Pipe Dream - Lee Kuan Yew rejoin Malaysia – When Malaysian “Chinese & Indians.. can equal us & even do better than us"; Full Transcript Interview
Bolehland in the eyes of Harryland, Web1.0Malaysiakini picked it up with the following report and the parrots followed but many missed his mention of rejoining Malaysia on impossible terms - i.e. when Malaysian “Chinese & Indians.. can equal us & even do better than us" and Bernama has a story on it (see Below)
Details H E R E
But Malaysiakini-tv has an exciting 1 hr exclusive with Nazri under
Nazri: Crazy lawyers go to the streets ...
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The BN government under UMNO dominant absolute control has such strangle hold on the Chinese and Indians in
Carry on soldiering
Don’t be a prophet of doom. There will be no “end of the world” scenario for
Our universe is formed WITH a reason, and in a universe of reason, there are NO victims. The universe is of good intent; evil and destruction do not exist except as a scenario. Evidence of evil in the world appears to our senses in order to let us know the consequences of the beliefs we hold, but mankind will awaken from that sadness as from a bad dream.
Harry Lee, you may be a genius – well connected in some particular manner and a great Statesman. You may have the true power in the imagination which dares to speculate upon that which is not yet. The imagination, backed by great expectations, can bring about almost any reality within the range of probabilities.
But the future is a probability. In terms of ordinary experience, nothing exists there yet. It is virgin territory, planted by your feelings and thoughts in the present. And you have been planting accomplishments and successes in
But what are your contributions to mankind as a whole? You are only interested to make the “red dot” more redder all the time, what about the little black dots scattered around the world? No time and no thought for them?
It has been said that those of the human kind who have done the most to ameliorate the life of man on Earth have not been the scientist, with all their wonderful and laudable discoveries, nor the inventors or engineers, nor the captains and leaders of industry, the statesmen and kings, but the prophets and saints.
Harry Lee, try to liberate yourself from your own and
"Take Negative Reports in a Positive Light"
Many organizations and institutions assumed they have reached the perfect state – a state of fulfillment beyond which there is no further growth, but no such state exists. And in general they do not see their own “mistakes or shortcomings”.
To grow and develop it is absolutely necessary to consider all the feedbacks and suggestions and not expect only apple polishers to boast their egos
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Kuan Yew Says Happy To Rejoin
SINGAPORE, Oct 11 (Bernama) -- Some 10 years after remarking that Singapore might rejoin Malaysia if the island state's economy faltered and if Malaysia pursued meritocracy, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has again spoken on the subject. "They have got all the resources. If they would just educate the Chinese and Indians, use them and treat them as their citizens, they can equal us and even do better than us and we would be happy to rejoin them," Lee said.
Lee made the remark in an interview on Sept 27 with syndicated columnist Tom Plate of the
The transcript of the interview is available online on the UCLA Asia Institute website.
In June 1996, Lee spoke about the possibility of Singapore rejoining Malaysia, raising a storm on both sides of the Causeway with then Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri (now Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad saying that he did not think that the time had come for that yet. Dr Mahathir had also described the remark as just a means "to jolt Singaporeans" into their senses.The latest remarks by the Singapore founding father came after he was asked about Singapore's "sense of endangerment" and why the island state was worried about survivability in the long run.
Lee replied: "Where are we? Are we in the
To a question on who would come after
Analysts here do not see any possibility of a Malaysia-Singapore merger.
"The chances of a re-merger in 1996 and in 2007 are the same -- zero," said Dr Ooi Kee Beng, coordinator of the
"The very idea of a re-merger on
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Full Transcript: Tom Plate and Jeffrey Cole interview Lee Kuan Yew
Singapore's first prime minister talks about China, the United States, and international politics as well as the future of media in Asian countries like
By Tom Plate
Pacific Perspectives Columnist
This is the complete transcript of Minister Mentor (as the founder of modern singapore is now known) Lee Kuan Yew's interview with syndicated columnist Tom Plate of the UCLA Media Center and new-media expert Jeffrey Cole of the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future. It took place on
Q: How are you?
