Don’t use ESM title for Mr Goh

Dear Straits Times,

I refer to the 11 Oct 2011 letter by Mr Tan Soon Meng.

It is wrong to use the term ‘founding prime minister’ on Mr Lee Kuan Yew for Mr Lee never founded Singapore. Singapore was founded in 1819, long before Mr Lee was born. Mr Lee became prime minister in 1959 not to an independent Singapore but to a Singapore with full internal self-government. The road towards full internal self-government began with David Marshall, not Mr Lee. Even in 1965, independence was thrust upon us when we were kicked out of Malaysia, not fought and won by Mr Lee.

If we were to take the example of George Washington, he fought the British and won independence for America. Mr Lee neither fought the British nor the Malaysians to win independence for Singapore. Mr Lee relied on the British to lock up all his political opponents and then actively courted the Malaysians for merger. If we were to transpose Mr Lee’s actions onto George Washington, it would be as though Mr Washington collaborated with the British to wipe out his fellow American political opponents and then sought a merger with Canada but got kicked out instead. That kind of Washington will never be respected by Americans as a founding father.

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One Response to “Don’t use ESM title for Mr Goh”

  1. Hsq Says:

    well said

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