Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew: Not fade away


The Economist weighs in:

SOMETIMES it seems that the founding father of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, has spent more time trying to tear himself away from running the island-state than he did ruling it in the first place. Now 87, he was Singapore’s first prime minister, serving for 31 years until 1990.

At that point, Mr Lee did not slip quietly off to the links. Rather, he remained in the cabinet as “Senior Minister”. In 2004 a new cabinet post of “Minister Mentor” (MM) was invented for him in the government headed by his son, Lee Hsien Loong.

On May 14th, however, MM announced that he was resigning at last from the cabinet. For any other politician of his age, that would be that, a statesman’s final flourish. The tame mainstream Singapore media treated the event as such.

Don’t believe a word of it. For a start, Mr Lee will retain the parliamentary seat that he won, uncontested, in the general election on May 7th. He will surely continue speechifying from the backbenches, as he did in the previous parliament, on almost every topic under the sun. He will intervene in public debates and write more books, all in his quest to keep Singapore on the straight and narrow. To quote the man himself (from 1988): “Even from my sickbed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel that something is going wrong, I will get up. Those who believe that after I have left the government as prime minister, I will go into a permanent retirement, really should have their heads examined.” …

7 Responses to “Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew: Not fade away”

  1. 1 Heard and hurt

    “Don’t believe a word of it”, unquote.


  2. 2 ed

    You got the starting bit wrong mate. ‘Founding father’? Singapore history begins in the 1960s or something?

    Names like Raffles, and looking further back, Sang Nila Utama (a prince of Palembang, the capital of the Sri Vijayan empire, ref. to the preceding history where south India influenced the cultural and economic development of much of south east asia, i.e. indonesia, malaysia, thailand, burma, etc.) comes to mind.

    To term this guy a ‘founding father’ is to uproot the cultural and multicultural roots of singapore and relocate it in China – which is what this guy did with his chinese supremacist stance.

  3. 3 princessyuki

    Mr ed, look into your own words on sang nila utama and you see that even YOU did not wrire anything he did for us. Perhaps u can say he founded us just like ppl find an ant on the floor. But did he bring the ant hm or nature it? Plus he found temasek. Old singapore. Ppl like raffles brought in the british and caused our forefathers many tears. He did not build our country. They merely make used of our stratgic location. So mr ed, do look at your words.

  4. 4 Heard and hurt

    Princessyuki may have to read up
    the History Of Sin to give us readers
    a more accurate account. No need
    to go too far back, start from the
    Majapahit Period onwards would
    be good enuff.
    Raffles brought tears to our forefathers?
    Our forefathers flocked here to seek
    safety and money hor!
    Is Princessyuki saying Sang Nila Utama
    should have built Changi Airport during
    his reign?

  5. 5 princessyuki

    Its so clear who is the one who should read up before standing up for someone else. Not only did Sung nila utama not build the airport, he did NTH except to step onto temasek see a lion (according to legend not even established) n name it singapura. Forefathers came here to seek NOT only safety and money if u want to argue. They are seeking home, family, building roots etc etc. Besides to seek in a process in action. Not seeked. If they have found it when british was ard, they wouldnt vote PAP. Pls read up heard and hurt and get yourself more hurt to know how they fled when japs came and came bk after japs left. History of sin? That can be a long debte which i need nt dwell with u. Just like u would sell a broken record to the sunday market n not listen to it. I too, would not listen. But i wont bring it to the sunday market vendors cos i kw it is of no use to them. Its just trash. I was merely trying to tell mr ed that lky is our founding father acknowledged by the world whether he agrees or not. It is not for him to correct the world but for the world to correct him.

  6. 6 princessyuki

    *give it to sunday vendors.

  7. 7 princessyuki

    Also pls note sang nila founded singapura( history) Raffles founded old singapore. Lky founded the singapore we are today. Mordern singapore.

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