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Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, RIP

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    Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, RIP

    Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister and Founding Father of Singapore has died at age 91.
    We were all hoping that he would live to see the 50th Anniversary of Singapore as an independent nation, but it was not to be.

    His importance to the development and stability of Singapore cannot be overestimated. He was a key political figure from 1955 until his death, a period of 60 years.
    He was instrumental in gaining self-governing status in 1959 and later freedom from British Colonial rule when Singapore joined to form Malaysia in 1963.
    He was also largely responsible for Singapore's survival after being thrown out of Malaysia and becoming an independent nation in Aug. 1965.

    His legacy will remain as long as Singapore continue to prosper against all odds. He is being credited with taking this small nation with no natural resources and no hinterland from 3rd World to a 1st World status in slightly more than 1 generation, and that without looking for hand-out in the form of Foreign Aid, like so many other former colonies.

    I have never met him in person, but he has been a presents in my life since I have been in Singapore from 1967. May he rest in peace.

    A great loss, and a legend on his own way

    Some interesting videos on his straight talking no nonsense methods


      And one more !


        I'm less then enthused by the way the Western media has handled the reporting on Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's death so far. They appears to concentrate on his "draconian" rules and "autocratic" style of governance. BBC's Jonathan Head spent an enormous amount of time and effort to try to find a Singaporean that would have anything critical to say about him, without much luck, I must say.
        Besides, he didn't even have the historical facts about the status of Singapore when Mr. Lee became PM correct. He used to live here and should know better. (Or do his homework before going on air)

        Another reported (in a different media) kept on saying that chewing gum is banned in Singapore, with dire consequences. (A favourite subject for Western journalists)
        It is NOT. Importing or manufacturing FOR SALE is, but you can chew as much as you want, as long as you don't litter.

        I'm going to the Istana Gate now to to pay my respect to a man I have admired for many years, but have never met. I have been watching his handy work up close, though.

        PS> I have noticed this trend to look for a negative angle and someone to blame in most cases. (Not only by BBC I might add)


          Originally posted by ombugge View Post
          I'm less then enthused by the way the Western media has handled the reporting on Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's death so far....
          That is a shame, but unfortunately nor surprising. The west could do with some politicians of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's standing and character.


            Here is a short video of the funeral procession for LKY this morning:
            I did not attend, but a lot of people did, as can be seen.
            There were also a lot of people waiting at Parliament House to get inside to pay their respect, some from very early morning, or even since last night. They only let in 50 pers. at a time to avoid overcrowding, so the time spent in queue was be up to 8 hrs. or more earlier today, I have been told.
            I paid my respect at the Istana Gates last night. There was a lot of people there and the amount of flowers were enormous. I noticed that the "Old Lady Flowershop", which is located abt. 5-600 m. away and usually stay open late, was closed at 7 PM. Either they had sold out their stock by then, or gone to pay their respect as well.


            • ombugge
              ombugge commented
              Editing a comment
              Parliament House will be open 24 hrs./day until the funeral and the MRT trains will be running all night to cater to the number of people who is lining up to pay their respect. A hated dictator and despot?
              No, Singaporeans will not be rioting in the street to demand their "freedom" anytime soon. Much to the dismay of some in the western media fraternity.

            Yes it is a shame that the "free press" of the west is spending their time trying to find a negative angle on everything. Maybe they should try harder to get their facts right.
            It is not a given that mimicking the western style of democracy is best for every country. Just look at the US and what it is doing there.
            Yet they make it a "calling" to bring their way to the world, without much luck lately.

            Singapore's system of government, elections and judiciary was inherited from the British and only marginally adopted to suite the reality here.
            The single seat Constituency system and one dominant party makes it difficult for small parties to get "first past the post". Hence PAP won a large majority in the Parliament again at last election, although they won just under 60% of the votes. (Watch how this will work out in the UK election this year, with several minor parties contesting in just about every constituency)

            ​As for the use of the defamation laws by LKY over the year, he has explained it this way;
            If somebody in politics, or members of major foreign media, accuse me of corruption I cannot ignore it. It would then become the accepted truth. In stead of "throwing them in jail" I take them to court, where they can prove their accusations and even have the right to cross examine me".
            Maybe, in stead of the "backbiting" and slander, which has become an accepted fact of western politicking, they should listen to his advise? (Or are they afraid that the opponent is proven right?)


              One has only to listen to snippets from Prime Minister's Question Time heard on BBC radio news programmes to be utterly sickened at the thought that these are men to whom we entrust the running of the country. Shouting at the top of their voices (with the background of yelled "hear, hear" from their party members) there is nothing but childish insults hurled at the other person, it has really come down to being equivalent to the sort of thing you might hear in a school playground.
              I have the radio on for news in the morning and midday while I have my meal, and as soon as the yells start I cannot press the off button soon enough to avoid damage to my eardrums.

              Yes it is a shame that the "free press" of the west is spending their time trying to find a negative angle on everything. Maybe they should try harder to get their facts right.
              But, Ombugge, they know full well that their audience is only interested in scandal, malpractice and juicy gossip about people in the news, so what they cannot uncover they insinuate.

              "To thine own self be true.......
              Thou canst not then be false to any man."


