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. http://www.history.com/topics/reformation
   
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?


李光耀价值的争论,似乎成了一个哲学命题。我们真的能够在这起李家风波中学习到东西吗?如果只是把它当成李家内部问题,而没有考虑到更大的治国方向,路线之争,未来选项等思考,这个大动作就未免变成一项零投资回报,而李玮玲和李显扬也成了零牺牲。

李光耀价值,现在最少有两种李家的诠释。什么是李光耀的价值?新加坡人懂吗?明白吗?应该说,李光耀价值还有很多种诠释,人民行动党党内和党外、国内和国外,都会有不同的解读,不同的诠释。

李家的两种不同诠释版本,只是正统价值观,精神面的诠释。它们的目的同样是要维护李光耀的理念,并且极力要维持、维护这种他们各自认为正统的价值观。这对新加坡是好是坏?我们是否可以超越这种正统的官方的诠释,为新加坡找一条新出路?

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

我们先看一下西方的宗教改革。

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#https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/

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。

同样的故事也发生在伊斯兰教,在对于“古兰经”的诠释上,除了遜尼派和什叶派外,还出现了一些其他小的派别。

李光耀的价值,当然不可能和这些宗教的诠释拿来相提并论。但是,对于一种价值,一种精神,出现不同的诠释,这一现实,我们却是应该接受。只是,我们不应该走向极端罢了。

天二: 领悟有无

这是一个禅宗的故事,神秀的“渐修派”和六祖惠能的“顿悟派”的区别。或许,这是李家看李光耀价值的不同角度,一个看重实际事物,要渐渐的修,日日的拜。另一个马上明白,放弃崇拜。

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”。 http://baike.baidu.com


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

新加坡立国以来,走的就是务实的实体路。李显龙就是要维持维护这条路线。因此,李显龙认为他诠释的才是正统的李光耀价值。所以,他认为利用李光耀威权时代留下的法宝:设立政府部长委员会来处理故居问题和利用国会的保护伞作为辩护管道,将是他合法诠释李光耀价值的实际高度。而务实的新加坡人,也会接受他的“作为唯一合法”诠释李光耀价值的地位。

务实的李显龙,看到了眼前的实体。他很难理解“本来无一物,何处惹尘埃”。他很难明白为何自己的父亲,七次更改遗书,因为,李光耀也在“有和无”之间挣扎,最后,李光耀选择了无,不要保留故居。当然,部长委员会要从公众利益,为是否保留故居,做最后的诠释,也是从实体考虑问题,从实际政治利益考虑问题。

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。

一个只看到实体的人,境界可以有多高?


地篇: 分裂vs内部改革?

宗教改革导致罗马天主教会的分裂和本身内部的改革。这个发展对于整个基督教的传播,起了巨大影响,对人类文明,经济发展,社会进步(放弃奴隶制度,平等)做出贡献。

那么,李光耀故居事件,对于新加坡来说,会有什么影响?

地一: 巫统党争

马来西亚巫统党争,是我们比较熟悉的例子。但是,巫统党争似乎没有出现内部改革的迹象。无论谁当家,他们都认为自己是维护马来人利益的正统。当权派认为自己是马来人的保护者,而从巫统分裂出来的政党,也打着维护马来人利益的号召。改革在哪里?

