filal son, so he follows what many Chinese in Singapore does- the customs of a mixed Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. It’s an act of obedience rather than an act of faith. As for Christain meditation, he is not a Christian doing meditation. He does meditation to release stress not because of religious beliefs. He just found the mantra suitable for him.If he finally accepts Christianity as a result, great but that’s his choice. As a person who does Christian meditation (not well and too irregular)I hope that more people will try this out. Check this out

  • RED-man

    Quote from Limth:
    “Well, at least he has pushed a son that has merits”.

    What merits? Sentosa cable car incident that earned him the “General” title? According to one of the commando officer that served during his time. The SAF had already prepared to stage a rescue but have for him the “BIG SHOT” to spend two hours reading the rescue plan before given the GREEN light to GO. And those poor guys stuck in the cable two hours for nothing.

    So your logic is, if there is 10 idiots in the room. Get the smartest idiot also can. Idiot will always stay idiot!

  • ikickedTRAVELLERluggage

    traveller 14 September 2010
    I am one of those who’s happy to pay his taxes because this government does not squander the reserves it has built and the taxes it has collected
    and temasick inc spent a total of SEVENTEEN BILLIONS dollars ++ in OTHER expenses under petty ca$h payout without explanation..would you cared to explain? why your louis vuitton padlock is valued @ $16,500 perhaps?

  • i can cook better

    @ Limth,
    The correct statement should be Singapore has not done too badly inspite of LKY.

    I wish to reaffrim RED-man is spot on with LHL. It makes me question your ability to gauge a person’s talent. We are talking about leadership as PM of a country and not some boyscout organization.

  • Humble

    Hello Raz Zaqz (14 September 2010 )

    Singapore is but only a microcosm.
    The so-called Malays are all in Malaysia and Indonesia (though they find it hard to get along).
    Michael D Barr shd be supplied with the facts.
    Surely, there is no discrimination in the Olympics. So how many gold medals did M & I win with a combined population of more than 250 million Malays?
    Check this out and see if any of the TOP universities (predominantly Malays) in M &I made it into the list below -
    QS World University Rankings Results 2010 @

    Many more example . . . but stay objective.

  • RED-man

    Adding on to LHL. Kept wearing RED after some “PAUL LAN PAH” said it looks friendly on him. I think it is better to pay Obama than to pay this SOTONG.

  • Chinese in Malaysia

    I don’t care what happen in the pass (for Malaysia or Singapore). But I regret living in Malaysia right now or near future. The successful of Singapore is not coincident.
    Majority Malay in Singapore proud of being Singaporean (to prove this, just go and ask them where they prefer to live?). Majority Chinese in Malaysia shame to be the second class of Malaysia.

  • Ng Ai Lin

    I am proud to have lived long enough to have witnessed the transformation of a city of slums into a sparkling jewel of South East Asia. But sadly, I watched with envy from across the Causeway.
    Singaporeans, I know that you are proud – but be consciously grateful that you had a great leader in LKY – a strict, disciplined and decent ‘father’ that made it all possible! Singapore is a modern, efficient, progressive, properous, well-respected, much-admired, well-known, beautiful country where things work!! What more can any citizen ask for?

  • politicking by LKY

    “So I said Okay, I am not a Catholic but I will try. He said you can take any other mantra, Buddhist Om Mi Tuo Fo, and keep repeating it. To me Ma Ran Na Ta is more soothing. So I used Ma Ra Na Ta. You must be disciplined. I find it helps me go to sleep after that. A certain tranquility settles over you. “

    LKY is the master of the art of politicking.

    Once in an election he labeled Tang Liang Hong as an ‘anti-Christian’ to gain the Christian votes.

    Now he says that he prefers the Christian chant over the Buddhist Om Mi Tuo Fo. This interview has send some simplistic Christians into cloud nine.

    Politicians will say and do whatever it takes to get your votes.

    The reason is obvious. Election is round the corner. Many young people (couples) are very critical of the PAP’s ‘foreign talent’ policies and a large percentage are Christians, so LKY would play the Christian card to get their votes.

  • RED-man

    Ng Ai Lin,

    You sound like LKY alone had made Singapore what it is today. I think you need to check if you need to wear glasses or maybe across Malaysia is too far for you to see thing clearly.

    Then again, you might be one of the shoe polisher for the famiLEEs. Why not give up your citizenship and come to Singapore. I believe the famiLEEs will embrace you like the rest of the foreigners.

    So, tell us. What are the LKY policy that you are most impressed with? Two is enough? So that we are under populated and people like you can come in. I guess as much.

  • RED-man

    Ng Ai Lin

    One last question. If you are LKY and know that you will turn Singapore to what you call the most impressive city or country in the region.

    Million dollar question: will you propose merger with Malaysia. And even cry when kana kicked out. The rear is for us to sit, while the head is for us to think. Use it more often, will you?

  • surprise

    i found it quite funny he goes all the way to NEW YORK to discuss singapore poltics and his concern his wife HE COULD just tell that in singapore AND WHY must be it this year and not after election still puzzle

  • paul

    I read with interest the contribution of Mr Barr. He is still welcome in Singapore?

  • RED-man

    The answer is very straight forward /surprise/. Because in Singapore, not much people believe in his crap. The foreigners like him very much, after all, his daughter in law like to go around to do charity at the expense of Singaporean.

  • ng Ai Lin

    Did I say that I’m proud “that I have lived long enough to have witnessed…”?
    Mmmmmmmm…. that speaks for itself!! Have definitely taken a ‘lot of rice & salt’ (Chinese meaning) in my lifetime to know what I’m talking about. LKY, I salute you and the WORLD respects you!

  • Loke Kok Chin

    Dear Young Singaporeans,

    After reading all your young people’s comments,I can only say that you take things for granted for what you have and enjoy a high standard of living in Singapore.Go to Vietnam, Loas & Cambodia to see for yourself how the poor people live and their health care.Singapore to-day is not the efforts of your generation, but the previous generation.Proof yourself to bring Singapore to a higher level over next 20 years. It is very easy of you to sit in front of a TV or computers to make critical views.I had told my many Singapore friends.You are a luck generation.You do not suffer race discrimination as many Malaysian Chinese and Indian do. You have a equal field level to complete and you deserve the success.Proof yourself over next 20 years for Singapore and not merely make critical comments for the sake of a person who did for Singapore since 1965.

  • RED-man

    Dear old loke

    Don’t 倚老卖老. You be surprise there are alot of old chap here. By the way, if PAP want to claim to be the first world. Compare Singapore to the first world. Stop repeat yourself like a parrot or a broken record of the PAP.

    Dear Ng Ai Lin

    Go fly kite if you cannot answer the million dollar question. I am sure you can live long enough to see LKY meet his maker. If you can’t, you don’t have to wait very long to salute him personally and share the same BBQ pit with him. Ya…

  • Richard

    Why do some people ASSUME that those who do not praise LKY to high heaven must be “young”? I take that as a compliment then, I have lost my respect for LKY and am only 55 years YOUNG :)

  • RED-man

    So old Loke.

    Can we know what have you prove? And what contribution have you made to Singapore? Voted for PAP I guess. Then again, if you are a Singaporean is still a very big question.

    Let’s not speak too early, the history will judge the famiLEEs. The most, he will be remembered as the gold digger. Power hungry and control freak.

  • RED-man

    I see more Malaysian turned ministers in the PAP. Wild guess would be, it is harder now to find Singaporean who are willing to gang up with the famiLEEs to dry the Singaporean. The rest of the Singaporean PAP ministers are just low IQ people that can even be a good public liar.

    In another words, idiots who expect people to believe in their crap.

  • RED-man


    Can’t even be a good public liar.

    I think our clown ministers from PAP need to go take some upgrading course themselves. USA might be a good place to start with for course in lie like George Brush junior.

  • Envy S’pore

    LKY certainly can’t please every S’porean like a mother who can’t give equal& fair treatment to all her children. I can understand some S’poreans’ furore with his policies for instance, the one that causes influx of aliens into S’pore but if you guys were to compare yourselves and the M’sian Chinese & Indians, you’ll realise just how fortunate you are. Can you imagine yourselves being ruled by a government that consists of a whole bunch of racists, who constantly reiterate their race’s supremacy& remind you of their special privileges? Can you accept the fact that your neighbour’s kids of the supreme race with mediocre results secured a scholarship to pursue their education overseas but your kids failed to get scholarship despite scoring straight A’s in the public examinations? Can you work with colleagues who tell you that you are ‘pendatang’ despite yourselves being the 3/4th generation born here? Pls spare a thought for LKY & be grateful…(P.S. Sorry, I don’t have intention to come in. It’s too crowded but I’ll definitely go somewhere else)

  • Rufus

    Envy S’pore 14 September 2010

    ” . . you that you are ‘pendatang’ despite yourselves being the 3/4th generation born here?”

    You’re darn right. I was a Malaysian. Alas a Chinese.

    When the Malaysian Malays are themselves Muslim immigrants (the Red Indians are the Orang Asli whom they themselves refer to as bumiputera tulen[original]) from Indonesia, South Asia and the Middle East.
    The race “Malay” is a constitutional classification not a primodial one.

    Well, the country is sinking fast come 2019. One Malaysian Malay economist himself (ostracised later) predicted that if Malaysian Malays were to continue and sit and collect rent, Malaysia will go bankrupt come 2019.

  • Goondu

    Chinese in Malaysia 14 September 2010 -

    “Remember Christmas Island? Who said it was belonged to Singapore? Later, the island was exchanged with Australia for a military training base.’

    Hello! Get your facts right.
    That guy was Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock. People like him if allowed to continue would have sunk Singapore a long time ago.

  • i can cook better

    @ Envy S’pore,
    Glad you are aware Spore is too crowded.
    I urge you go to a place like N Korea or Zimbabwe and you will surely learn to appreciate Malaysia and the Malays.

    From your comments including that of Ng Ai Lin and old Loke, you buggers obviously do not read widely nor can think critically.

    It is LKY that needs to spare a thought for ordinary S’poreans and be grateful to all their blood, sweat and tears building Spore and not the other way around in your statement.

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  • mice is nice

    Envy S’pore, 14 September 2010

    from your perspective, looking at S’pore you see it as a better place. but from the S’poreans perspective? there is always a patch of grass greener somewhere else.

    if S’poreans are to be contented with life as is (back in 1960′s?), it wouldn’t be in its envious position now.

    to pepole in countries like North Korea & Iraq, Malaysia too would be held in high regard. but would that comfort you?

