Wed, Jan 26, 2011
The New Paper
What party helps a rival?

On how the PAP's longevity may be because it has very effectively and systematically demolished the opposition:

"What political party helps an opposition to come to power? Why should we not demolish them before they get started? Once they get started, it's more difficult to demolish them.

If you are polite to me, I'm polite to you but I'll demolish your policy. It's the job of every government to do that if you want to stay in power.

Look at the LDP now in Japan. They are unable to demolish the opposition because they have lost credibility. They are not as good as their grandfathers or fathers."

On why he thought it was necessary to demolish men such as J B Jeyaretnam:

"Well yes, Jeyaretnam to begin with, Chee Soon Juan is another. I think they deserve to be demolished. I have no regrets.

Jeyaretnam went nutty, selling things in the corner, how did that help him?

And closing down his practice. I mean, he thought, you know, Western-style, he's sacrificing for the country.

No, it's his personal ambition to knock me down. I mean, I just laughed him off and brushed him aside, which annoyed him.

No, I have no regrets. Chee Soon Juan, also no regrets."

Read also:
» MM Lee shares views of S'pore's future in new book
» Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew officially launches new book
» 'It made MM Lee very real'

On the chilling effect he has on others who may be interested in politics but are frightened off:

"Well, if you do the same thing then you must expect the same treatment. Therefore you behave in a more civilised way, more political, like Low Thia Khiang or even Chiam.

I've never been rough with Chiam. He's gentle, I'm gentle. He's a decent man and I respect him for that. He's able to hold his ground in spite of his physical infirmities."


Get your copy

This is an extract from Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going, based on interviews with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew by a team of journalists from The Straits Times.

In it, he also reveals his thoughts on love, marriage, his family and policy decisions in Singapore.

It retails at $39.90, and is available at major bookshops. For orders, e-mail stpressbooks@sph.com.sg or visit www.stpressbooks.com.sg.

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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