Complete media blackout on MM Lee’s remarks in National Geographic magazine
The Singapore media has imposed a total media blackout on MM Lee’s remarks made in the National Geographic magazine on 20 December 2009.
Speaking to journalist Mark Jacobson on how he had governed Singapore, MM Lee said he is aware that “many Singaporeans are unhappy with the influx of immigrants, especially those educated newcomers prepared to fight for higher paying jobs.”
“Over time, Singaporeans have become less hard-driving and hard-striving. This is why it is a good thing that the nation has welcomed so many Chinese immigrants.” Lee was quoted saying.
Lee describes the country’s new subjects as “hungry,” with parents who “pushed the children very hard.”
“If native Singaporeans are falling behind because the spurs are not stuck into the hide, that is their problem,” he quipped.
After the Temasek Review has published a report on MM Lee’s interview on 24 December, a massive outcry broke out in cyberspace with many netizens expressing their disgust and outrage at his views.
Over 60 comments were posted on Temasek Review in one day alone, condemning MM Lee for his remarks. The issue was such a hot topic of discussion that it was even featured on “Top News”, an online aggregator.
Despite intense public interest in the story, it did not warrant even a brief mention in any of the Singapore papers, including the Chinese tabloids.
The Singapore media has always published any news about MM Lee faithfully, including his frequent overseas trips and numerous speeches made in Singapore and elsewhere.
For example, MM Lee’s recent visit to India was given extensive publicity by the Singapore media when it was hardly covered by the Indian press.
As the “foreign talent” issue is a burning hot topic of late among Singaporeans, the media has a duty to report MM Lee’s views on the matter to the rest of Singapore.
After all, though by his own admission, he is “not doing much work except forecasting”, he still appears in the news on a regular basis, more so than his son the Prime Minister.
Did the Singapore media miss the story or was it “under instructions” from some other authority not to publish MM Lee’s remarks?
In any other democracies like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia and Hong Kong, such callous remarks made by a prominent politician would be splashed on the front pages of most papers almost immediately.
The former Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso often made the headlines for his infamous gaffes which helped swayed public opinion against him leading to his crushing defeat during the August general election this year.
In Singapore, the media is completely controlled by the ruling party via the Singapore Press Holdings, led by a former minister Dr Tony Tan.
News portraying government leaders in a bad light are censored while scandals involving opposition politicians are played up and given prominent coverage, e.g. the recent extradiction to U.S. of a Reform Party member on charges of arms-trafficking.
Without a free and independent press, it is little wonder that more than 90 per cent of Singaporeans inteviewed has faith in their leaders and public institutions, according to a report released by the United Nations Development Programme in September this year.
In the age of the internet, it remains to be seen how long more the Singapore media can afford to keep a lid on sensitive news as such without alienating their readers who are flocking to alternative news sites like Temasek Review.
Lao Lee is getting very complacent that Pappy will be voted into power every five years for the simple fact that there isn't a credible opposition party. We leave the major decisions to the party we elected so that we can lead a simple life. In exchange those in power can earn million dollars salary. How different is our govt from the Big Banks in US ? Giving big bonus to the bankers while the man on the street are begging and facing deliquency ? Haiz, sad state we are in.
MM Lee is biting his own fingers that feed him.
Singaporeans had always been an obedient lot. What we are today, is a response to what our leaders mould us into, and what they want us to be.
If we fail is because they failed us, not the other way.
We had low birthrate - who is the one who implement the 2 is enough policy?
We are lazy? Most of the baby-boomers are already at age above 50, and still need to do physical work, unlike MM Lee who just work with his mouth.
He can have my middle finger, if he runs out of finger to bite.
The main issue with MM lee's comment is he can state factually we are lazy. But how can he wash his hands and said "this is their business". He is MM Lee, the father of PM Lee, isn't our problem his also ?
You should realise by now that all govt policies are geared to push all responsibility back to the people, esp. when come to money.
When we complain about no welfare scheme, he took our CPF money away to pay for compulsory CPFlife scheme - govt need to do nothing and no money spent.
They also want us to take care of our old, the young, the sick (charity drives) and use our CPF money to pay for the old's medical expenses.
Unlike other countries our public transport and public utilities are not subsidised, infact, we make money for them.
Bro garyngng, u made some real valid points.
Now they are increasing population (PRs included) so as to collect more tax, without consideration on complete income/job losses and escalating living cost due to over influx.
i want to say this.
we built this nation with our fathers and grandfathers. for decades, we laid the foundations, survived the brutality, the hardship, the toil and pain.
We paid the taxes that built the roads, the buildings, the world class education system, housing, airport, water, business systems. We even paid the leaders with our hard earned cash selling our souls and backsides to MNCs.
Everything we are enjoying today is because of what we and our forefather sacrificed in blood, sweat and tears - remember SINGAPORE has nothing, no natural resources, just SHEER LABOUR - and we're still doing it so our next generation can lead an even better life.
now all those decades of hard work is going to be given to complete strangers who contributed absolutely nothing, most over here to make a quick buck and leave the moment their motherland calls,
Simply because they're "hungrier".
Very good rhetoric!
But all things said, MM should have retired after stepping down as Minister. No point hanging around as SM or MM.
He has outlived his usefulness when he become SM.
And he has overstayed his Welcome when he become MM.
When he start giving us problems, and not solutions, it is time to go,
otherwise he become a problem for everyone including the PAP.