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Thread: Singapore: One Man's View of the World by Lee Kuan Yew

   
   
       
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    Singapore: One Man's View of the World by Lee Kuan Yew

    Tuesday, 06 August 2013 21:28

    World leaders praise Kuan Yew's new book but from Malaysia, only STONY SILENCE?



    Written by Asiaone


    SINGAPORE - A new book by Mr Lee Kuan Yew was launched today.
    Titled One Man's View of the World, the 400-page volume carries Mr Lee's views on the future of the major powers and regions of the world. The book is published by Straits Times Press, a fully-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings.


    The launch event was held at the Istana, and was attended by Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, and 125 other guests, including foreign diplomats, academics and business leaders.


    Said Chairman of the SPH Board of Directors, Dr Lee Boon Yang, in a speech at the launch: "At age 90 and freed from the limitations imposed by Cabinet membership, Mr Lee has been remarkably candid in his analysis. He is not interested in being politically correct. He is concerned with being, simply, correct."


    Having spent more than five decades representing Singapore on the international stage - as Prime Minister, Senior Minister, then Minister Mentor - Mr Lee has come to be known as one of the world's most respected statesmen. He has met movers and shakers of his time, from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, and from Lyndon Johnson to Barack Obama.


    It is from this wealth of international experience that Mr Lee draws the wisdom and insight that form this book.


    Mr Lee wrote in the book's preface: "My understanding is based on my observations and interactions with various people over the course of the last 50 years in government, during which I managed Singapore's foreign policy and met many key figures who had first-hand experience dealing with the global issues of the day."


    The book is made up of 11 chapters. The first seven cover countries or regions: China, the United States, Europe, other Asian powers (Japan, India and Korea), South-east Asia, Singapore and the Middle East.



    Global economy


    Mr Lee also gives his views on the global economy and energy and climate change.


    Mr Lee, who turns 90 this year, also reflects candidly on life and death. The final chapter is a conversation between him and an old friend, former Chancellor of West Germany Helmut Schmidt, on leadership and on Europe.


    A team from The Straits Times provided research and editorial material, and conducted a series of interviews with Mr Lee. Excerpts of these interviews are included in each chapter.


    The team included Han Fook Kwang, Zuraidah Ibrahim, Chua Mui Hoong and Elgin Toh; and Shashi Jayakumar,an Administrative Officer on secondment to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.


    One Man's View of the World is the latest in a series of books by SPH on Mr Lee. Previous books include Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going (2011), My Lifelong Challenge: Singapore's Bilingual Journey (2011), Lee Kuan Yew: The Man and His Ideas (199, as well as Mr Lee's two-volume memoirs, The Singapore Story (199 and From Third World to First (2000).


    Global leaders have endorsed the book.


    Former US Secretary of State George Shultz wrote: "Lee Kuan Yew once again gives us clarity of thought, eloquence of expression, the depth of important ideas, and common sense. A must-read book!"


    Dr Henry A. Kissinger, US Secretary of State (1973-1977), wrote: "Lee Kuan Yew's unique talents built a nation and helped secure an era of peace and prosperity in Asia. For decades it has been my good fortune to know him as a strategic thinker, a partner in international security, and a friend.


    Now, on the occasion of his 90th birthday, he has distilled his thinking on international affairs for a broader audience. With fresh and candid analyses of subjects ranging across the globe, One Man's View of the World demonstrates the acute insights that fellow leaders have sought from Lee Kuan Yew for half a century."



    German Chanellor Helmut Schmidt (1974-199, wrote: "When I met my friend Lee Kuan Yew for the first time at the end of the 1970s, I was instantly stunned by his strategical oversight and brilliant intellect. In his latest book, the eminent statesman and political mastermind sheds a profound light on the main driving forces in international affairs and geopolitics.


    "Enriched by his wealth of experience, Lee presents a sharp and convincing analysis, highlighting the consequences of the inevitable rebalancing of global power between the United States and China.


    "Furthermore, he distinctly reveals Europe's perspective of self-inflicted marginalisation if its politicians further fail to take the right action. With its farsightedness and its political wisdom, Lee's One Man's View of the World indeed provides most valuable guidance for the 21st century world's complexity."


    Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, endorsing the book, said: "Lee Kuan Yew's penetrating insight and sharp analysis of Northeast Asia and the world has proven - once again - why he is considered the pre-eminent elder statesman of our generation.


