Rewriting LKY’s views on FTs? And, if so, why?

In Humour, Political economy on 17/09/2012 at 5:57 am

(Or “LKY has repented? No we got him wrong” or “LKY, no FT lover, no hater of locals”)

I came across this about a month ago, but didn’t comment, waiting to see if anyone other self had picked it up No blogger did, and I forget abt my plans to blog on it until a few days ago.

“If we go on like that, this place will fold up, because there’ll be no original citizens left to form the majority, and we cannot have new citizens, new PRs to settle our social ethos, our social spirit, our social norms …
accept migrants at the rate at which we can assimilate them and make them conform to our values, ” LKY.

I was stunned and shocked to hear him talk of  wanting “original citizens” (who he said need spurring ’cause they are less hard-working than his beloved FTs)  “to form the majority”, and that his beloved FTs (“new citizens, new PRs’) cannot and should not “settle our social ethos, our social spirit, our social norms”.

I had tot he wanted S’pore to be over-run with FTs because he was liked the solution proposed (ironically) in this poem

After the uprising of the 17th of June

The Secretary of the Writers Union

Had leaflets distributed …

Stating that the people

Had thrown away the confidence of the government

And could win it back only

By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier

In that case for the government

To dissolve the people

And elect another?

(The writer, Bertolt Brecht, was a famous playwright,  a Hollywood screen writer in the golden years of Hollywood in the 1930s) and a Marxist activist.)

What next from him? Malays are loyal to S’pore?

A few days ago, I was reminded of the above remark when I read this from a PAP apologist from the top of our constructive, nation-building ST: seems as far back as 1971, LKY has been concerned abt FTs over-running S’pore. If so how come his acolyte Wong Kan Seng when he was head of Home Team allowed PRC hawkers, a slutty looking, violent, cheating shop assistant, and an ang moh awaiting trial for beating up a S’porean PR status? Or that the government from the late 1990s onwards imported FTs by the cattle truck load.

Well the piece fooled many thinking S’poreans.  S’poreans who saw it as vindication that even a worm like a true blue ST man can turn on a  PAP policy i.e. ST is changing for the better. I had no such tots. I focused on the dates when LKY said:

— “And if you take too many, then instead of our values being superimposed on them, they will bring us down to their values because it’s easier to be untidy, scruffy, dirty, anti-social than to be disciplined, well-behaved and a good citizen.” (1971)

— “There will be cultural, linguistic, social and political problems. /Well, those cultural, linguistic, social and political problems have now come to roost, 40 years on.” (1978).

Err, these were the two examples quoted in 1971 and 1978. Then we have to jump to to August 2012 for the third one which I quoted above. Nothing in between?

A cynic could conclude that there is some rewriting of history, that despite all his praise of FTs and denigrating locals, and the pro FT policies, LKY cared about S’poreans being swarmed by FTs, and that he expressed this in 1971 and 1978.

Possible motives:

— To correct the perception (or is it misperception?) that LKY prefers FTs to S’poreans in S’poreans. The aim is to protect his legacy as one of the founders of modern S’pore. Bit difficult to have an icon of S’pore who prefers FTs to locals, even if he did a lot for S’poreans, which he did, and all but the likes of KennethJ and Dr Chee would agree he did.

— Another could be to show that when he was in charge, he had different views on the role of FTs then Goh Chok Tong or his son.

The spin doctors have to do better. They had better look for statements post 1978 but pre August 2012, expressing the view S’poreans should not be swamped by FTs. LKY was PM until 1990, and S’poreans believe that until recently, he had the final say on any important policy. And then there are all the pro-FT statements. And those denigrating locals.

Whatever it is, join me in a belated birthday greeting to LKY. The team that he headed in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and S’poreans made S’pore a developed world city. Too bad abt the team in the 90s and noughties, of which he was a part. And the son’s doing a decent job of correcting the mistakes of the 90s and noughties (despite being a leading player in the mistakes). But I wish he hadn’t started NatCon.

BTW, I taking up the challenge of compiling a list of things that the WP did not do in response to a challenge from a WP groupie upset with last Fri’s piece. Looking for sponsors to fund it (No peanuts pls). Or for help to draw up the list. Against my principles to do anything for free for the PAP, who always say, “No free lunch”. But who have a freebie via the PA, widely perceived as an arm of the PAP, even if it is tax-payer funded.

  1. I have a different take. When he was PM, he was on the “right side” of the immigration debate. As shown in the 1971 speech, he was shrewd enough to realise that certain FTs will fit in (eg : M’sians), certain won’t. And preserving social ethos is as important as iimmigration numbers. And the need to weed our reliance on FTs.

    Under GCT and LHL the immigration policy went on “auto-pilot” and by definition, went astray. They took in FTs by the bus loads to gin up the GDP.

    Throughout this period, LKY streneously defended the Govt. Asked S’porans to “grow their spurs”, either fast growth or be prepared to send your kids to work as maids overseas etc. Why the change?

    I think its because when it comes to his own son, his instinctive paternal reaction is to defend. I dare say that the old LKY would have disapproved of the way LHL handled many issues. The old LKY dares so say things, and take position, like saying that certain cultures won’t fit in (eg : Filipinos), so hold them off in terms of immigration. The old LKY wouldn’t fumbled the way the “national conversation” was handled. And wouldn’t ditter for so long about fire or not fire Wong Kan Seng, Mah Bow Tan.

    After GE2011, LKY volunteered to step down from cabinet. After he volunteered, GCT no choice but to follow. I think he recognised immigration is now a big bugbear. And he recognised we’ve taken in quantities and qualities that make integration difficult. So he spoke what you pointed out in your article.

    But a father’s love for his son, can sometimes still blind him to objectivity. That’s why I think its easier for him, if his son were not in charge. He can be a bit more Mahathir like. With his son, he can’t and won’t.

  2. So in your last paragraph, it’s clear that you’ve admitted that:

    1. The other article (i.e. “Time for Opposition to rethink assumptions, lest it repents after next GE”) had no facts, so it was a “rant and rave”.
    2. You need help compiling info and “facts” as well – as much as Janice Koh does! Which is further proof that your criticism of Janice Koh (in “Give us facts NMP Janice Koh: not juz hot air”) was also a “rant and rave”!

    You are so full of shit, man!

    You are seriously some fucked up PAP spytroll.

    Even if you claim you are not, the way you do things is no different from how the PAP does things.

    Wake up your fucking idea, recruit!

    • I hope you realise that you reflect very badly on Janice Koh. Unlike you, a defender and I assume a fan of Janice Koh, I don’t resort to vulgarities. If I decide to call Janice Koh vulgarities, you as her fan are to blame. Now I can understand her banalities: she attracts stupid, vulgar people like you, you can barely read.

      Final warning. No more vulgarities, or I’ll spam you.

  3. Hi,

    Be careful of Facebook user name “Fred Tan” ( This WP troll & fantatic WP supporter has been going around posting distasteful remarks against every politicians, political parties, and opposition party supporters, except WP’s.

    What is odd is that “Fred Tan” openly declared that he is currently a VP in BoA. Would a person of such calibre and status goes around posting distateful remarks on every person’s Facebook wall? Isn’t he worried about his BoA job? So I suspect he is not a BoA employee.

    “Julius Caesar” might be Fred Tan in disguise, a fanatic WP supporter.

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