Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Secession Conundrum

True to his disingenuous character, the Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew always has something up his sleeve which he would foist on the unsuspecting public, ostensibly to score a point. The latest is his baffling disclosure on Singapore's separation from Malaysia which he made in his eulogy to the late Dr Goh Keng Swee at his state funeral. It was anybody's guess whether the distinguished audience at the funeral was taken aback by his enigmatic disclosure that it was the late Dr Goh who decided on his own, after discussions with Tun Abdul Razak, the Malaysian DPM and Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, the Minister of the Interior to have a clean break. In other words it was Dr Goh alone who made the decision to secede from Malaysia and later told PM Lee Kuan Yew about it. The Chinese have a proverb: Behead first and report to the throne later (先斩后奏).

From events at that time and what MM Lee Kuan Yew said in his memoirs it was the Malaysian PM Tunku Abdul Rahman who decided to expel Singapore from Malaysia, choosing to "sever all ties with a State Government that showed no measure of loyalty to its Central Government". Lee Kuan Yew was adamant and tried to work out a compromise but without success. He was later convinced by Goh Keng Swee that the secession was inevitable.

Lee Kuan Yew's Malaysian Malaysia adventure against the Central Government exacerbated by race riots in Singapore caused immense alarm to the Malaysian leadership, in particular Tunku Abdul Rahman. He came to the inevitable conclusion that he could not resolve the crisis and decided that separation was the best solution.

Singaporeans have been taken for a ride once too often by the highfalutin MM Lee Kuan Yew and it is about time he shows some civility and responsibility in enlightening the public as to his motive, whether good or evil, in portraying Dr Goh as the protagonist of the secession, especially when DR Goh is no longer around to question its truthfulness. It shows Dr Goh to be a man of gross impetuousity, making a decision on his own on a grave matter affecting the destiny of millions of Singaporeans. Is this a fair reflection on a statesman on whom the innumerable tributes show him to be a man of sound principle and not one to have acted on his own on such a grave matter as secession?

Well, the ball is now in MM Lee Kuan Yew's court. There is another appropriate Chinese proverb: He who ties the bell round the tiger's neck is the one to untie it (解铃还是系铃人).

1 comment:

Gary said...

Do you recall LKY once mentioned the possibility of rejoining Malaysia?

in the light of what he has just said, there are therefore the following possibilities:
1. Indeed it is as he now claimed, Goh did what he did and LKY had to play on in view of the circumstances then.

2. LKY's recent remarks is in furtherance of his desire to rejoin Malaysia because in his view we can't exists on our own when he leaves the scene. This is in keeping with his remarks that he would even get out of his grave should something happens...?