              • nari
                nari commented
                Editing a comment
                For a moment, reading Ivy's account of a parliament session, I thought: How does she know so much about the Australian parliament??? The insults, barrages, fist shaking and furious accusations belong to a schoolyard, but the scene is obviously alive and flourishing in the decision-making chambers of at least two countries. We should expect civility, at the very least.. No?????

              If you have an hour to spare and an interest in world policies sit down and watch this interview of LKY by Charlie Rose in 2011:
              His predictions may not all have proven right, but it is difficult to predict the future.

              If you first looked at the link that exclureilx posted a few ago:
              you will see a young LKY who had only been PM of an Independent Singapore for only 2 year, yet he was not intimidated by tough talking American media high flyers.

              And if you have even more time and interest, here is Charlie Rose on LKY in 2000:


                The Funeral of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is now being streamed live on Youtube.


                  Then it is over. Lee Kuan Yew's funeral procession was a wet one, but that did not stop ordinary Singaporeans of all races, ages, religions and social standing from waiting patiently along the 15.5 km. route, from Parliament House to NUS Cultural Center, to get a few second gimps of his coffin as it passed by. Here is a few pictures from the procession and the State Funeral, which was held without any religious rite, as LKY was not a religious person:

                  Now the foreign media can pack up and go home, hopefully not too disappointed that there wasn't anybody who would satisfy their need for negative statements about Mr. Lee.
                  But that is probably not going to stop them from speculating on whether Singapore will now disintegrate into a frenzy of demonstrations demanding more freedom and less oppression.
                  Singapore will inevitably change, not BECAUSE LKY is dead but because that is inevitable due to the standard of education and standard of living that is the legacy of LKY. It is also part of the long term planning that is in place thanks to him.

                  Can we hope that the experience of seeing the outpouring of grief, the revere and respect he command in Singapore and the region will teach them a lesson??
                  It is not inevitable that the "way of the west" is necessarily what is the best for all countries, nor what is required to bring a country to prosperity and harmony.


                    Is it known who might succeed Lee Kuan Yew?

                    "To thine own self be true.......
                    Thou canst not then be false to any man."


                    • ombugge
                      ombugge commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Nobody can succeed LKY, he is irreplaceable as a human being and as a Statesman.

                      This is not a case like Mugabe, who is trying to hang on to power until he dies, because he is afraid of what will happen to him if he don't. (Never mind what happen to Zimbabwe)

                      LKY stepped down as Prime Minister in 1990, at age 67, after a very thorough process of succession studies and planning.
                      His replacement was Mr. Goh Chok Tong, who was PM until 2004. He he was replaced by his Deputy PM for 14 years, Mr. Lee Hsien Long, who happen to be the son of LKY and probably the best prepared PM anywhere in the world. Growing up in a political family, partly at the site of Government (Istana, where he still has his office). As Deputy PM for 14 years he got time to learn the ropes.

                      Planning of the succession for LHL is now well advanced to ensure that the "Management of S'pore Inc." does not fall into decline, or the wrong hands. He is 63 years old now and have had two bouts with cancer. He will probably step down sometime in the next 5-year election period. (After 2017)
                      Watch who will be appointed DPM after the next election and you probably see the successor.

                      It is likely that the opposition will get more votes in the next election, which is due in two years time, and also win more seats in Parliament, but unlikely that they will be the winners and take over the rains of Government. Nobody wants that to happen, but there is a strong feeling that more and better opposition MPs are needed.

                    Thank you, Ombugge...

                    "To thine own self be true.......
                    Thou canst not then be false to any man."


                      I just posted in the Only in America thread about an innocent man being held on Death Row for 30 years, which got me to remember an anecdote about Lee Kuan Yew in his early days, when he first practiced Law and was appointed to defend four men accused of murder. Being a clever lawyer he managed to do his job so well that he managed to convince the Jury that the case "was not proven beyond reasonable doubt". The three of the murderers went free and he had done his job as a defender as prescribed and expected of him:

                      In one of his books, he admitted that when he left the court he had to throw up and he swore that if he ever got the power to do so, he would do away with the jury system and leave the decision of life and death (in this case) to a professional judge. Needless to say, Singapore does not have a jury, even in capital cases.

                      If any innocent people have been convicted of murder and hanged in Singapore because of the "one judge" system I do not know, but it is obviously something that could happen, although murders are rear in Singapore and most are conducted within families, or among friends and often in a rage. The question of guilt is not in doubt in most cases.

                      The mandatory death sentence for drug trafficking especially has come under heavy criticism lately and have been amended slightly. Fixed limits on the amount of drug involved, set at 15g. for heroin, over which the question of whether for own consumption or for trafficking was not debatable, gave the Judge little room to use anything but the mandatory sentence.
                      There have been cases where the amount involved has been "adjusted" to 14.5 g. by the Prosecutor because the accused had obviously been tricked, or coerced into carrying the drugs, thus giving the Judge a way to use a lesser sentence.

                      There are also some cases where the "mule" may or may not have known that they were carrying drugs, but because the amount involved were so large, the Judge had no juridical possibility to do other then to impose the Death Sentence. In one such case the Defence Lawyer asked the Chief Justice if the public prosecutor was “still maintaining that an innocent man be hanged because of procedure”, the CJ answered “Yes, the answer is yes”.

                      Mandatory Death Sentence for murder and drug trafficking is no longer as mandatory as before, but the use of death sentence in severe cases have wide support in Singapore.