Refuting PM Lee

I refer to the 4 Oct 2014 Straits Times report “PM calls on S’pore to look outwards and to the future”.

Singaporeans not navel gazing

It is not Singaporeans who have given in to navel gazing. Instead, it is PM Lee who has gone riding on his high horse without checking his pants first. How many times must PM Lee get caught with his pants down before he would finally check his pants before charging off?

Surely the big picture PM Lee wants us to look at cannot be complete without the view from our own backyard?

Don’t repeat mistakes with handling high birth rates

Once upon a time, PM Lee’s father was over zealous with high birth rates and went into overdrive to kill them. PM Lee should learn from his father’s mistakes and not repeat them. Even as low birth rates cannot be wished away, there is no need to go into overdrive to correct them through artificial means like immigration. It may backfire like it did last time. Low birth rates could simply be a manifestation of poor underlying conditions. PM Lee should work hard to improve underlying conditions instead of just treating the symptoms which may worsen the underlying conditions.

Good jobs for Singaporeans

Instead of saying foreigner professionals have created good jobs for locals, why not list out 1,000 highest paid foreigner professionals (including permanent residents) employed by government or government linked companies and explain why no Singaporean can do their jobs equally well?

Joseph Schooling

The Joseph Schooling saga started with Joseph’s father posting a video in protest with being called an ang moh. This was reported by Straits Times on 28 Sept 2014 (My boy’s a true son of Singapore: Schooling Sr). A Google search of “Joseph Schooling” + “ang moh” – “kio” up to 27 Sept 2014 yields the following possible culprits:

Joseph Schooling allowed to defer NS till after Olympics 2016 …
forums.hardwarezone.com.sg › … › Lifestyle › Eat-Drink-Man-Woman
Oct 21, 2013 – 15 posts – ‎13 authors
National swimmer Joseph Schooling — touted as a potential Olympic medial …. ang moh tua ki….. If chinese confirm need to go ns first one. eurasian != ang moh.

Can defer NS by two years now a days? WTF! – Sam’s Alfresco Coffee
http://www.sammyboy.com › … › The Courtyard Café
Oct 21, 2013 – 20 posts – ‎12 authors
KNNBCCB PAP :oIo: Singapore top swimmer Joseph Schooling granted National Service deferment Published on Oct 21, 2013 By … Ang Moh Gau is the best!

The rants are understandable considering they were in response to Joseph being granted NS deferment for 2 years which is an extremely rare privilege. But it should be clear by now that the deferment had been worthwhile because it yielded a true blue Singaporean gold medalist at Asia level with possibly even greater feats in years to come.

Communist and communalist falsehoods

PM Lee should stop spreading the so-called communist and communalist falsehoods. Two of Singapore’s greatest philanthropists Tan Kah Kee and Tan Lark Sye were labeled and persecuted as pro-communists but today both men have had their charges posthumously cleared. This shows just how frivolous the communist tag is. Singapore was the beacon of communal peace throughout our colonial years, communal violence erupted soon after PAP became in charge. So if there was anyone to be blamed for communalism, it would be PM Lee’s father, Lee Kuan Yew. Even Lee Kuan Yew’s good friends Toh Chin Chye and Lim Kim San think so too:

The events of 1963-1965 appear to be substantially a clash of temperaments and world views, with consequent misunderstandings among the key players. Lee’s own colleagues tell a story of Lee Kuan Yew in overdrive, aggressively engaging in brinkmanship and pushing the Malaysian experiment to the precipice. Lee found it difficult to exercise self-control in front of a microphone and developed a pattern of making outrageous and inflammatory speeches, which Toh Chin Chye later characterised as anti-Malay. When Lim Kim San, a key cabinet minister during the period was asked by Melanie Chew whether he counseled Lee to tone down his speeches, he replied “Oh yes! We did! But once he got onto the podium in front of the crowd, paah, everything would come out. Exactly what we told him not to say, he would say!” Lee at this time was driving himself to the brink of a breakdown, and his judgment was impaired by a regime of prescription drugs designed to help him cope with the stress. He was not at his best and all his prejudices about Malays and his fears about the future were given a free rein, just at the time when he needed to keep them under strict guard

[Constructing Singapore: Elitism, Ethinicity and the Nation-building Project, Michael D Barr and Zlatko Skrbiš, page 29-30]

… the political ambitions of PAP leaders led by Lee Kuan Yew created a situation that, if not arrested, might inevitably result in a serious Sino-Malay clash.

