PM Lee discusses the issue of nepotism: "Interview with Charlie Rose in the USA - 16 April 2010 The Straits Times
What signals is S'pore sending?
Charlie Rose: Also, are you anxious to send a signal that you don't dare write about nepotism in Singapore because Singaporeans will sue you?
PM Lee: No. The signal we want to send is if you want to make an allegation, make sure it's true and be prepared to prove it.
We were prepared when we sued them to go into court, give evidence, enter the witness box, and be cross-examined under oath. And they can bring the lawyer and demolish us and prove that what they said is true. What more can you ask?"
This will not go away with the PM of Singapore as far as some Western liberal press and people are concerned. It is a curse that Singapore will have to live with and defend with firmness and dignity each time it is discussed.;
Lessons for me are:
1. we are a small country, and the Lee has 2 PMs in the family in this short history of Singapore. So, it is inevitable that nepotism is questioned b some who don't have an insight into the proceeding in Singapore political selection process. The qualification of PM Lee to take over from PM Goh then is quite transparent for all to see. Academic qualification especially!;
2. the performance thus far is closely scrutinized and it is impossible to measure up to the senior Lee as his era is the building phase and the people is of a different make up too - hungry, fearless, hardworking, and willing to sacrifice to gain the promised prosperity and improved living condition - which the government delivered!;
3. the current generation is of a different upbringing. The people is different. The leadership is different. Many of them are not in this voluntarily but seek out and plucked from the 'best of the best'. Too many are not really from the working class and the under-privileged class. The same hunger to be successful may be there but the motive may not be 'to serve the others who are less privileged and less capable and less fortunate'. The mantra is: To get top talent you need to pay top dollar.
Ultimately, any allegation about nepotism will be challenged and MUST be challenged if the accusers have no solid evidence and proof. Freedom of speech is one thing, responsible journalism takes precedence for me.
May Singapore continue to thrive and better able to stand on its own two feet and determine if the best men and women are in charge of the nation at each general election that are contested.