  • Political SalesMaN

    Dear Ng Ai lin; U should call on LKY and this cronies to salary themself to third world country.Instead of taking $3m pay. So his prove that he has scarify for the people.we will salute him.I’m sure U’re enjoying the exchange rate drawing in Singapore.Your sentence shown hope LKY will citizen U.POr Lan Par

  • Political SalesMaN

    Dear Goondu-seem U know so much about Christmas Island, Can U tell us more about Sabah & Sarawak. This two big piece of land given to Singapore by the British. LKY try to outsmart Tengku Abdul Rahman, later was being swindler off. Tengku give him a RED Card, come back start crying in the media to bluff Singaporean. till today LKY dare not set foot on these two plain.The Dayak will spear him into pieces.The National Theater was our heritage, has been tear down. It the place where representative from Sabah-Sarawak-Brunei had a meeting. One for all & all for one. where ever LKY saw this building he has a nightmare.Understand Goondu.

  • RED-man

    Dear Envy S’pore:

    Here is my million dollar question to you. If like what you say, Malaysia Chinese and Indian are treated unfairly. I wonder why all my Malaysia friends and co-worker simply refuse to go beyond PR holder to become a Singapore Citizen.

    But I am not angry with them at all, as I can fully understand where they are coming from. To be fair, Malaysian Chinese had contributed much to early Singapore construction industry. But a lot of them had went back to their country ever since here has become too expensive to stay in. Those that are still here, they either of higher position or travel in and out of JB on daily basis.

  • popcorn

    Peter Ng is the CEO of GIC, and MM is his direct superior, all investment decisions have to be vetted by the latter.
    Peter started the meditation movement in Singapore, so not surprising MM picks up meditation from him. Both men need to meditate, else they would go mad, the investment game is detrimental to the mind and body, especially during recent times, when GIC lost so much of our money. May God guide them to make the right decisions, to stem the red ink from going more redder. Hope meditations would help our MM from doing further foolish things as he gets more elderly, as he himself acknowleged.

  • Daisy Ng

    I pray that uncle LKY will read the bible to aunt LKY. Abraham Lincoln said that the greatest gift man received from God is the bible. We came to this world with nothing but we can receive God’s love through Lord Jesus and when we left this world we bring along Lord Jesus eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son Lord Jesus whosoever believeth in Him should have eternal life.(John 3v16)

  • mice is nice

    does LKY believe in God?

    “I am an agnostic…”

    ” The Muslims say that there are seventy houris, beautiful women up there. But nobody has come back to confirm this.”

    agnostic as defined by Marriam-Webster

  • Singaporean

    Hello Mr Lee, you trust nobody except for your son and daughter in law whom you have put them on top of every Singaporean to take care from every street to our bedrooms. Maybe you were right in many ways but you may have forgatten this should only be restricted to Singapore. The countries you critised have actually contributed to Singapore’s economy and if not for their inefficiencies, the world would not be able to see the success story of this country. Wake up! The world is changing fast and you are well behind in many ways. Still thinking English is most inportant language even other Eonglish speaking countries do not talk about it. You have prostituted Singapore to achive today’s success by serving passengers in the air with pretty young ladies and lifting heavy stuffs at the sea shore. LKY needs to remember how badly he has talked about Communism. Sometimes we heard about LKY talks about how good is Communist party in China has managed their econonmy. Confusing???

  • Daisy Ng

    Most of us want to pray to a God.Pls pray to a true living God. The God who made the world and everything in it is the LORD of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. As some of your own poets have said, we are his offspring. Therefore since we are God’s children, we should obey him and not pray to image made by man’s pattern and skill.For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.(Acts 17v23-31)and book of REVELATION

  • mice is nice

    why is this topic steering towards religious talk?

    too religious, cannot concentrate & stay on topic? can’t be helped ah… moderation is key to a healthy mind, being too religious isn’t healthy. remember the AWARE Saga there was a self-proclaimed FM Thio? hmmm, this self-proclaimed MM also sama-sama. lolz…

    can quote religious book somemore, so out-of-topic.

  • Samantha Wimala
  • http://- orang Singapura

    DR M replies to LKY.

    Mahathir Mohamad…speaks..

    “Lee Kuan Yew, the Minister Mentor of Singapore, is three years my senior. That means he and I practically grew up in the same period of time. That also means that I have been able to watch the progress of Lee, and in fact to interact with him on various occasions.

    His assertion in his interview with the New York Times that “Race relations (would be) better if Singapore (had) not (been) “turfed out” (of Malaysia) is worth studying. Is it true or is it fantasy?

    Before Singapore joined the Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak to form Malaysia, there was less racial politics in the Federation of Malaysia. In 1955 the Malays who made up 80 per cent of the citizens gave a large number of their constituencies to the few Chinese and Indian citizens and ensured they won with strong Malay support. As a result the Alliance won 51 of the 52 seats contested.

    The Tunku then rewarded this willingness of the Chinese and Indian citizens to support the coalition concept by giving them one million unconditional citizenship. This reduced Malay majority to 60 per cent.

    In the 1959 elections the Alliance of Umno, MCA and MIC won easily though Kelantan was lost. PAS with only Malays as members was rejected. Racialism even when implied failed.

    In 1963 Singapore became a part of Malaysia. Despite having promised that the PAP will not participate in Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak politics, Kuan Yew reneged and the PAP tried to displace the MCA in the Alliance by appealing to Chinese sentiments in the Peninsular. Of course the slogan was “Malaysian Malaysia” which implied that the Chinese were not having equal rights with the Malays. If this appeal to Chinese sentiments against the Malays was not racial, I do not know what is racial.

    But the Peninsular Chinese favoured working with the Malays in Umno. They totally rejected PAP in 1964.

    Following the Malaysian Malaysia campaign a few Umno leaders tried to rouse Singapore Malay sentiments. There were demonstrations in Singapore where before there were none. Kuan Yew accused Jaafar Albar for instigating the Singapore Malays. Although I never went to Singapore, nor met the Malays there, I was labelled a Malay ultra by Kuan Yew himself.

    By 1965 racism had taken hold and the Tunku was forced to end Singapore’s membership of Malaysia. But the seed of Chinese racialism had been sown, so that even after the PAP left, the “Malaysian Malaysia” war cry was picked up by the DAP, an offspring of the PAP.

    With the background of Singapore’s activities in Malaysia in the short three years of its membership, can we really believe that if it had not been “turfed out” race relations would be better in Malaysia?

    But proof of what would have happened was shown by the politics leading up to the 1969 elections. The MCA began to criticise the Sino/Malay co-operation especially on so-called special rights and demanded for a Chinese university. Umno then began to clamour for a greater share of the economy of the country. The Umno/MCA conflict resultedin the Alliance faring very badly in the 1969 elections.

    DAP and Gerakan, a new party largely made up of MCA dissidents, made gains. The Alliance was shocked and rattled.

    Then the Gerakan and DAP held their victory parade near the Malay settlement of Kampung Baru, hurling racist insults at the Malays. The result was the May 13 race riots.

    Till today the racist slogan “Malaysian Malaysia” is the war cry of the DAP. Racism in Malaysia is clearly the result of Singapore’s membership of the country for just three years. Can we really believe that if Singapore had not been “turfed out” Malaysia would have no racial problem.

    While Kuan Yew talks about his belief that all ethnic communities should free themselves from the shackles of racial segregation in order to promote fairness and equality among the races, he also said that “once we are by ourselves (out of Malaysia) the Chinese become the majority”.

    Singapore’s population is made up of 75 per cent Chinese and they own 95 per cent of the economy. It is therefore not a truly multi-racial country but a Chinese country with minority racial groups who are additionally much poorer.

    In Singapore dissent is not allowed. People who contest against the PAP would be hauled up in court for libel and if they win elections would not be allowed to take their places in Parliament. Whereas in Malaysia opposition parties invariably win seats in Parliament and even set up state governments (today four out of the 13 states are ruled by the opposition parties); the PAP in Singapore has to appoint PAP members to represent the opposition.

    Whether the PAP admits it or not, the party has always been led and dominated by ethnic Chinese and have won elections principally because of Chinese votes. The others are not even icing on the cake.

    If Singapore is a part of Malaysia the PAP can certainly reproduce the Singapore kind of non-racial politics because together with the Malaysian Chinese, the PAP will ethnically dominate and control Malaysian politics. No dissent would be allowed and certainly no one would dare say anything about who really runs the country.

    Amnesia is permissible but trying to claim that it is because Singapore had been “turfed out” for the present racist politics in Malaysia is simply not supported by facts of history.

    Lee Kuan Yew and I saw the same things and know the reasons why.”


  • anonymous

    In 1965!!! LKY already conceptualize Malaysian Malaysia. Now which part of Malaysian Malaysia is racist? So what does that make off 1 Malaysia? To Matthias Chang, you know very well Politicians are ambitious, nothing wrong with that. If LKY can make Malaysia and prosperous as Singapore, I do not mind and I am sure you do not mind to serve him like you serve your ex boss..How much did you gain?

  • anonymous

    In 1965!!! LKY already conceptualize Malaysian Malaysia. Now which part of Malaysian Malaysia is racist? So what does that make off 1 Malaysia?

  • Nas

    Let it also not go unsaid that lee Kuan Yew also took the opportunity at this interview to take his usual swipes at minority races.

    He mocked islam by saying, “The Muslims say that there are seventy houris, beautiful women up there.”

    And then he implies that Indians are fossilized in their culture. He said, “And he (Rudyard Kipling) had an insight into the Indian mind and it is still basically that same society that I find when I visit India.“

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  • Renzokuken

    I’m surprised he came clean with locking people up without trials.

    I was tempted to buy the book that details his interview/s with Tom Plate, but decided against it. Thankfully TOC delivered with this interesting article.

    With regards to MM Lee’s swipes at minorities, hell man, everyone’s a racist. Trust me, it’s just human nature. I mean I’m Chinese by race, but the vast majority of personal associates all make fun of PRCs, Chinese or not.

    I hope he means it when he says that everything except race, religion and language is up for change after his passing. I totally agree with his stance on non-segregation in Singapore, but there are many things that need revision.

    It’s about time for an education system overhaul and minimum wage level lah!

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  • alamak

    1) You able totaly tell lie (cover the truth)to one person in his/her whole life /times.

    2) You able totally tell lie (cover the truth) to all people in a single /period times.


    3) You unable totally tell lie (cover the truth) to all people in the whole period of time (foverer)

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  • XXR (XinXinRen), real name is Boo Keng See

    Mr. Lee has done well for Singapore. He is a great statesman who has created the difference for his nation, more so than any other contemporary world leaders. As a XXR, someone who lives in JB (Xinshan), works out of Singapore (Xinjiapo), and travels in the region, I think I am qualified to say that Singaporeans (incl. PRs of which I am one) are indeed a blessed lot! Happy Birthday, Mr. Lee !