[Across the Causeway: A Multi-dimensional Study of Malaysia-Singapore Relations, Takashi Shiraishi, page 43]

He (Lee Kuan Yew) was subsequently taken to task in Malaysia for apparently questioning the status of Malays as the indigenous people of Malaysia, angering Malays and endangering the Chinese in Singapore. He was also accused of having aspirations to become Malaysia’s prime minister and of wanting special status for Singapore within Malaysia

[Chronicle of Singapore, 1959-2009: Fifty Years of Headline News, Peter H. L. Lim, page 74]

… Lee Kuan Yew’s own political ambition also contributed to the separation of Singapore from Malaysia.

[A History of South East Asia, Arthur Cotterell, page 346]

… Mr Lee is a highly is a highly ambitious man,” the Tunku told Malay leaders in 1966, “he feels Singapore is too small for his aspirations … he wants a bigger stage for his dictatorial performances. Mr Lee has become prouder since the outside world proclaimed him as a wise and clever man. But he is living in a dream world …

[Lee Kuan Yew: The Crucial Years, Alex Josey, page 42-43]

The so-called reinforcement of these false lessons in history is akin to the rewriting of history by the Japanese government to whitewash their World War II atrocities. PM Lee should stop behaving like his dishonest Japanese counterparts.

The rest

The place we have built today wasn’t accumulated over 50 years but accumulated over 195 years. The Botanical Gardens, the Clifford pier, Parliament House, City Hall, Empress Place, Victoria Concert Hall, Istana, Fort Canning, National Museum building, Singapore General Hospital, Kandang Kerbau Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, our police force, civil service, laws, port, Bukit Timah Road, Serangoon Road, all these certainly weren’t accumulated in just the last 50 years. PM Lee can be a bit more honest when attributing Singapore’s achievements.

How can Singaporeans take the ball and run when it is always guarded by the PAP? How can we win the game when PAP dictates the game?

Straits Times, PM calls on S’pore to look outwards and to the future, 4 Oct 2014

He outlines three principles to take country to the next stage

AGAINST the backdrop of major world events, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last night warned Singaporeans against the dangers of being overly absorbed with internal issues to the detriment of preparing for the future.

Urging them not to give in to “navel-gazing”, he laid out three principles that have helped the country succeed and which would help it maintain its momentum.

These are: Looking outwards and staying plugged in to the world; staying true to good-hearted policies while not shying away from hard-headed realities; and taking heart from the past to embrace the future with confidence.

“We are now at an inflexion point, changing gears, changing pace,” Mr Lee said.

“We need not only to navigate the eddies and currents from moment to moment, but to keep in mind basic principles which will help us maintain our momentum, our direction, our purpose.”

Mr Lee was giving the National University of Singapore Society’s 60th anniversary lecture, titled “Singapore in Transition – the Next Phase”.

His comments come after more than two years in which Singapore has had to grapple with more urgent priorities in housing, public transport and medical care.

Acknowledging that these were understandable concerns, even as the Government is putting in place longer-term shifts for these policies, Mr Lee yesterday sought to refocus attention on the big picture and the world beyond Singapore.

“There are major changes in the Asian landscape which are having a big impact on us, more so because we are a small country,” he said, citing changes in Indonesia, India and China.

“Unless we understand what is happening… we can’t anticipate or respond properly to events.”

Mr Lee also acknowledged that while population and immigration policies had to take the heart into account and consider the social impact – and adjustments had been made – hard facts like low birth rates could not be wished away.

He touched especially on the issue of foreign professionals, managers and executives who compete with qualified Singaporeans for jobs, saying that while he could appreciate their concerns, the bigger picture was that allowing such professionals to come in created more good jobs for locals.

He warned against what he called the “real dangers” of anti-foreign sentiment, citing the latest outburst online against Eurasian Singaporean Asian Games medallist Joseph Schooling.

And in looking to the future, Mr Lee called on Singaporeans to understand the upheavals in their recent past. Citing the challenges from Communists and communalists in the 1950s and 1960s, he said: “The lessons of history need to be reinforced, because if we don’t remember them, we may not learn the hard-won lessons and we may fail to value what we have painstakingly built.”

Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence next year will also see memorials to victims of Konfrontasi and those who fought the Communists, he added. “But SG50 should also be a time to look ahead, to set new goals for the next half century, to see and be excited by the opportunities opening up,” he said.

During the lecture at the University Cultural Centre, Mr Lee also tackled questions from the floor. Professor Tommy Koh, the moderator, said some older Singaporeans in the audience had told him they did not think Singapore could replicate its success of the past 50 years, though he disagreed.

Replied Mr Lee: “We are small. We are successful, we can continue to be successful. But watch the world, have a good heart, but think very hard about what you are going to do, and have confidence in the future.

“You are young, you are living in an age with the amenities, with the knowledge, with the resources, with all the accumulated 50 years of effort which we have put in to build this place. Take it and run with the ball, win the game!”

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