Only an A-Team will do

Straits Times, 25 Oct 2008

MM Lee said he chose to invest in Suzhou because Suzhou has a lot of extremely smart people and that’s why Suzhou succeeded. Yes, Suzhou people are so smart that a large chunk of our investment got makan by them. So much for being successful. Who is he kidding?

He says the younger generation doesn’t know how we got here and how it rested on discipline and tough minded leadership. How can the younger generation not know when they are required to study it in secondary school? What the younger generation doesn’t know is how the success of our nation has little to do with tough minded leadership but the quality of its people.

MM likes to emphasize that without his tough minded leadership, Singapore will go back to square one and never rise again. You look at Taiwan and Korea both of which have gone from tough minded leadership to liberty for the people and they still stand tall. Hong Kong too has never had tough minded leadership but never fell too. So you have to suspect that Lee’s talk is all hot air but no substance.

Lee emphasized connection to the world. But Singapore was founded back in 1819 by Sir Stamford Raffles to connect to the world. So it is a credit to Raffles, not LKY. Similarly, traits like rule of law, transparency, fair play and meritocracy are inheritances from our British colonial past, evident in Hong Kong too. So again, the credit goes to the British, not LKY.

Lee says he trained people not to litter and other social habits. But we still have so many litter bugs today and we spend millions every year to clean up the streets. Even he conceded that he will never see a gracious Singapore in his lifetime. So he seems to have amnesia because one moment he says one thing, next moment he says another thing. Perhaps it’s time for him to retire?

He says that if a Chinese or Indian goes to America, he becomes Americanised. But if an American goes to China or India, he cannot Americanise China or India. How silly his logic is. It is reasonable to say that the individual adapts to the country he is in, it is silly to suggest that the country adapts to the individual. MM cites the infinitesimal numbers of Christian converts in China and India as proof. But historically, how was Christianity spread in large numbers? Through mass murders. Christianity spread through Europe because Christian Europeans slaughtered their Pagan neighbours. Similarly Christianity spread through the Americas because the indigenous people were slaughtered. MM Lee doesn’t seem to understand history vey well and so makes silly conclusions.

Finally MM says that it’s ok for the top tier migrants to be mostly foreigners but in the middle tier, Singaporeans should outnumber migrants. In other words, MM believes in a Singapore that is predominantly run by migrants with Singaporeans doing all the leg work for them. That’s our MM, ever a firm believer of Singaporean slaves working for foreigner masters.

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