Part of the Do'a Iftitah

"Verily my solats, my ibadah, my life and my death I surrender to Almighty Allah, Creator and Lord of all the worlds. Never will I associate anything with Him. So am I commanded and I am of those who are Muslims."

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Singapore's Political Leader's Historic Quotes.

Most of us us here in Malaysia often compare the political situation here with our neighbours down south in the affluent, dynamic, first world class tiny island republic south of the Malaysian Peninsular?

The Republic of Singapore, is both admired and applauded for being able to transform itself from what was once a pirate's den into one of the world's most progressive nations that has successfully gone from just a tiny, undeveloped island into one major force to be reckoned with in the South East Asian region, surpassing the economies of nation's larger than itself and with having no natural resources to speak of except it's people who live under the most authoritarian republic in this part of the world!

I myself lived and worked in Singapore between 1980 to 1986 and was quite amazed to see with my own eyes the awesome transformation that has taken place in Singapore since I left it in 1986 when I visited the republic last year!

I was there in Singapore in November, 2008 to update my account particulars with the CPF.

I was practically lost for everything had changed!

Couldn't get my bearings based upon what I remembered about Woodlands, Kranji, etc for the landmarks have all been replaced with better infrastructures, etc.

What an amazing transformation!

Lee Kuan Yew may be hated by some of his own people for the way that he ruled over them with an iron fist over the years but they must also be eternally grateful to the wily old dictator for turning Singapore into what it is today, economically, progressively albeit having to live under an almost military rule and police state?

So what?

Discipline is what Singapore needed to transform itself into one of Asia's powerhouses that kicks ass and calls the shots over countries that are much more bigger in land size and population?

All the advancements that many, many Singaporeans take for granted today won't be there today if Singaporeans did not have the authoritative Lee Kuan Yew running their island republic the way that he did!

Sometimes, people just complain too much about this and that and fail to realize the benefits and bounties within their hands until it is taken away from them by reason of carelessness in protecting their interests and slip up in guarding their hard earned progress in all fields?

When millions of their fellow South East Asians put their own life's at risk and sail across treacherous seas in search of a better life, there are people both down there in Singapore and over here in Malaysia who can't see what goodness they have until they are in the very shoes or sandals of those teeming millions of illegal immigrants who keep flocking the shores of Malaysia and Singapore despite the harsh laws and rules that are in place to prevent them from slipping in and upsetting the social and economic norms of these target countries?

I won't blame you if you accuse me of being a Lee Kuan Yew admirer or fan.

To me, the man may not be foulproof but he has proven his point in delivering the results of progress for the common man and woman who through sheer discipline and will power have come to achieve a standard of lifestyle that was only a dream for our forefathers who left their home nations in search of a better future both for them and us, their descendants?

To me, Lee Kuan Yew is a man of vision and he has delivered to Singaporeans what he promised their forefathers?

A nation that has proven itself based upon its standards of going for the best that they can be in all areas of industry and excellence in self improvement.

Here are some quotes attributed to Lee Kuan Yew and his colleagues in office.

The picture here contains elements of a difference in class down there in Singapore.

I for one say that those poor folks featured scavenging for their daily meal ought to be ashamed of the foreigners who strive hard to make lots of money by working day in day out over there in Singapore and are able to send lots of money back home while the feature writer captures the sight of these old folks who scrounge for their next meal?

Should they blame Lee Kuan Yew or their own selfs for screwing up during their youth?

Let's be fair and call a spade just that. Life does not guarantee anyone happiness and wealth if one just sits on one's behind and dreams one's future away!

Even Allah the Almighty tells us that He will not change the Fate of Mankind until and unless we strive hard to change it ourselves?

To me, life is what we make it to be? Stop blaming LKY for the failures of those nitpickers out there in Singapore and over here in Malaysia.

Learn to be self sufficient and work for our keep. Fair, right?

