The possibility of change under Lee Hsien Loong

June 16, 2014
Singapore Democrats

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Singapore Democrats

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s latest defamation suit against blogger-activist Mr Roy Ngerng has attracted the ire of many Singaporeans. The action is in stark contrast with the contrite demeanor Mr Lee displayed during the 2011 general elections.$CUT$

Such a ‘split-personality’ approach has raised questions about the PM’s real intentions. Singaporeans had hoped that he would expand political space in Singapore. But his actions of late have disappointed many.

In such a scenario, is change possible under Mr Lee’s prime ministership?

Dr Chee Soon Juan will address this issue in a talk he will give at the Australian Institute for International Affairs (AIIA) in Sydney on 17 June 2014 (for more information about the talk, please click here).

The AIIA is Australia’s oldest think-tank established in 1924 which promotes public engagement with pressing international issues by organising seminars with academics, diplomats, journalists, and specialists as speakers.

Dr Chee has been invited to speak on the likelihood of a more open Singapore in the near future and the role that the SDP will play in such a scenario.

The PAP’s current tactics to continue the type of strong-arm one-party politics is at complete variance with the aspirations of the Singaporean people.

The outcome of the contest is not in question. But how the PAP responds and how much it resists the changes demanded by the people will determine how badly Singapore is damaged.

International investments and interests that Singapore has so painstakingly cultivated will also be casualties if the ruling party remains intransigent to the call for transparency and democratic accountability.

The Prime Minister’s disinclination to reform politics is, of course, also saddled with his father’s political ‘take-no-prisoners’ approach. Mr Lee Kuan Yew is 90 years-old but shows no sign of ushering in a less autocratic style of governance.

Dr Chee will lay out the SDP’s strategy of attenuating the negative effects that continued one-party rule will have on Singapore as well as paving the way for a democratic state to take root in the country.