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  • ikickedCHEWHOKIAassidekicks

    XXR (XinXinRen), real name is Boo Keng See 16 September 2010

    Mr. Lee has done well for Singapore. He is a great statesman who has created the difference for his nation, more so than any other contemporary world leaders. As a XXR, someone who lives in JB (Xinshan), works out of Singapore (Xinjiapo), and travels in the region, I think I am qualified to say that Singaporeans (incl. PRs of which I am one) are indeed a blessed lot
    and as a chew who lan lan pay $20 singapore dollars just to drive to singapore to work wine and dance?
    wah! your ringgits so powerFOOL mey?
    lu bolehed?
    how come singapore car owners needs not pay to go johore..ok ok a toll of dua ringgits…

  • mice is nice

    XXR (XinXinRen), 16 September 2010

    ” I think I am qualified to say that Singaporeans (incl. PRs of which I am one) are indeed a blessed lot!”

    that’s what you think, but you’re not. because the grass for you is greener on the other side. the same with locals who look afar at greener pestures & giving their 2 cents as if their locals from there.

    btw, S’pore pays its country’s leaders way above “marketrate” for the supposedly “quality” leadership. maybe your refering to those in leadership positions as the blessed lot?…

  • K Das

    I want to respond to Tun Dr Mahathir’s criticism of LKY in respect of the latter’s comment about the racial politics of Malaysia in his interview with the New York Times.

    I have tremendous respect for Statesmen Octogenarians, who continue to think, speak and write lucidly in the endeavours of nation building. Tun is one such person who can present his arguments persuasively to win over ordinary folks to his side. He was the most intelligent and smartest of all the PMs Malaysia hitherto had. Surprisingly and regretably he achieved sweet little (compared to his predecessors) for the betterment and long term interests of the country despite his supeior intellect and enoromous power he weilded during his 22 years of reign.

    Let me respond to his observations in relation to two matters that interest me.

    (i)The status of Malays and Non-Malays in pre and post independent Malaya:

    Tun claims that in 1955 the Malays made up 80 per cent of the citizens or population. I am not sure if this was correct. According to 1947 Census, total population of Malaya was 4.9 million comprising 49.5% Malays, 38.4% Chinese and 12.1% Others (mainly Indians and the rest). In 1951, the population was some 5.3 million and the racial percentage was more or less the same. In other words around these periods the Non-Malays outnumbered the Malays marginally. It was only after Independence in 1957 that there was big inflow of Indonesians that pushed the Malay-Muslim population into a fast growing majority

    He says that the Tunku offered the Chinese and Indians one million unconditional citizenship in exchange for their support for the Alliance in getting Independence, which reduced Malay majority to 60 per cent. What makes Tun think for sure it was the Tunku who took this decision and not the British who could have brokered for this from behind the scene to ensure that the Chinese and Indians were not left high and dry in the process. If there was no fair deal given to the Non-Malays to secure their future the British would probably not agreed to granting independence at that juncture. It was the British who were in control of the Sultans and their states through the office of British Resident General whose advice the Sultans were bound to accept under prior agreement. Any Sultan who defied the British did so at his own peril.

    (ii) Comparison between LKY and Tun:

    Shorn of race-tinkered bias attributed to them, LKY has laid solid foundation for the prosperity and progress of Singapore for the present and its long term future, whereas Tun has left Malaysia in shambles with high corruption, divisive society and weakened institutions of the State.

    Take the last 4-5 Cabinets in Singapore. The Ministers were of top talent – brilliant and highly motivated. Almost all of them were from outside of the PAP. They were head-hunted, put on the ground to learn the ropes of grassroots works for a short period of time before being fielded as PAP candidates in the subsequent election and made Minister of State and later a full Minister.

    What about Tun? He wrote so much about the culture of inbreeding amongst the Malays in his ‘Malay Dilemma” and yet it was the very same culture that he was dead against, that he practiced in his 22 years of rule as PM. It was the same UMNO corrupt politicians he appointed and re-appointed ad nauseam as Ministers. Rarely was a Malay Minister from outside of UMNO. He experimented with new talent by bringing in Anwar Ibrahim and Tun Daim and both fell out of favour not because they were ill-suited but because they were too smart and independent to his liking. The fate of his DPM’s was no better as they too exited office unceremoniously without serving their full terms. Tun himself appeared to have acknowledged his ultimate failure, when he openly sobbed before an UMNO Assembly after announcing his intention to step down as PM. The sight of seeing his Ministers shedding crocodile tears must have hurt him even more as he must have thought what a bunch of corrupt back-stabbers they were.

    Unlike LKY, Tun never groomed second line leadership. There is nothing for LKY to learn from Tun but there is plenty for the latter to learn from the former.

  • Traveller

    Thanks K Das. This website needs more posttings like yours. Lucid, well argued and based on facts and where a stetement may not be factual, duly qualified. I am constantly surprised at the overall poor quality of the postings on TOC. No respect for facts, wrong logic, full of non sequiters, unpleasant language and disrespect. Seems a lot of the correspondents have allowed personal feelings to get in the way of cogent and fact based arguments. We should be debating for the betterment of singapore and singaporeans

  • RED-man

    ///LKY has laid solid foundation for the prosperity and progress of Singapore for the present and its long term future///

    What solid foundation are you talking about? Get rid of “his imaginary” communist threat? Like Nickson does? Then set in the two is enough policy that create a aging population like somewhere in the not so distant future ( because he has no idea Singapore will be what it is today but remain proverty)?

    Please read the British archive document about LKY. In Chinese, we call this kind of people 梁上君子.

  • RED-man

    Truth Tun might have been corrupted himself, but he don’t milk Malaysia dry until he is six feet under. And push his son up the throne like some old man did to hold on to the power.

  • RED-man

    ///Seems a lot of the correspondents have allowed personal feelings to get in the way///

    Well, you already mentioned “alot”, unless TOC has some sort of magical power to make “alot” of Singapore think alike. Then again, maybe it a sign that spell the end of FamiLEEs and their PAP!

  • RED-man

    If not for the British fear of communism, this old man would have been left to rot on the street.

    As mentioned previously, he will be judged by the history.

  • RED-man

    And how this oldman survived the Japanese occupation? Be a translator for them. HAhaha

  • Traveller

    Quite a number of postings are full of irrational ranting, even wishing MM ill will. I wonder if these people or MM have more serenity. Perhaps they should try meditation to get more peace

  • Robert

    Leaving racial politics aside and the stages of development of the two countries, Dr M left a deadly disease in Malaysia which is not in Singapore.

    That disease is called ” CORRUPTION”.

  • Angie

    I read with compassion Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s plight in his old age. He has achieved a lot in his life-time: respect,wealth and a legacy – all material things. But one thing he has not achieved is peace of mind. What he need now is to seek a way/path that would help ease his unhappiness/suffering/pain. This can only be achieve through a spiritual path. Spiritual path does not mean seeking God.

    One piece of advice for Mr. Lee is, before he enters into any spiritual path, he should conduct thorough research and find out the truth about the path he chooses to follow.

    There are a lot of current/up to-date research and books that he can read. One interesting book I would recommend is Karen Armstrong’s bestseller called “The History of God”.

    I have a message for Mr. Lee, “Seek and you will find.” Matthew 7:7

  • RED-man

    LOL /// disease call ”CORRUPTION”/// is simply bitter sweet in Singapore compared to Malaysia. To think that Singapore is CLEANER than WHITE is like saying the cat don’t like fish. That is very fishy indeed.

    Humble people who do good don’t go around and brag about it. Unlike the Singapore leader who find every opportunity to declare to the whole world Singapore has a clean government. Chinese call, 此地无银三百两

  • RED-man

    ///Lee Kuan Yew’s plight in his old age/// is simply the fruit from the seeds he sow which is mentioned both in Bible and Buddhism.

    种瓜的瓜 nothing rocket science about it!

  • RED-man

    ///Quite a number of postings are full of irrational ranting, even wishing MM ill will. I wonder if these people or MM have more serenity. Perhaps they should try meditation to get more peace///

    Irrational or not, it is too early to tell. Let wait and see the FamiLEEs ending. Look at taiwan founding father 蒋介石 we would know.

    However, what I am sure is: most people will find peace in his suffering at the end of the day. And maybe later appreciate him a little more. History never lie.

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  • Truthseeker

    I would like to comment on Daisy Ng’s two postings. It is important to think critically and not be taken in by what you hear and read. Seek the truth. Suggest you read, “Misquoting Jesus” and “Jesus, Interrupted” by Bart Erhman, a New Testament Scholar and one of the world’s leading authorities on the New Testament. If you do not like reading you can watch YouTube lectures given by Dale Martin from Yale University. You will be enlightened !

  • RED-man

    This interview is simply known as 人之将死其言也善。Person near his death bed, there will be truth from his mouth. He is a human after all, his wife plight had made him see his future. Seeing his future, he fear of death. His fear of his death because he did evil deeds. His fear his death because the truth about him will be revealed after he die. His fear of his death because he is afraid that he will be judged after his death. Where that is a place where his power is irrelevant and the truth about him will be exposed.

    History will most likely see him as the man who took all the credits for the nation building (and forget people like Goh Keng Swee etc) and in the end dig deep into the people pocket to enrich him, his family and his dogs (who enjoy the fruit of PAP old guards but in the process soil the name of PAP).

  • Be grateful

    Thank you, K Das. Very factual and informative. Singapore would not have achieved 1st World status if not for all the hard work of MM Lee Kuan Yew/PAP. There is one commentator who simply wrote without substance and worse of all, in broken English. Of course, he belongs to the minute minority group of Singaporean. RED-man, get your facts right and wake up to reality. Be grateful.

  • RED-man

    Well well, at least I have been consistent with my nick. Be grateful of what? 1st world country? Hahaha … You brain power determine who you are. When the world run out of fossil fuel, I wonder if the 1st world people can even live in a third world condition.

  • RED-man

    ///Singapore would not have achieved 1st World status if not for all the hard work of MM Lee Kuan Yew/PAP///

    Same old broken record.. Kept repeating itself and hope it will brainwash everyone. Please enlighten us what are the significant event carried out by LkY that make Singapore what it is today?

    And please don’t brag on one person. I have never seen a building rise itself, no matter how good the project manager is.

  • RED-man

    Oh by the way, my English is bad. But I am not really sad about it. Where obviously I am not alone with the recent launch to encourage Singapore speak and use good English.

    Of course we also need to thanks LKY and his team for this outcome.

  • RED-man

    Want to challenge with me in ChInese? Can you read Chinese in the first place?

  • XXR

    Traveller 17 September 2010
    Well said ! But pardon me for adding following replies:

    RED-man 17 September 2010
    Your comments could be
    2)backhanded compliment? Prescibing qualities befitting sainthood on a mere human mortal and judge accordingly?

    ikickedCHEWHOKIAassidekicks 16 September 2010
    I bought VEP when I drove Malaysian cars into Singapore. When the rules changed, I switched to Singapore cars. Now I do pay $20 when I drive my weekend car during prescribed hours. I accept it simply as traffic control measures. And it is good that the rules are fine-tuned continuously for public good. No complaints there.
    On Malaysian side, the govt is more enlightened now, Malaysians driving Singapore cars(like me) are now allowed to buy 95 petrol (I go to Shell Tmn Pelangi).

    mice is nice 16 September 2010
    I live in both JB and Singapore, and commute regularly. Many family members, friends, colleagues, classmates etc reside on both sides of Causeway. I travel and have seen a fair bit of Asean and China, and am of the opinion that I am “qualified” in both “unbiased” and “informed”. It is certainly not a case of grass being greener yonder!