The following is from http://singaporerebel.blogspot.com

Democracy, Justice, Equality, Peace, Progress

Choice quotes from Singapore's political leaders.

On DEMOCRACY

"If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought."
- Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition leader, April 27, 1955

"If we are to survive as a free democracy, then we must be prepared, in principle, to concede to our enemies - even those who do not subscribe to our views - as much constitutional rights as you concede yourself."
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Legislative Assembly Debates, Sept 21, 1955

"Anybody who decides to take me on needs to put on knuckle-dusters. If you think you can hurt me more than I can hurt you, try. There is no way you can govern a Chinese society."
- Lee Kuan Yew, The Man and His Ideas, 1997

"If I were in authority in Singapore indefinitely without having to ask those who are governed whether they like what is being done, then I would not have the slightest doubt that I could govern much more effectively in their interests." - Lee Kuan Yew, 1962

"You're talking about Rwanda or Bangladesh, or Cambodia, or the Philippines. They've got democracy, according to Freedom House. But have you got a civilised life to lead? People want economic development first and foremost. The leaders may talk something else. You take a poll of any people. What is it they want? The right to write an editorial as you like? They want homes, medicine, jobs, schools."
- Lee Kuan Yew, The Man and His Ideas, 1997

"What are our priorities? First, the welfare, the survival of the people. Then, democratic norms and processes which from time to time we have to suspend."
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1986 National Day Rally

"There is nothing to forbid anybody from nailing his colours to the mast, and indeed it is the safest way to do it. Nail your colours to the mast, defend it and say,"This is my flag, this is what I believe in. I believe in open debate, arguments, persuasion, I hope to win by votes." But start manipulating innocent professional groups, cultural groups and make them support political causes, whether its freedom of the foreign press or whatever, then I say you are looking for unpleasant linkages with what has happened in the past."
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1990 National Day Rally

"The People's Association is a government organisation to promote government policies."
- Wong Kan Seng, Straits Times, Mar 22 2003

"I make no apologies that the PAP is the Government and the Government is the PAP."
- Lee Kuan Yew, Petir, 1982

"The ideas of individual supremacy and the right of free expression, when carried to excess, have not worked. They have made it difficult to keep America society cohesive. Asia can see it is not working.. In America itself, there is widespread crime and violence, old people feel forgotten, families are falling apart. And the media attacks the integrity and character of your leaders with impunity, drags down all those in authority and blames everyone but itself."
- Lee Kuan Yew, Sept 1995

"For Singapore, its test for its own democracy must be whether it fit and serve the interests of its people and conditions, and not serve some abstract ideal that the Western media thought it ought to conform to. If in 10 years, Philippines, Taiwan and Korea were better societies because they adopted the US model, Singapore would hurry to catch."
-Goh Chok Tong, 1995 National Day Rally

"Political reform need not go hand in hand with economic liberalisation.. I hold unconventional views about this.. I do not believe if you are a libertarian, full of diverse opinions, full of competing ideas in the market place, full of sound and fury, therefore you will succeed."
- Lee Kuan Yew, 2005

"I think in Singapore, we stand a chance of making the one-man-one-vote system work. With amendments as we have done, you know, like GRC. We need to make it work. And I believe with pragmatic adjustments, given these favourable conditions, we can have more open debate."
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1990 National Day Rally

"One-man-one-vote is a most difficult form of government.. Results can be erratic."
- Lee Kuan Yew, Dec 19 1984

"I'm not intellectually convinced that one-man-one-vote is the best. We practise it because that's what the British bequeathed us."
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1994

"There is nothing to prevent you from pushing your propaganda, to push your programme out to the students or with the public at large...and if you can carry the ground, if you are right, you win. That's democracy."
- Lee Kuan Yew telling students to form political parties, Straits Times, Feb 1, 2005

"If you are a troublemaker...it's our job to politically destroy you. Put it this way. As long as JB Jeyaretnam stands for what he stands for - a thoroughly destructive force - we will knock him. Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac."
-Lee Kuan Yew, The Man And His Ideas, 1997

