26 Mar 2007

ANU College of Law Registers Protest Against LKY's Doctorate of Laws

AUSTRALIA: Academic outrage over honour for Lee Kuan Yew


A plan to award former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew with an honorary degree has outraged academics at one of Australia's top universities. Mr Lee will be given an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Canberra's Australian National University next week.

Presenter/Interviewer: Linda LoPresti

Speakers: Dr Michael McKinley, senior lecturer in international relations at the Australian National University

Listen[approx.3mins 55 secs]

Spotted the following letters from Michael Coper posted on the New Mandala site

Professor Coper (Dean of the law faculty at the ANU) has responded to recent inquiries regarding the decision to bestow LKY with the Doctorate of Laws by denying any Law faculty involvement with the decision. …

Dear Students

I am copying to you an email I have just sent to my colleagues here.

In a nutshell, the purpose of the email is to make it clear that the recent decision of the ANU to award an honorary doctorate of laws (Hon LLD) to Mr Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of Singapore, was a decision of the ANU Council, not a decision of the ANU College of Law. In fact, the College was neither consulted about, nor had any part in, the decision. Had the College been consulted, it is clear from the protests lodged with the Vice Chancellor that many colleagues would have opposed the decision.

I re-emphasise the point made in the attached about how much ANU values its relationship with the National University of Singapore, with Singapore itself and with its people. Nothing in the current controversy detracts from that.


Michael Coper

(the attached message)

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