Lee Kuan Yew urges Muslims to ‘be less strict’
Lee Kuan Yew suggests putting Singapore before Islam. AFP:
Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew has urged local Muslims to “be less strict on Islamic observances” to aid integration and the city-state’s nation-building process.
Singapore has a predominantly Chinese population, with minority races including Muslim Malays and Indians, and Lee has always stressed the importance of racial harmony.
“I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam,” he said in “Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going,” a new book containing his typically frank views on the city-state and its future.
“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, intermarriages and so on…” he stated.
“I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate,” Lee added, calling on the community to “be less strict on Islamic observances.” …
Turning to local politics, Lee said the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), which has been in power since 1959 when Singapore gained political autonomy from colonial ruler Britain, will someday lose its grip on power.
“There will come a time when eventually the public will say, look, let’s try the other side, either because the PAP has declined in quality or the opposition has put up a team which is equal to the PAP… That day will come.”
“In the next 10 years to 20 years, I don’t think it’ll happen. Beyond that, I cannot tell.”
Lee said that despite a survey showing the contrary, he believed Singaporeans were not yet ready for a non-ethnic-Chinese prime minister.
“A poll says 90 percent of Chinese Singaporeans say they will elect a non-Chinese as PM. Yes, this is the ideal. You believe these polls? Utter rubbish. They say what is politically correct,” he stated.
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Tags: chinese, integration, islam, lee kuan yew, muslims, opposition, pap, people's action party