Sing politics II

Yea I really have been thinking about LKY quite a fair bit nowadays heh.

It has been on my mind because I am studying Singapore politics (and seriously you cannot divorce that man from the modern history of Singapore there is just no way), I know that probably my first election vote is round the corner, and also because right now the man still lays on his hospital bed.

Bear in mind, I'm speaking specifically about the man, not about current day Singapore politics which is a very much different situation.

I'm one of those in the middle people. You will see people who scream and flame LKY all day long, and you will see those who practically worship him. But there are those of us who sit in the middle and for good reason, it isn't all that simple really.

One of the things I have been pondering alot when it comes to LKY is actually on the issue of ethics. Every time I learn something about Singapore history and the man's policies and interventions on all sorts of issues, I feel a somewhat mixed feelings. On one hand, there's the part of me that agrees with the screaming voices about violation of human rights, underhandedness, and authoritarian control. Yet on the other hand...I don't know if I would have done things differently.

We all make these remarks because we are looking through our modern lenses. But life is very much different back then, and I do believe the man had a great conviction in him when he did all the things he did.

So, what is right and what is wrong? It was a case of being between a rock and a hard place wasn't it.

It reminds me alot of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Not to compare directly of course because these situations are very different but it is the same idea of being between a rock and a hard place. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor who was part of a group of people who resisted Hitler, and it was that very same group that carried out the almost successful assassination plot on Hitler in 20 July 1944. We still don't know today for sure if Bonhoeffer was directly involved in the plot, but I do wonder what it would have been like for him. Some of the letters he wrote do discuss the great struggle he felt within him.

But I digress. What started me on this again is partially also because it seems that there are quite a number of people out there who are thinking about the man too these days heh, seems to show quite a fair bit in my feeds. And this was part of what I read in the comments section of someone else's blog:

"But I choose (to) celebrate the totality of his legacy"

That particular statement stood out for me. Is that how it should be? Do we judge by the sum total of everything?

To be frank, I'm still not quite sure. I guess I will need to learn more to find out more about what exactly happened in the past. And I do believe that these things will come to light in time to come.

Meanwhile after this sem ends maybe I should go check out a few interesting books. For one, I havn't actually read any of LKY's books yet.


Update: Okay lol I'm not going to create a new post again or this is going to become a political blog LOL. Anyway, an interesting thought from this article:

In particular, there seems to be no guarantee that the autocratic system will remain as benign as it has been. Power has been exercised largely in the public interest, albeit in illiberal ways. This PAP benevolence – as well as PAP intolerance – has been attributed to the seemingly incorruptible and all-powerful father figure of Lee Kuan Yew. The question arises, therefore, whether the PAP and Singapore will degenerate, post Lee.

It doesn't seem likely right now of course, I don't foresee corruption seeping in in the near future, but the fact remains that it can.

And haha 'power has been exercise largely in the public interest, albeit in illiberal ways'. Seriously, 'all-powerful father figure' is just the right description. Something screaming opposition for the sake of opposition voices need to consider whenever a comparison is made to other autocratic nations.

Quite frankly, if the prime minister is indeed a perfect human, all-wise and able to do exactly what is best, would we really mind living in autocracy? I don't think I would mind actually, I mean that person would know better than I do so why not leave him in charge.

That is the legitimacy of the government to me. The question then is can they deliver? For more than fifty years it has been their source of legitimacy, let's see if this can carry on through the challenges again.