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  1. #1
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    Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew dies at 91

    Lee Kuan Yew, the statesman who transformed Singapore from a small port city into a wealthy global hub, has died at the age of 91.

    Mr Lee served as the city-state's prime minister for 31 years, and continued to work in government until 2011.

    Highly respected as the architect of Singapore's prosperity, Mr Lee was also criticised for his iron grip on power.

    Under him freedom of speech was tightly restricted and political opponents were targeted by the courts.

    The announcement was made "with deep sorrow" by the press secretary of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mr Lee's son.

    "The Prime Minister is deeply grieved to announce the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore," his office said in a statement.

    It said Mr Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital at 03:18 local time on Monday (19:18 GMT on Sunday).
    'Meritocratic nation'

    A charismatic and unapologetic figure, Mr Lee co-founded the People's Action Party, which has governed Singapore since 1959, and was its first prime minister.

    The Cambridge-educated lawyer led Singapore through merger with, and then separation from, Malaysia - something that he described as a "moment of anguish".

    Speaking at a press conference after the split in 1965, he pledged to build a meritocratic, multi-racial nation.

    But tiny Singapore - with no natural resources - needed a new economic model.

    "We knew that if we were just like our neighbours, we would die," Mr Lee told the New York Times in 2007.

    "Because we've got nothing to offer against what they have to offer. So we had to produce something which is different and better than what they have."

    Through investment in schooling, Mr Lee set about creating a highly-educated work force fluent in English.

    He reached out to US investors to turn Singapore into a manufacturing hub, introducing incentives to attract foreign firms.

    Singapore also became a centre for the oil-refining industry. The city-state grew wealthy and later developed into a major financial centre.

    But building a nation came with tight controls - and one of Mr Lee's legacies was a clampdown on the press.

    These restrictions remain today. In 2014, Singapore stood at 150 in the Reports Without Borders World Press Freedom Index, below countries like Russia, Myanmar and Zimbabwe.

    Dissent - and political opponents - were ruthlessly quashed.

    Today Mr Lee's PAP remains firmly in control. There are currently six opposition lawmakers in parliament.

    Other measures, such as corporal punishment, a ban on chewing gum and the government's foray into matchmaking for Singapore's brightest - to create smarter babies - led to perceptions of excessive state interference.

    But Mr Lee remained unmoved.

    "Whoever governs Singapore must have that iron in him. Or give it up," he told a rally in 1980. "I've spent a whole lifetime building this and as long as I'm in charge, nobody is going to knock it down."

    BBC News - Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew dies at 91

  2. #2
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    RiP - he created something out of nothing, banging some heads along the way and getting out from under the Malay dominance

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    ^ Yea it's clean prosperous and safe but when I saw the mandatory transponders on every motor vehicle (including motorcycles), was denied admission to a casino because I did not have my passport, and read about the ridiculous practice of caning (spanking) adults, I think he should have died years sooner. That Country needs some real political competition, not this family dynasty succession crap or chosen replacements.

    Sorry if this offends anyone, there is a balance between freedom and order and ironically Thailand and Singapore are both tipped too far in the opposite directions. Sadly our home countries are also tipped too far in the same direction as Singapore.

    PS The passport thing is because local people with gambling problems are banned from casinos and without my passport I could not prove I was not on the banned list. True nanny state in action.

  4. #4
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    A true statesman.

    Too bad the rest of the Chinese who are running the rest of S.E Asia don't have his wisdom and ethics.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR View Post
    ^ Yea it's clean prosperous and safe but when I saw the mandatory transponders on every motor vehicle (including motorcycles), .
    They are actually in vehicle units for electronically paying the toll charges for using certain roads.

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    He's created a monster where anyone who is able and qualified wants to leave. An intense microcosm celebrating the hypocrisy of capitalism, a safety deposit box for Chinese kleptocrats, Burmese Generals and Thai tax evaders. It has no culture other than a phoney nationalism created out of hubris and crude social engineering. It is morally bankrupt and as soulful as Muzak in a chain hotel lobby.

    It is a construct born out of greed and fear of humanity.

    Of course, all this is scarcely surprising given that Lee Kuan Yew was a terrible hypocrite without any personal moral fibre or scruples. He was a member of the Barisan Socialis Party and when socialism no longer appealed he outlawed the group and detained his former comrades in a special camp knowing they were the only ones capable of competing for power. The threat of torture induced a cooperation to which most yielded if they ever wanted to get out in one piece.

    It's a great pity - Singapore was a fine place in 1966 and could have been something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    A true statesman.