"I feel sanguine enough to say that there has never been a better set of conditions for open democratic politics because there is no need for unified front politics."
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1990 National Day Rally

"If we had considered them serious political figures, we would not have kept them politically alive for so long. We could have bankrupt them earlier."
- Lee Kuan Yew on political opposition, Straits Times, Sept 14 2003

"Once in a while, Think Centre says they want to go to the Speakers' Corner and they want to plant 100 flowers there, let the 100 flowers bloom...It's a signal - speak your voice, be heard.
- Lee Hsien Loong, National Day Rally, 2004

"I know some people want even greater freedom. But where politics is concerned, I prefer to ease up slowly rather than open up with a big bang. When Gorbachev opened up the Soviet Union with his glasnost, the Soviet Union collapsed with a big bang. We should, therefore, pump the air into the political balloon slowly. I don't intend to change my name to 'Goh Ba Chov'!"
-Goh Chok Tong, 2001 National Day Rally

"I am encouraged also because I see more and more people write letters to the press and sign their real names. That's a good sign, a good tendency. To run a democratic system, you must have democratic impulses in the people. There must be a cultural basis for that system. It's not just having a constitution and saying," Well, there you are, the system is democratic."
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1990 National Day Rally

"Now if democracy will not work for the Russians, a white Christian people, can we assume that it will naturally work with Asians?"
- Lee Kuan Yew, Asahi Shimbun symposium, May 9, 1991

"Our people should feel free to express diverse views, pursue unconventional ideas or simply be different."
- Lee Hsien Loong, Inauguration Speech, Aug 12 2004

"They say people can think for themselves? Do you honestly believe that the chap who can't pass primary six knows the consequence of his choice when he answers a question viscerally, on language, culture and religion? But we knew the consequences. We would starve, we would have race riots. We would disintegrate."
- Lee Kuan Yew, The Man & His Ideas, 1997

"They say, oh, let’s have multiparty politics. Let’s have different parties change and be in charge of the Government. Is it that simple? You vote in a Division Three government, not a Division One government, and the whole economy will just subside within three, four years. Finished."
- Lee Kuan Yew, Today, Aug 15 2008

On JUSTICE

"If it is not totalitarian to arrest a man and detain him, when you cannot charge him with any offence against any written law - if that is not what we have always cried out against in Fascist states - then what is it?"
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Legislative Assembly Debates, Sept 21, 1955

"These powers will not be allowed to be used against political opponents within the system who compete for the right to work the system. That is fundamental and basic or the powers will have destroyed the purpose for which they were forged."
- Lee Kuan Yew speaking in Parliament on the Preservation of Public Security Act, a precursor to the ISA, Oct 14, 1959

"We have over a hundred political detainees, men against whom we are unable to prove anything in a court of law. Nearly 50 of them are men who gave us a great deal of anxiety during the years of Confrontation because they were Malay extremists. Your life and this dinner would not be what it is if my colleagues and I had decided to play it according to the rules of the game."
- Lee Kuan Yew speaking to the Singapore Advocates and Solicitors Society, Mar 18, 1967

"We have to lock up people, without trial, whether they are communists, whether they are language chauvinists, whether they are religious extremists. If you don't do that, the country would be in ruins."
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1986

"The same law applies to me. Nobody has sued me for libel because I do not defame my enemies."
- Lee Kuan Yew, Success Stories, 2002

"Most libels, and I have taken about 30 actions, take place at election time. It has not stuck because I am prepared to go before a court, stand in the witness box and face the most aggressive of lawyers who can cross-examine me on my personal history."
- Lee Kuan Yew, Straits Times, Sept 30 2002

On EQUALITY

"The way to build a cohesive society is to ensure that every Singaporean is treated equally, and that the rich and powerful are not favoured over ordinary Singaporeans, Mr Goh Chok Tong emphasised last night."
- Straits Times, Aug 12 1991

