April 20, 2006
TELEVISED DIALOGUE WITH YOUNG S'POREANS
Not all young people think like those at forum, says MM
By Lydia Lim
Senior Political Correspondent
THE man in the middle of the controversy that followed his televised forum with a group of young Singaporeans has said he is not surprised by the polarised reactions.
But Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew says he would be wary of believing that the views of the 10 young people he met represent those of their generation.
All 10 who took part in the one-hour forum televised last week, were graduates aged 30 or younger.
Seven were journalists, two were Singapore Management University undergraduates and one was a publications manager in the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce.
Mr Lee told The Straits Times yesterday that he believes, over time, these 'radical English-educated young' will re-order their priorities.
'They will realise that a large majority of Singaporeans are steeped in their respective Asian cultures, whose core values will not be easily displaced,' he said in an e-mailed reply to questions.
Mr Wang cannot help but chuckle at MM Lee's remarks about "these radical English-educated young". Because Mr Wang cannot help but think of MM Lee's own background.
Lee Kuan Yew may be old now, but once upon a time, he was young too. And when he was young, he left Singapore to study law in England. At Cambridge University, no less. And collected Double 1st Class Honours in English law. How much more "English-educated" can you get?
In contrast, at least two of our young TV show participants are studying at Singapore Management University, right here at Bras Basah Road. And before that, they probably had to sit through a few years of the Ministry of Education's compulsory National Education talks during their secondary/JC days.
Who's the "English-educated" one here?
Read also Lee Kuan Yew's memoirs about his own university days. Note when he first started messing around in politics. No, not in Singapore. He started messing around in political activities when he was in England. Which was not even his own country.
A young foreigner. A student. Messing around in the politics of another country. The homeground of his colonial masters, no less.
And he has the cheek to say that our young TV show participants are "radical".