Saturday, 22 July 2017

Lee Hsien Loong’s values: casinos, EP ‘wayang’, dishonorable son.

In the past months, Lee Kuan Yew’s values were hot topics. Besides inherited some of the bad habits of Lee Kuan Yew”s values, what are Lee Hsien Loong’s values?

[The value of quick money]

The very first thing when he became prime minister, PM Lee introduced integrated resorts - casinos. In his earlier days of prime ministership, he already thought of a ‘get rich quick’ economic policy for Singapore. This is why he promoted casinos in Singapore. Not only in gaming industry, in housing industry we also see high price of Housing and Development Board flats. It is easy for government to make quick money in casinos, in housing, in banking, in telecoms, in road pricing … as far as you are the licensing authority.

Recently, the government finds some innovative clubs also engaging in ‘get rich quick’ schemes by operating jackpot machines.  However, clubs are losers as they don’t have the right to print the operating licences and clubs are subject to rules and regulations under the government.  

When we encourage Singaporeans to try their luck by paying $100 to get a licence to pay at casino, we are telling people there is a way to make quick money even the chance is slim. However, some people do try and as a result, we see the increasing numbers of pawn shops.

Lee Kuan Yew was against gambling. However, he eventually changed his mind because he saw the benefits that it could bring to the country. Perhaps, in this belief, Lee Hsien Loong also thinks 38 Oxley Road can be preserved. But as seen in gaming in casinos, the outcome is not always positive, sometimes, it depends on your luck.

[The value of anti-meritocratic and racial divide]

The Elected President wayang is a continued play of licensing. The People’s Action Party has the licence to direct the wayang.

The elected presidency was Lee Kuan Yew’s initiative. Then, Lee Kuan Yew was worried about the growing support for opposition parties among Singapore’s voters, however, he thought the office of the elected presidency could prevent a profligate opposition government from touching the island’s vast monetary reserves. In LKY’s famous quote: ‘Without the elected president and if there is a (general election) freak result, within two or three years, the army would have to come in and stop it.

In LKY’s evaluation, EP must be a person who can safeguard the reserve and understand and know how to read financial reports. However with a reserved EP, we are not getting the best and capable person to serve. It is even working in concert with the government.   

Is this the same EP value that LKY trying to promote?

By denying the EP value of LKY, Lee Hsien Loong has to acknowledge the EP is a policy mistake.  He is introducing the wayang EP to correct LKY’s mistake, just like the Ministerial Committee on 38 Oxley Road.  Not to forget PM Lee has the licence to do so as he is the head of the government.  

[The value of dishonorable behaviors]

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Under the licence of ‘ownself defend ownself’, the parliament clears PM Lee’s abuse of power allegation.  However, the title of dishonorable son remains. For traditional Confucian values, dishonesty is even worst than power abuse. A dishonest person can do all bad things, including disloyalty, abuse of power, corruptions, etc.  

Since Han dynasty, ‘governed by filial piety’(以孝治国) had been a key principal value even though not all emperors were dutiful sons.

[The rule of virtue, which is the characteristic of the ancient Chinese society, "to rule the world with filial piety" is the concrete embodiment of governing the country by morality. The so-called "rule the world with filial piety" is to regard filial piety as the policy and principle of governing the country, and integrate the filial piety into the practice of governing the country.]

In ‘Lee Kwan (Kuan) Yew, Singapore and the Power of Filial Piety’

(, the writer has credited filial piety as a success factor for Singapore:

{Despite prominent Indian and Malay minorities, Singapore is predominantly Chinese. It is a profoundly Confucian society. The individual does not exist independent of his responsibilities to other elements of society. Even in 2015, the elemental productive unit of society remains the clan. Relationships are organized according to the wu lun (五伦)— five fundamental relationships that constitute a naturally ordered society: between father and son, husband and wife, older brother and younger brother, friend and friend, and ruler and ruled.}

PM Lee, as criticized by his siblings as dishonorable son, has a long way to clear his name and the licence to rule.

It is very unusual for an eldest on not being the executor and trustee of her father’s estate in Chinese tradition. In dynasty history, it means the successor has lost the authority to rule. In the eyes of Lee Kuan Yew, his  final decision and clear message to Singaporeans are Lee Hsien Loong is not the successor of Lee family.

