Debunking the deification of Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy

By | March 29, 2015

There has been a great deal of debate about whether Lee Kuan Yew single-handedly transformed Singapore from a fishing village into a first-world country and plenty of postulations that without him, Singapore will not be where it is today.

Without going into historical details (because history is like a bad case of Rashomon on an endless loop), there is actually a simple litmus test to debunk the deliberate deification of Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy by unreliable narrators.

Unfortunately, the test probably works best for those with children (or at the very least, have some experience in mentoring responsibilities).

Here’s how it goes: I want you to read the sentence below out loud.

Without me, my child will not be where he is today.

Ok, say that out loud again. This time with a straight face.

Without me, my child will not be where he is today.

Sense something wrong?

True, you’ve probably contributed much to the current state of your child (whatever that may be) through providing financial support, food and a roof above his head, and hopefully some parental love along the way.

But if people were to attribute the success (or lack thereof) of your child entirely to you, they are essentially undermining the growth potential that is inherent in every child and the hard work that the child has put in. To give credit to just one man is also to ignore the contributions of many people who may have a hand in guiding your child to where he is today.

Does that make sense to you now?

So let’s give credit where credit is due, but there is no need to put Lee Kuan Yew on a pedestal.

Help spread the word!
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Would you all like to hear of further inside scoops regarding the LEE family? Well .here goes. LKY is on a heart pacer. His wife as you probably know is in the ICU of Tan Tock Seng Hospital (in a coma and, sadly, not expected to recover), his daughter Lee Wei Ling married an Indian businessman in Hong Kong against his wishes but has since divorced, his other son, Lee Hsien Yang, is having an affair with his Singtel staff (a Malay woman), and his wife, Lee Suet Fern, is in the process of divorcing him (she has since left… Read more »

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b) Lee Hsien Loong. He was drafted into national service in 1971 and posted straight to OCS (Officer Cadet School in SAFTI). At that time, the route for enlistees to become SAF officers was 3 months basic military training, followed by 3 months Section Leaders Training (SISL at SAFTI) and then 9 months OCS (this was later reduced to 6 months). While at OCS, his routine was attending lectures in the day (hardly ever partake in any real physical training, usually standing nearby watching his comrades doing all the physicals) and by end of day the chauffeur would come to… Read more »

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The inner man in LKY. After his rise in power by displacing the “communist” elements, he always had that sense of insecurity and distrusted Chinese bodyguards (fearing infiltration from the Chinese communists into his establishment). His personal bodyguards were all non-Chinese (mostly Indians and Eurasians). Before his permanent move of abode to the annexe wing of the Istana, he stayed at his Oxley Road home. Each night he would rotate sleeping in different bedrooms, and his bodyguards would check under the bed before he retires for the night. Same with the food he consumed, someone would have to taste them… Read more »

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Hi fellas. Here are some inside scoops of past events, the real news that were not reported in the ST:a) In the early ’90s (1990/1991) there was a very short report in the ST that a horse had ran amok from the stables of the Singapore Polo Club and onto the main Thomson Road where it was run down by a vehicle (I think the put animal was later put down to sleep). That was it, one or two paras and the ST went to sleep. What was not reported was on the why and the what which made the… Read more »

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b) Immediately after the October 1973 Yom Kippur war between the Israelis and the Arabs (particularly Egypt), Singapore was involved in a piece of espionage activity. One of our patrol vessels from the Maritime Command (predecessor of our Republic of Singapore Navy) was sent to the Mediterranean area (Haifa, Israel) to collect a secret cargo which was then brought back to Singapore, whereupon it was transferred over to US authorities. It was a CIA operation involving the transfer of a captured Russian jet fighter, the MIG-23, which was dismantled into several crates and brought to US through Singapore. The jet… Read more »

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c) Has the PAP government ever fumbled on a grand scale and taken for a ride by foreigners? Yes, it happened at about the same period, in 1971. Slater Walker Group (UK based) had bought over controlling interests in Haw Par Brothers International Ltd (HPBIL) which was listed on the stock exchange in. There was nothing wrong with this commercial transaction, except that HPBIL owned Chung Khiaw Bank Ltd, and this appeared to have circumvented our Banking Act. One of the provisions of the Act forbid foreign ownership in any of our local banks in excess of 30 % of… Read more »

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Yes, that story on LHL’s first wife, the Malaysian, was true. It was not a rumour. She was a trained doctor, and as you know, partly due to post natal trauma, the denial by LKY that the trait of the newborn son was from a strand from the LEE family DNA tree, she could not handle the pressure of being blamed for producing the poor innocent child. From inside sources, it was learnt that she had injected herself with a painless substance which relieved her of the emotional pain and brought her to sleep forever. This was covered up. And… Read more »

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The other brother, the late Denis Lee Kim Yew, a lawyer with Lee & Lee in his active days, was embroiled in some controversial matters a couple of times. In 1970 a businessman, Goh Tjoei Kok, applied for a banking licence which was turned down by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The following year (1971) he re-applied again, but this time he included the name of Lee Kim Yew as one of the directors and the application was approved by the MAS. JBJ brought this matter up in court in defence of the defamation suit brought against him by LKY… Read more »

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LKY served as an “interpreter” for the Japanese administrators when Singapore was under Japanese rule. “Interpreter” was a very courteous way to describe his service with the Japanese. These days we just came them collaborators, agents or informers. LKY was having his first lesson in fighting for his own personal security and survival. Rhis lesson, once digested, he later applied into his political doctrine of survival. And yes, he worked as an informer for the British during the transitional period from colonial rule to statehood (when internal security was still under the purview of the British).In fact, when LKY was… Read more »

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WHY DEVAN NAIR WAS REMOVED AS PRESIDENT OF SINGAPORE This story must be told to the awakening Singaporean electorate. In the late ’70s and early ’80s the policy of LKY was to recruit all the top scholars and have them put into key management positions in the civil service, statutory boards, and GLCs. The NTUC, being the most crucial weapon controlled by the PAP, was no exception. This central congress of labour unions commanded a total workforce of almost 800,000 workers, which meant that it was responsible for translating 800,000 votes for the PAP during each election time. And the… Read more »

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The dice had been cast and the chips already rolling. LKY knew that DN was an alchoholic since his early union days. This has been common knowledge to his neighbours living in the Chestnut Drive area. And this was the weapon LKY can use to destroy him. But as the NTUC boss, this weakness could not be exploited as a weapon. Its tenacity as a weapon of destruction would be most expedient to use when he was holding a very high public office, one which had to maintain very high social decorum. Being the President of the country was the… Read more »