A video produced by All Singapore Stuff shows a group of passers-by at Orchard Road being asked about what they feel about quotes uttered by Donald Trump, a candidate in the upcoming United States Presidential Election. (Link to Video)
The two quotes were, ,'If I have to shoot 200,000 students to save China from another 100 years of disorder, so be it' and "I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came, and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration – friends, inter-marriages and so on – than Muslims."
The reactions were caught on video and the comments are as follow;
"Wow..That's fuck up Trump.", "That's abit screwed up.", "Kinda of rubbish-sy"
"What the...we do not agree. That is just wrong. Unjust."
The passers-by were then asked about what they think if the quotes were made by a Singapore minister.
"Singapore minister would never say that. If they were , there would be a outcry"
"I think the sedition act would come down on him."
But they were left shocked with their mouth opened when they were confronted with the truth that these quotes were in fact made by late founding Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew.
"I would say the same thing lar."
"He say that?"
"You are joking right? But alot of people compare LKY to a dictator right? So you know, if you look at him from that perspective... if you see him from the Singapore education kind of perspective where Lee Kuan Yew is god then.. oh my god, is it real? It is just very untrue. it is just very hard to believe that came from Lee Kuan Yew."
So where and when did Mr Lee made these quotes?
The first quote appeared in the Straits Times report on 17 August 2004, the newspaper reported that while commenting on Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's decision at Tiananmen Square in 1989, Mr Lee was quoted to say, "He took over, and he said: 'If I have to shoot 200,000 students to save China from another 100 years of disorder, so be it.' in support of Deng's decision.
So Mr Lee did not really make the statement himself but quoted it to support the actions at Tiananmen Square by Deng.*
For the second quote, Mr Lee wrote in his book, Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going, “I have to speak candidly to be of value, but I do not want to offend the Muslim community... I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came, and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration – friends, inter-marriages and so on – than Muslims... I would say, today, we can integrate all religions and races, except Islam.”.
After much controversy and negative response was brought about due to the above comment, Mr Lee issued a statement on 7 march 2011 to say how he stands corrected for his comment, "I made this one comment on the Muslims integrating with other communities probably two or three years ago. Ministers and MPs, both Malay and non-Malay, have since told me that Singapore Malays have indeed made special efforts to integrate with the other communities, especially since 9/11, and that my call is out of date.
"I stand corrected. I hope that this trend will continue in the future."
Quote on Tiananmen Square massacre
It should be noted that Deng Xiaoping is commonly said to have made the comment, "殺二十萬，保二十年穩定" in light of the massacre at Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989. The quote is translated to be, "Kill 200,000, preserve twenty years of stability.", which is quite different from what Mr Lee said in the forum.
Paragraph in the 17 August 2004 report
Using China as an example, he asked rhetorically if the world's rising economic power would be better off today, if the students at Tiananmen Square in 1989 had overthrown the government and built a thriving democracy.
'I didn't think so then, and I don't think so now,' he replied.
Commenting on Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's decision then, he added: 'He took over and he said, 'If I have to shoot 200,000 students to save China from another 100 years of disorder, so be it'.'
Mr Deng had gone through hardship in his life to know that China could not afford to let the dangerous situation get out of hand. He chose economic reform first and openness later.