  • ikickedCHEWHOKIAassidekicks

    I bought VEP when I drove Malaysian cars into Singapore. When the rules changed, I switched to Singapore cars

    you tell us how lucky you/we are when we hav leekingyou as chairman singapoor he command you to buy another SINGAPOREbased car if you 1st 2 tangchia in singapoor..
    wah your malaysian attap hut got 2 parkin spaces mey? your sgp plated car very cheap mey?
    than again maybe chewhokias are realLEE bolehed…

  • Envy S’pore

    Before u start asking XXR the multi millions question that u posed to me 2 days ago, let me give u my answer. It’s true that many M’sians working in S’pore refuse to give up their PRs for S’pore citizenships. The major reasons would be because of geographical& economic factors. S’pore is too small& the cost of living is much higher compared to M’sia. I can get a ground house at much lower price compared to a 3/4 bedrooms HDB flat. Next, the pace of life is also slower in M’sia. Apart from that, seriously, I don’t see any grave faults in the ways your government runs the country that hinder people like XXR from taking up your country’s citizenship. It has the best of many things (note: I do not say everything)e.g. education, facilities& tranparency in government operations that makes people from neighbouring countries like me to envy.

  • ikickedTRAVELLERluggage


    Perhaps they should try meditation to get more peace
    wah this 1 i 102% agreed with you…butt you speak to the WRON guy/s…
    try a mr harryLEE for a start…

  • RED-man


    LOL, Just because you travel a fair bit and you think you know all. What is the longest period you stay in any of those countries you visited beside Singapore.

    Why the Question mark? You are not sure if you have used the right 成语 on me?


  • mice is nice

    XXR, 17 September 2010

    why dun you make up your mind & stick to living in 1 place? is it because you get the best of both worlds this way? S’pore isn’t good enough even for you to say outright its the place you’ll stay put for good, no?

    how well travelled you are does not make you a better judge of situation. seeing more doesn’t make anyone less biased, but certainly more informed. self-proclaiming you are qualified, only makes you less credible.

  • mice is nice

    i would really like to watch a televised debate between LKY & Tun Dr Mahathir!

    can our MediaCorpse do a Millenia Exclusive with a tie-up with our northern neigbour’s TV channel?

    let the Battle Royale begin!!


  • RED-man

    Envy S’pore

    My million dollar question is for you. Do you need another 2 days to think about it again.

    If LKY know Singapore will become what it is today, will he proposed merger with Malaysia?

    People like XXR is a Parasite. If cannot afford to drive a car (don’t drive a weekend car), take public transport. 冲胖子

  • RED-man

    And if he know Singapore will be what it is today. Will he proposed 2 is enough policy and lead to current aging population that we need to bring in Parasite like XXR to 滥竽充数?

  • mice is nice

    Envy S’pore, 17 September 2010

    with such reasoning, there are many countries (with its many positive attributes) that you envy. but after all that envying, you’ll most likely say put in the country you hail.

    ” It has the best of many things (note: I do not say everything)e.g. education, facilities& tranparency in government operations that makes people from neighbouring countries like me to envy.”

    thanks for your insight, i guess our govt ought to take note how to calibrate its immigration polices with such honest reply. how wrong the people at the top get it so wrong in attempting to attract talent from afar.

    i only hope such comments serve a wake-up call to policies aimed at FTs/FWs.

  • RED-man

    Mice is nice

    - This is because 痛在其身,不关己

    - They enjoy the perk from both side and laugh at others suffering

  • RED-man


    While you cannot be specific on which part I said is 吹毛求疵

    Let me tell you how you

    Your country gave you education to contribute to another country economy and sing praise to the country leader. But then again, a person that drive a weekend car say a lot about him/her.

    Here to enjoy our prosperity when your country cannot provide you. But if one day, Singapore collapsed, be the first one to leave.


  • george

    For Lee Kuan Yew to insist that Singapore remains 75 percent Chinese is racism in its vulgar form.

    When in Malaysia, LKY wanted the Malaysian Chinese Association(MCA) dropped in favor of his PAP. The Alliance government of Malaysia at that time included UMNO and MIC in addition to MCA. But LKY wanted to take over the place of MCA only, clearly displaying his racist position of wanting to represent the Chinese in Malaysia, including Singapore.

    Now, he is executing his racist bigotry by flooding Singapore with PRCs. Even the Indian restaurants in Serangoon area are ordered to employ only Chinese under work permit as coffee shop assistants. Why can’t these eating places catering mainly to Indians allowed to bring in India nationals? Even the claim that Singapore’s Indian population has gone up is misleading and mischievous.

    Indians, just like the Malays are discriminated and marginalized in LKY’s racist Singapore.

  • Envy S’pore

    lol. Even a 10 year old (esp one with S’pore PR parent)can answer your 1st question spontaneously. Back to your 2nd question,
    If LKY know Singapore will become what it is today, will he propose merger with Malaysia?
    I think if LKY know S’pore will become as prosperous as now, perhaps he would have proposed for a merger but on one condition, the ruling government has to be meritocracy, but Mahathir who’s a martyr of his own supreme race will flatly reject the idea. Mahathir does not believe in personal merit. He only believes in helping his own race& making his cronies rich. In short, LKY and Mahathir are both ultras in their own ways but Mahathir is worse. Thanks to his policy in education that our once prestigious University of Malaya has recently been ranked the 207th in the world.

    @mice is nice
    Your assumption that…
    but after all that envying, you’ll most likely say put in the country you hail.

    is wrong after all.

  • Envy S’pore

    cont’d..@mice is nice
    Many educated non-Malays with enough resources in M’sia will think of migrating to countries that do not practise race-based policies. According to World Bank, the no of M’sians migrants rises drastically year to year. M’sian government is now trying to woo back M’sians working abroad in order to curb the problem of brain drain but I doubt it’ll work. Most of us with tertiary education and talent feel a sense of hopelessness with the current government’s policies that practise discrimination in recruitment, promotions and allocation of resources.

  • RED-man

    Envy S’pore

    Please read my question properly. Your so called answer to my second question is my first. By the way, during merger time, it was your ah kong Tunku Abdul Rahman in the office. What does it got to do with Mahathir? So many words from you but full of crap.

    As for Meritocracy, it is just his twisted answer to people when the world asked him about democracy and human right (our national pledge still talk about “to build a democratic society
    based on justice and equality”). He should have change the pledge before using Meritocracy! Which mean it is just another last minute adjustment to reason out what he did.

    Since you have failed so badly for the first question, it would be insult to my IQ to pursue on the second. Tomorrow is Saturday, spend some time in JB to fly kite with your family. You need that very much to think straight.

  • RED-man

    Mice is nice

    For once I have to agree with you that your conclusion that our government has to re-evaluate the so called “FT” such as Envy S’pore and XXR into our country.

    And this is in line with my previous mentioned of 滥竽充数

    As a matter of fact, using nick such as “Envy S’pore” speak loudly about the person. Simply mean this person willingly admit himself/ herself as second class and will always remain so to keep envying. Envy S’pore, remember to go get a kite at our Envy small little island 7-11. Or you might prefer go back to JB to get it cheaper since enjoy the benifit of having your legs on both side of the country.

  • mice is nice

    RED-man, 17 september 2010

    would any foreigner who think they can fully understand & empathise the issues faced by locals in any given country be taken seriously?

    it seems clear to me how foreigners are slowly but surely taking locals for granted. locals ought to stand firm & not bend their backs too far to welcome foreigners.

  • mice is nice

    Envy S’pore, 17 September 2010

    you’re a full-fledged S’pore citizen now?

    “M’sian government is now trying to woo back M’sians working abroad in order to curb the problem of brain drain but I doubt it’ll work. Most of us with tertiary education and talent feel a sense of hopelessness with the current government’s policies…”

    this is exactly the same sentiments S’poreans are feeling too. if you do understand, please read more posts in this forum before mouthing off ignorantly.

  • mice is nice

    RED-man, 17 September 2010

    “For once I have to agree with you that your conclusion that our government has to re-evaluate the so called “FT” such as Envy S’pore and XXR into our country.”

    i think i do agree with you on your views in other articles in TOC, just that after that “incident”. i kept a low profile just in case i rub you up the wrong way. -.-”

    sigh, but people running govt agencies would likely never admit they are wrong & will continue the path with disastrous results, followed by the “usual” rhetoric “can’t be helped”, “caught off-guard”, etc…

    what the govt fail, are fodder for the alternative parties this coming GE.

    you’re right about people like ‘envy S’pore’. such people are just like what fair weathered friends are, in times of need i would find it hard to rely on them.

  • RED-man

    By the way Envy S’pore. During the regime of Tunku Abdul Rahman, LKY is the trouble maker and the reason why Singapore was kick out!

    Then come the famous “crying” video of him in front of the studio.

    This freaking old man had no idea how to make Singapore what it is today. There are several key factors that give Singapore the edge on where we are today. But it was not him!

    Refer to Dr Albert Winsemius link for his contribution to Singapore -

    On contrary, LKY is known to be a person following where the wind flow:

    1. He think Singapore has no resources and if remain by itself, there will be no future. Beside Singapore is surrounded by Malay states and Indonesia had demonstrate their intention to invade Singapore. Also, the reason why British allow Singapore to go independent was based on the condition that Singapore will be under the care of Malaysia. This is the reason why LKY look highly upon the Malayan merger.

    2. Based on what he did in the past, some historian also label him as a trouble maker because of his intention to create chaos in Malaysia regime and use the consolidated Chinese population of both side in hope to become a power to reckon with, in the Malaysia regime at that time.

    In conclusion, the most he is a cunning man who will try every means to get power for himself as a statesman. Visionary? Let us leave it to all the PAP old guard to fill up the blanks in the history.

  • RED-man

    LKY failed Policies and leadership:

    1. After the merger, a lot of Singapore Chinese had moved to Malaysia in search of better opportunity since Singapore is very poor at that time. But there were also Chinese from Malaysia who think otherwise that move to Singapore. Thanks to LKY little monkey tricks that really piss Tunku off, the announcement of kick out was very much short notice. This lead to Chinese with relative on both side has very short time to react to the situation. Example, one of my elderly friend is a Singapore but his brother is a Malaysian. The reason for this was because in case one of them is doing better on the other side, they will bring the other family over.