Friday, 14 July 2017


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(乾卦上九为)亢龙有悔(kàng lóng yǒu huǐ),成语。 亢:至高的;悔:灾祸。 意为居高位的人要戒骄,否则会失败而后悔。 后也形容倨傲者不免招祸







在立法上,李显龙只能依靠国会来护驾,为自己的廉洁辩护。他说弟妹们的指责没有事实证明,因此,他是清白的。国会也就无形中成了李显龙的上六和上九。这是他的最后一道防线, 最强的挡箭牌。





我们讲到上九上六,看起来似乎说李显龙的八卦和替李显龙算命。事实上,并非如此。易经基本上是中国第一部哲学书。当然,你也可以和李显龙的高度一样, 把它当成占卜的书。根据外媒报道,李光耀故居有两个骨灰瓮。因此,可以合理把它转化成万人参拜的宗庙。这样就接近李显扬李玮玲对哥哥的指责了。






从李光耀,吴作栋,到李显龙。要求李显龙下台的呼声最多。我们似乎没有听到有人要求李光耀下台,只有听到他独裁。我们也没有听到要求吴作栋下台的呼声,只是觉得他很木讷,呆呆的。但是,要求李显龙下台的人,就不少,对李显龙不满的人,更加多。除了陈如斯,还有另外一位前总统候选人陈欣亮在2014年也曾经要求总理下台, 当然还有7月15日的抗议大会。


Saturday, 8 July 2017

The Relevancy of Lee Kuan Yew’s values to Singapore after the Oxley drama in Parliament.

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    PM Lee Hsien Loong has declared success of clearing all doubts about Oxley drama related allegations. His explanations in parliament suggest his version of Lee Kuan Yew’ values and its relevancy to Singapore and future Singapore, including the privilege of kinship.

    What are Lee Kuan Yew’s values? According to PM Lee, there are no abuse of power, corruptions, favor of appointments etc. as alleged by his siblings. (What has happened to Lee Kuan Yew’s values? As well as the summary evidence

    Parliament may give the benefit of doubt to PM Lee, but have we had a clearer picture of Lee Kuan Yew’s values now? Or, are we confused? Are we confidence or the public have confidence that we can uphold these values? This is a question remain to be seen, especially among intellectuals and elites in Singapore. Will they, like the Parliament, also give the benefit of doubt to PM Lee or think otherwise?

This is a serious question.  The People’s Action Party needs to attract the best in society to be their election candidates. Over the years, we have seen their quality declining even the PAP claims their candidates are the best in Singapore. Of course, they always stress that there is no alternative team. Or Singapore can’t afford to split their best team into two.

Checks and balances are important under the Lee Kuan Yew’s values.  However, the Oxley drama in parliament clearly shows a “ownself defend ownself” government.  Do we deserve to have a PAP “ownself check ownself” government?

The Oxley drama as shown in parliament highlights an intellectual questions. How potential candidates think and evaluate the parliament debates and the unexplained doubts. Do they believe Lee Kuan Yew’s values are still in the safe hands of the current PAP leaders? Do they believe the allegations are ‘mostly inaccurate’ as claimed by PM Lee? Do they feel comfortable under the double-standard kinship working conditions where there is a big difference between brother or not brother?

Many Singaporeans may not be able to fairly judge the Oxley drama, especially, if they only read and listen to the mainstream media. But those who want to stand as PAP candidates will have to think twice.  From their hearts, do they really agree with Lee Hsien Loong’s version of Lee Kuan Yew’s values and the way he tries to safeguard these values?   

Perhaps, the only return that Singapore gains from the Oxley drama is the enlightenment of intellectuals and elites. These people who can make changes and lead Singapore must evaluate Lee Hsien Loong’s point of arguments. Some may choose to leave Singapore, like Lee Hsien Yang. Some will go into deep thinking when the PAP approaches them as candidates. Hopefully, some will join the oppositions to strengthen the checks and balances in parliament.

Lee Kuan Yew’s values need urgent review and reform too. But PM Lee and his siblings may not agree to this, even though they disagree with each others.

A reflection? Think again. (photo taken on 3 July morning)

    And perhaps, Kenneth is right.

Kenneth Jeyeratnam: Singaporeans get the government they deserve, I don't want to ...

Saturday, 1 July 2017

死守死板死教条死典范,错失改革良机: 李显龙造不出时势,更造不出英雄。



2017年的新加坡,在经济,公共行政,社会发展上,当然不可和1965年相比。没有强大的反对党,人民行动党一党独大,在国会拥有绝对的多数。因此,李显龙选择在这个安全的地方,为自己的廉洁辩护,为自己的政治前途辩护,当然,就可以自导自演,反驳“大多数错误”(mostly inaccurate)的指责,轻描淡写的把少数正确的指责轻轻的带过。


1965年的李光耀,如果无法领导新加坡,在同辈中,的确有可以取代李光耀领导新加坡的领袖。看看今天的新加坡,似乎没有可以取代李显龙,或者,不愿“冒险”担当这个任务的人。 正如,李玮玲李显扬指出的,李显龙何晶有意培养自己的接班人。从这一点观察,新加坡目前的处境比1965年来得更加糟,因为,我们没有愿意献身的国家领袖。部长和行动党领袖,考虑的是个人的利益,而不是像1965年那样,为国家的前途而奋斗。因此,李玮玲李显扬才说,国会无法说出事实的真相。













Wednesday, 28 June 2017

From Public Apology to Calling for Public Confidence, Is this a Political Crisis or a PAP Reformation in the making?