从马来西亚巫统的内斗史可以发现,每次内斗之后,保守势力都能巩固实力,甚至变本加厉,进一步打击这个国家脆弱的民主体制。
1951年巫统创始人嘉化想开放政党予非马来族加入,结果被保守势力驱逐。
1969年513事件之后,马哈迪与拉萨逼宫,东姑阿都拉曼不得不退位。拉萨接棒后实行新经济政策,种族为先的政治滥觞。
1986年巫统党争,时任首相马哈迪与党内劲敌东姑拉沙里争夺党魁宝座,巫统分裂为A、B两大阵营。1987年党选,马哈迪微差胜出,东姑拉沙里派系质疑选举舞弊,入禀高庭,法官裁定巫统为非法团体。危机中马哈迪成立“新巫统”,A队全面掌权。东姑拉沙里则率领B队创立四六精神党。
。。。。。
接下来是1998年马哈迪与安华之争,结果是安华锒铛入狱。安华支持者展开烈火莫熄运动,催生公正党,高举民主旗帜;巫统则越走保守路线,继续强化马来民族主义意识。公正党这些年来一直试图扮演苏秦的角色,2007年安华出狱后的确有六国封相的声势,带领反对联盟取得未曾有过的成绩,但始终无法催生两线制格局。
。。。。。
自一马公司丑闻爆发,新一波党争浮出水面。
马哈迪、慕尤丁、慕克力为首的挑战派无法撼动纳吉根基,一个个黯然退党;而今有意组织新政党抗衡,似乎历史又回到了四六精神党创立的时代,回到嘉化创立马来亚独立党的时代。不同的是,现在在野阵营已有多个势力,新党成立,公正党地位更尴尬,反对党间的利益分配更复杂。反观巫统这两年拉拢伊斯兰党,远交近攻的策略,早见成效。
http://prd.zaobao.com/forum/opinion/story20160731-647781

巫统现在的处境,类似宗教改革前的罗马教会。内部腐败,但却一直诠释只有巫统能够维护马来人的利益。所以,一个没有内部改革的巫统,如何领导国阵赢得下一次大选将是一个大考验?

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。

所以,应该可以说,李光耀,吴作栋,再到李显龙,根本没有内部改革的意愿,也没有这种压力。不过,在2011年大选后,落败的杨荣文曾经提出内部改革的意见。随着行动党在2015年大选大胜后,内部改革就变得无所谓。分裂和外部反对势力连一点威胁都谈不上。

那么,就真的没有内部改革的需要吗?2011年的总统选举,出现了陈清木的行动党B队,他的得票率几乎和行动党A队一样。到底是A队还是B队,更加能够反映李光耀价值?李显龙的正统派,当然认为是A队。而行动党的基层,似乎并不这么认为。

地三: 李显扬只认内部反对
所以,行动党内部改革,还是有一定市场。只要打着“通过行动党内化和改革“,维护内化后的李光耀价值,行动党政府的长期执政,还是可以持续下去。这和李显龙提倡的实体不变的李光耀价值,有所不同和可以被区别开来。

行动党内部一直到现在,还是有一股开明势力。只是他们明哲保身,没有公开表示罢了。

这种折衷式的改革,对于不愿改变,不愿冒险,不愿支持反对党的新加坡人来说,更加具有吸引力。李玮玲和李显扬提出的层次较高,不根据实体实物的李光耀价值,再加上,他们自认没有政治野心,很可能吸引到新加坡有识之士、知识分子的欢迎和觉醒。

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。

而李显龙处处维护所谓的正统的李光耀价值,将会把行动党带向死胡同,而新加坡内部的原创力,将会受到打击,我们的整体竞争力,将会面临极大的考验。

关心新加坡的有识之士和知识分子,不可以在忙、盲、茫中迷失。小市民或许在忙、盲、茫中,没有时间思考,但是,社会运动和任何一种社会、政治改革,通常都是由社会上层的精英带动的。而李玮玲和李显扬,作为总统奖学金得主,更加是精英中的精英。

我们怎么能能够不重视李光耀故居和李光耀价值的诠释呢?每一个关心新加坡前途的人,都应该自觉的了解李家的不同诠释,和不同诠释下的不同结果。

另外,值得一提的是宗教改革的成功,得利于印刷业的兴起。时代的进步,李玮玲和李显扬没有通过主流媒体传达信息,虽然是一种无奈的选择,但是,却是符合潮流的声音。


人篇: 新加坡何去何从?


