Why Mr Lee allows some to live

November 11, 2004
Singapore Democrats

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When asked whether the reason for him suing opposition leaders was because he found some of them to be threats, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew says: I don’t think so. If we had considered them serious political figures, we would not have kept them politically alive for so long. We could have made them bankrupt earlier. We showed people that this type of opposition is not productive.

Mr Lee has taken upon himself to be the gatekeeper of Parliament. He wants to decide who should enter Parliament and, more important, who from the opposing side should be removed. We always thought that the citizens of Singapore were the ones to decide. Thanks for clearing that up, dear MM.

And Mr Lee, of course, is the final arbiter of which type of opposition is productive and which is not. How he defines productive Mr Lee doesnt say. One suspects, however, that if an opposition party calls for a reform of the system which enables the PAP to perpetuate its reign and works toward it, its productivity must rank below zero on the Lee-Kuan-Yew scale. Otherwise, opposition is very productive.

Consider the statement again: If we had considered them serious political figures, we would not have kept them politically alive for so long. Mr Lee is saying that because he doesnt consider some oppositionists as serious threats, he allows them to linger around and stay eligible for elections by not suing them and making them bankrupt.

What does this say of those he has not sued? Is he saying that he is keeping these oppositionists alive politically? If these politicians then slowly become a threat would he then move to sue and bankrupt them as well?

This is the kind of system that Singaporeans live in today where Mr Lee single-handedly determines who gets to live politically and who gets killed off. In such a political environment is it any wonder that thinking Singaporeans are scrambling to migrate and those that cannot curse their lot?