    2. Two is enough is also a straight indication of LKY failure to see Singapore will become what it is today. The reason for him to implement 2 is enough, is no rocket science. Singapore is poor, so don’t over populate because it will burden the country. Which is fine actually. But when Singapore begin to see some light in the economy, he had failed to undo the 2 is enough effect. Which leads to the present plight of opening flood gate to FT. However, FT is not purely because of 2 is enough. It has to do with education restructuring to cater for the future industry.

    3. Education system not in line with industry needs. In the 80′s to late 90′s, mechanical engineering is most popular choice of Singaporean. Later mechatronic. However, in mid 90′s alot of labour intensive industries had moved to china, and therefore engineering job start to lost out in employment. Still, one can wonder why education was not restructure until it is too late when bio iand other high tech industry had came in. And they start to bring in FT from then and it seems that our graduate from our university still find it hard to fit into the industry currently.

    4. Dot Com bubble. After hearing foreign news about how US is making money out of Dot Com. Old man quickly came out to brag about the future of IT. Amazingly, the polytechnic and university in Singapore was fast to restructure their education model and assimilated IT subjects into the class. When, the Dot Collasped in US, old man kept his lips shut! And IT course suddenily disappeared into the thin air.

    I love my country and proud to be a Singaporean because of our achievement. But that does not mean I am blind like some boots polisher! I care and concern that my beautiful country will be dried and bring down by this old man. Therefore that does not mean I love Singapore, I have to love him. Be grateful of what? Singapore, my answer is YES. Grateful to this old fool, sorry. Please go fly kite!

  • RED-man

    ///i think i do agree with you on your views in other articles in TOC, just that after that “incident”. i kept a low profile just in case i rub you up the wrong way. -.-”///

    Hahaha…. I am not so petty. It is good to know people care. But as a profession of this trade, there is calculated risk we need to take to complete the job. Time is money, especially truth in construction industry.

    My point for that topic is simple. As long as the diver is not forced to do the job, I am sure the supervisor did the necessary to ensure it is okay for him to go down. There are good FW and you be amazed some of them are more street smart.

    As for my stand on LKY, without reserve, he had took too much credit than he deserve. Wonder why are history textbook don’t talk about Dr Albert? I think your guess would be as good as mine.

    It is not hard to know what this old man is thinking from his past speech, thing he did and the way he behave. Efficiency is the enemy of profits. Just as a anti-virus company would not come out with a super anti-virus even if they can. They probably speed up the process of closing down their business.

    Based on LKY past speech on superior offspring. If he really believe in what he said, he would not allow Singaporean to produce superior offspring despite his contrary mentioned on graduate match making. If you look on the other side of the coin, he might even slow down the restructuring of our education system and intentionally allow FT to come in to suppress us. So as to keep us in the rat race, lowering of wage and work harder.

    Like I mentioned above, I will give him 100% score for cunning.

  • mice is nice

    RED-man, 17 September 2010

    i am just being cautious?… just in case i do rub you up the wrong way.

    err, let’s not bring that topic to this topic?…

    i too have personally interacted with FWs, & i would agree to a large extent they are more street smart than most locals. i guess its where they grow up, their culture that shaped them that way- for the better.

    LKY is cunning, but only because the rest of the population back then was way less sophisticated than he was. & there wasn’t the internet to act as counter-balance to the spindoctors.

  • XXR

    ikickedCHEWHOKIAassidekicks 17 September 2010
    XXR…………..STOPPED! BERHENTI! TARBULLegs……you tell us how lucky you/we are…

    It’s a fact that Singaporeans enjoy a relatively higher standard of living, with higher GDP per capita, affordable healthcare, quality education, good communication system and efficient transportation network.

  • XXR

    RED-man 17 September 2010XXR
    LOL…Just because you travel a fair bit …

    I am sorry to give you the impression of “…you think you know all…””说风凉话”.
    Please accept my apologies.

    “卖国求荣”? No, never ever in my mind!

  • XXR

    mice is nice 17 September 2010
    XXR, 17 September 2010
    why dun you make up your mind & stick to living in 1 place? is it because you get the best of both worlds this way? S’pore isn’t good enough even for you to say outright its the place you’ll stay put for good, no?

    Hello, there is no compelling reason for me to stick to living in 1 place. When I was in active employment (that’s until recently), I actually maintained homes in 3 cities.
    The best of both worlds?, I take it as “the reality of life”.
    And certainly no one could say “S’pore isn’t good enough…”

  • XXR

    mice is nice 17 September 2010
    how well travelled you are does not make you a better judge of situation. seeing more doesn’t make anyone less biased, but certainly more informed. self-proclaiming you are qualified, only makes you less credible.

    Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you !

  • XXR

    RED-man 17 September 2010
    People like XXR is a Parasite. If cannot afford to drive a car (don’t drive a weekend car), take public transport. 冲胖子

    Parasite? Well, you are entitled to your opinion.
    I work and pay income tax in Singapore, like anybody else.

    Weekend car: Money was indeed an important consideration.
    However, this is not necessarily the case for other owners of weekend cars.
    Any way, I must say that the weekend car serves my purpose well.

    Public transport: I do take public transport regularly, incl MRT to/from Changi Airport and SBS to/from JB.

    冲胖子: I am not sure how well I fit this description, what more physically I am overweight.

  • XXR (有过则改,无过加勉)

    RED-man 17 September 2010
    “And if he know …… that we need to bring in Parasite like XXR to 滥竽充数?”

    滥竽充数? The “humble” bolts & nuts, pipe & fittings are also essential for the system to operate properly.

    RED-man 17 September 2010
    “XXR While you cannot be specific on which part I said is 吹毛求疵”

    I re-read your earlier comments, and I think 吹毛求疵”is not the correct term here. Sorry for wrong choice of words, and with your agreement, I would like to close this matter here.

    RED-man 17 September 2010
    “Let me tell you how you 卖国 Your country gave you education to contribute to another country economy and sing praise to the country leader. But then again, a person that drive a weekend car say a lot about him/her.”

    卖国: NO NO NO, NOT CORRECT ! There are many, various & varied, reasons for the millions of people who left their homeland to work in foreign soil, incl. many Singaporeans in Shanghai & Suzhou. How can one associate these people with the term “traitor”.

    FYI, I paid income tax for many years on both sides of the Causeway, until the Double Taxation Treaty kicked in a few years back.

    And what has a weekend car to do with loyalty?

    RED-man 17 September 2010
    “求荣 Here to enjoy our prosperity when your country cannot provide you. But if one day, Singapore collapsed, be the first one to leave.”

    I work here, pay income tax, and thus contribute, in a small way, like anybody else.
    I enjoy the facilities of NUH, HDB, NLB, MRT etc.
    Am I ashamed of it? Of course NOT!

    “…Singapore collapsed…”?
    While any thing is possible, it is NOT inevitable ! It is for us all, govt & people, to make it work, fix it if it’s broke, adjust, change…

    “知少少”: True, compared to you and others like you.

    “不要来假装扮代表”: My comments is just my comments, I did not pretend to represent anybody else.

  • ikickedCHEWHOKIAassidekicks

    XXR 18 September 2010

    It’s a fact that Singaporeans enjoy a relatively higher standard of living
    and the point bein? no need to pay HIGH mey? we didnt enjoyed/nor asked for it
    it was shaft into our throats without even pollin us…
    in malaysia..the standards so low mey?
    must be alot of attaphutters/and thin ole peoples walkin aroun perhaps?

  • RED-man

    XXR, the followings are the reason why you are being bombarded! Go and read what traveller had wrote! If you have praised him, which mean you agree and in line to what he had said!

    ///Traveller 17 September 2010
    Well said ! But pardon me for adding following replies:

    RED-man 17 September 2010
    Your comments could be
    2)backhanded compliment? Prescibing qualities befitting sainthood on a mere human mortal and judge accordingly?///

  • RED-man


    Here is another quote:

    ///“不要来假装扮代表”: My comments is just my comments, I did not pretend to represent anybody else.///

    Still think you did not pretend to represent anybody when you go in line with Traveller? And praised him well said?

  • RED-man


    Frankly, if you are Malaysian or PR, I would not bother at all if you have enjoyed the or take advantage of what Singapore have or not.

    Truth is when we bombard LKY as Singaporean. It is really non of your business as a foreigner even if you have being a PR in Singapore and think you know better. Until you are a citizen of Singapore and wasted 2 years of your life time serving the army while Singapore woman and foreigner like has a 2 years head start in CPF and income. You will never understand the disadvantage that Singaporean men had been put thru by non other LKY and his dogs.

    Because of this 2 years head start, most Singaporean woman of the same age are usually more financially secure than the Singaporean man. Which I personally believe, one of the reason why there seems to be a thinking gap between the man and the woman.

    Which also leads to the man looking for foreign bride while the woman look for foreign man. PAP in actual fact did not bother to look into this problem. They probably swept it under the carpet and until the problem become obvious. Then they blame the Singaporean man and woman for being choosy. When Mas Salamat escaped, Singaporean were again being blamed by LKY instead of sacking Wong Kan Seng (one of this relative).

    So, XXR. If you are Singaporean. You still like LKY and PAP? Yes Singapore is beautiful and look properous on the up front. Inside, it is just a empty shell. This was actually from one of my Malaysian classmate in the polytechnic. And I can’t agree with him more. 外表光辉灿烂,实际上空虚没有内涵。There is nothing wrong for the people of a nation to expect more and especially you pay thru’ your nose to have the most expensive government!

    Whoever think Singapore is cheap in term of school fees, medical and housing. I think you compare the average household income and expenditure. Actually, with our causeway jam every morning and evening. It is no surprise why most Malaysian choose to stay in JB but get their income from Singapore. Facts speak louder than words and statistic! But that is for Malaysian, for Singaporean, here is our home. We have no place to hide! To give a clearer picture, Singaporean can’t even drive into the JB with their tank empty to enjoy the saving (before even Malaysian government decide to control on Singaporean).

  • RED-man

    For those Malaysian who cursed Mahathir. You have your right to do so as a citizen of your country.

    But as a outsider looking at him since I know how to think. I would think he is acceptable as a leader. Here are my reasoning:

    1. Malaysia cannot be compared to Singapore due to the size and population differences. If LKY was to be the person to lead Malaysia, you might be in situation worst than current. You most likely have racist riot even up till today.

    2. Mahathir might look as if he is giving the best for the Malay but disadvantaged the Chinese and other race. But imagine this as a leader…. If he choose to give equal right to all races including the Malay. There are two scenarios, one is that there will be fight among the races especially when the malay cannot catch up. Mahathir himself know that, on several UMNO speech, he had scold the Malay. If I remember correctly, the speech was like: I have given you land, but you sold it to the chinese. I have given you all the advantage, but you have choose to do nothing while the Chinese and other race become business man and rich. The second would be, he lost all the support from Malay, another worst leader come out to make your life more miserable.

