Father and son democracy talk

The Rhetoric

“I feel sanguine enough to say that there has never been a better set of conditions for open democratic politics because there is no need for united front politics…There is nothing to forbid anybody from nailing his colours to the mast…defend it and say, ‘This is my flag, this is what I believe in. I believe in open debate, arguments, persuasion, I hope to win by votes.'”
Lee Kuan Yew, National Day Rally, 1990

The Reality

“A criticism that scores political points and undermines the Government’s standing is another matter altogether…For example, when the opposition criticises an action or policy, the purpose is usually to show that the government is not providing good leadership or making good policy. They are fully entitled to do so, but the Government has to rebut or even demolish them, or lose its moral authority.”
Lee Hsien Loong, under headlines “DPM Lee promises a more open S’pore”, Straits Times, Jan 7, 2004

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