Firstly, let me qualify that LKY did many good things for Singapore. He led a team of capable leaders to bring where Singapore is today. Any other man would have….well, done the same.
It is just that LKY has taken far, far more credit than he deserves. He is no god, nor deity, but just an ordinary man, who outwitted his adversaries. He was at the right place at the right time, and he capitalised those opportunities with shrewdness like a fox.
In other words, a lesser shrewd man would still have brought Singapore to where we are today, but taken much less credit for it.
Here are some of LKY’s propagated fallacies that need to be ditched.
Fallacy #1 – LKY was charismatic
Ha ha. Those of you who are old enough to remember Lim Chin Siong, will know what I am talking about. I myself was born after his era, but I managed to dig up some enlightening facts about this fiery man.
There was a documentary aired by Discovery Channel, on the history of Singapore. It was a series of documentaries actually, and the feud between Lim Chin Siong and Lee Kuan Yew was discussed.
In the 1950s, it was Lim Chin Siong who commanded the respect of the masses. LKY was well… just a spectator. What Lim could do, Lee could not. When Lim wanted the masses to demonstrate against the Brits, they did just that. With fiery speeches, he moved the masses. LKY was a Nobody, spelled with a capital “N”.
What tilted the favour for LKY was the merger. It was planned that the only way to get rid of Lim was for Singapore to merge with Malaysia, putting pressure on the Tunku to lock Lim up.
Lee played his cards well. Lee pretended to work for Lim’s release (the people’s leader) after the merger. But by then, the position of PM of (autonomous) Singapore, under Malaysia, was already filled – by LKY, of course.
So it is really by wit, using the merger as an alibi rather than charisma, that Lee was made the PM of Singapore.
In another parallel event, we were also told that LKY was made PM of Singapore by a single vote by the Party Chairman, Toh Chin Chye. Of course Lee now tries to deny that event happened – because he wants all the glory to himself (see: Old Man wants all the glory to himself).
It can be seen that it was due to his wit and shrewdness that he became PM. It hardly had anything to do with charisma, where he could move the masses on the ground, as what PAPpy would like us to believe.
Fallacy #2 – LKY led Singapore to prosperity even when we don’t have natural resources
That’s the perfect fairy-tale, isn’t it? It is not a lie that Singapore has no natural resources. It is that it is not the whole truth either.
Singaporeans are bombarded since schools that the great LKY brought Singapore to where it is today, even though we lack all the natural resources.
What we are not told is that all the infrastructure that was needed to run and govern the country, was already in place for LKY when he became PM.
When we broke off from the merger, we already had all the infrastructure. We had well-developed roads, hospitals, fire department service, the police, airport, sea ports, schools, judicial courts, the various statutes and laws, even our own currency, and most important of all, the various ministries and govt agencies needed to govern a country – including parliament itself.
Singapore was already a thriving city (thanks to the Brits) in its own right, and LKY simply took over what was already an established city with trade pacts and commercial deals in place, and all the other necessary systems in good working order.
It is not like he and his team brought Singapore from zero to hero. Yet, LKY, being the narcissist he is, makes it look like he was the Great Man who against all odds, pulled this tiny nation that has no natural resources and means, to where we are today.
Besides being overly narcissistic, he is also insulting all the other parties (including the citizens) who have contributed one way or another, to make Singapore a success.
Fallacy #3 – LKY managed to keep Singaporeans united in spite of race tensions -
This is LKY’s favourite. He likes to play the race card. He did it when Singapore was part of Malaysia, and he continued to do so decades after we broke off from the Federation.
Firstly, there were only two “race riots” where it involved the Chinese and Malays. Secondly, the Chinese were involved in more riots than the Malays. Thirdly, there were more riots in which the govt was the target, than there were riots where particular races were the target (see: History of Riots in Singapore – LKY’s racist version has to be stopped).
So why the emphasis that riots in Singapore has always been about race? Isn’t this just a fallacy perpetuated by LKY, so that you would believe that he was able to handle a highly explosive situation, hence, elevating his status as a “great leader”?
Fallacy #4 – “We were kicked out”
Really? In LKY’s eulogy (when Dr Goh Keng Swee passed away), he unwittingly let the cat out of the bag that it was the Singapore side who planned that we leave Malaysia – hence, putting to rest the lie that we were “kicked out” once and for all (see: Did LKY Lie We Were Kicked Out of Malaysia?).
Besides unwittingly admitting he lied we were kicked out, the above shows that Singapore leaders were well prepared to go alone. So all this talk that we were “left in the lurch suddenly to fend for ourselves” is just humbug.
Fallacy #5 – The Great (Malay) Bogeyman from the North and South is out to get us! -
I leave this to the last because this fallacy is one that has been played the longest. This myth has been played since the 1960s till today. That’s a good long half a century! (Hey, Old Man, move with the times!)
LKY and his PAPpy leaders have always said that our neighbours are out to attack us. They cite the tension during the Confrontation Period. But that issue was one Malay country (Indonesia) against another Malay country (Malaysia).
Indonesia was not too happy that Malaysia merged and assimilated Sabah and Sarawak. They saw it as Malaysia’s expansionist plan, right at the doorstep of Indonesia’s Kalimantan border. Singapore was targeted only because we were also part of Malaysia then.
However, LKY, the racist who always plays the race card, turned that Malay-Malay dispute into “a sea of Malays out to get us” scenario. With a magician’s sleight hand, he deceives Singaporeans into believing that the Bogeyman out there is trying to eat us.
When the Confrontation Period was over, LKY would of course need to whip up more bogeymen. So in came the argument that the North will threaten to cut off their water supply to us.
Hello, old man, who are you trying to fool? Isn’t it easier for Malaysia (and Indonesia) to just control their air and sea space to choke us? Every time a vessel or plane leaves or lands in Singapore, it somehow has to cross Indonesian or Malaysian air/sea space. All they have to do is to put up a high tax, or put up some security checks (in the guise of controlling terror) and all the best sea and air ports we have will be nothing but nice exhibits to look at.
With a high tax, we have to work hard to earn bucks, while their cash registers keep ringing endlessly. With stringent security checks, they not only slow down our operations, but also have an excuse to tax us for what they can say is needed to cover their security checks cost.
Cutting off water is an international crime which Malaysia would never do. But controlling air and sea space is legal. Yet, this Old Man tries to bluff Singaporeans about the water stuff. Hardy har har.
LKY has long known to be a racist. He played the race card in the 1960s and he is still playing it today, 50 years later.
LKY is a shrewd politician. That, no one disputes. But when you say that he is a charismatic leader, one who could move the masses, that is hardly the truth. I am sure those from the Lim Chin Siong era will remember LKY as a wimp who stood by the sidelines, watching Chin Siong antagonizing the Brit govt with demonstrations after demonstrations, and riot after riot.
As for LKY’s never ending race card play, that’s about the only game he knows. He knows of no other way to play politics.
LKY is trying to deify himself before he dies. The hard truth about his book, The Hard Truth, is that in between the hard truths, there are hard lies embedded within.
Let’s stop believing his lies before he dies.