Which Lee is the Prime Minister of Singapore?
The Temasek Review asks a simple question.
If you were to ask 10 elderly Singaporeans in the streets randomly who the Prime Minister of Singapore is, chances are quite a number will answer “Lau Lee” in reference to Singapore’s octogenarian leader Lee Kuan Yew.
Lee was the first Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990 and though he had stepped down officially as the head of the government, many still believe he is the one who wields the power.
The lingering public perception that he is the real leader of Singapore and not his son Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is hardly surprising given the fact that he has never quite really faded away from the limelight since officially relinquishing his post in 1990. …
By his own admission, the elder Lee told a Japanese audience last year that he is not doing “much work” except “forecasting”, but it now appears that he is overshadowing his son with his frequent exhortations (faux pauses included) to Singaporeans.
Lee’s frequent “flip-flops” are a constant source of embarrassment for his son. In his National Day Rally last year, PM Lee assured Singaporeans that they will remain a “priority” for his administration.
Three months later, his father stunned the entire nation by making disparaging remarks about Singaporeans in an interview with the National Geographic magazine.
One day he is telling Singaporeans that the inflow of foreigners will slow down. Another day, he is asking Singaporeans to “bear” with the increased competition brought about by foreigners.
In December, he told Singaporeans that it is their “problem” if they do not have the “spurs” stuck in their “hide” and now he is promising them that the government will give “priority” to citizens.
What is going on? Who can we trust? Which Lee is really in charge of the Singapore government? PM Lee or his father MM Lee?
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Tags: lee hsien loong, lee kuan yew, minister mentor, temasek review