News Malaysiakini

Kuan Yew is partly right and partly wrong

Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY Yes, M'sia is paying the price for race-based policies. But he's wrong in doubting Pakatan Rakyat. Its proven record at state levels shows it can successfully run the country.

Lee Kuan Yew: Race-based policies disadvantage M'sia

your say Kim Quek: Former Singapore premier Lee Kuan Yew says "to begin with, opposition coming to power in the near future is a very long shot indeed". Wrong.

Pakatan Rakyat has convincingly beaten BN in popular votes, and would have won the election if not for the massive rigging of the electoral roll and in the election process.

Lee says Pakatan is "an opportunistic and ad hoc group not held together by even a vaguely coherent set of ideas and it will break up or be paralysed if given the power to run the federal government".

Wrong again. Pakatan is united with the common desire to wipe out corruption and racism and has a proven record of five years of seamless cooperation and clean and competent governance in the Pakatan-controlled state governments.

There is no basis to assume that this trend will be completely reversed, if it wins the general election.

However, it is true that Malay dominance in politics will continue under Pakatan rule, but that is a non-issue, the same way as Chinese dominance in Singapore is also a non-issue.

Awakened: If you read carefully former PM Lee's view on the current BN race-based policy and also his view on Pakatan's lack of a long-term vision, Lee is basically being very frank and balanced in his assessment.

While most Malaysians will agree with him on the first part - Malaysia has been disadvantaged by race-based policies that have caused a huge brain drain in the last 40 years - many may disagree with him on Pakatan.

I think Lee is right in his assessment that Pakatan does not have a real vision of a future Malaysia that can move forward with true meritocracy, religious freedom and a real ‘one' Malaysia.

The non-unified stand on a few key issues such as hudud and the use of the word ‘Allah' are obvious examples of disagreement among the three partners of Pakatan.

Since the three are at almost equal strength, it will lead to indecisiveness. Pakatan may have a better chance if the partners merge into one single party with a clear vision.

Progressive: That Singapore is not race-based but merit-based is the biggest myth and a public relations exercise that Lee and the American media have created.

It's cosmetic window dressing - like many things in Singapore.

Deep down it is one race. All the heads of major civil service divisions, judiciary and the armed forces are from one race - just like in Malaysia.

Visit any private sector company and it will be clear. And it took over 20 years for a Malay to become a Singapore Air Force pilot. It was only recently that the Singapore prime minister said that for the foreseeable future, only a Chinese can become the prime minister of Singapore. What meritocracy is this?

Quigonbond: The piece is actually clever Pakatan bashing coated with concerns of BN's failure. If both sides are equally incompetent, why not stick with the devil we know?

In the end, we should be circumspect that it is in PAP's interest that Malaysia is easier to deal with. With Umno in charge, there is always a price that can be paid.

However the Pakatan coalition is not that loose as Lee imagines it to be.

There are clearly contrasting positions on religious issues, but what occupies most of the coalition's attention is good governance and economic restructuring.

Caller: Lee sounds like he fears a Malaysian government change as this might also cause a change in the Singapore government. That's why he is being acidic in his remarks about Pakatan.

Temenggong: I agree that Pakatan has no chance of winning future elections as it does not have Indian, Kadazan and Iban votes, and that Pakatan is ambivalent on Malay and Islamic policies. We need a new coalition with a new leadership.

Mamadias: Singapore is not a country any more. It is just a company that will suck society of all it can and that's why even the new Chinese Singaporeans are running away to have a better life in Australia.

Onyourtoes: 1. Mr Lee, I admire you greatly because of the great work you have done for Singapore and this region. But please don't for a minute try to derail the aspiration of the majority of Malaysians.

We Malaysians know Pakatan has no common aspirations, at least for now. But their common resolve to get rid of Umno-BN is sufficient for us, for now.

We do not know what Pakatan will be like in the future, once it attains power. But we do know the ethos, the mentality and the competency of Umno-BN for the last 50 years. That is sufficient for us now.

Just like when the people of Singapore chose between you and the communists/socialists, did they really know you were better then? They made the right choice. We Malaysians too must be given a choice.

Mohamad Abdul Malik: Much as I do not like to agree with Lee, I think he has his predictions spot-on. Pakatan had the best chance in the 2013 general election and it would have succeeded, had it not been for the gerrymandering.