    Too bad the rest of the Chinese who are running the rest of S.E Asia don't have his wisdom and ethics.
    Surely, you can't be that stupid? He was a true statesman in the mould of Franco, Mussolini, Pinochet and all the other fascistic autocrats.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum
    He was a true statesman in the mould of Franco, Mussolini, Pinochet and all the other fascistic autocrats.
    It took a man with his strength, leadership and vision to achieve what he did in a strong Muslim enclave and in such a short space of time.

    I am not surprised that a person of your ilk cannot appreciate such an achievement.

    RIP to Lee Kuan Yew and Pip Pip to you.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    A true statesman.

    Too bad the rest of the Chinese who are running the rest of S.E Asia don't have his wisdom and ethics.
    Ethics?




    You seriously need to do some reading.

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    Indeed, his profound ignorance would be quite amusing if it were not so tragic.

    Hitler is of course the apotheosis of Loy Toy's conception of a " statesman" taken to its logical conclusion.

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    He had to rule with an iron fist and he achieved his goals for the benefit of his nation.

    I am not surprised that those that have never had a serious challenge in their lives cannot grasp what it takes to achieve something they believe in.

    In fact I have never met one Singaporean who has said a bad word about him and that includes the Indians and Muslims who live there.

    Yes, things are tightly controlled there but are things not tightly controlled in most other Western Countries?

    I certainly love the place he created and the safety there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum
    Franco, Mussolini, Pinochet and all the other fascistic autocrats.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum
    Hitler
    The mere fact that you group this man with those muderers purely and simply is ludicrous.

    You carry on with your crap Gent if it makes you feel superior.

  13. #13
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR
    Yea it's clean prosperous and safe but when I saw the mandatory transponders on every motor vehicle (including motorcycles
    They are for road tolls. We have them here in Malaysia as well

    Quote Originally Posted by BobR
    was denied admission to a casino because I did not have my passport
    Rules . . . why would you complain about rules being applied?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobR
    and read about the ridiculous practice of caning (spanking) adults
    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by BobR
    PS The passport thing is because local people with gambling problems are banned from casinos and without my passport I could not prove I was not on the banned list. True nanny state in action.
    Nanny state? Quite possibly in this instance, but isn't it better to not allow a degenerative habit to fester?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum
    He's created a monster where anyone who is able and qualified wants to leave
    Quite untrue - in my six years there as an MNC expat I met few that actually wanted to leave . . . and of those that did leave, quite a few returned.
    The reasons for leaving are economic - want for a bigger house, a nicer car etc...
    The reasons for returning are missing the 'family' spirit, weather, safety etc...

    If I hadn't accepted a better offer elsewhere I'd still be there . . . and loving the fact that crime is very, very low, you don't need a car, food is excellent and cheap and a whole host of other reasons.
    I don't know of many expats who wouldn't go back.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Singapore was the siting of my first job in Asia back in the late eighties, when people whose opinions differed from Harry's were imprisoned on sentosa Island if they survived that long and JP Jeyeretnam, his token 'opponent' was being pursued through the courts in an ultimately successful 15 year attempt by Harry to bankrupt him out of pure spite.

    There was an island wide 'election' when I was there, with the one opposition candidate, and in the ward he was standing in residents were told their bins would not be emptied if he got in. This was the level Harry's boys worked at.

    Harry's achievements may be admired to an extent, but to laud his ethics really does take a monumental level of naivete. But yeah, it's nice and 'safe' on holiday if you steer clear of thought crime and want to get some cheap Chinese electronics.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Oh, and clearly it's absurd to claim that all able and qualified people want to leave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille
    and want to get some cheap Chinese electronics
    Mate you probably have not been back there since the early 80's.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    And there's plenty about the place you are clearly missing by merely visiting rather than taking some time to actually educate yourself.

    'Late eighties' btw - reading difficulties are perhaps shrinking your perspective.

    And one hardly needs to have visited recently - you're aware we're discussing history, right?

    You know - stuff about the past 'n that.
    Last edited by cyrille; 23-03-2015 at 12:48 PM.

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    Well, Panama and LT,if you reduce everything to the level of enjoying your stay in a rather nice hotel administered by a ruthless management then so be it.

    I was alluding to the socio- political reality of living in a city state where the population is not trusted by its autocratic government to make decisions for themselves.

    For the ordinary workimg citizen in Singapore most are damned worried and increasingly concerned at the obvious corruption among the higher echelons of society who are reaping the benefits while they live regimented lives in shoe boxes unable to retire and to pay the increasing taxation and cost of health care.

    No culture, no personal freedom, no freedom of expression and absolutely no democratic opportunity to change anything.

    Most polls conducted by free organizations have found more than 50% would quit the island given the chance.

    It's a bogus country and a concentration camp for drones working for the interests of the elite.

    But as long as drearily stupid farang can walk the streets in their drunkeness safe from a chance mugging and can buy a cheap curry then all is hunky dory.