    "In a rapidly changing world that is full of unforeseen challenges, Lee is a steadfast voice of reason, clarity and hope. Another masterful piece of work that will be an invaluable guide as we chart the future."


    Related Stories:
    ABSOLUTELY TRUE? M'sia willing to lose talent so that Malays can be dominant - Kuan Yew




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    Tuesday, 06 August 2013 21:06ABSOLUTELY TRUE? M'sia willing to lose talent so that Malays can be dominant - Kuan Yew



    Malaysia is prepared to lose its talent through its race-based policies in order to maintain the dominance of one race, said Lee Kuan Yew in his new book which was launched tonight in Singapore.


    And although Malaysia has acknowledged the fact that they are losing these talents and is making an attempt to lure Malaysians back from overseas, such efforts may be too little too late, he said.


    "This is putting the country at a disadvantage. It is voluntarily shrinking the talent pool needed to build the kind of society that makes use of talent from all races.


    "They are prepared to lose that talent in order to maintain the dominance of one race," he said in the 400-page book called "One Man's View of the World".



    It features conversations between Lee and his long-time admirer, Helmut Schmidt, former leader of West Germany. They discussed world affairs when Schmidt visited Singapore last year.


    In the book, Lee pointed out that Malaysia is losing ground and giving other countries a head start in the external competition.


    About 400,000 of some one million Malaysians overseas are in Singapore, according to the World Bank.


    When announcing the five-year plan for Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Parliament in 2011, the government would set up a talent corporation to lure some 700,000 Malaysians working abroad back to the country.


    But in his book, Lee said the demographic changes in Malaysia will lead to a further entrenchment of Malay privileges.


    He noted that in the last 10 years, since the enactment of the New Economic Policy, the proportion of Malaysian Chinese and Indians of the total population has fallen dramatically.


    "The Chinese made up 35.6 percent of the population in 1970. They were down to 24.6 percent at the last census in 2010. Over that same period, the Indian numbers fell from 10.8 percent to 7.3 percent," he said.


    He added, "40 percent of our migrants are from Malaysia.


    "Those with the means to do so leave for countries farther afield. In the early days, Taiwan was a popular destination among the Chinese-educated.


    "In recent years, Malaysian Chinese and Indians have been settling in Europe, America and Australia. Some have done very well for themselves, such as Penny Wong, Australia’s current finance minister.


    "Among those who have chosen to remain in Malaysia, some lack the means to leave and others are making a good living through business despite the discriminatory policies. Many in this latter class partner with Malays who have connections."


    World Bank data for 2012 showed that the island republic has raced ahead of its neighbour, with gross domestic product per capita of
    US$51,709 compared with Malaysia’s US$10,381.

    Najib had said Malaysia is set to become a high income developed nation as early as 2018, two years earlier than the targeted 2020.


    Lee said in his book the separation of Singapore and Malaysia in 1965 marked "the end of a different vision in Malaysia on the race issue".


    He added, "Much of what has been achieved in Singapore could have been replicated throughout Malaysia. Both countries would have been better off."




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    Wednesday, 07 August 2013 16:10

    Pakatan is "an opportunistic ad-hoc group" - Kuan Yew





    Singapore’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew (pic) has a sober message for those counting on Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to usher in a new era of race relations in Malaysia: get real.


    And the chance of Malay special privileges dismantled by PR in the event that the pact captures Putrajaya? Next to nothing.


    To begin with, he said, the chance of the opposition coming to power in the near future was a very long shot. And then there were also the structural problems with the coalition of PAS, DAP and PKR.


    He labelled the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim-led coalition as “an opportunistic ad-hoc group not held together by even a vaguely coherent set of ideas but by a common desire to unseat the government’’.


    His cutting description of PR and its shortcomings will not surprise political pundits or even seasoned opposition politicians such as Lim Kit Siang and Anwar.


    The general view in Kuala Lumpur is that despite the sometimes very public run-ins with the Barisan Nasional-led government (BN) here, the PAP government in Singapore still prefers the status quo in Malaysia.


    It is more comfortable dealing with BN, having invested more than four decades building up links at different levels.


    So it may be little surprise that Lee is dismissive of PR. He said in his new book launched yesterday, One Man’s View Of The World, that as long as PR does not actually occupy Putrajaya and does not have to implement multiracial policies, some semblance of unity can be maintained within the pact.


    “When it comes to the crunch, however, PR will not be able to do away with Malay supremacy. The moment the bluff is called and it is handed full power to push ahead, it will either be torn apart from within or be paralysed by indecision.