    First, PM Lee Hsien Loong made a public apology to Singaporeans - the first in Singapore history.  And then, DPM Tharman called for public confidence - another first in Singapore history. It makes Oxley House disputes or allegations clearly not a family matter.       

In Singapore, the government led by the Prime Minister has enjoyed high prestige and reputation. This is why in defamation cases, the prime minister can enjoy higher damage payment.  And we usually see people saying sorry to the prime minister and hardly we see our prime minister or ministers saying sorry to Singaporeans. (except election time).

The government never says sorry because they have high confidence. In the past 60 years, with Internal Security Act, the PAP government has shown great confidence in public administration. It is strange to call for public confidence if this is only a family affair.  Throughout the years, even in the passing year of Lee Kuan Yew, the government never has such a calling.

Because Oxley House is now an international news. The calling of confidence is targeting international investors, foreign governments, international organisations and bodies.  They are wondering why a safe haven country gets into a mess just because of a house.  

A stable country and her institutions are alleged to act under fear and favor. Is there a political crisis arising from the miscalculation of Lee Hsien Loong? Is he underestimating the danger, damage or challenge as the Oxley House dispute is at least two years already? Or simply, PM Lee never considers such damage and allegation can threaten the stability of Singapore.  He has underestimated the intelligence of his siblings.      

Of course, foreigners also look at the allegations raised by PM Lee’s sister and brother. How independent is the judiciary if foreign investments or companies get into troubles with local administration or local companies? Is there a “big brother’ monitoring my investment or company activities?

Public apology is for local consumption and international confidence is to ensure foreigners Singapore remains a safe hevan.

Singaporeans may get used to the allegations as we have seen people being challenged and sued in Courts. But foreigners, except journalists, do not have such experience. Even PM Lee says most allegations are not accurate, however, it seems there are some or ‘little’ allegations are true.  Can these allegations be the critical ones resulting a public confidence calling?

Anyhow, PM Lee is only prepared to answer these allegations in parliament.  He is going to use this platform to answer or argue his case.  Is this his ‘own’ political crisis or a political crisis of the People’s Action Party?

It reminds me of the Protestant Reformation that challenges the Roman Catholic authority in Rome.

The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe, setting in place the structures and beliefs that would define the continent in the modern era. In northern and central Europe, reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Henry VIII challenged papal authority and questioned the Catholic Church’s ability to define Christian practice. They argued for a religious and political redistribution of power into the hands of Bible- and pamphlet-reading pastors and princes.
In The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Max  Weber wrote that capitalism in Northern Europe evolved when the Protestant (particularly Calvinist) ethic influenced large numbers of people to engage in work in the secular world, developing their own enterprises and engaging in trade and the accumulation of wealth for investment. In other words, the Protestant work ethic was an important force behind the unplanned and uncoordinated emergence of modern capitalism. (wikipedia)

At the same time, there was a counter reformation. The Catholic Reformation was the intellectual counter-force to Protestantism. The desire for reform within the Catholic Church had started before the spread of Luther. Many educated Catholics had wanted change – for example, Erasmus and Luther himself, and they were willing to recognise faults within the Papacy.

The Oxley House dispute is centred around Lee Kuan Yew value. Demolition or not represents different values - Lee Hsien Loong version (conservative view?) and LKY’s wish (reform view? Starting from zero). It is like a mini reformation and counter reformation.  

We also note that Lee Hsien Yang has said he is not an opposition. He wants to see changes within the system - a reformed PAP.

No matter what type of reformation Hsien Yang is aiming, he has enlightened Singaporeans and highlighted the allegations openly outside parliament.

Singapore needs a rethink and revaluation of Lee Kuan Yew value or legacy. It is again not a family matter. Singapore’s future depends on how we redefine Lee Kuan Yew value.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

一种价值,两种诠释。 人民行动党走向分裂,还是内化?每个新加坡人都应该关心不同诠释下的不同国运结果。

天篇: 谁的境界高?
天一: 宗教改革
天二: 领悟有无
天三: 李显龙只看到眼前的实体

地篇: 分裂vs内部改革?
地一: 巫统党争
地二:     蛛丝马迹 - 行动党内部纷争
地三: 李显扬只认内部反对
人篇: 新加坡何去何从?




先秦儒家的发展,到了孟子和荀子,就出现性本善和性本恶的内部诠释。当然,有些儒者,并不认同荀子。 到了宋明理学,也出现诠释上的不同。不过,除了儒家,中华大地,还有道家和佛家。这才让中国变得多姿多彩。

天篇: 谁的境界高?