Lee: Ageing rather fitfully as we all do, but when you're past 80, it's a pretty steep climb.
Q: The thing is you have not retired?
Lee: I think if you retire, the idea of just reading books and playing golf ... you just disintegrate.
Q: There's such a high correlation between people who retire and play golf and die, right? If you don't play golf and don't retire … follow the logic!
Lee: You have to have something more than that. You have got to wake up every morning feeling there's something worth doing and you're not just lying back and coasting along. Once you coast along, it's finished.
Q: It's great to be in
Lee: It's partly just sheer luck. I would say 60 percent hard work, 40 percent luck. Sixty percent because we put ourselves into this position, went through some very hard times starting with the Asian crisis, SARS and so on -- but we have got onto the right track. We could see
Q: You even have good relations with
Lee: That's crucial. That's part of the old -- our past.
Q: But that's not all that easy to do?
Lee: It's still tough, but it doesn't matter. The mainland knows these were the terms on which we established relations with them.
Q: One of the first questions I asked you roughly 10 years ago when I started the column on Asia and America was what would be the one thing you would say to the American people about the United States' role in Asia. You thought for a few minutes and then you said: "Tell the American people that
Lee: I think it's not bad. Congress is in a fractious mood looking for excuses for what's gone wrong, believing
Q: They probably will do it?
Lee: They'll do it gradually. They're scared of unemployment. They're scared of what happened to
Q: What would you say to Americans who say if China rises,
Lee: No, I do not see a win-lose, zero sum game here. It was the
You have got two choices with
Q: Do we on the whole know pretty much what the real picture inside
Lee: I think your China-watchers are well briefed, they know.
Q: There shouldn't be any big surprises? We pretty much know where the tensions are?
Lee: [Nods affirmatively]
Q: You mentioned Bob Rubin and Clinton. The genius of their approach was they convinced the Chinese that it was in their interest to join WTO. They weren't doing anybody any favors, was it going to be good for
Lee: No, I think they had [Chinese Premier] Zhu Rongji to deal with and that made the difference. Zhu Rongji was the man who pushed the Chinese side. He was backed by [President] Jiang Zemin. He did the sums and decided that if
Q: You see them still going there -- going in that same opening-up direction?
Lee: Their problem now is convincing the world that they're serious about a "peaceful rise." These are thinking people. You're not dealing with ideologues.
I don't know if you've been seeing this or heard of this series that [the Chinese] produced called The Rise of the Great Nations. It's now on the History Channel. I got our station here to dub it in English and show it. It was quite I would say a bold decision to tell the Chinese people this is the way the European nations, the Russians and Japanese became great. Absolutely no ideology and they had a team of historians, their own historians. To get the program going, they went to each country, interviewed the leaders and historians of those countries.
You should watch the one on
Now this series was produced in a communist state, you know. In other words, if you want to be a great nation, so, if the leader goes against the people's interests, you may have to behead him! They also said that because there was growing confidence between the people and the leaders, the country grew.
It is in fact a lesson to support their gradual opening up and their idea of how they can do it without conflict -- the "peaceful rise." They have worked out this scheme, this theory, this doctrine to assure
Q: You think they'll be able to do that fast enough to accommodate the middle class who want clean air and so much else?
Lee: I cannot say what they will do. I go there once in a year, I spend one week. I get reports, I read it but I'm not a China-watcher. I have got many other things to watch, I'm a Singapore-watcher! My guess is they're going to move pragmatically one step at a time and the first thing they are trying to do right at this moment is to get the succession to the next Standing Committee right. [The chairman will] have his team and the next five years will be his policy.
I think the policy will be let's grow, let's have more equality in the country and keep the country as one. Let's have no trouble abroad, let's make quite sure that
The first problem is blue skies for the Olympics, and the way to do that is the way they did it in 1999 when I went there for the 50th anniversary and I found blue skies. I asked our ambassador about this: He said they stopped all factories for the last two weeks. I think they're going to do that, maybe the last four weeks before and the cars will be cut down by half, odd and even numbers and so on. But to go and clean up properly will take umpteen years, retrofit coal mines and so on. That's a very costly and slow business.