    “If it attempts to move in any meaningful way, PAS, a Malay-Muslim party that will hold if not a majority of seats within the coalition, then at least a significant enough share to give it veto power, would block action in an instant.


    “In doing so, PAS would be responding to the same electoral pressures that Umno faces from the Malay ground,” said Lee.


    PR won 89 parliamentary seats, denying BN two-thirds control of parliament for the second consecutive election. It also retained control of the two economic powerhouses of Selangor and Penang and obtained 51 per cent of the popular vote.


    One of the main planks of the PR manifesto was a more equitable distribution of wealth. Anwar and other opposition leaders have slammed the BN’s affirmative action programme as a policy that has been hijacked by the Umno elite to enrich themselves and family members.
    - themalaysianinsider.com




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    Malaysia’s race-based reality – Singapore’s Lee is right, says Khalid Ibrahim




    BY RITA JONG AND JENNIFER GOMEZ
    AUGUST 08, 2013
    LATEST UPDATE: AUGUST 08, 2013 03:48 PM

    Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said the demographic reality of the country means there would be little change in race-based policies even if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) captured Putrajaya.


    In doing so, the leader of the richest state in Malaysia was agreeing with former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew who made the assertion in his new book, One Man’s View Of The World.


    Khalid said Singapore’s first prime minister was realistic in his assessment of Malaysia’s political situation.
    "He is telling the truth, because Malays make up 60% of the population, the political inclination would be to get the support of the Malays. Of course he could be cynical, by meaning that this does not adhere to best democratic practices," he said at the Selangor government’s Hari Raya open house in Shah Alam today.




    Khalid said the reality was the structure of the country was race-based, but qualified that how that translated into equity for all was another matter.


    In his book, Lee asserted that PR will not be able to do away with Malay supremacy. That the moment the bluff is called and it is handed full power to push ahead, it will either be torn apart from within or be paralysed by indecision.


    “If it attempts to move in any meaningful way, PAS, a Malay Muslim party that will hold if not the majority of seats within the coalition, then at least a significant enough share to give it veto power, will block action in an instant.


    “In doing so, PAS would be responding to the same electoral pressures that Umno faces from the Malay ground,” said Lee.


    PR won 89 parliamentary seats, denying BN two-thirds control of parliament for the second consecutive election.


    It also retained control of the two economic powerhouses of Selangor and Penang, and obtained 51% of the popular vote.


    However, Khalid said Lee’s assumption that it would be impossible for BN leader and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to win the Chinese and Indian votes without losing the Malay votes is flawed.
    "I dispute his hypothesis. If Prime Minister Najib addresses the problems of the rural folk, he will surely get the support of the Chinese, Indians and Malays,” he said. - August 8, 2013.
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    UMNO/BN can only speak in half-truths, actually their truths are less than 1/2.

    Singapore has higher wages because they managed the country well without corruption, thereby enabling them to raise the value of the Sing Dollar. Today, a typical Singaporean earn 5 times more than his counterpart in Malaysia. You can spin all you want but the nos cannot be denied.

    Putrajaya’s race-based policies not the only reason for brain drain, say BN leaders




    BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH AND YISWAREE PALANSAMY
    AUGUST 08, 2013
    LATEST UPDATE: AUGUST 08, 2013 06:00 PM

    Mustapha (right) agreed that there was some truth in Lee Kuan Yew's scathing remarks when met by reporters at the Cabinet open house in Putrajaya today. The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, August 8, 2013.Barisan Nasional leaders, responding to former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew’s remarks in his new book that Malaysia’s acute loss of talent was due to Putrajaya’s race-based policies, said there were also “pull factors” to the country’s brain drain.
    MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said Singapore’s higher wages and better infrastructure were pull factors.
    Lee, in his book,"One Man's View Of The World", said "40% of our migrants are from Malaysia".

    “People look for better pay, better infrastructure. In Singapore, you can travel without a car,” Chua said at the Cabinet open house in Putrajaya today.




