Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Quote That Was Heard Around The World

Under fire for a growing phone-hacking scandal, media mogul Rupert Murdoch's argument for The Daily Telegraph to buy a series of stolen documents relating to the expenses of MPs for an expose was to ask the British government to "look at Singapore - where every minister gets at least a million dollars a year and the Prime Minister a lot more and there is no temptation and it is as clean a society as you find anywhere." Only Bernie Ecclestone can top that whopper with his "Hitler gets things done" adulation. Bernie's words ring a familiar tone, "...apart from the fact that Hitler got taken away and persuaded to do things that I have no idea whether he wanted to do or not, he was in the way that he could command a lot of people, able to get things done." And then there's this quote from a fellow authoritarian, “.. but everything I did was for an honorable purpose. I had to do some nasty things, locking fellows up without trial.”

Whoever came up with our country's name had the foresight to get the first 3 letters right. And that was before Marina Bay Sands casino became the new national icon. Just because individuals have been bankrupted by lawsuits, the books have not been closed on the HPL episode. All in all, Lee Kuan Yew received from HPL a total of $416,252 whilst his son got $643,185 in discounts from the Ong Beng Seng company where Dr Lee Suan Yew, Lee Kuan Yew's younger brother, was seated on the board of directors. Here's one damning quote: "There is no way - and I say this with some sympathy for the young aspiring professional or young executives - for them to have the same value to a seller of a product as a well-known public figure or a sports star or a TV star... Let me illustrate in my own small way.  My being me helped me get, if you like, the inside track and special treatment. ..." (Hansard, May 21, 1996, cols 190-91, 196, rationalising his controversial purchases of luxury apartments from the Hotel Properties Limited (HPL) at deeply discounted prices).

80-year-old Murdoch's comment during questioning by British Members of Parliament  apparently brought about plenty of mumbling from those present, including someone who quipped derisively: "good luck in selling that to anyone here." A political science academic working in Singapore, Bridget Welsh, could see he was grasping at straws, "My sense is that Mr Murdoch was engaged in a defence and (was) using every example he could find."


  1. Not only did they get the SIN correct, they got the SING part correct too when trying to turn gaga-ness into haha-ness in funpack song.

    LKY in other words is saying by virtue of who he is (his name,stature, power etc granted by its people) get special preferential treatment naturally. So morally speaking, he makes no apology or stand no correction for these special favors. Decades later, his son is saying the same thing..MM is MM, he's unique and one of a kind and his influences & goodwill is far-reaching that heavy weight celebrities still like to meet with him, despite his retirement. Likewise, he makes no explanation why, just statement that he's to be supported with additional secretaries, PA & staff borne by taxpayers - period.

    Make a guess if he's having any luck in selling that to anyone here?

  2. Like the fella who vehemently justify the "founding father"his every wimps and and fancies that it "automatically" does not necessitate any rebuttal. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

    Even Murdoch, from his context, could argue that what he did was for an honorable purpose ie to expose hidden corruptions and paved way for open and clear society to remove temptations. His hacking is merely means to a rightful end. So why fault him..he's just doing all a favor, like Hitler, who gets some really "nasty things" done for the good of his own special kinds.


    Death penalty is the best way as deterrent for any drugs or corruption. Our Home Affairs are very in favor of such punishments, open and clear shut case. Say we go for it. No need all these BS salaries and pensions. Their ego has gotten the better of them. A dictator like LKY will not oppose it.

  4. Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times." - Niccolo Machiavelli

    Clearly his LHL's code of conduct doesn't apply to the leopard with fixed spots that cannot be changed anymore. Exception always warned. Too bad, MSM is fully controlled by MIW so there's no chance of an murdoch scale expose ever, unless insiders with integrity start to whistle-blow.

  5. "My being me helped me get, if you like, the inside track and special treatment"

    In other words, also extended to LeeConYou by the bunch of kangaroos entrusted to dispense justice. No wonder the old Despot acts like he is above the law.

    ps: those who doubt this can double confirm with Belinda Ang.

  6. "Hitler gets things done"

    err...LKY did betterer. His son is now PM. Maybe his granddaughter or grandniece will tie up the loose ends and finish his unfinished business?


  7. Rupert Murdoch, with his level of notoriety, is a poor apologist for million dollar minister salaries. Murdoch is an embarrasment. He is the relative, people dont want to talk about at family gatherings.

    But then Murdoch is rich and powerful. People suck up to him because of his money. With the sort of values we promote in our gambling dens, maybe Murdoch is the kind of person the ruling party needs, to defend its highly paid minister salaries. Have the MSM distanced Singapore from Murdoch's comments? This maybe the "Singapore" the 60% voted for, but its not the Singapore of the 40% who want something different for their nation.

  8. Serious, coming from Rupert Murdoch isn't exactly what I call a glowing endorsement. Smart people say the dumbest things still rings true.

  9. Obviously he was trying to put into question why are they now questioning him when they are not whiter than white ?

    But Murdoch did not go on to say whether by taking a couple of million dollars in reality is a lot more cunning and more of 'helping' oneself to the coffers without all the hassles of being checked.

    On the surface it may appear open and transparent but again the devil is in the details, who really knows what are they getting in the long run with all those directorships, bonuses and pensions as cheating can come in so many forms ?

  10. Calling Rupert Murdoch to praise the exorbitant ministerial salaries of our politicians is akin to asking Attila the Hun to speak at a rally about the evils of war and its violence. In other words, it is totally unconvincing.

  11. People need to understand.
    Murdoch is facing a Parliamentary hearing into his use of unethical methods to sell his papers.
    So he has to come up with whatever ways and means to defend himself.
    And in that light, his comment of MIW ministers being paid millions is actually not savoury.
    As somebody says, he is clutching on straws when he mentioned that.
    You can do anything in a dictatorship but every politician in any democracy knows you can never sell the MIWs way of paying themselves, to his electorate without obliterating his own career.

  12. A popular politician in the US receiving such "special treatment" is likely to find himself involved in a scandal reported in Murdoch's tabloids, investigated by a congressional committee, and even outright corruption charges.

    Who says million dollar "salaries" will keep politicians honest? Murdoch did not provide the complete picture. The "salaries" are determined by the politicians themselves and are in fact "pay" packages in hundreds of millions in a number of cases. Now explain that to the British people!