They are engaging us in
Q: If we could move to the other superpower, the
Lee: I think in the next 10 years you have got to extricate yourself from these problems in the
Q: Did you follow the Israeli lobby debate in the
Lee: You have got to settle this issue with the Jewish lobby. If you have this as a festering sore, you get Muslims entangled in hate campaigns. I'm not saying if you solve this, everything will be sweet and harmonious -- but if you solve this you will remove a cancer in the [international] system. Then you can better tackle the other problems. You are alone in this [
Q: What about inside
Lee: For the next 10, 15, 20 years what you have will keep you going as the most enterprising, innovative economy with leading-edge technology, both in the civilian and military field. You have got that already.
You will lose that gradually over 30, 40, 50 years unless you are able to keep on attracting talent and that's the final contest, because what you have done, the Chinese and other nations are going to adopt parts of it to fit their circumstances and they are also going around looking for talented people and wanting to build up their innovative enterprising economies. And finally this is now an age where you will not have military contests between great nations because you will destroy each other, but you will have economic and technological contests between the great powers.
I see that as the main arena of competition by 2040, 2050 and it'll be the U.S.; China for sure; Japan, keeping up with the U.S. and trying to retain its separate position from China, closer to the U.S. and hoping to maintain a special position; India, somewhat behind China, trying to catch up. I don't know about
Q: Charles de Gaulle had a great comment about
Lee: I put my money on
Can they do it? I don't know. Their history is so deep, you never know. Under pressure, as they feel they're being left behind by history, they may decide to do it. I mean, you look at [French President] Sarkozy, he may or may not succeed, but he's convinced himself and he's convincing quite a group of the French elite. The CEOs of the big multinationals in
But long-term for America, if you ask me, say, project another 100 years, 150 years into the 22nd century, say, 2150, whether you stay on top depends upon the kind of society you will be because if the present trends continue, you'll have a Hispanic element in your society that's about 30, 40 percent. So, the question is do you make the Hispanics Anglo-Saxons in culture or do they make you more Latin American in culture."
Q: That is exactly the right question.
Lee: I mean, if they came in drips and drabs and you scatter them across
But on the [
Lee: Well, it is already on its way because the print media here is not growing the same way, they are stagnating. It's not declining as fast as, say, it is in
or America ... And this is happening here. The young, they read things on the Internet. I mean, I am part of the older generation. Yes, I read some stuff on the Internet, but at the end of the day, I say, well, let's see what the proper analysis is. So, I look up, I look at the editorial pages and the op-ed pages. I am not sure that the young will do that anymore, but the way the print media can stay in the contest is not to be the first with the news because that's not possible, but to be the first with the background and the analysis and the ones with the high credibility will stay in business. Britain
You must have credibility because you get so much on the Internet. Whom do you believe? Finally, you've got to say, who is saying this? And you don't know. But if you say, this is The New York Times, this is the Washington Post or the L.A. Times, then you say, well, that is the standard. I mean, that goes for every country, I think, but we have a different problem here because we are bilingual. English is our first language, well, for the younger generation. The older generation, Chinese was their first language, but the ones below 30 now, below 35, the majority, English is their first language and Chinese or Malay and whatever will be their second language. But with the rise of China, we are already seeing more and more going to China doing business and more Chinese coming here doing business. So, they are going to start reading the Chinese blogs, the Chinese news. It's already happening. So, the trend will be from print to screen.
Lee: Right, it is not possible. Look, you are going to have a PDA that is also running video and you can have your servers blocked. But if you've got a 3G phone, you use another server, and so then you are through.
No, it's not only going to happen, it's already happening. Otherwise, how do you get all these pictures of the monks in
Q: Right. So, that the role of the centralized media is less important. Even if you can control the centralized media, that's less and less valuable than before.