    The comments here simply reflect the truth that most farang are too ignorant, too stupid and too lumpen to understand anything very much beyond satisfying their base needs.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille
    And there's plenty about the place you are clearly missing by merely visiting rather than taking some time to actually educate yourself.
    I actually worked there over many years and did a lot of market research.

    Actually my product is still the market leader there so you can be rest assured I do know quite a lot about the place and have many friends there.

    If Lee's political views and tactics erks you then so be it. After all, and historically and as a politician you cannot please everyone, but nobody can deny his plans worked and for the benefit of most.

    I certainly do not think I could live there full-time but I do enjoy my visits.

    By the way my first visit there was in 1987.

  20. #20
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    Mine was too ! I stayed there for more than 6 months and actually entered illegally 3 times so I could continue to see my Chinese gf....she was a real lasher.
    I swam across from Johore at night after getting an extension on my Malaysian visa and buying flippers. ENT doesn't believe me, but it's true.

    Lucky I didn't get caught...I would've been caned

  21. #21
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum
    Well, Panama and LT,if you reduce everything to the level of enjoying your stay in a rather nice hotel administered by a ruthless management then so be it.
    Where have I done that? It is a safe and clean place to live - no doubt. No poverty, excellent food at hawker centres etc . . . Hardly the makings of a ruthless management.
    When you lived and worked there, did you not have contact to locals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum
    For the ordinary workimg citizen in Singapore most are damned worried and increasingly concerned at the obvious corruption among the higher echelons of society who are reaping the benefits while they live regimented lives in shoe boxes unable to retire and to pay the increasing taxation and cost of health care.
    There's no doubt about the worry, but it isn't directed at your targets, rather at the growing number of Mainland Chinese and Indians now being brought in not only for higher level jobs but also for traditionally 'secured' jobs for the local middle class

    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum
    No culture, no personal freedom, no freedom of expression and absolutely no democratic opportunity to change anything.
    No culture? You've not been there.
    No personal freedom? You've not been there, or would you care to elucidate?
    No freedom of expression? Again, care to explain what you mean by this? It certainly is limited, but then it is part of Asia.

    No democratic opportunity to change anything? Can't argue that. The PPP has effectively gerrymandered itself into permanent power.
    A friend voted for and lived in an opposition ward and the 'subtleties' of government punishment were almost childish . . . no fresh paint for the HDBs etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum
    Most polls conducted by free organizations have found more than 50% would quit the island given the chance.
    The same goes for Britain . . .

    A simple Google:

    Half of Brits want to emigrate; Oz is top choice - A Place in the Sun

    The Sun

    BBC NEWS | UK | More Britons consider move abroad

    Doesn't prove anything, really

    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum
    It's a bogus country and a concentration camp for drones working for the interests of the elite.
    It's as much a country as any and the people have done well out of it economically for a very long time

    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum
    But as long as drearily stupid farang can walk the streets in their drunkeness safe from a chance mugging and can buy a cheap curry then all is hunky dory.
    Projection doesn't prove anything. I have two children and all the factors mentioned above figure in my opinion of the place. No need for private nor international schools - local schools are perfectly adequate, the same cannot be said for Malaysia, Indonesia, Flipland . . . oh, one could go on and on and on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum
    The comments here simply reflect the truth that most farang are too ignorant, too stupid and too lumpen to understand anything very much beyond satisfying their base needs.
    Your comments certainly reflect the fact that you have very little knowledge about the place if you see the 'farang' as being the same as in Thailand . . . as for 'Lumpen', I presume you're trying to say 'Lumpenproletariat' . . . unless you're using British slang, but that alludes to peoples' appearance.

    I'd be interested to hear your explanation

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seekingasylum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    A true statesman.

    Too bad the rest of the Chinese who are running the rest of S.E Asia don't have his wisdom and ethics.
    Surely, you can't be that stupid? He was a true statesman in the mould of Franco, Mussolini, Pinochet and all the other fascistic autocrats.
    Thanks for that. Collaborator with Imperial Japan and unabashed racist, dead at 91.

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    I wouldn't bother with The Gent/ Seekingasylum either Hatter.

    He probably had another Sausage Smuggling attempt foiled by a person upholding the establishment rules, spat the dummy like he did in Bangkok and claim it is everyone else's fault including Lee Kuan Yew.

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    Lee Kuan Yew, Mahathir Mohamad and Shintaro Ishihara- one down, two to go.

  25. #25
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    Lovely man:
    “If I have to shoot 200,000 students to save China from another 100 years of disorder, so be it.” - Lee Kuan Yew, endorsing the Tiananmen Square massacre which took place on 4 June 1989.
    LKY supports Tiananmen massacre

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