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Lee was not averse to instigating violence to retain power.

Lee Kuan Yew had suggested “instigating riots and disorder” to crush opposition

From Martyn See’s blog, Singpore Rebel:

Below is an excerpt from the newly-published The Fajar Generation.

The Barisan Sosialis was then the strongest political force in Singapore and its leadership united and staunchly anti-colonial in their outlook. That was the reason for the alarm. That it believed in democracy and constitutional struggle and was expected to win in any free and fair election was the reason for repressive action. The PAP was afraid of the odium that would go with repression while the colonial power was still around, afraid of going the Lim Yew Hock way. But the PAP leadership desired repression to save itself; thus its neurotic behaviour.

In a conversation with Selkirk, on 28 July 1961, at time of the formation of the Barisan Sosialis, Moore reported Lee Kuan Yew's tactics in the following terms:

He went on to suggest that in order to avoid the Communists taking over, he would create a situation in which the UK Commissioner would be forced to suspend the Constitution. This might be done either by the Singapore Government inviting a Russian trade mission to Singapore thus forcing a constitutional crisis, or by instigating riots and disorder, requiring the intervention of British troops. I did, however, form the impression that he was quite certain he would lose a general election and was seriously toying with the thought of forcing British intervention in order to prevent his political enemies from forming a government (CO 1030/1149, p. 95, para 3).

Read the full post on Martyn's blog.