Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Unique Minister Mentor

Can there be a more squirmy occasion than when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong extolled his old man as a unique and one and only Minister Mentor before a gullible University student audience at the National University of Singapore Cultural Centre on the night of 5 April? PM Lee listed his eminent father's contributions as in terms of his stature, in terms of his network, in terms of his weight which people give to what he says and concluded by saying that he is a very precious resource. It is quite natural, being MM Lee's anointed son to follow his father's footstep to become prime minister, to extol his father's so-called virtue.

PM Lee took special precaution to avoid mentioning the considerable number of booboos committed by his eminent father. He had also taken the trouble to avoid mentioning the constant vitriolic criticisms that MM Lee received at the hands of the new media, in particular the criticism that MM Lee is drawing $3m plus of the taxpayers' money annually for doing nothing but "forecasting" in his own words. There were also frequent calls in the internet that he should retire and not waste the taxpayers' money. These disclosures would give a lie to PM Lee's sentimental statement that his father is a unique Minister Mentor.

In fact MM Lee is an incorrigible highfalutin character who often opened his big mouth to make booboos to the chagrin and embarrassment of his prime minister son, only the latter will find it unfilial to show it. Before the American presidential election in 2008, MM Lee appeared to be disdainful about the prospects of the black American candidate Mr. Barack Obama becoming an American President. He described Mr. Barack Obama as a "flash in the pan". He was rooting for the white candidate Mr. John McCain and considered the election of a black American President to be apocalyptic. President Obama is a magnanimous person and when MM Lee unabashedly entreated a meeting with the President in October 2009, he was overwhelmed when President Obama described him as "one of the legendary figures of Asia". That made him look rather foolish after calling Mr. Barack Obama a "Flash in the pan".

Another booboo of the Minister Mentor occurred in 2009. He made deleterious comments in the National Geographic magazine in which he protrayed Sigaporeans as less hard-driving and hard-striving so that it became necessary for the Singapore government to bring in Chinese immigrants as a counter-measure. This caused a furore in Singapore.

His latest gaffe is his disparaging comments on the Singapore Malays/Muslims in his much-hyped but doubtful repute book:Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going. He commented that other communities have easier integration than Muslims because they tend to be "distinct and separate". This caused an uproar in the Malay/Muslim community with the Association of Malay Professionals (AMP) coming out in a scathing attack on the Minister Mentor. It was up to the Prime Minister to issue a statement dissociating the government from MM Lee's disparaging comments. It had taken MM Lee more than a month to come out reluctantly with a statement to say "I stand corrected" but no apology. Whether the Malay ground was convinced of the sincerity of MM Lee's belated statement was a moot point.

PM Lee is right in saying that his eminent father is a unique Minister Mentor but unique in making booboos. In this respect he has no equal and it will be an insult to the intelligence of the electorate if he is nominated to stand in the General Election.


sgcynic said...

LKY MAY have been exceptional, but his views and speeches chracterises his disdain for his fellow people. Imagine if Confucius were similarly disparaging of the common folk, would he have been respected as a great teacher?

Gary said...

Maybe we should let him carry on to discredit himself more and more until he is naked!

That way, he will pass on as a discredited liar.

As Goh Keng Swee did when in office: He always give people all the rope they need to hang themselves with!

Alan Wan said...

Our MM is also unique in another peculiar way.

It seems many Singaporeans will be looking forward to celebrate the day our so-called father kicks the bucket. Of course there will also be some who will be shedding tears but hopefully it is not crocodile ones.

Anonymous said...

The comment was actually directed at GCT who has been having similar ambitions of seeing his son enter politics and vy for the position of Prime Minister. shortly after, GCT with his comment about how the terms of Ministers should be limited to 2 terms. The Lee side then retaliated by showing LBH the door.

Dyxalic said...

You might be critical of the Minister Mentor, but you most likely do not understand the respect and admiration the international community gives to our Minister Mentor.

Yes, Obama was elected, but look at what has happened to the US today. He has not been able to successfully carry out any of his plans. Healthcare is a complete failure, the US army is still in Afghanistan. Relations with China are worsening again, and unemployment is still at 9%. More than 60% of the economic stimulus money has not been doled out to the public.

And yes, we Singaporeans are not as hardworking and hard striving as the Chinese. The young generation, especially people like you don't know the meaning of hard work. You expect everything to be handed to you on a silver platter. Ask your grandfather how he had to live without meat for months, or how everyone had to use second hand textbooks. The immigrant Chinese came from poorer backgrounds, yet are willing to work longer and harder for less. Reflect on how Singaporeans lazy even though they have such a higher standard of living.