The Far Eastern Economic Review, in this month’s free feature, has an insightful and sympathetic interview with Singapore Democratic Party leader Chee Soon Juan.
It’s worth reading. Points of interest include Chee’s comments that Singapore needs a color revolution, Chee’s questioning the transparency of the city’s institutions and his doubts about the media intelligence of Lee Hsien Loong.:
.. tensions will erupt when strongman Lee Kuan Yew dies. Mr. Chee notes that the ruling party is so insecure that Singapore’s founder has been unable to step back from front-line politics. The PAP still needs the fear he inspires in order to keep the population in line. Power may have officially passed to his son, Lee Hsien Loong, but even supporters privately admit that the new prime minister doesn’t inspire confidence.
During the election, Prime Minister Lee made what should have been a routine attack on multiparty democracy: “Suppose you had 10, 15, 20 opposition members in parliament. Instead of spending my time thinking what is the right policy for Singapore, I’m going to spend all my time thinking what’s the right way to fix them, to buy my supporters’ votes, how can I solve this week’s problem and forget about next year’s challenges?” But of course the ominous phrases “buy votes” and “fix them” stuck out. That is the kind of mistake, Mr. Chee suggests, Lee Sr. would not make.
“He’s got a kind of intelligence that would serve you very well when you put a problem in front of him,” he says of the prime minister. “But when it comes to administration or political leadership, when you really need to be media savvy and motivate people, I think he is very lacking in that area. And his father senses it as well.”
AsiaPundit would agree that Mini-Lee is far less media savvy than his father, who still commands a lot of respect for his intellect and his economic record. AsiaPundit also appreciates that his opinion is considered completely irrelevant by the ruling People Action’s Party.:
(Second Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) Vivian) Balakrishnan said: “I am not concerned at all about what the foreign media thinks. We are not here to fulfil (sic) their agenda. Let me put it to you this way.
Even though the PAP doesn’t care about the foreign press, AP expects that the Singapore government will seek its ‘right of response’ to the latest issue of FEER.
It’s a shame that the government does not allow its citizens the right to a counter response when MICA drafts letters criticizing the opinions of Singapore’s private citizens.
Technorati Tags: asia, censorship, east asia, singapore, southeast asia
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Mao: The Unknown Story - by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday:
A controversial and damning biography of the Helmsman.
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