'I'll still contest'
His decision, at 82, to stay for at least one more election
evokes strong reaction. By Seah Chiang Nee
Jan 25, 2006
Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has confirmed what most people
had suspected: That he has no intention to leave politics
any time soon.
founder of modern Singapore was reported yesterday to have
said he plans to run for re-election in the city-state's
coming election, but that it will be his last, reports AP.
Lee, MP for the Tanjong Pagar electoral district, said he
would be too "decrepit" to run again after this
approaching election, AP added.
"I'm not as active as before; but enough to fight an
election," the 82-year-old told local media during
a trip to Qatar.
that he had no intention of leaving the political scene
anytime soon. "You're keen to see me pack off and go?
In that case I'm going to disappoint you," he joked.
eat less than I should, or I stop eating when I want to
eat more; I exercise every day; I work hard every day and
I sleep well every day."
Lee still retains support among many older Singaporeans
who had benefited from his early leadership, but his popularity
has eroded somewhat among the younger generation, which
has little recollection of his past achievements.
supporters welcome his continuing experience in the cabinet,
especially in a complex world that has turned unfriendly
his first-generation colleagues (Mr. Goh Keng Swee, Mr.
Rajaratnam, Lim Kim San, etc), who were men with long-term,
visionary capabilities, the current leaders are mostly renowned
technocrats - what Mr. Rajaratnam once described as 'problem
believe that one of the reasons Lee has hung on to power
is his fear that once he is gone, things will go wrong.
His own judgment of good leadership is so high that few
people will fit in.
People familiar with Lee disagree with Associated Press'
reading that he has decided not to contest the next election.
means that he will always have private nagging concerns
about the people succeeding him or the post-Lee Kuan Yew
Singapore," said an old timer.
fear may be overblown but because of his role in creating
much of today's Singapore, this concern is understandable,"
of the younger Singaporeans, including those who may have
benefited from Singapore's progress, do not share this feeling
at all that without Lee Singapore will suffer.
is, in fact, calling on him to retire now and let his Prime
Minister son, Hsien Loong, to have a really free hand at
Lee's announcement has been greeted mainly by criticism
on the Web.
true public reflections of Singaporeans is an impossible
task at least until the election result is announced.
mainstream pro-government media, usually does not report
public criticism of Mr. Lee or the PAP, while the Internet,
on the other hand, is the very opposite.
who post messages on chatsites are anonymous with many multiple
handles and are strongly anti-Lee and anti-PAP.
of Lee's conservative 'mainlander' supporters are not tech-savvy
and do not surf, so their sentiments are not reflected publicly.
a minority of the online debaters are increasingly serious,
balanced and articulate.
speak up for Lee and his party, but most are critical of
them over perceptions of government "failures"
declining living standards.
are some views on the subject: -
This old man is power crazy. At 80 plus, he still wants
to participate in election. This shows he does not want
to lose the grip on power.
GRC is not righteous and fair. But to a person like Lee
Kuan Yew his laws are always legal. Take the case of Tang
Liang Hong. He and his PAP leaders sued JB Jeyaratnam for
waving a police report. Is this righteous? Is this justice?
At 80 plus, he can go on to live another 20 to 30 years
still clinging on to politics and power. His whole generation
may be gone then. What a King he is!
Of course he won't quit now or at all until he's really
truly unable to. In any case, he will win if not by his
past contributions and the role he played - and am sure
the people will respect that.
But for the other ministers, it's a different story and
even Minister Mentor will have to "transfer" Khaw
(Boon Wan, Health Minister) to another GRC to support its
Gee, Harry now admits that he has to protect the new candidates.
Makes me wonder at their selection criteria.
Normally in life if someone cannot stand on his own two
feet, you don't use him. He is not good, not capable.
Simple as that. Just look at Mah Bow Tan. He failed to get
into Parliament in two straight fights and has to be carried
in a multi patient ambulance call the GRC.
You can see how he performs as a minister.
You can see the cumulative effects of having all these handicapped
PAP multi-million dollar ministers being ferried into Parliament
in big ambulances - one recession after another.
Singapore is losing its cutting edge and others (are catching)
up and even overtaking us. We are led by a bunch of handicapped,
who cannot stand on their own two feet.
That is why these people are never beholden to the people,
they are beholden to old man who put them there.
I respect the man, for his contributions over the years.
But I seriously think he should step down liao. Time to
enjoy his retirement years.
He will be forced to eat his .. words. And I believe the
reason on why he's throwing his hat in is because:
1) He fears LHL (Lee Hsien Loong) will not get a good majority
vote. He sees where the situation is going and therefore,
by getting in, he hopes to arrest the slide.
2) He, being old, hopes to drum back support from his generation
(our grandparents basically). He hopes to rally them like
he did in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. The reasons are obvious.
Two reasons on why he will fail:
1) The attack on the Workers Party manifesto is failing.
People are not falling for their tricks and the smearing
campaign this time round. People are not happy with (President
S.R.) Nathan's unjustified pay rise and LHL's leadership
and management skills.
The backlash will come and it will hit LHL, LKY and PAP
2) Even LKY's generation - which refers to our grandparents
- believes LKY should have retired a million years ago.
They themselves are retired or semi-retired or forced to
work again, against their will. They aren't happy to work
when they themselves are 60, prone to more illnesses and
getting pittance of a wage. And when they saw Nathan earning
so much for nothing and LKY too, they get unhappy.
My suspicion is that even the bulwark of LKY's main support,
the elders of this nation, will not support LKY this time
And I think LKY's refusal to retire will only incite our
elders to vote against the PAP...even if the PAP resorts
to upgrading to get these elders back to their fold.
Jan 25, 2006