Lee: I don't know if you've caught up with this story. It's a bit of scandal going on. [Former Deputy Prime Minister] Anwar Ibrahim leaked a video, an old video, way back in 1980, of an Indian lawyer talking to a top judge about how he can arrange to get him promoted to be the "Number One" or whatever. I think it was an eight-minute video and Anwar has now put it on the Internet and it's on YouTube! So the Malaysian bar -- which have already been dismayed at the degradation of their judiciary and the corruption and judge-buying and case-buying -- they have demanded a royal commission to inquire into the facts.
So, the government, under pressure now, has appointed a committee of judges and one eminent person, to check on the authenticity of this tape. So that's bought them some time, but in the meantime, 2,000 lawyers, following what the Pakistani lawyers did, have marched on to the prime minister's office to deliver a petition to investigate this matter. Now, this would not have happened without the Internet and without YouTube. I mean it is so simple, you see.
Q: That's a changing world.
Lee: But at the same time, there is the problem of credibility. So, you have a website called Malaysiakini. That means "Malaysia Now" and it's got some very good articles in it and some of them are signed regularly by the same person. So when we get that, we read it and then we say, okay, circulate it. But you get a lot of rubbish, too, and you have got to filter it. It's a waste of time.
Q: Well, your earlier point about the credibility of serious newspapers and serious magazines is more important now than ever.
Lee: You've got to go by them. You know, it's like the ratings agencies which put a lot of financial institutions down.
Q: This is the future of professional journalism, if there is any?
Lee: No, you'll always have it. But if we don't use this [new technology], then we are just one hand tied behind us: Should we allow our opponents to have that advantage? This is a highly competitive world. But the flood of information leads to overload. Therefore, you've got to have somebody filter it for you.
Q: Can I go back to your comment about
Lee: I'm not sure the Chinese have got that power. And in
Q: They are!
Lee: How they can so mismanage the economy and reach this stage when the country has so many natural resources?
Q: It's a gift!
Lee: It's stupid. So I'm not sure. The Chinese, they've tried, and, in fact, we have tried to talk them out of isolation. I tried through a general called Khin Nyunt. He's the most intelligent of the lot. I sold him the idea, or at least he bought the idea, that the way for them to go forward was to get out of uniform and do it like Suharto, form a party -- Golkar -- and then take over as a civilian party. But halfway through, Suharto fell. So, it ended up as the wrong advice, they back-tracked. Then they chucked Kyin Nyunt out.
Q: Timing is everything!
Lee: Meanwhile, I had advised several of our hoteliers to set up hotels there. They have sunk in millions of dollars there and now, their hotels are empty. But, you know, you've got really economically dumb people in charge. Why they believe they can keep their country cut off from the world like this indefinitely, I cannot understand. And you know, you need medicines -- they smuggle in from
We will see how it is, but whatever it is, I do not believe that they can survive indefinitely. Look, the day they decided to close down the government in Yangon and go into this Pyinmana, or whatever the place is called where there's nothing and they are putting up expensive buildings for themselves and a golf course -- and the top general had a lavish wedding for his daughter which was then out on YouTube -- the daughter was like a Christmas tree! Flaunting these excesses must push a hungry and impoverished people to revolt. But what will happen, I don't know because the army has got to be part of the solution. If the army is dissolved, the country has got nothing to govern itself because they have dismantled all administrative instruments.
Q: You have a candidate in the coming American presidential election that you prefer? You'd like to endorse whom? I have my candidate, but you've got to get American citizenship!
Lee: Who's your candidate?
Q: You! You've helped run this pretty well country for so many years.
Lee: You need to have an American who is not only good on television but he must have the networking that can raise him the funds and the grassroots support.
Q: I notice you said "him".
Lee: Well, her, him/her. No, [Hillary Clinton is] leading, she's leading. Will she be good for
Q: I don't know.
Q: What do you think? I'm too close to her.
Lee: What do you mean you're too close to her?
Q: I'm right there. I'm American, I'm right in the middle of it. I don't like any of them. She may be good enough, though she's not the best that we've got.
