"MM Lee said: 'Let the younger politicians step up!' CNA 12 December 2009"
It is quite obvious that the old politicians need to know when to bow out of the bright light and allowed the younger politicians step up to gain experiences and prove themselves.
In Asia context, even in some of the more democratic countries, it has not been easy for the older and successful politicians to realize that need and even fewer actually took personal action to ensure that the young politicians are allowed to step up! In Singapore, it is rare that MM Lee's influence is absence in any major policies in the last 46 years! This despite his official retirement from being the PM of Singapore!
Lessons for me are:
1. we need new blood in any organization. This is the only natural progression;
2. it is very unnatural for successful and old politicians, or leaders, to actually allowed younger politicians, who may NOT be fully ready, to take their chances and prove their worth. It is far easier to hold on to power and continue to drive the agenda while allowing the young blood to take a minor role here and there. While the intention is good, we all know jolly well that living and thriving in the wild is very different from growing nicely in a green house!;
3. hence, there need to be a deliberate process where the successful but old politicians, or leaders, MUST relinquished ALL executive positions and power and allowed the young ones to take control and make decision independently. Of course, they need to explain their reasons for those decisions and bear the consequences of those decisions. The 'retired' old and wise politicians can act as advisers but that's all. The decisions must be taken by the young generation of leaders.
MM Lee is a great leader in his time. The most worrying part of a patriotic Singaporeans like myself is that: he has overshadowed far too many young politicians to the extent of being unhealthy as up-to-date his voice alone still dominate many of Singapore's major policies!! We cannot have him forever - much as we like and want to in some sense! He has to let go totally!! Even if that means his successors make mistakes and paid a price for it.