It is essential to rear a generation at the very top of society that has all the qualities needed to lead and give the people the inspiration and the drive to make it succeed. In short, the elite.. Every society tries to produce this type. The British have special schools for them: the gifted and talented are sent to Eton and Harrow."
- Lee Kuan Yew, August 1966

"If I tell Singaporeans - we are all equal regardless of race, language, religion, culture. Then they will say,"Look, I'm doing poorly. You are responsible." But I can show that from British times, certain groups have always done poorly, in mathematics and in science. But I'm not God, I can't change you. But I can encourage you, give you extra help to make you do, say maybe, 20% better."
- Lee Kuan Yew, Success Stories, 2002

"The human being is an unequal creature. That is a fact. And we start off with the proposition. All the great religions, all the great movements, all the great political ideology, say let us make the human being as equal as possible. In fact, he is not equal, never will be."
- Lee Kuan Yew, from a speech during the 1960s, Success Stories

"We must encourage those who earn less than $200 per month and cannot afford to nurture and educate many children never to have more than two... We will regret the time lost if we do not now take the first tentative steps towards correcting a trend which can leave our society with a large number of the physically, intellectually and culturally anaemic."
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1967


"There are some flaws in the assumptions made for democracy. It is assumed that all men and women are equal or should be equal. Hence, one-man-one-vote. But is equality realistic? If it is not, to insist on equality must lead to regression."
- Lee Kuan Yew, Create 21 Asahi Forum Tokyo, Nov 20 1992

On PEACE

"Repression can only go up to a point. When it becomes too acute, the instruments of repression, namely the army and the police, have been proved time and time again in history to have turned their guns on their masters."
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Straits Times, May 5, 1959

"If I have to shoot 200,000 students to save China from another 100 years of disorder, so be it." - Lee Kuan Yew evoking the ghost of Deng Xiaoping whilst endorsing the Tiananmen Square massacre, Straits Times, Aug 17, 2004

"Without the elected president and if there is a freak result, within two or three years, the army would have to come in and stop it"
- Lee Kuan Yew on what would happen if a profligate opposition government touched Singapore's vast monetary reserves, Straits Times, Sept 16 2006

On PROGRESS

"I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yes, if I did not, had I not done that, we wouldn't be here today. And I say without the slightest remorse, that we wouldn't be here, we would not have made economic progress, if we had not intervene on very personal matters - who your neighbour is, how you live, the noise you make, how you spit, or what language you use. We decide what is right. Never mind what people think."
- Lee Kuan Yew, Straits Times, Apr 20 1987

"Every Singaporean who owns a flat can double his value in today's terms within the next 15 to 20 years. In other words, in the next 20 years, we can make everybody worth twice as much, at least."
- PM Lee Kuan Yew, National Day Rally, 1990

"We've got to compete ourselves from now on with developed countries, not with developing countries, because we are going to compete in the developed country league."
-Goh Chok Tong, 1992 National Day Rally

"Earning money is not the sole objective of life or education. A community of any quality should have a whole range of skills and interests. They should paint, write, perform, visit art galleries and enjoy world-class concerts. Only then will they form a vibrant, rounded, interesting community."
-Goh Chok Tong, 1999 National Day Rally

"In the next decade, we need to think and act like revolutionaries. We have to innovate, not merely imitate. We will succeed not be following the footsteps of the incumbent, but by introducing new dimensions into play. We need Singaporeans who can lead the way in creating new wealth for our economy."
-Goh Chok Tong, 2000 National Day Rally

"New Singapore will be one of the world's finest, most livable cities. Arts, theatres, museums, music and sports will flourish. Singapore will be a lively and exciting place.. Our city will not only have depth, but also the richness of diversity. But above all, Singapore will a home for Singaporeans."
- Goh Chok Tong, 2001 National Day Rally

Here's the other side of the glittering image of Singapore from their opposition citizens:



Just to be fair, maa?
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