18 April 2006

Terrorists in Parliament

April 18, 2006
Wrong to take progress and peace for granted

AFTER watching the dialogue between Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and a group of post-65 Singaporeans, I fear for Singapore's future if their views are representative of the younger generation. Many of them take Singapore's progress, stability and security for granted. They want 'a level playing field', 'alternative views' and even suggested that it would do Singapore good if MM Lee were to quit the Cabinet and 'not to pull strings from behind'.

When I see letters like this in the ST Forum, I really worry for Singapore. IMHO, it shows a severe lack of critical thinking, which really can't be good for the nation whether you're pro-PAP or not.

It's really absurd how they keep suggesting that progress, stability and security will be destroyed if you vote for the opposition. It's as if the opposition members are from Al-Queda or something, constantly plotting to blow up a few key installations.

Frankly, if I were an MP in Parliament and for some reason, the devil is in my heart and I have a clear, outright intention to destroy the progress, stability and security of Singapore, I really wouldn't know how to go about it. How would YOU go about it? Would YOU have any ideas?

"Oh, I'm sure I could think of something, Mr Wang."

Does any MP in Parliament, Opposition or not, REALLY have the capability to cause racial riots, start a cult, build a bomb? Do you think that by standing up in Parliament and making a speech or asking some questions, you can take even a quarter of a point off the year's economic growth; cause the unemployment rate to rise; dissipate our foreign reserves? Do you think that as an MP, you could have any adverse effect on private sector companies' productivity and determination to keep on making money?

Count yourself lucky, if you can get just ONE lousy white elephant of a Buangkok MRT station to open on time.

(Which, by the way, I do not regard as a small achievement).

And really, what is so wrong about the suggestion that MM Lee quit the Cabinet and 'not to pull strings from behind'? MM Lee himself talked about the need for leadership self-renewal waaaaaaaay back in 1990, when he voluntarily stepped down as Prime Minister (**sincere applause to him for that**). How bad an idea can that really be, if HE thought of it himself.

Now it's 2006, SIXTEEN YEARS later, and Lee Kuan Yew is still in the picture. Maybe he needs a gentle reminder of HIS own wise words?


Anonymous said...

IMHO, i think MM Lee resignation way back in 1990 is to pave the way for the ascension of his son to be the current PM.

As the masses will not be pacify if LHL becomes a PM then..too young and too obvious, he needs a period of cooling down as well as time to groom him. that is why GCT becomes the PM.

He is still hanging around to ensure that his son is not upsurp from the seat...imho

Molly Meek said...

This letter could well be a prank. After all, look at this:

"They want 'a level playing field', 'alternative views' and even suggested that it would do Singapore good if MM Lee were to quit the Cabinet and 'not to pull strings from behind."

Doesn't the writer sound like s/he is acknowledging that [*gasp*] LKY is pulling strings from behind like a puppet master? This is very dangerous discourse! Very dangerous!

Anonymous said...

I watched with shock on TV, when health minister said that PAP plan to send old people to retire or die in batam ,bintam and johor. PAP is so cruel , the plan is evil. i dont want to die in batam. If a crime is committed against a old person in batam, whose laws will protect him or her...why PAP so heartless

moomooman said...

Actually I have no problems with LKY pulling strings from behind, if that is true.

But if you compare the policies now and those in his days, you could see a big shift in thinking.

If he indeed pull some strings behind, then I would think he has progress with times, even at his age.

MM Lee being MM Lee, he still hast that aura in him. That man is 80 plus years old, even if you do not see eye to eye with his views, you still have to respect him for what he has done to Singapore.

Everyone of us, post 65, has indirectly benefitted from him thru our parents.

Without the progress in the 70s and 80s, I wouldn't think I will be able to go to Uni for my education, and be who I am now.

Anonymous said...

Did you note the facial reaction of Lee Kuan Yew when he was narrating how Jeyaratnam waved the police report and ended up being sued? Most likely some of the below 30's must have sniggered or made similar response, and he did not expect that It was a telling moment: truth will prevail.

darrnot said...

Perhaps we can look at the NMP scheme to contrast the different attitudes towards MPs.

Some elected MPs complain that an NMP does not have accountability to the constituents for what he/she says in Parliament.

The standard reply? The NMP is accountable to all Singaporeans when he or she speaks. Why is there a need for accountability to just constituents? The NMP will be replaced every 4 years anyway (without a need for election), there is no harm from their participation in parliament.

Hence, double standards apply to an NMP and Opposition MP. An NMP is encouraged to speak freely in Parliament, and no one suggests that the NMP will affect the stability of Singapore from his/her participation in Parliament. Whereas the assumption for an Opposition MP is, you might be introducing 'timebombs' or 'poisons'.

Anonymous said...

I feel that the letters that are showing up in the press are an attempt at spin doctoring what has become a PR nightmare for the PAP. My sense if that it will backfire on the PAP.

If anyone reads this reply, please do also consider reading my own blog at: temasek.blogspot.com.


dfgd said...

Molly Meek has grasped something important.

By writing in such a manner and appearing to be pro-PAP, the message gets out from between the lines,

LKY IS pulling strings from behind like a puppet master.

Anonymous said...

3 more letters attacking youths in Singapore in the ST forum today. I really feel like migrating liao. We are enouraged to speak up but when we speak up, we are told to be "polite". Polite till we kowtow to the PAP?

Anonymous said...

I know I am not alone, but something is terribly wrong about ST forums letters recently. Just today the featured one onlines were..

1. Govt is Brave to Engage Youth in Dialogue. (Har? young so scary meh)

2. Want Democracy? Choice? Come to Phillippines. (Har, why now allow foreigners to interfere with domestic politics...)

3. The Young Should Give MM Due respect, Credit. (Got what....but then we in democracy leh - not in ancient China - we dun kneel)

I think really ar - this Straits Times - I think better not read animore liao - make me want to blush - the bullshit is being laid really thick...