。。。。。

Friday, 16 June 2017

Beyond Oxley Road, the moral of the story is FEAR, and perhaps Enlightenment to learn another route.



The Oxley Road House saga is not a simple family affair.  It touches on the future of Singapore beyond the Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy - our future direction, with or without fear as a mean of administration. It is time we learn and enlighten ourselves from this unfortunate development.    

What has happened to Lee Kuan Yew’s values?# A joint statement issued by Dr Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang reminds us to think over and again how we progress in the past 50/60 years as well as the mistakes we made at the same time.


For ordinary citizens, especially, critics and opposition members, fear is a common challenge in the past and in the present. We need to revalue LKY’s legacy to see how to remove the fear factor, with or without Lee Hsien Loong in the future.

PM Lee Hsien Loong claims the statement contains untrue allegations. However, in some countries, these allegations will lead to Parliament investigations or Congressional enquiry. Here are some examples:

Source: internet     


Some of the allegations in the statement:

  • We were shocked to see that Hsien Loong had used his position as Prime Minister to obtain a copy of the Deed of Gift from Minister Lawrence Wong

  • Hsien Loong’s then personal lawyer, Lucien Wong. Lucien Wong was made Singapore’s Attorney-General in January 2017.

  • Hsien Loong, despite his undertakings to recuse himself, proceeded to make extensive representations to the Committee.

  • the role of his wife, Ho Ching. Ho Ching holds no elected or official position in government, her influence is pervasive, and extends well beyond her job purview.

  • He (LHL) wanted to assert in Parliament that Lee Kuan Yew had changed his mind, hoping to inherit the faith Singaporeans had in Lee Kuan Yew through the visible symbol of the house.

Do we want to continue living the same way without changes? Shall we enlighten ourselves from the Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy?  After so many rounds of general elections, the parliament still cannot help Singaporeans to remove their fear. Is this a legacy we want to keep?



FEAR#1    The Future of Singapore
In the statement, Wei Ling and Hsien Yang are worrying about Singapore.
Without Lee Kuan Yew, especially his values, what is our future? Our direction and principles?

FEAR#2    Loss of Lee Kuan Yew’s Spirit and Value
The statement seems to suggest PM Lee Hsien Loong cannot be trusted to carry on LKY’s values.
We have to re-visit LKY’s values and make improvements.  If we are satisfied with his values, the fear factors will not go away.  Singaporeans, therefore, need enlightenment from Lee Kuan Yew’ s legacy.

FEAR#3    Lack of Checks and Balances
The statement also mentions about “We are concerned that the system has few checks and balances to prevent the abuse of government.”  For too long, Singapore’s one-party rule has contributed to the lack of checks and balances. If we have no confidence on PM Lee Hsien Loong, we need to find a solution or an alternative.  

FEAR#4    Interventions
Without checks and balances, interventions of government affairs or appointments can be expected. The statement gives some examples. (see above allegations)  

FEAR#5    Personal Safety
It is clear that ‘Hsien Yang feels compelled to leave Singapore’. It can be due to personal safety or unhappy living here under a ‘big brother omnipresent’.
The statement says “We feel hugely uncomfortable and closely monitored in our own country.”
People within the establishment are under ‘closely monitored’, what about ordinary people?

FEAR#6    4th Generation Leadership
The statement implies that the so-called succession plan of fourth generation leadership of Singapore is a flaw - “We also believe, based on our interactions, that they harbour political ambitions for their son, Li Hongyi.”
The succession plan maybe just a ‘wayang’ - a plan to confuse Singaporeans.  
If this is true, voters will need to be enlightened.

FEAR#7    Further control on social media
The statement is using Facebook to reach the public. The mainstream media has no control over the full text but can choose what to publish. Certainly, this is not a fake news.
What will be the next step for PM Lee to contain and control social media?  

This is well beyond the Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy.

Singaporeans have to decide.

# You can read the full statement here
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByodqaSLlpPIWHdRdFE2QlZYbzg/view