Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore's state controlled newspaper the Straits Times online edition of Nov 02, 2009 has this rather unusual article "PM Future leaders ready. Committed candidates-including potential office holders-already identified".
It is true that Singapore has some unusual practices, one being the criminalizing of chewing gum. It also appears to have a penchant for blood and killing, because they officially brutally beat criminals convicted of offenses (this is called caning) and hang hundreds of people every year, even teenagers, even for petty drug offenses. I understand this government has lately refused to release the actual numbers of people caught with chewing gum or executed by hanging, but there is anecdotal evidence that it is the highest in the world. As someone once said, "Singapore is the beating and hanging capital of the world"!
One other weird practice that goes on is this. Despite its claim to be a democracy with political parties and a Parliament, the Lee Kuan Yew family, that is Lee Kuan Yew the 86 year old man who has appointed himself the Minister Mentor and his son, whom he has placed as Prime Minister, go around the island each year, looking for suitable Singaporeans they like and anoint them as Singapore's leaders. This is what this state controlled newspaper is referring to. It says "The ruling PAP (Lee Kuan Yew's party) will have the next generation of leaders in place by the next general election in 2011 or 2012, said Lee Hsien Loong (Lee Kuan Yew's son) on Sunday".
The son said, at a PAP convention on Sunday, some candidates have already been identified but the full team is not ready now! He has also said "the hunt for successors has been a constant PAP agenda"
You can see why this is astonishing of course! Lee Kuan Yew's son, although we know this is the case anyway, speaks as if Singapore belongs to him, and he will decide who will govern Singapore. But wait a minute! Surely, it is supposed to be a democracy is it not? And if so, should not the electorate be deciding who the leaders are supposed to be? Why is he assuming that only his chosen candidates will be future leaders? Are there not opposition political parties like the SDP? What makes him think that Singaporeans would not vote for them at the elections? Is he not being too presumptive?
No, he is not. He is not being too presumptive at all. If you knew Singapore, the elections mean nothing. It is a smoke screen. A charade. First because there are no real leaders among it's people anyway, because they are all sued or bankrupted or jailed; and there are no real elections because no one dares to run for office. The only ones who do are those selected by the father Lee Kuan Yew and son, and they will naturally be elected into office since no one dares challenge them. It is as simple as that.
So in this dictatorship (that is what it is), Lee Kuan Yew and his son will appoint the next leaders like they have always done. And to accomplish that task, they are, as they have always done before commenced their "hunt" for candidates as the article correctly says.
In truth Singapore is no different from Communist China which renews itself at each election by nominating new leaders which the people will rubber stamp their approval.
Interesting is it not? That is why Lee Kuan Yew's family members have coined the phrase "Uniquely Singapore".
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