How about a Deng Xiaoping award next?

Dear Mr Tom Plate,

I refer to your article which was carried by the Straits Times on 10 Nov 2011.

Exceptional leaders are sometimes exceptional only because the works of others have gone to their credit. Lee Kuan Yew is no exception. Without Dr Albert Winsemius, without Goh Keng Swee, without Singaporeans, Lee Kuan Yew would have amounted to nothing. It wouldn’t be accurate to refer to Lee Kuan Yew organising and running Singapore as Goh Keng Swee organising and running Singapore with Dr Winsemius as advisor.

It wasn’t just under Lee but even before Lee, Singapore never cared much for ideology. We were founded as a place for trade and commerce and have continued to evolve as such.

It is strange that Lee Kuan Yew would refer to Chinese history as going back 5,000 years instead of going back to 1949 when the Chinese Communist Party won power. Strange because whenever he refers to Singapore history, he invariably goes back to 1959, the year he won power instead of 1819, the year of our founding.

To refer to his track record of correct assessments is even stranger. He couldn’t even see the Global Financial Crisis unfolding right before his eyes and GIC which he headed lost billions overnight. His wrong assessment in the early years led to over-control of population growth leading to population under-growth today. The economic policy he adopted when he first took power was import substitution for the Malaysian market. Import substitution was the policy that eventually failed many third world nations. Thankfully for Singapore, we were kicked out of Malaysia and didn’t have to suffer the consequences of Mr Lee’s wrong assessment.

He labelled his former comrades communists and made himself look anti-communist in order to lock them up and destroy them. He even referred to a group of Christians as Marxists and had them locked up too. You see, he will call his opponents anything just to have his way with them. But if you look at the substance of his accusations, there is none to be found. Have you ever seen communists anywhere in the world fighting without guns and bullets? Yet, these were the unarmed people labelled by Lee Kuan Yew as communists and locked up for such a record number of years even Nelson Mandela cannot beat.

If we have to name a Singapore counterpart to Deng Xiao Ping, it would have to be Goh Keng Swee, advised by Dr Winsemius. The award most befitting Lee Kuan Yew would be a Mao Tse Tung award or a Joseph Stalin award. For Lee is a through and through autocrat whose only gifts were political guile and ruthlessness, the two hallmarks of great autocrats like Mao and Stalin.

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4 Responses to “How about a Deng Xiaoping award next?”

  1. Hsq Says:

    Another great rebuttal !

  2. cp Says:

    well written great

  3. ed Says:

    ‘Fighting with guns and bullets’ does not a communist make. Fighting without guns and bullets does not a non-communist make.

    Whilst i agree with your main point that LKY labels his opponents with anything that might enable him to lock them up, saying that the ‘marxist conspirators’ weren’t marxist because they were not totting guns and spitting out bullets is a poor argument.

    I personally know communists in the UK whom fight for a better society, but do not avail themselves of guns and bullets. The communist part in India, too, do not utilise guns and bullets, and Hugo Chavez did not come into power with it.

    If you look at history, people of all ideological affiliations have used guns and bullets, or sticks and stones. But it is usually the violence of their opponents that determine if they use guns and bullets.

    LKY depended on mass ignorance of the above to be able to label his opponents as ‘communist’ to incarcerate them. Without mass ignorance, the label of ‘communist’ wouldn’t be enough to vilify anyone.

    Your inaccurate associations in the article above, unfortunately, perpetuate this misunderstanding….which LKY relied upon in the past to do what he did.

    As for the award befitting LKY, a ‘Qin Shih Huang Ti’ award would be the most appropriate given that he replicated that portion of chinese history in singapore-turned-Qingapore.

    • trulysingapore Says:

      Hugo Chavez formed a revolutionary army and actually led a coup. So his employment of armed force cannot be denied. He is therefore not the ‘peaceful communist’ that supports your argument that fighting without guns and bullets makes not a communist.

      Furthermore, Chavez won power in 1998. Most communist nations like Vietnam, China or Russia have, since 1998, moved on to focus on economic issues. The peaceful communists you know in UK or India today do not represent the communists of yesteryears. Just like the communists in Vietnam, China or Russia today are not the communists in Vietnam, China or Russia in yesteryears.

      We have to go back to the 1950s and 1960s to see if our so-called ‘communists’ then conformed to the kind of communists that operated then. The Vietcong, the Malayan Communist Party, Fidel Castro. These were the examples of the communists then. Our so-called ‘communists’ were far from them. Hence the argument that they weren’t actually communists.

      So my associations are not inaccurate and stands up to your scrutiny. My article therefore does the opposite of what you are suggesting. It does not perpetuate misunderstanding but promotes understanding instead.

      Qin Shihuang is not an appropriate title. While Qin Shihuang was a tyrant, he also helped build the Great Wall to keep invaders out. LKY was a tyrant and nothing more.

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