Sunday, March 22, 2009

Singapore's Scenario After Lee Kuan Yew

The subject of Singapore's scenario after Lee Kuan Yew never fails to fascinate the politically-conscious Singapore citizens, indeed any Singaporean who has the interest of the well-being of Singapore at heart.

First, let us start with the longevity of the so-called founding father of modern Singapore. It may not be known to many people that he ingests a certain amount of health-giving supplements to maintain his good health. Could he also be imbibing elixir to prolong life? Well, he is also very conscious about his cosmetic appearance and might have received some form of cosmetic treatment to enhance his appearance to exude charisma to his audience. It is quite natural for a person to want to have longevity in life and MM Lee is no exception. So it will be quite some time before MMLee passes into the next world unless he is struck by lightning like his iconic Merlion in the meantime.

At an international Rotary award presentation recently MM Lee quoted a Chinese proverb: When the coffin is closed, you will have the final verdict. It could be prophetic and Singaporeans or even non-Singaporeans who outlast him will be enlightened on the pros and cons of his political career by true historians. Maybe it is premature for anyone to conjecture the verdict but this would not prevent some zealous souls from giving it a try.

The first thing that may happen post-MM Lee may be the renaming of Changi International Airport as Lee Kuan Yew International Airport in commemoration of the founding father of modern Singapore. The internet has given some indication of this possibility. So air travellers post-MM Lee will experience the thrill of taking off and landing at Lee Kuan Yew International Airport. MM Lee will be smugly watching from his lofty perch in his ethereal world the excitement down below, if you believe in the uncanny or life after death. Does it surprise you if such an eventuality does happen post-MM Lee? There is no dearth of surprises in Singapore.

The political atmosphere post-MM Lee will definitely be more liberal with more open political assertions without anyone having to look constantly behind his back. Who knows in time to come the political structure may evolve into a two-party system, not necessarily by any of the present opposition political parties. By a process of subtle political awakening among the PAP elites over the political future of the country, there may emerge a group of political crusaders with the conviction that the country be best served by a two-party system. It may not happen with the present generation of PAP elites but the next generation may be a better bet. With a two-party system, Singapore can live up to its reputation of being a true democracy. You can hardly call it a democracy now with a one party dominance.

Singaporeans can be pardened if they believe that there will be greater political freedom with the passing of the Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. At least one cannot help feeling that he is the eminence grise.

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