But to say that Pakatan will repeat the 'success' in the future is stretching it a bit too far. I fully agree with Lee that Pakatan "coming to power in the near future is a very long shot indeed".

Pakatan should do an analysis on why PAS was the biggest loser in the last GE.

Pemerhati: Although Lee once did exhibit his racism when he said that it was important for stability in Singapore to maintain the Chinese population at the 80 percent level, his PAP, for pragmatic reasons, has not stuck to that principle or practised the type of racism practised by Umno.

They are smart enough to realise that since they do not have any natural resources, they have to rely entirely on the talent and brain power of their people for survival, progress and prosperity.

So, there is hardly any discrimination by the Chinese majority PAP against the other minorities as that is the only sure way of ensuring that everyone does his best for the country.

In Malaysia, Umno is not particularly bothered about its discriminatory and racist behaviour because most of its revenue comes from petroleum and the party is not particularly bothered about losing talent, for Umno stupidly feels it can pay and get any expertise it wants.

The crunch will come when the finite petroleum resources begin to dwindle.

JBGUY: The only way forward for Malaysia is to embrace English as a medium of education, do away with race- or religion-based policies, eradicate corruption, enhance the education system and integrate the races as Malaysians.

Kgen: Let's get this clear. No government can wipe away 55-plus years of racial polices immediately. The process to make Malaysia more inclusive may take a decade or more and there will be always some Malay preferential policies remaining.

Pakatan has never made any unrealistic promises to do away with the special position of the Malays. Lee fell into the same trap as many other analysts - the notion that Pakatan can dismantle half a century of racial policies and mindsets immediately.

Kay: Lee spoke the truth indeed. Clearly this is what is happening and will continue to happen.

Malaysia has lost an opportunity to build a globally competitive country in the ranks of Singapore, Taiwan or Korea. The government opens its arms to give out citizenship to foreign labourers based on the need to maintain political dominance instead of selecting talent contributors.

We are paying for it now, and we will pay even more dearly in future.

SAJ: Can we all just grow up and think for ourselves? Do we need these two megalomaniacs - Lee and Dr M - to tell us what to think?

They are just old fashioned dictators and builders of dynasties masquerading as democrats. Come on, people, take ownership of our nation and break the shackles of feudalism.

Ahmed: How true. It is more than a win-win for Singapore. Malaysia's talent pool is a jackpot for Singapore to stay ahead.

NAK: Why would he want Malaysia to change? The present Malaysian situation actually benefits Singapore. Only our right thinking and far-sighted Malays can prove Lee wrong.

SimonTi: Well said, Lee! Wait for the famous response of Perkasa and those supremacist bigots: "Singapore is just 'jealous' of Umno's achievements!"

The sad fact is, the destruction is imminent, the brain drain will escalate and in contrast, millions of unskilled illegal immigrants are already here and will continue to flood Malaysia, fast-tracking the Islamisation process.

And in no time in the next generation, the goose that lays the golden eggs in Malaysia will disappear forever and those who cannot afford to leave will be the minority overwhelmed by the absolute majority.

Taliban elements will creep in, corruption will thrive in every institution, crime will get worse (it's already bad now!), incompetent and supremacist bigots will dictate the direction and Malaysia will slip further down while its neighbours will thrive.

We do not see any future for Malaysia without meritocracy. Lee has never been wrong so far.

Awakened: Lee is a sharp observer and I agree with his opinion. The race-based policies implemented for the last 50 years have made Malaysians to be very much race- and religion-oriented.

One classic example is the recent university entrance issue.

The Chinese supported Pakatan overwhelmingly in the 13th general election. There were many speeches during the election rallies that we are all Malaysians.

But when it comes to the unfairness of entrance into universities, with almost all those with perfect scores not given courses of their choices being non-Malays, I did not see any Malay leaders from Pakatan coming out to condemn the UPU unfairness.

The injustice is so glaring, but did the Malay leaders from Pakatan say anything and try to do something? It's very disappointing. I think Pakatan will not get as much support from the non-Malays in GE14.

Truce: Lee has been a wolf in sheep's clothing, practising pseudo-democracy and dictatorial governance behind closed doors. The same as Mahathir. They are non-identical twins.

The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now


Share this story


Welcome back,

Your subscription expires on

Your subscription will expire soon, kindly renew before

Your subscription is expired
  Click here to renew

You are not subscribed to any subscription package
  Click here to subscribe now

Any questions?
  Email: [email protected]
  Call: +603-777-00000