    International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamed, however, agreed there was some truth in Lee's allegation.
    "I admit some have left the country because of that but it is not the only reason," he said, adding that the government had to find ways to address the socio-economic imbalance to ensure no one race felt left out of the country’s development.
    Mustapha noted the Indian community has asked the government to bring back the quota system for university placement as it felt the current merit-based system was a disadvantage to its children vying for places in public universities.
    Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahidi Hamid said Lee’s view was "outdated" but declined to elaborate.
    MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said in the past, the issue of Ketuanan Melayu had prompted some to leave.
    “I will admit that the issue of Ketuanan Melayu has caused some migration but we want to emphasise that Malaysia is a multiracial country and we preserve harmony and unity," he said.
    In his book, Lee was scathing in his comments on the Malaysian leadership. In a chapter in the 400-page volume, Lee said that unlike Singapore, Malaysia is prepared to lose homegrown talent to keep one race dominant.
    This despite what Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in parliament here in 2011 that the government would set up a unit to entice back some 700,000 Malaysians working abroad.
    Lee’s own view is that the demographic changes in Malaysia will lead to a further entrenchment of Malay privileges and that this was more important to Malaysia than retaining talent.
    He wrote that in the last 10 years, since the enactment of the New Economic Policy, the proportion of Malaysian Chinese and Indians to the total population has fallen dramatically.
    Giving figures in his book, he said, "The Chinese made up 35.6 percent of the population in 1970. They were down to 24.6 percent at the last census in 2010. Over that same period, the Indian numbers fell from 10.8 percent to 7.3 percent.”
    On how Singapore had benefited, he added, “40 percent of our migrants are from Malaysia.”
    Meanwhile, Mustapha, commenting on former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's new book, "Awakening: The Abdullah Badawi Years in Malaysia", asserted that "there were two sides to a coin".
    In the book, Abdullah said if he had given in to the pressure from former predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to continue with his pet mega-projects, Malaysia would be bankrupt by now.
    Abdullah also said when he left office in 2009, he was determined not to be like Mahathir. He explained that he wanted Najib to establish himself as the prime minister.
    "Everyone is entitled to his views. In the end, the government has to decide what's best for the country, weighing the benefits and cost. It is a question of judgment," said Mustapha.
    On Abdullah’s statement that Umno-controlled Utusan Malaysia has gone out of control, Mustapha said press freedom in the country was not only for Utusan but for social media as well.
    "No good talking about control... we cannot exercise full control,” he said. - August 8, 2013.
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    BN leaders agree brain drain due to past policies


    First Published:9:21pm, Aug 08, 2013
    Last Updated:9:21pm, Aug 08, 2013

    by Pathma Subramaniam


    PUTRAJAYA (Aug : Barisan Nasional leaders concurred that the nation's policies in the past, particularly those drawn along racial lines, were contributing factors to the country's brain drain.

    MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai noted that concepts such as "Ketuanan Melayu" (Malay supremacy) could have led to the brain drain, as pointed out by Singapore's former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew in his recent book.

    In his new bookOne Man’s View of The World, Lee said Malaysia was "prepared to lose that talent in order to maintain the dominance of one race".

    The senior statesman quoted excerpts from the 2011 World Bank report which stated that 20% of Malaysia's talent pool chose to opt for migration due to factors such the New Economic Policy.

    The World Bank report said Malaysia's growth fell to an average 4.6% in one year in the past decade, from 7.2% in a corresponding previous period.

    The report reasoned that the fall was fundamentally caused by issues of governance and the lack of meritocracy, adding that neighbouring Singapore had attracted more than half of these Malaysians.

    "But I want to emphasise that Malaysia is a multiracial country. We want to preserve harmony and unity. People see us as an exemplary country that they want to emulate so I think we are not forcing people to leave the country," Liow told reporters at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's Hari Raya open house today.

    MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek too agreed that race- dominated polices played a part leading to the talent flight but insisted that it is a problem faced "all over the world".

    "Any developing country will have a problem of brain drain," said Chua, adding that the brain drain Malaysia has suffered is due to better offers on foreign soil.

    "A very good example are European countries, where the doctors are not from that same country; they are from all over the world," said Chua.

    He reiterated that talent flight from Malaysia was due to "other forces" such as "better environment, better pay and better infrastructure".

    "It is not just a policy matter, it is infrastructure, social, education, financial that are in place to attract people. Even Singapore is facing a problem but it is a small country and not many take notice of it," said Chua.

    However, Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, admitted that the Barisan Nasional government had erred in the past but the mistakes are being rectified.

    "We will definitely look into areas we can correct the mistakes we have done. No government in the world is perfect, even Singapore is not perfect," said Tengku Adnan.

    "We made a mistake and of course we would like to rectify the mistakes. But not just this mistake, there many mistakes but we would like to rectify and move forward," he said.

