Saturday, January 26, 2013

Foreseeing Red

"Lee's steely micromanagement of the Lion
City brought out some of the worst in him."
TIME (4 Feb 2013 issue) has a feature article about the latest book on Lee, "Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States, and the World", a compilation of interviews by Harvard University professor Graham Allison et al. The writer encapsulates neatly the truth that his cronies will never admit:
"The stain on Lee's standing is that, in the controlled experiment of molding a society in his own severe image, he marginalized social liberties both sacred and mundane: from expressing dissent to chewing gum."

Westerners think he's the "The Man Who Saw Tomorrow", but we have seen how short sighted he can be. He may call North Korean leader Kim Jong-il a “flabby old chap” who craved public worship during a conversation with US Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg in May 2009, but he should look at himself in the mirror once in a while. The chapter on China won't win him any new friends:

Q: Are Chinese leaders serious about displacing the U.S. as the No.1 power in Asia and, eventually, world?
A: Of course.
[Oh sugar! The Ah Tiongs have already demonstrated they can break a 26 year strike-free record, drive up resale prices of HDB flats, and zoom through red lights in excess of 200 kmph - do we need to encourage them further?]

Q: How will China's behavior toward other countries change if China becomes the dominant Asian power?
A: Will an industrialized and strong China be as benign to Southeast Asia as the U.S. since 1945? Singapore is not sure.  Neither is Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam.
[Since when was he appointed spokesman for Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam? Talk about foreigners interfering with local politics.]

Q: What is China's strategy for becoming No.1?
A: The Chinese have concluded that their best strategy is to build a strong and prosperous future, and use their huge and increasingly highly skilled and educated  workers to outsell and outbuild all others.
[Er, is that why the Ah Tiongs are dominating the businesses in Geylang and Chinatown?]

Q: What are the major hurdles in executing that strategy?
A: There will be enormous stresses because of the size of the country and the intractable nature of the problems: the poor infrastructure, the weak institutions, the wrong systems that they have installed.
[Our little red dot is much smaller, so how come we also have the poor infrastructure, the weak institutions, the wrong systems that have been installed? Think housing shortage, train breakdowns, $2 companies and Town Councils that invest public money in toxic financial, and now software, instruments?]

Q: How should one assess new Communist Party chief Xi Jinping?
A: He has had a tougher life than Hu Jintao. His father was rusticated, and so was he. He took it in stride, and worked his way up. It has not been smooth sailing for him.
[Enough of this humble origins crap already. The ikan kuning for 8 was already difficult to swallow; next he will tell us the colorectal surgeon had to partake mee siam without cockles.]


  1. I've been reading your blog for a few years, and I can't help but marvel at your piquant wit and incisive writing. Keep writing! WP ftw tonight!

  2. Tattler,
    I put you on on par with John Dryden and Oscar Wilde in terms of wits and originality in your writing. Our very own literary giant I must add! I really just can't wait for your next article. It is so shiok reading your new posts!

    BTW, I think you referring to "Mee Siam Mai Hum!" It's had become a classic local folklore propagated and made popular by our own Mr Brown! Langgar!

  3. May I dedicate this song by the band Europe ....

    "The Final Countdown"

  4. I think when LKY ruminates on the world stage, it does bring credit to Singapore - this much we should give him.

  5. For a moment I thought you were predicting a WP victory. LKY is known to tell the Amaericans what they want to hear (or rather the Republcans in America.) It will be interesting to know what the Chinese think of him privately.

    1. China is one of the largest country and economy in the world now.
      They no longer need us anymore.
      If China thinks of the Leepublic of Singapore at all, it's just to humour us.
      China has moved on to bigger and better things.

    2. The Chinese leaders know he's just an AngMo ass kisser because he's an Anglophile all his life. Besides, the MSM worships him as if he is "the Father of S'pore". The Chinese know he is over rated by any standard.

  6. Maybe a more appropriate song would be;
    "Yesterday's Hero" by Bay City Rollers

  7. Hi Tattler:

    Our countrymen at Aljunied GRC, Hougang and now Punggol East SMCs have done us proud and showed us the Way Forward.

    There are many Fellow Countrymen with good sense of justice and You are one such person.

    Me takes this opportunity on the Victory of Ms Lee Li Lian if the Workers Party to thank Voters of the aforesaid constituencies and You.


  8. Reclaiming Singapore for all Singaporeans.
    One Voter at a Time.

    GE 2016.
    Please make it your patriotic duty to convert just ONE of the 60% of your friends & relatives into an Opposition voter.

  9. Thank you. Keep writing!

  10. Sometimes I can't help feeling that our leaders adopt a kind of double speak when they talked to different countries depending on Singapore's agenda at that particular point of time.

    When they speak to the Americans, they try to downplay the importance of China while pretending that SE Asia's interests run paramount than China's interests in this region, that's why they allow ample access to the US Defence facilities here . But when they speak to China, they will say China's emergence of military power is important to counterbalance America's superiority. Then when they talk to the Taiwanese, it's a different kind of tone altogether.

    Is it not dangerous that it is as if somehow we are trying to play the role of devil and the angel at the same time pampering to different interests ?

  11. In his naive eyes, every intelligent people wants to be No 1. THis is so untrue.

  12. Daddy! Daddy!
    How ah?

  13. Would you prefer that Singapore didn"t have Lee Kuan Yew? Give the man credit. Yes he has his failings but overall he has done a superhuman job getting us where we are.