[UPDATED] LKY: ‘Political system has to evolve’

09Sep08

[Lee Kuan Yew]Lee Kuan Yew turns 85 on September 9th, and consented to a Straits Times interview by e-mail.  No surprises: “evolve in sync with… our society” being code for “at a pace dictated by the PAP”.

In an e-mail response to questions from The Straits Times ahead of his birthday on Tuesday, he adhered to his lifelong focus on Singapore’s well-being when asked what ranked as most important items at his age.

‘As long as I am fit and alert, I will help consolidate Singapore’s future,’ he replied.

In that light, he spoke of two imperatives: Singapore’s political system must evolve. And the country must stand up to external stresses.

‘Our political system has to evolve to be in sync with the changes in the world, and in our society,’ he said.

UPDATE: Longer article published.

On a personal note, he spoke of how he faced ageing and stayed in fine shape.

He cycles and swims daily. He also eats moderately, enjoys his work and sleeps well at night.

On how Singaporeans can rethink ageing, in a society where people aged 65 and older will double to 20 per cent in 2020, he took a no-nonsense approach: ‘If you believe you are old and walk around as if you are nursing a weak heart, you will go rapidly downhill.’

He dismissed the perception that his personality may have mellowed with age. Neither have his key relationships changed.

‘I am unlikely to change my mind about friends I know well for a long time.’

But he has encountered physical changes, though stress is lower now.

‘As I grow older, my adrenaline and other glands are no longer as powerful.’



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