    2. Mahathir has many time urge LKY and his dogs to release the CPF to the Malaysian who worked in Singapore. I think we all know majority of the race who work in Singapore are the Chinese. If he was to succeed, won’t it be the blessing for the Malaysian? Which is also the reason why he like to make life difficult for Singapore. Do you see LKY fight for Singaporean?

    3. I myself had witnessed during my poly time that alot of Malaysian math and science are much better than Singaporean. Which start to leave me to think, where did our education system went wrong. Consider this, PRC who come to Singapore for study need to take test. But Malaysian education grant you a direct intake. Did the Malaysian government actually suppress the Chinese? I certainly don’t feel that with my Malaysian friends. As a matter of fact, some of them actually laughed at me saying that Singaporean is like in a pressure cooker. Where my friend in JB can live like there is no tomorrow.

    If you think Malaysian Chinese is badly treated, I think you can see for yourself the Indonesia Chinese. At least you have Singapore to take advantage of with a short drive across the bridge.

    Then again, it is purely my point of view as a outsider.

  • RED-man

    For those that think LKY is great, please tell us what he did for Singapore is great. Don’t be like a broken record keep repeating that he turned Singapore into 1st world as we know Dr Albert is the one that set the foundation of Singapore.

    Other than being a salesman, to sell Singapore to the world. I don’t really see the use of LKY where obviously most of the policy came out from his mouth failed badly.

    On the other hand, let’s be fair and agree he is a good salesman. But if you ask a good salesman to sell a bad hardware. He will quit eventually. Just go to our Singapore Proton showroom and see how the salesman sell.

  • RED-man

    Like I said, famiLEEs are over-rated!

    I still haven’t seen a building that rises by itself with only the project manager himself. Not at the current technology.

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  • iamthesuzhouzSELLman

    On the other hand, let’s be fair and agree he is a good salesman. But if you ask a good salesman to sell a bad hardware. He will quit eventually. Just go to our Singapore Proton showroom and see how the salesman sell.

    ha ha ha
    indeed leekingYOU is the best SELLMAN
    he bought it HIGH..he sell it low…
    for a start..let says how much he sold the suzhouz log/stocks/barrels for? he used our money to buy @ 70%..he sold it to the communist @ 30% and proclaimed it was a successFOOL deal…
    than teochewthai thaksin come alon…
    he sell us some USED thais mobile poles
    we endup the poles all kannaed burnt…
    i still haven even finished the filipinos/australians poles yet…
    let alone our partners in international bankins…

  • RED-man

    Hi iamthesuzhouzSELLman

    What I am saying is LKY bring investors into Singapore (Salesman).

    Not the bad investment overseas. That of course is another example that he is rather a short sighted person than what people like to believe he is a “GOD” who know all.

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  • iamthesuzhouzSELLman

    RED-man 19 September 2010
    Hi iamthesuzhouzSELLman

    What I am saying is LKY bring investors into Singapore (Salesman).
    hee hee
    i just wanna add more chilLEE and salt…
    actuaLLEE truthfully(see no mispell) he did brin in foreign investers the day angmor left us in the lurch after medeka
    when the british forces left(same as subic bay)…that was the ONLY good part in him TOGETHER with the original pap ministers team…

  • mice is nice

    XXR, 18 September 2010

    you’re nomadic lifestyle is typical of people with high social mobility, free from the concerns of the native people. you are unable to grasp the issues many of us here are facing or have to put up with because you do not live like most of us (you mentioned you live in JB).

    i guess you’re just happy taking potshots at S’poreans? your reality isn’t my reality, so how can any poster/s here take your views seriously? you put S’pore that ahead of your own country & that of many countries in the region but bulk at settling here for good. for all the praises you sing about S’pore & our “great man”, isn’t good enough for you?

    what a hypocrite.

  • professional globe-trotter

    Lee Kuan Yew is a man I respect immensely.

    I love, and never tire of, reading interviews and articles of him.

    Singapore owes him a huge debt :) and I’m so proud of him!

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  • traveller

    Redman wants to know a few oif LKY’s achievements. Just the top of my head:

    - fought and succedded in eastablishing a mutli racial soceity. Redman is unaware of the extremely dangerous times his parents lived through when LKY and the PAP would have lost his life fighting the Malay ultras, the communists and Chinese communalists
    - overcame British withdrawal of its forces and the oil crises, both of which would have sunk Singapore
    -got rid of the triads so that Singapoore is one of the safest cities in the world
    -self sufficiency in water
    - overcame the economic orthodoxy of the 60s and and plonked for FDI instead of import subsitution as the path to growth
    - set up CPF to enable Singaporeans to buy homes
    - maintain good realtions and respect of US, EC, China, Tiawan, Japan, India, Middle East, Russia, Indonesia, all of which are either staretigcally important in maintaining stability and most of which have important trade links
    - SAF is a respectable fighting force
    - the lowest child mortality rate in the world, even lower than Japan and the Scadenavain countires
    -one of the best public health systems in the world (even the British came to study it)
    - one of the most crowded cities in the world but not polluted and largely free of jam
    - third largest oil refinery centre without oil
    -one of the world’s largest financial centres
    - one of the world’s most repected biotechnology centres
    - the best public education system in thre world
    - one of the world’s best public transport systems
    -Singapore was alone in Asia that registered positve growth during the Asia Financial crisis
    -Strength of S$ (at time of separation 1:!, now 1: 2.4)
    - as a result of these and many achievements, Singaporeans now have a great belief in themselves and have overcome the great psychological barrier of being third or second best. This is something only those born before ’65 understands and is a tremendous asset. LKY more than any other Singaporean has instilled this sense of confidence.

    Redman will say that these are not the work of LKY. Of course, these never are the work of one man. (No one will say that Churchill defeated Hitler alone but it was his leadership that counted. LKY acknowledges as much). If you read his autobiography, he continually pours praise on his colleagues; volume 2 is in fact, dedictaed to them. In his generous tributes to Rajaratnam, Goh Keng Swee (on GKS’s retirement,his autobigraphy, his tribute of GKS’s death +_ countless other occasions) Lim Kim San, Hon Siew Sen, Dr Wiesemius, he made it very clear that Singapore has never been the work of one man. In fact in his autobiography,he writes that when the President of Pkaistan told him it was an honor to meet “the man who built Singapore” he gave his ‘standard reply’, that Singapore is not his work alone. LKY has never claimed that Singapore is his achievement alone; he is not so stupid. If nothing else, no Singaporean would beleive him and without credibility, he has no influence.

    The job of the leader is not to come up with new projects. It is wider than that. It is to set a vision for a country and inspire his people to that visison. He will pay more attention to selected projects, grill and push hard on others, and sometimes bring in new ideas but his main job is as general, not as a foot soldier or even a major. LKY’s vision was and is to build a multi racial society that is peaceful and prosperous. This is darn difficult but he has achieved it, although nation building is and always will be a work in progress.
    Redman says that LKY played trciks on the Tunku. He does not realize that UMNO was playing violent games in Singapore politics whoch resulted in many deaths during the 2 years in Malaysia. Yes, the PAP may have broken an understanding by participating in the 1964 Malaysian elections but that was in reply to UMNO supporting UMNO Singapore in Singapore’s own elections.
    How come Malaysian students are ‘brigher than Singapore in Mathematics? Let’s face it. Our best students do not go to the poly. So we have bright Malaysian students (those eligible for entry into Singapore ploy) fighting Singapore average students. Could be they are more hungry as well. Same as the PRC students.

    As for Mahathir, his greatest failing is the horrendouly broken sociey Malaysia is today. Evertime I step into the country, I feel a sense of unease. How many times have the car I was in stopped by police for ‘speeding’ especially during Chinese New Year and Hari Raya. Corruption is deep and wide and racism eats into the fabric of the society. Chinese whose grandparents came to Malaysia at the turn of the 20th century (ie they have been in Malaysia for more than 100 years)are considered as temporary settlers and have less rights than an Indobnesian who arrived illegally 10 years ago. Nobody trusts the politicians, the civil service, the police, the judiciary. Do you know that when a foreign company signs a contract in Malaysia, it insists that the arbitartion should be in Singapore?

    I hope I have thrown some light on some topics for Redman to consider

  • mice is nice

    traveller, 20 September 2010

    you forgot PAP isn’t just LKY, just as PAP isn’t S’pore. you are very much blinded by your reverance to him.

    “Of course, these never are the work of one man.”

    if so why do you still go on & claim those were LKY’s achievement? that’s gross inaccuracy on your part.

    let me pick just one point of yours about self sufficiency in meeting the needs of S’pore’s water supply. if tomorrow water stopped flowing from JB you sure S’pore can sustain herself for a month? even under a prolonged period without rain? or is there a catch to the term “self sufficient”?

  • RED-man

    Traveller, you are really full of crap.

    Please refer to:
    Singapore’s Central Provident Fund Scheme – An Overview and A Comparison with the U.S. Social Security System


    The History of the CPF Scheme

    How the CPF scheme was started by the colonial government

    By far the most significant measure ever introduced by the colonial government was the Central Provident Fund, legislated in 1953 and put into force July 1, 1955. It is viewed as the most important advance in social welfare. Ordinance assured retirement benefits for all employed persons. This was, and today still is, a retirement fund based on contributions by employers as well as employees, and has been compared to a savings bank “with compulsory membership and compulsory accumulation of deposits at interest”. It was a simple old-age savings scheme to give low-income workers some security in their old age. It is enlightening to look at the ideas and assumptions behind these social security measures. British rule was essentially laissez—faire. It was tradition in Singapore for the worker to look to his employer and not to the state to provide him with medical care and other benefits. The state felt no obligation to protect workers in this sense, and its way of dealing with unemployment and destitution was to repatriate workers and restrict immigration until good times returned, when once again new arrivals would be welcomed.

  • Traveller

    Of course, it is not the pension fund per se, as this is avaialble is many countries. And obvious. It is the use of the CPF for buying your home and thus making more than 90% of Singaporeans live in their own homes, the highest home owing society in the world.

  • traveller

    mice is mice. you are right. Self sufficiency in water is not the right way of putting it. Excuse my lack of clarity and speedy writing.

    Just as I indicated. Churchill obviously did not defeat Hitler alone. There were millions involved and if not for the Americans we all might still be under German or Japanses rule. But as a shorth handed way of writing it is normal to asosciate achievements as well as defeats to the head as he has overall repsonsibility. Likewise, we say Steve Jobs gave IPhone to the world when it is obviously not true. By the same token, you would not be happy if someone states that,as a Singaporean, that you are partly responsible for the ‘lack’ of press freedom (in your terms) in Singapore. You will happily ascribes this to LKY alone.

