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LEE KUAN YEW'S OBSERVATION ON MONEY POLITICS

The Singapore Statesman, the peer of Tunku, Mahathir and the gang denies the existence of money politics in his nation state of Singapore. He made the remark on Singapore 43rd national day celebration last week.


Kuan Yew: Money politics root cause of problems



Sun2surf/BERNAMA

SINGAPORE (14 August, 2008): The political problems faced by many countries in Asia are due to money politics but the problem did not take root in Singapore because "we have a Division One team in charge", said former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

He said that in many Asian countries, money politics was simply the "code word" for buying votes to gain power and, after that was done, "to recover your expenses plus some profit for the next round of vote-buying".

"One of the big problems they now face, in other countries, is the people in power want to reserve the money, keep it for themselves. So, they exclude young able people who want to join their team.
"The result is, there is no talent inside the existing parties," Lee, who is Minister Mentor, was quoted by the local Today newspaper as saying at a gathering of his Tanjong Pagar constituents last night in celebration of Singapore's 43rd National Day which was last Saturday.

"In other countries, elections do not put up a Division One team. They are a Division Three, either a B team or a C team in charge. In Singapore, we carefully select our candidates," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"Over the years, with each election, we see the quality of the MPs, their education levels, their competence, their abilities, their energy.

"Their youthfulness is renewed and we have a leadership thats able to meet the rising standards of the population," Lee said.

But today's younger generation did not understand all this, Lee said, adding that "they say, oh, lets have multi-party politics. Lets have different parties change and be in charge of the Government."

"Is it that simple? You vote in a Division Three government, not a Division One government, and the whole economy will just subside within three, four years. Finished!" he said.

Lee said such proponents should study Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines, where rotating party governments had led to more mismanagement.

"And a 'free-wheeling press' has not cleaned up corruption, although according to American 'liberal' democracy theories, it is designed to do so," he said.

Lee said that even in the face of a global recession, Singapore had enough long-term investments to buffer the setbacks.

"Why are we on top of our problem? Because there's a government that's planning ahead, seeing ahead, calculating ahead, making the right decision," Lee said.

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