天一: 宗教改革


宗教改革(英语:Protestant Reformation)是指基督教在16世纪至17世纪的教派分裂改革運動,也是新教形成的開端,由馬丁·路德約翰·加爾文慈運理,以及其他早期新教徒发起。1517年,路德发表的《九十五条论纲》引发了宗教改革的开始。改革者反对当时天主教會的教条、仪式、领导和教会组织结构。在他们的努力下,新的国家性的改革派教會被建立。早期的一些发生在欧洲的事件(如黑死病的蔓延和天主教會大分裂)侵蚀了人们对天主教会和教宗的信仰,但教義上的歧見才是引发宗教改革的關鍵。其他一些因素(如文艺复兴思想的传播、印刷术的传播、东罗马帝国的灭亡)也都促成了新教的创立。虽然先于路德就已经有一些较大的改革运动,但大多数人认为宗教改革开始于1517年路德发表《九十五条论纲》,结束于1648年签订威斯特伐利亚和约结束三十年戰爭#

在宗教改革前,对于圣经的诠释,只有一种版本 - 罗马教皇的拉丁文版本。但是,由于罗马天主教会的腐败,欧洲其他地方就出现地区性的不同(和不同语文)诠释。这么一来,对于圣经的解释,教条,礼拜等,就出现不同版本的诠释。这导致不同派别的基督新教的产生。新教的出现对于后来的(英国和北欧,北美)资本主义发展产生了很大的影响。

同样的,在罗马教会里,为了反制新教,反对宗教改革(Counter Reformation),开明的天主教派别也出现,这种内部改革的运动,也称为Catholic Reformation。这些开明天主教会,在开始的时候,也不为教皇所接受,但是,最后的发展,天主教的发展,海外扩张,就是依靠这些忠诚的传教士,著名的人物包括:圣芳济和利玛窦。



天二: 领悟有无


此偈见于敦煌写本《坛经》。关于这首诗的来历,《坛经》第四节至第八节,有明白的记载:五祖弘忍“一日唤门人尽来”,要大家“各作一偈”。并说“若悟大意者”,即“付汝衣法,禀为六代。”弘忍的上首弟子神秀在门前写了一偈道:“身是菩提树,心如明镜台。时时勤拂拭,莫使有尘埃。”弘忍知道后,“遂唤秀上座于堂内”,说是“汝作此偈,见即未到”,“若觅无上菩提,即未可得”,因而要他“更作一偈”。而“秀上座去数日,作不得。”惠能的偈语(见下图),即针对神秀的《无相偈》而发。据《坛经》所载,惠能本不识字,他先“请人一读”神秀的偈语,然后作此歌偈,“请得一解书人于西间壁上题着”。 这首偈,同神秀的那一首,在修行方法上具有原则的区别。神秀的那首“无相偈”,使他失去作为弘忍继承人的资格,却成了北宗一派的开山祖。由于神秀强调“时时勤拂拭”,后人以其主张“拂尘看净”,称之为“渐修派”。而惠能的这一首,是对神秀偈的彻底否定,也即主观唯心主义对客观唯心主义的彻底否定,直接把握住“见性成佛”的关键,被称为“顿悟派”。

李显龙要保留李光耀故居,很显然的就是看到实际的物,保留下来,随时可以利用一番。李光耀和李光耀遗愿执行人看到无和空,一种凌驾在实际物体上的精神 - 本来无一物,何处惹尘埃。

天三: 李显龙只看到眼前的实体



这种看不透务实以外,实体以外的价值判断,没有与时并进的考虑问题,没有看到无和空的用处,李显龙和接班人能够带领新加坡走多远?而且,李显龙和他的部长们,似乎也不愿意看到内部改革,因为,他们相信自己还处于宗教改革前的天主教会 - 教皇是唯一诠释圣经的权威,不可以被挑战。


地篇: 分裂vs内部改革?



地一: 巫统党争




地二: 蛛丝马迹 - 行动党内部纷争

人民行动党有没有党争?在1961年,就出现一次巨大的党争 -社会主义阵线的出现。之后,通过各种手段,行动党稳稳当当的过了50年。

在过去的这么多年中,是否有蛛丝马迹的内部改革,还是分裂的现象?在1980年代,李光耀要求第一代领导人退出政府后,有一部分领导人表示不满。在1987年行动党政府,大规模的动用内安法,但是,当时对付的对象,已经从50,60 年代主要以华校生为主的对象,转为英校生和天主教教徒。 内安法也不过只在行动党内部产生一些杂音罢了。



地三: 李显扬只认内部反对



因此,李玮玲和李显扬提出和哥哥不同的诠释,不但可以被理解,甚至应该加以支持。因为,如果他们的出发点,是要推动一种类似内部的天主教改革(Catholic Reformation),这对新加坡来说是有利的。





人篇: 新加坡何去何从?