21 May 2006

Bad Democracy Awards


From OpenDemocracy






Lee Hsien Loong

Singapore's leadership may be the most pigheaded example of the notion that democracy is little more than a financial inefficiency. Ahead of elections this month, the prime minister continues to rely on the mantra that you can't make an economic omelette without silencing a few eggs. Thus it is that opposition parties are bullied, their leaders persecuted and their supporters intimidated. True, a smattering of democratic pretence has been added to the proceedings, but Lee, like his father before him, has manifestly failed to loosen the political reins. Aiming for a clean sweep in the poll, Lee has even sunk to suing opponents who dared to compare his manner of government to the running of Singapore's opaque National Kidney Foundation.


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19 comments:

Anonymous said...

give the poor fellow a break; it is not easy being a filial son

soci said...

no quarter received, none given. and if he hasn't the nerve to standup to his father and deliver the opening up that he promised - he seems weak.

Matilah_Singapura said...

> deliver the opening up that he promised <

Apparently he wanted to "drop everything" and just let the whole darn thing go - free.

I believe MiniLee is a libertarian at heart, but I do agree - he lacks the gumption necessary to stand up as a Sovereign Individual and go against the grain.

But he faced stiff resistance: not from daddy, but from the CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY. I hate to bring race into this, but what the heck...

There is a HUGE conservative CHINESE sector amongst voters. They don't want porn, they don't want free speech - because it is disrespectful, they don't want "earned" respect - they're happy with "traditional blind obedience".

They don't want the noise and chaos of democracy, they want strict central controls. They don't want "make up your own mind", they WANT govt to dictate morality and values. They've reasoned that central controls and govt edicts regarding morality and values make for a "stable and prosperous" society.

MiniLee has sunk to the level of being a populist leader - the shepherd led by his sheep.

Changing the (conservative) culture is going to take a long time - IF it is possible in the first place.

Anonymous said...

i am chinese and definitely not conservative ... and i dont want porn ... and o yes, i think "traditional blind obedience" sucks.

Anonymous said...

he wants control and power just like the father but don't really know how to do it; that's why must "buy votes" and "clean sweep" which he thinks are the best way to do so. ehk!

offering of 20K to the poor to buy a flat?? some ppl 3 meals already have problems. Is 20K enough to buy a roof over their head is no job at all or no job security nowadays? to rent a place also can provide the shelter.

Anonymous said...

"democratic pretence" - page removed

Anonymous said...

who says chinese dont want porn? hongkong movies started the R category here; all those internet porn is only seen by non-chinese in singapore?

the apolitical and apathetic attitude is not due to conservatism, but to social conditioning, a survival colouring

soci said...

"democratic pretence" - page removed,

You might need to join the WP to get access to their archive.

Calvin aka Yamada Shun 山田駿 said...

*claps claps*

Adrian said...

Amnesty International does not lie. Remember the other father-son combination in politics? I believe LHL is at least a little smarter than America's C+ average Bush (isn't LHL a SAF(OS) scholar?) so maybe he's smart enough to recognize the importance of free speech. Unless he became prime minister because his dad was one, which is starting to sound all too familiar.

Anonymous said...

We know who Genghis Khan was. We know Kublai Khan too. But the son of Genghis? The dad of Kublai? Yup, the middle guy. Totally cannot make it. BTW, we have to stick to LHL no matter what. And god bless us that Lee JuniorX2, the one who told his dad he found his pap rally too boring and went to WP's instead. That guy's got guts. I bet LHL will never dare tell LKY, "Dad, you're old. Please retire and enjoy green prosperity (qing fu in chinese) and let me run little dot the way I WANT it."
Oh, I wonder if the Lee JuniorX2 is the one with the white hair like LKY's? Man, Singaoreans, we're in luck! It's a sign of brilliant genes being passed down from grandad to grandson..

Anonymous said...

you see why PAP was so successful; people are always looking for a strongman

Anonymous said...

strong man with communist mind - heartless and ruthless??

Anonymous said...

Some interesting points raised, but if LHL was really a libertarian at heart, he would do what he should as the PM and not be led around by the nose and screw the vote of no-confidence crap. After all, isn't the PAP party under a whip? What is he now, another figurehead in Singapore? I'm not surprised anyway. At the end of the day, it's LKY that makes all the decisions--I'm sure.

The only reason why SG is still so "conservative" or should I say, shallow-minded, is because of the strictly controlled education system--one size fits all--and SG's have never been challenged to think critically.

Anonymous said...

What's this about Lee blood at WP rally? Pray, tell more.

Anonymous said...

LHL's son went to see WP rally and said it was not as boring as the competitor's

Anonymous said...

No question about it, Old Lee is still the man in charge . If LHL is the man making the decisions, he would have gotten rid of his papa long ago iso of needing him as his "Mentor".
After all, the way many people see it, Old Lee is becoming more a liabity by the day, should have quitted long ago, or better still, drop dead.

Anonymous said...

but assuming he asks ministers, MPs etc, they would tell him he is needed and confirm what he thinks himself

Capt_Cabanera said...

I would say that it is true, the opposition did have more interesting rallies and people wanted to go. After all, everyone loves a good show. Everyone would rather go see a good action or comedy show than a show that has the actors coming into the audience and beating them with baseball bats if they dont clap. But, when it comes time to cast the ballot, you vote for the people that will beat you up if you dont vote for them, not for those that make you laugh.

on another side, as for this voting, think it might be slightly unfair to the guy considering having the post put up on this blog draws more singaporean people to cast votes. If there was a breakdown of who is doing the voting, I wouldnt be surprised if 75% of the people casting ballots are singaporeans.