Ad Hoc Commentary – rest in peace LKY
It is a sad day indeed as the world loses one of its finest statesmen: Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), the founding father of modern day Singapore. If you read any of Peter Schweizer’s book, you would probably agree with me that the late LKY is indeed one of the rarest gems in the world of politics. LKY imposed clean politics in the city state of Singapore, amidst South-East Asian region where cronyism and nepotism is commonly accepted as a way of life. It is yours truly deepest hope that the policy of clean politics continues after his death. As LKY’s Singapore had shown, clean politics is not an oxymoron.
For those who do not know Peter Schweizer, he is the President of the Government Accountability Institute at Stanford University. Yours truly had read his book “Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison” where he took on Secretary of State John Kerry among others. He seems to be taking on the Clintons in his upcoming book entitled Clinton Cash: http://www.amazon.com/Clinton-Cash-Foreign-Governments-Businesses/dp/0062369288/
Since Mr Schweizer is taking on both Republican and Democrats, it really brings to question who is supporting this author. Regardless who, it seems that traditional Republican and Democrat hold on American politics is poised to erode in 2016, most notably by the likes of Koch: “…The political network overseen by the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on the 2016 campaign, an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history. The spending goal, revealed Monday at the Kochs’ annual winter donor retreat near Palm Springs, Calif., would allow their political organization to operate at the same financial scale as the Democratic and Republican Parties…”
Back to Singapore, yours truly is not a Singaporean but had resided in this country for close to two decades. Thus, yours truly experienced first-hand the forces that brought unhappiness to the street of Singapore. To sum it up, it is probably just one man’s envy of his neighbor. Singapore saw a deluge of capital inflows in recent years. You don’t need to be a genius to know it. You can just count the number of Lamborghinis and Ferraris on the road. What was once a rare occurence is now common sight.
It is the stark difference in wealth between the newcomers, as epitomized by flaming Lamborghinis and the person of Eduardo Saverin of Facebook fortune, that bred envy in the heart of long-term Singapore residents. It is unlikely anyone would admit to coveting his neighbour’s car, house, or wife. People rarely admit to jealousy. How do you solve the problem of a jealous population? Is bread and circuses the answer? More specifically is SG50 celebrations the answer? In yours truly humble opinion, at best SG50 is the answer for some but not all. What we need is more solidarity by government with the weakest members of society. The late LKY is a man of solidarity:
“You take a poll of any people. What is it they want? The right to write an editorial as you like? They want homes, medicine, jobs, schools.”, Lee Kuan Yew
There are many good quotes on dying, and one of my favorite is from the Bible:
“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
Perhaps, the death of LKY will bear much fruit in creating statesmen that are in solidarity with the people. Leaders who truly put the country above self. We are sorely lacking these selflessness these days: both among our leaders and the people.
Rest in peace LKY.