    Of course, LKY is not PAPO and PAP is not Singapore. That has never been my case. I have worked long and hard enough and I want to claim my share of contribution, howeevr, small. But it would be foolish of me not to recognize what has been done by the leaders to create a system and sustain it. Are Singaporeans more natuarlly gifted than the Thais,Koreans, Taiwanese? In fact I would say the Taiwanese and Koreans are more hard working than us. How come then, without the benefit of the resouces of these 2 nations, can Singapore surge ahead of them? Compare our per capita income with theirs in the 60s and now. That is an indication of the debt we owe to LKY and PAP

  • RED-man

    As usual, Traveller, you are full of crap:

    Let us introduce Dr Goh Keng Swee to you,

    Goh successfully contested the Kreta Ayer seat in the 1959 general election, was elected to the Legislative Assembly on 30 May, and joined the first government of Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew as Minister for Finance.

    In this role, he assumed stewardship of Singapore’s economy. As a budget deficit of S$14 million was forecast that year, he introduced stringent fiscal discipline which including cutting civil service salaries.

    As a result of these measures, he was able to announce at the end of the year when delivering the budget that the Government had achieved a surplus of $1 million.

    He initiated the setting up of the Economic Development Board which was established in August 1961 to attract foreign multinational corporations to invest in Singapore.

    The next year, he started the development of the Jurong industrial estate on the western end of the island which was then a swamp, offering incentives to local and foreign business to locate there.

    Upon independence in 1965, Goh relinquished his finance portfolio and became Minister for the Interior and Defence until 16 August 1967, assuming responsibilities for strengthening Singapore’s military and domestic security capabilities.

    A key policy was the creation of National Service, a mandatory conscription system for able-bodied young males.


    A visionary who didn’t believe in dreams: A look into the life of the man responsible for HDB flats, National Service, JTC… even the Zoo”,

    Weekend Today: 12–13, 15–16 May 2010.

  • mice is nice

    traveller, 20 September 2010

    your excuses very the lame…

    IIRC its the Americans who turned the tide against Germany during WWII. IIRC the British were barely hanging on. keke, let’s not OT.

    LKY often harp about Asian value, dun claim the achievements for oneself, always remember those who helped. Steve Jobs is an Ang Moh, & he is in corporate world. very different position, somemore when I-Pod got antenna issue, people got a public apology & get a I-Pod sleeve. when LKY make mistake, we people pick up the tab (Pay-&-Pay), he din even right the wrong.

    huh? you so thick skin “want to claim my share of contribution, howeevr, small.”, yet on the MW subject deny people of their share?

    dear poster, S’pore’s inflation & cost of (HDB) home ownership (leasehold more accurately said) surged way ahead of any wage increment i getting.

    which country in the democratic world political leaders demand a king’s ransom? it’s not that PAP’s leadership do it FOC, they’re paid way above top public office worldwide.

  • RED-man


    ///overcame British withdrawal of its forces///

    You better get our Singapore history right. As mice is nice already mentioned. Your so called lengthy reply is self contradicting!

    If you are referring to British withdrawal after the Japanese come in, lee kuan yew worked as a translator for the Japanese. The real people that save Singapore and form volunteer coup are the local able people and the local rich committee supported with money to buy weapon.

    If you are talking about British left Singapore after the independent, LKY is more interested in stir up crap for Tunku and his government as mentioned above as he want to make use of both the Malaysia and Singapore Chinese to consolidate his power to oppose the Malayan government. Early sign of power hunger character.

    Like I said, if he succeed in became the nominating power in the Malayan. I think we would have racial riot even until today for Singapore and Malaysia. Just as culture revolution of Mao Zhe Dong! That is what a gangster character people are capable of.

    We are lucky to have people like Dr. Goh Keng Swee and Dr. Albert. I am disappointed that after one day MIA from TOC, you still present crap and expect people to take you seriously. Obviously, you need a few more fly kite session.

  • RED-man

    //IIRC its the Americans who turned the tide against Germany during WWII. IIRC the British were barely hanging on. keke, let’s not OT.///

    LOL, mice. I just about to come to him on this part. Even dare to use “Churchill”. This traveller, travel no where but in his dream! Like mice said, the British barely hanging on during WWII.

    There are 2 reasons why American intervened! Mainly for themselves only! The German U Boat attack to their non military ships and pearl harbor! You better go fly kite!

  • mice is nice

    RED-man, 20 September 2010

    yo, that’ the problem with people like Traveller who idol worship LKY.

    i agree with you he/she is full of crap!


  • RED-man

    Another lesson to you traveller on Hitler:

    German will not defeat so soon if he had not be so arrogant and stubborn to take on Russia (which choose to be neutral before German attacks). He thought the Japanese would help him to fight Russia but they were busy themselves with the American at the Pacific.

    Some historian still cannot under why Hitler want to take Russia because even if he won. He is getting a big piece of land that almost 70% useless.

  • RED-man

    Bring out all the big names, but have no idea about all these people. If reading is really too difficult for you traveller. Go subscribe Starhub and watch discovery, history or national geography!

    Don’t make a fool of yourself. Should have know that when you answer my question on LKY merger with Malaysia and you use Mahathir instead of Tunku.

    And if I remember correctly, you are a Malaysian (Singapore PR) don’t you?!

  • RED-man


    I really hope you don’t usually get out of point during a job interview. You know what? If you continue to make a fool out of yourself here.

    You really put you beloved LKY in a Shame! Why? Because he and his dogs are the people that bring “FT” like you into this country!

  • RED-man

    And you can’t even Defense LKY in a intelligence way to make the old man proud.

    I think that’s why he was so sad in this interview.. Sigh.

    弄巧成拙 the more you want to defense LKY, the more you put him in shame. I think if he was to read this post, he would have think. Oh my god! What have I done? Is there no foreign talent anymore?!

  • RED-man

    Housing Development Board

    Lim Kim San (Chinese: 林金山; pinyin: Lín Jīnshān; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lîm Kim-san); (30 November 1916 – 20 July 2006) was a Singaporean politician. He was credited for leading the successful public housing program in the Southeast Asian City-State during the early 1960s, which eased the acute housing shortage problem at that time.

    Early life

    Born in 1916 in Singapore, Mr. Lim was the eldest of six children. He was educated at Anglo-Chinese School and then Raffles College, where he studied economics. [1]

    When World War II erupted and Japanese occupied Singapore, Mr Lim was one of many tortured on suspicion of being pro-communist and pro-British. A long time after the war, Mr. Lim said that those who survived the horror and the brutality of the Japanese occupation “will never forget them”. Mr Lim also said that the experience, while traumatic and humiliating, politicized his generation and made them vow to “never let our fate be decided by others.”

    After the war ended, Mr. Lim was, in his own words, a young man “in a hurry to make a living” to make up for the wasted years. He made his first million when he came up with a machine to produce sago pearls cheaply. He then went on to become a director of several banks.

    Housing and Development Board

    In 1960, due to a rapidly increasing population, more than 400,000 people were living in over-crowded conditions in ramshackle “chophouse” buildings or in squatters with substandard living conditions. At this time, Mr. Lim was appointed to the Housing and Development Board (HDB). He had volunteered for the job and had not been paid for 3 long years! It was in this position that Mr. Lim oversaw the massive construction of high-rise, low-cost apartments that will eventually become the main source of housing for Singaporeans.

    Housing plan

    Mr. Lim was known for his organizing and planning abilities. He forwent a detailed planning stage and instead chose a “rough and ready” approach to work fast using rough estimates of the housing requirement. In the first two year of this crash program, over 25,000 units were built, more than what was built in the previous decade.

    Mr. Lim defied all detractors, in particular those in the Singapore Improvement Trust, who said he could not build 10,000 units a year. A committee was eventually set up under Professor Lim Tay Boh to find out whether the HDB had the capability and the materials to reach the construction goal.

    By the time Professor Lim’s committee published its report, the HDB had already completed 10,000 units of housing. [1]

    Success of project

    In the first Five Year Housing Program, HDB achieved its goal of completing 51,000 units of housing by 1965. The largest project at that time was Queenstown, a satellite town of more than 17,500 apartments capable of housing close to 150,000 people. The new neighborhood was built as a self-contained entity, with all amenities and shops built along with the houses, so people will not need to travel to other areas for basic necessities, thereby lowering traffic congestion. This philosophy (which was ultimately extended with the concept of regional centre), is generally accredited by many to have significantly contributed to the lower rate of congestion and burden on the central business district than before.

    In May 1961, the Bukit Ho Swee Fire broke out and some 16,000 people became homeless. Under Mr. Lim’s guidance, the relocation and reconstruction of the lost housing was completed in just over four years, and 8,000 housing flats were made available to those who lost their homes in the fire.

    The success of the housing project was considered by some to stem mainly from the standardized architectural designs that were used. Another important factor was the Mr. Lim’s decision to use private contractors rather than employing construction workers directly. This allowed the HDB to supervise the contractors to ensure standards, rather than dealing with minute problems. Also, overall cost was kept low by using a large pool of contractors and different sources of building materials.

    There are some who said that by solving Singapore’s housing problem, Mr. Lim saved the PAP in the process. However, Mr. Lim himself was more modest, saying the success of the housing programme was also due to government funding, as housing was, and still is, a top priority.

  • Docchoon

    Let’s be more balance and farsighted in our thinking. It’s is a big responsibility to be a leader and when things goes wrong, the leader will always be blamed and criticized but we must be also willing to give the leader credit as well when due although his team has contributed as expected to the good result. It is the leader who selected the team members anyway and he should at least be given the credit for that. Lee Kuan Yew chose his team well mainly those who are intelligent, hard working, non-corrupt and willing to listen to him as a leader. He has always given them credit even in his interview.

  • mice is nice

    call a spade, a spade. anything else is to see the truth with tinted vision.

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  • Tsz San

    it is really touching the bit with his wife.
    well you must empathise with him, not that he wants any sympathy of course.
    all you can do really is to thank him for all he has done, whether you like him or not, and to hope that he takes care of himself.

  • i can cook better

    to Tsz San,
    many like me would thank LKY if he had retired permanently….20 years ago along with Goh KS, Raja, Toh CC, etc.

    > putting a spineless son as PM along with 82 stooges is a great disservice to Spore and its people. the fact you Tsz San can thank him says all that I need to know about you.

    > you don’t have to hope LKY takes care of himself, not when he has an unmatched track record in taking care of himself, from PM to SM to MM and with countless number of stooges serving him.
    what the heck! even IBA knows LKY takes care of himself and also ‘takes care’ of political opponents!

    > liking or disliking LKY is not the real issue, it is about whether LKY has earned the respect from ordinary Singaporeans, the true measure of his worth.

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  • forrestcat

    LKY can dream on if he thinks the Malaysian Chinese desire a leader like him.

    Both Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese have something in common, they complain alot. Malaysian Chinese will always heap praises on Singapore and even boast how they earn more and get into NUS but no Malaysian chinese in their right mind would ever get Singaporean Citrizenship eventhough they have PR.No Malaysian chinese envy the common singaporean with their HDB and MRT.