    Read more:http://www.fz.com/content/bn-leaders...#ixzz2bRbkzf00
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    What he meant was: We have not stolen enough yet. UMNO-Baru needs more time to help themselves to the kitty.

    Umno leaders defend race-based policies, say Malays still need help


    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/m...till-need-help

    BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY AND HASBULLAH AWANG CHIK
    AUGUST 09, 2013
    LATEST UPDATE: AUGUST 09, 2013 08:09 PM

    Several Umno leaders have defended the government's race-based policies saying the Malays were still in need of help.


    Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Noh Omar (pic) said the government is on the right track with its race-based policies as Malays were still lagging behind the country's other races.


    He said this was despite affirmative measures introduced under the New Economic Policy to address economic and social inequity in the early 1970s.





    "The 1969 racial riot was caused by the imbalance in economy among races and therefore, the Malays must be given the edge to compete, to ensure there is a level-playing field," said the former Agriculture Minister today.


    He was commenting on former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s latest book, “One Man’s View of the World” where he said Putrajaya’s race-based policies had seen Malaysia suffer a critical brain drain problem.


    "They are prepared to lose that talent in order to maintain the dominance of one race," an excerpt of Lee’s book read.


    He noted that Singapore had benefited, as “40 per cent of our migrants are from Malaysia.”


    Noh said the Malays were still in need of help in the field of education.


    "Therefore the current system put in place pertaining to education policies especially, has to be continued," the Tanjung Karang MP told The Malaysian Insider.


    Noh said Lee’s comparison of Malaysia with Singapore’s success was flawed as "the republic has an entirely differing socio-economic landscape unlike Malaysia."


    Jerlun MP Datuk Othman Aziz said the government's policy is to only "balance the expertise of other races".


    “This is so that the Malays can stand on an equal pedestal with the other races in the country in terms of competition," Othman said.


    He added that it was natural for Malaysians looking for better opportunities to move abroad but it did not mean the country was doomed in terms of talent.


    "If the local expertise serving overseas are reluctant to come back home, those who are already in the country can make up for local needs.


    "Anyone would be interested in job opportunities which can guarantee lucrative paycheques, whether or not it is abroad or in Malaysia,” he noted.
    However, Federal Territories minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said Lee was being unfair in his comments as the government was making amends.


    "We are trying to rectify the earlier mistakes which have led to the problem of talents going out of Malaysia," he said at the Cabinet’s Hari Raya open house in Putrajaya yesterday.


    Addressing the brain drain problem, Putrajaya had set up the TalentCorp agency in 2011 to entice back some 700,000 Malaysians from abroad.


    "No government is the world is perfect for that matter. The Malaysian government is not perfect but so is Singapore," the Umno secretary-general said, adding that he hopes to see a change as well.


    In his book, Lee was scathing in his comments on the Malaysian leadership.


    In a chapter in the 400-page volume, Lee said that unlike Singapore, Malaysia is prepared to lose homegrown talent to keep one race dominant.


    Lee’s own view is that the demographic changes in Malaysia will lead to a further entrenchment of Malay privileges and that this was more important to Malaysia than retaining talent.
    He wrote that in the last 10 years, since the enactment of the New Economic Policy, the proportion of Malaysian Chinese and Indians to the total population has fallen dramatically.
    Giving figures in his book, he said, "The Chinese made up 35.6 percent of the population in 1970. They were down to 24.6 percent at the last census in 2010. Over that same period, the Indian numbers fell from 10.8 percent to 7.3 percent.” – August 9, 2013.
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    Mon, 12 Aug 2013 03:15:00 GMT | By Kee Thuan Chye

    Lee Kuan Yew is right about race-based policies



    Lee Kuan Yew says in his new book One Man’s View of the World, Malaysians who feel discriminated against driven to emigrate, thereby shrinking the talent pool needed to build a competitive nation.

    Lee Kuan Yew Click image for larger version. 

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    Lee
    Kuan Yew says in his new book One Man’s View of the World that race-based policies have put Malaysia at a disadvantage. They have driven Malaysians who feel discriminated against to emigrate, thereby shrinking the talent pool needed to build a competitive nation.

    This is pertinent, and he is right. He is also right in saying that in a globalised world, people with skills, brain power and drive contribute competitive advantage, and on this score, “Malaysia is losing ground”.

    Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad must know that Lee is right, because when he was asked by the media for his response, he tried to make light of it by saying, “He’s 90 years old.” Then he proceeded to make a sarcastic jibe at Lee: “He is entitled to his opinion where there is free speech, especially in Singapore.”

    Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim is, however, in disagreement with Lee. He calls the views of the man who built up Singapore and was its prime minister for three decades “obsolete” – especially on the issue of race-based politics. He says they are “irrelevant in the context of the present day”.

    We can see what Anwar is implying here. He says his own Pakatan Rakyat has moved from race-based politics and therefore eschewed racial considerations in its reform agenda. It discards the New Economic Policy and opts for helping the poor based on needs, not race.

    Sure, but Lee is not just talking about current policies. He’s talking about policies implemented over the last few decades that have resulted in Malaysia’s current plight. He is talking about the effects of such policies. His views are, therefore, not obsolete.

    In fact, even in terms of current policies, the race-based ones are still in force. The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) has given no indication of doing away with them. So the brain drain continues. And efforts by TalentCorp to lure back Malaysians with skills, brain power and drive now resident overseas have seen paltry results. In two-and-a-half years since it was set up, TalentCorp has managed to bring home only a little more than 2,000 Malaysians. Again here, Lee is right in saying that “these efforts may be too little, too late”.

    Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Anwar is right, however, in reminding Lee that 50.87 per cent of Malaysians expressed at the recent general election that they wanted change by voting for Pakatan – despite the “incessant negative propaganda” that lied to the Malays that in the event of a Pakatan victory, they would lose their privileges and that the DAP would set up a Christian state.

    He is also not off the mark in saying that if the mainstream media were allowed to report the news fairly and facilitate free exchange of ideas, Pakatan could garner at least 65 per cent support. This effectively rebuts Lee’s declaration that it would be a long shot for Pakatan to win federal power.

    It, however, does not quite rebut Lee’s follow-up point that even if Pakatan were to succeed in doing that, it is unlikely to get rid of Malay supremacy and special treatment.

    Lee attributes this to the composition of the Pakatan pact, which he says is not held together by a coherent set of ideas. “As long as it does not actually hold the reins of the federal government and therefore does not have to implement the said multi-racial policies, some semblance of unity can be maintained,” he says. But if it does come to power and the issue of doing away with Malay supremacy arises, “it will either be torn apart within or be paralysed by indecision”.

    This is an interesting point that we could give credence to. To gauge whether it is founded on reality, we need only observe whether in the Pakatan-ruled states, its much-touted needs-based agenda is being put into practice across the board, and whether Pakatan totally eschews race-based politics in its administration of power. Do its state governments, for example, appoint people to senior positions based on merit rather than race?

    In October 2008, when Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim appointed Low Siew Moi as acting general manager of the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS), there were objections from Pakatan’s own partner, PAS, and also PKNS employees. And instead of standing up to them, Khalid had to say that the position was only a temporary one. Then two months later, he appointed Othman Omar as general manager. So, what gives?

    Since then, have we heard of prominent state positions being given to non-Malays of qualification and high merit?

    More important, if PAS could object to the PKNS appointment, would it be agreeable when it came to federal ones?

    As for the composition of the Cabinet, would it turn out to be no different from that of BN’s? And with non-Malays holding the lesser portfolios?

    Clearly, Anwar is not on solid ground on the issue of race-based policies. He may get 65 per cent support from the populace if the media were free, with a substantial percentage coming from mainly urban, well-educated Malays, but he may not get the support of one of Pakatan’s component parties. Indeed, even substantial Malay support may not mean that he can forget about Malay supremacy and special treatment.

    In dismissing Lee’s views, he is also side-stepping his own involvement in the upholding of such policies when he was still with BN as deputy prime minister and Umno’s number two. He may have moved on from then, but his past involvement contributed no less to the disadvantageous position Malaysia is in now. If he were honest about it, he would have addressed that point.

    Pakatan does have a common platform and most of it is encapsulated in its Orange Book (Buku Jingga), and some of its declared key objectives are combating corruption, abolishing draconian laws and strengthening our institutions. But when it comes to, for example, establishing a meritocracy, which may result in the dilution of Malay dominance in key public positions – for example, vice-chancellors in public universities or Chief Secretary to the Government – that’s going to be a tough, tough call. The reality is likely to be at odds with the rhetoric.

    So, much as we may want to begrudge him his due, Lee Kuan Yew might just turn out to be right.

    * Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to MSN Malaysia

    * Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the bestselling books No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians and Ask for No Bullshit, Get Some More!
    py

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    13,392

    Singapore: LKY's words

    py

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