The Clown..feels sad..

Anonymous said...

Why do we pretend? The PAP is not polite, why does it pretend to be? The old man and his son aren't polite and won't listen, why do they pretend to? Sg is a dictatorship, why does it pretend to be some democracy? Sporeans are slaves to the system, why pretend there is freedom? Money is no enough, why pretend it is? There will be more price increases and hikes after the election, why pretend there won't be? The FT policy has failed, why pretend it is a success? The quality of life, cost of living is worse today than 10 years ago and will get worse, why pretend and say things are better now or will get better?

KNNBCCB, PAP go eat shit!

Anonymous said...

I don't think I gained much by watching this prog. Both sides came with their own views. Both sides know exactly what the other party's views were. They articulate. They leave frustrated. More trees are cut down in the days following.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Molly Meek:
Nice to see you around again. :)

Old Voter:
Really? Was such a thing said? I'm surprised ... why would they say such things, especially at election time?

A very good point, about the NMPs.

LKY has not been coming across very well to the younger generation. Folks like Dr Vivian have been doing a much better job. If I were LKY, tactically speaking I'd steer clear of discussions with young S'poreans and stick to foreign journalists instead.

Actually I'm pretty impressed that Singaporeans dare to be disrespectful to LKY at all. That's progress - and I don't say that flippantly. When S'poreans have the courage to question authority - that's really the beginning of progress.

That wasn't me, I was quoting the Forum writer who was quoting the folks on TV, duh.

Anonymous said...


He must have pulled some strings if he wants to get anything done, if he isn't pulling string it means he is not doin anything.

Why would we want him to stay if he isn't doin anything??

The qn is not if he is pulling strings but rather which strings he shd be pulling and which strings he shd let go!

Personally, I think he shd juz focus solely on foreign affairs, bcos he has the respect of other world leaders and is basically the face of Singapore in the international scene.

Anthony said...

You know...

The PAP could win more votes by admitting that they fuck up every once in a while. I don't think any of us expect a perfect government, just one that delivers more often than not.

Likewise, the Straight(Jacket) Times will do better if they finally get round to admitting a terrible secret - it's okay to express sympathy to opposition.

Of course, -I- may just be the one going mad.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...does the old man even need to pull strings? Oh course not! He's the emperor regent! The voice behind the throne. Serviced by his faithful 1st Prime Minster who stood in place while the young dragonling had to grow gray hair first! Oh no, Singapore is definitely not a dictatorial system, it's a DYNASTY! Elections, freedom, we're like in the middle of the Han Dynasty with the emperors claiming to empower the people, but with the influence that they have over the minds of the people "the sons of han" (make that the "sons of lee" what can this generation do?

Dynastys only fall when the emperor becomes corrupt. But that normally after 6 generations. The Lee-nasty is here to stay...

Hmmmm Strait(Jacket)Times, I wonder when this term was first used...

Anonymous said...

"Dynastys only fall when the emperor becomes corrupt. But that normally after 6 generations. The Lee-nasty is here to stay..."

富不过三代. Three generations is all it takes. Chiang Kai Sek and Taiwan is a good example. By the time of his grandson, Taiwan has democratized by neccesity, and their economy rook off. For Spore, with the advantage of our small size, I reckon the dynastic perpetuation will last all of two generations.

Anonymous said...

Instead of talking, I think we can all do something to stop them

1) Help Opposition Candidates as election agents or assenters

2) Donate to Opposition Parties

3) Buy their stuff

4) Convince all your friend, neigbors and collegues to vote for change

5) Use different websites to convince people

6) Power is in your hands!

moomooman said...

"Instead of talking, I think we can all do something to stop them

1) Help Opposition Candidates as election agents or assenters

2) Donate to Opposition Parties

3) Buy their stuff

4) Convince all your friend, neigbors and collegues to vote for change

5) Use different websites to convince people

6) Power is in your hands! "

Are you Chee Soon Juan?

Anonymous said...

Em...Chee Soon Juan is not the only one among the 25% to 40% of Singaporeans who do not vote for a certain party each election..So please!!!

BjornLee said...

well, we should give LKY respect, thats for sure. After all, he did create a First World Nation from nothing. Having said that, our mature nation has to be tolerant towards dissenting views and opinions. However flawed that TV forum was, it is a right step in the right direction. I applaud MM Lee for tryig that, now I want to see other ministers or even MP engage the public in dialogue and not have some lameass water-down answer to pass off as a televised dialogue.

Regarding the Straits TImes, i didn;t read it, our local paper is a real joke if they really practise self-selction of forum comments toeing the party line. Ask foreign students who study here in Singapore from India and they will tell you ST really sucks. International news sites on the web is way better.

But back to the point, the more the newspapers and media makes the public think that those 10 out there talking to LKY was disrespectful, is the real concern we shld be worried about.

Are we preaching a Confucianistic culture here of never questioning your elders here?? I thought we were a democracy? (ok, dumb statement, we appear so but we should strive to be)

As long as the media keeps perpetuating the urban myth that what those 10 people did were wrong, our future is bleak, and so will PAP's as it symbolises a clampdown on questioning of authority, free speech and reinforces sacred taboo topics in Spore such as speaking against LKY. I dun think LKY wants that. He wants an intelligent, competent government to arise from the new generations, whether they are from PAP or not. His perceived biasedness and highhandedness was borne out of genuine concern for Singapore and perhaps a lack of trust from those outside his sphere of influence. It appears the current pple in the media and Administration do not realise what the founding father wants anymore and I see clampdowns as being very harmful to constuctive intellectual discourse and long term political renewal in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang

I was shocked by old voter's comments and found this article at