Lee: She's good enough?
Q: She's probably good enough.
Lee: Well, we have to live with whoever wins.
Q: I read somewhere recently that you actually have a bit of a worry about your country's survivability over the long run? Are you serious?
Q: You really have a sense of the country's endangerment.
Lee: Yes, of course.
Q: It's amazing, you come in here and you walk around here in one of the great cities in the world. Yet you are worried about survival.
Lee: Where are we? Are we in the
Caribbean? Are we next to like the America ? Are we in the Bahamas Mediterranean, like , next to Malta ? Are we like Italy Hong Kong, next to and therefore, will become part of China ? We are in China Southeast Asia, in the midst of a turbulent, volatile, unsettled region. is a superstructure built on what? On 700 square kilometers and a lot of smart ideas that have worked so far -- but the whole thing could come undone very quickly. Singapore
For this to work, you require a world where there are some rules of international law and there is a balance of forces of power that will enforce that international law and the
is foremost in that. Without that balance of power and international law, the Vietnamese will still be in U.S. and the Indonesians will still be in Cambodia East Timor, right? Why are they out? Because there were certain norms that had to be observed. You can't just cross boundaries. This little island with four and a half million people, of whom 1.3 are foreigners working here, has got to maintain an army, navy and an air force. Can we withstand a concerted attempt to besiege us and blockade us? We can repel an attack, yes. Given the armed forces in the region and our capability, we can repel and we can damage them. Three weeks, food runs out, we are besieged, blockaded.
Lee: There are assets here to be captured, right?
Q: Some unnamed bad regime?
Lee: When [Q: Do you think it's healthy for the citizens of
] kicked us out [in 1965], the expectation was that we would fail and we will go back on their terms, not on the terms we agreed with them under the British. Our problems are not just between states, this is a problem between races and religions and civilizations. We are a standing indictment of all the things that they can be doing differently. They have got all the resources. If they would just educate the Chinese and Indians, use them and treat them as their citizens, they can equal us and even do better than us and we would be happy to rejoin them. Malaysia
Lee: My generation, the ones above 50, who have lived through the first part, they know. The ones under 30 ,who've just grown up in stability and growth year by year, I think they think that I'm selling them a line just to make them work harder but they are wrong. The problem is they don't believe. They think I'm wrong. That's a problem that all countries face. You look at the Japanese, I remember their parents. After their defeat, they had great leaders not just in politics but in business at every level. They travel, they work, and they sold their goods like mad to rebuild
Lee [laughing]: All we want is a quiet peaceful world. We have made something of our lives and we'll be quite happy to carry on like this and help them get along and do better. We started this LKY School of Public Policy, giving them scholarships to prove to them it's done by good governance. It's not by robbing you.
Q: I (Plate) graduated from the Woodrow
Lee: I think that's an investment worth making because [students from the region] will go back and they will tell their media chaps and their leaders and say, look this country works because it's working like this: first, it's honest; second, it's rational; third, it makes decisions and follows through on those decisions. The decisions are made after very careful consideration of all options and consequences.
Q: I agree with you and if you look at the course list, it's a very impressive course list. Now, you were educated in
Lee: It will stay like that for as long as you keep on getting talented people into your country and staying on, but will you do that? I think yes for 10, 20 years, but 30, 40, 50 years, I'm not sure because other countries will become more attractive or as attractive. It is the extra inputs you get.
Let me explain how I see it. If
Not only must you attract them, you must get them to stay.
Q: How are you doing on that?
Lee: We give a lot of scholarships to Chinese and Indians. If one quarter stay on here in
Q: On India, there's been a lot of hype in America, in foreign affairs publications and so on, about
Lee: They are a different mix, never mind their political structures. They are not one people. You can make a speech in
The views expressed above are those of the author and are not necessarily those of AsiaMedia or the UCLA Asia Institute.
Lee Kuan Yew - Pioneer of Singapore; 1-1/2 Hr Q & A - Aug 06 07; 'My generation is forged... in the crucible struggle; 'I am what I am"