    Sure the Malaysian Chinese will lament why we don;t have MRT, but try taking the Federal Highway in KL, you will see all drivers are Chinese. Ironically it is the Malays who make up the bulk taking Public Transport. The Chinese enjoy ownong cars and even change cars every one or two CNY…why bother with a silly MRT which KL and its sister Malaysian cities will eventually get?

    My former Project manager worked in Singapore and he himself says that Singapore is too much for him! And he is Malaysian Chinese.

    Go on..dream on Singapore is a better than Malaysia forever……I sugget the Malaysian gahmen block Singaporeans from going to JB for cheaper medical care, shopping and old folks home to SAVE SINGAPOREANS FROM THE DISGRACE OF A THIRD WORLD MALAYSIA OR COWBOY TOWN AS LKY PUTS..WE WILL THEN SEE WHO NEEDS WHO!!

  • Chan

    What I cannot understand is why Singaporeans are now going back to the past wanting to be part British. More and more Singaporeans Chinese are discarding their Chinese names and taking up English names following Hong Kong’s Western trend. It is a real shame this is happening. We Asians should be proud of our heritage and identity like the Malays, Koreans, Japanese and Russians. English is now a universal language and is accepted as such and we do not need to identify ourselves to be part European.


    May Lord Jesus heal uncle LKY as he was a great physician when he was on earth. I prayed that uncle LKY will come to Lord Jesus as a real living God. LORD JESUS is our Saviour. LORD JESUS bless S’pore,M’sia and all over the world.
    Daisy Ng

  • jefflambk

    long time ago in a place far far away there live 3 sworn brothers + one wise man. Big brother was known as someone who always cries whenever there is a problem. second brother, was well known for his loyalty and fighting skills. third brother was a drunk but nevertheless was known for his bravery. and the wise man was revered throughout history as the wisest in terms of geography, psychology, art of warfare.

    The 3 able men – GuanYu, ZhangFei, ZhugeLiang – was willing to submit and serve under the cry baby – Liu Bei – and make him the emperor.

    you need not be the strongest, bravest or wisest to be the leader. you need to instil pride and loyalty and attract the best to work for you. Why would the strongest, wisest and bravest people be willing to work for a mediocere? ultimately, Credit belongs to the one who could rally a strong team, proveide the vision and motivate them to achieve it.

    As for who is right or who is wrong>>> history is written by the victor. I think LKY is smart to say that he did the things he need to, and he had the the CAPABLE people who supported him and that his legacy should not be decided by anyone except years later, when one can fully see the results of his policies.

    the stop at 2 policy was the right policy at that time, but the impact is now that we face an aging population and as mentioned, it now creates a social problem of having FT in our society that may not share our vlues and have difficulty fitting in. However, without the stop at 2 policy, with the Chinese emphasis of having more children being a sign of filial pietry and show of wealth, Singapore may not have been able to achieve what it has today. with the majority of people having to spend more to feed their 3rd and 4th kids, there wuld be less savings, resulting in less moneies for investment. (we do not manufacture our own goods so the topic of comsumerism driving the economy does not gel for us). kids have less opportunity to excel as whatever resources their parents have would be split and diluted. likewise govt resources would be spilt across a larger pool of kids and (as much as I detest the scholar policy) there are less resources to nurture our best and brightest

    ultimately, the stop at 2 policy has a negative impact, but it would be wrong to say that hte policy was a mistake. the problem is that we took too long to realise the impact and correct it.

    >>”Do you believe a man can change his destiny?”
    >>”I believe a man does what he can… until his destiny is revealed to him.”

    there is no such thing as destiny, ther is only actions. Actions translate to destiny only when it is seen in the light of other actions.
    And the light is the rays of retrospection. Even when the last warrior is killed and the battle is over, the victor is not known. The victor is only announced when we see the following actions and how the different events unfold and influence further actions. there is much to be learnt from popular culture…

  • jefflambk

    to those who say that Liubei was lucky as he got credibility as he was a distant relative of the detroned emperor

    and to those who say that zhugeliang and zhangfei and guanyu were not serving him but serving the remenants of the Han dynasty;

    and to those who say that LKY was lucky that he was at the right place at the right time being in the UK when the wave of independance was spreading

    and to those who say that Rajanatam and GKS and Dr Winsemius was not lead by LKY but driven by a passion to build Singapore,

    … this is DESTINY. and rightfully LKY Destiny cos he did what he could … until his destiny was revealed to him.

    from his interview above, I feel for him. he achieved so much but it seems that he realised that he is human and ultimately got to go. and he does not know what to do except to immerse himself in work. his friends – the old guard – have all left. his beloved wife has left. his kids has accomplished careers. he probably has so much money (and not to mention power) that he can pretty much get anything he wants. he did so much that he does not have anything to prove. so what else is left??? wait for the time to come while seeing your physical being retarding.

    Being an highly accomplished aging agnostic in declining health is painful. I wish for him the serenity that he seeks and that he is always composed and happy.

    I would pray for him but alas, I too am an agnostic

  • Angie

    Prince Siddhartha Gautama left his palace and saw 4 sights which affected him. He saw an old man, a diseased man, a dead man and an ascetic. He saw suffering in all except the ascetic who was happy. He then decided to leave home to search for the truth of suffering/unhappiness. Through deep and intense meditation he found the answers he was looking for. He became enlightened through meditation and found the truth about suffering/unhappiness, the cause, conditions and the way to eliminate it. He spent 45 years living an ascetic life, traveling and teaching. Buddha Dhamma (teachings) teaches one to lead a life that will lead to peace and happiness. Anyone wishing to know more please go online to buddhanet.

  • Lee

    Nothing is completely good or bad. There will always be different perspectives on the same issue. We, as Singaporeans, can choose to give Mr Lee a break and acknowledge that he did give his whole life to the country, or just keep harping on the negatives and put the blame on him.
    Sure, he did make mistakes. But are all the things that he did bad, and not contribute positively (in some way or another) to Singapore? I think it’s unfair to base a judgment on superficial observations without giving considerations all aspects and evidence.
    Critique Mr Lee’s policies, legacy and his work. Base those criticism on credible sources; don’t punch him below-the-belt by attacking him as a person.

    P.S. Wikipedia provides non-scholarly text, and therefore it is not 100% credible. Contributors to Wikipedia pages may not be ‘experts’ in those fields and their research may not be thorough and extensive. However, I must admit, Wikipedia is a good place to start before one does more in-depth research.

    Peace :)

  • RED-man

    Dear Lee

    You probably right that thing can be looked at different prospective, and right and wrong really up to a person exposure and experience in life.

    Let me share my prospective:

    1. To make thing simple and clearer, I think we can all agree that PAP should be divided into the old guard (nation builder) and new guard (current).

    2. I don’t think during the old guard time LkY has all the say he want since there are old guards of equal status can act as a counter check in the PAP.

    3. In the current, we can safely say that LkY has absolute power and non of the member in the PAP now dare to say anything even what he said is unreason or nonsense. The knee jerked if the old man gave him/her a simple look.

    4. What we all now enjoy as a Singaporean are from the old guard and we must give them the due credits for that.

    5. However, when LkY is in absolute power. What do we have here? Problem begin to surface one by one. Especially the policies he set in the past.

    My point is very simple, if LKY has the absolute power over the old guards. I believe, Singapore might not have been what it is today. But lucky he did not.

  • RED-man

    To be frank, I did give him more credit if he is to be as humble as old guard like Goh Keng Swee.

    His intention of pushing his son to the throne and allowing his daughter in law Ho Chin to gamble away people money. Does say alot about his leadership and capability. Not to forget bringing all his relatives into the government linked organization.

    He is not the first and he will not be the last to do this in history. But, however he tried to repackage it. The history will give him his rightful reputation he and his family deserved.

  • RED-man

    By singing praise to the FamiLEEs, I think it is kind of injustice to those that worked very hard in the past to make what Singapore is today.

    As a matter of fact, those that curse and swear at LEE, also know they owe their gratitude to the old guard. It is the LEE’s PAP that people HATE and disguise! It is not the PEOPLE’s PAP that Singaporean hate. Please understand the difference.

    PAP is no longer a PEOPLE ACTION PARTY. It is Elite Action party now! And behind all this, is non other than FamiLEE.

  • RED-man

    I urge someone based on what I have said and has good command of English to write an article that spell the title “THe Full of Action Party That No Longer Act For the People”

    With the content which old guards had contributed what in contrast with what the old man had did? Maye, we will have a better picture! Isn’t what PAP is all about? To act for the People?!

  • Lee

    Dear RED-man,

    I’m sure you’re entitled to your views and opinions but it should be noted that using loaded words e.g. freaking old man, his spineless son, etc. does not add extra weight to your argument. Those words are discriminatory and does not serve any purpose.

    I’m suggesting that maybe objectivity will be more apparent in your argument if you were to show basic courtesy and use Mr Lee’s name rather than ‘old man’ just because you disagree with him. You don’t seem to have a problem using Mr Goh’s name and you seem to really admire him.

    Please do not say that Mr Lee deserves to be called an ‘old man’ cause he is old! If that were the case, then I’m sure Mr Goh would be called an ‘old man’ too.

  • RED-man


    If you truthfully believe that I am entitled to my opinion and view, then don’t waste your time typing. Freaking or not … Well, you said it “It is my opinion” but I am very sure I am not alone in this instance.

    He is a OLD MAN, unless you are blind. Don’t bring out Mr. Goh’s name, don’t think you really appreciated what he did for the country any way. Most importantly, he don’t go around bragging to the world what he did.

    In case you don’t know, Mr. Goh is not a OLD MAN, he has been liberated from his suffering. To see the country going to be a mess, I think the 3rd dimension would be a good choice.

  • RED-man


    You don’t ask people for respect, it is a common believe that it should be earned. Whatever OLD MAN did, he is and together with his family very much well rewarded by the country.

    In the end, it is all about MONEY, POWER and STATUS. So for the respect he deserved, he is paid what he desire the most. Don’t think respect is what he ask for anyway. Since never in my life have I heard he or his family respect people at all.

    People don’t call them Royal Family of Singapore for nothing. And talk about Royal family, none in the LEE family can even match the Thai Royal. To put it simple… What good is a person who turn Singapore into a golden goose but only to slaughter it for him and his dogs? Don’t confuse the people here. There is a big different about contribution and self serving.

  • RED-man

    A very simple story of what LKY stands for:

    A group of people lead by LKY was walking on a open field. One of the man told him that it would be good to plant a tree so that the group can enjoy the shade after several years have past.

    However, when the trees grow big enough to provide shade for the people. He instructed his dogs to pluck away all the leaves and branches of the other trees that housed the other people except for his and his dogs. The leaves and branches were used as fuel to burn for heat to pass the winter.

    Lucky for most of the trees’ owner, they kept some leaves and branches when it fell down. But how long it will last, it still a matter of question. The people confronted him and his dogs. The old man told them, be glad that you even has a tree in the first place.

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    282882 beers on the wall.

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