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More adventurous than the average bear

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Saturday, October 05, 2002

Title: "Subversive stuff is fun" or "How I spent Sunday duty"

Some of the following are risibly biased in their "Lee Kuan Yew is evil" vehemence, but mostly ring true, or bring up some good points.

Former president (Ed: Devan Nair) criticises suppression of dissent

Don't become yet another tool of Lee
This is very funny: "Lee is an evil plague whose legacy must be eradicated, not propped by fawning praise that does not even begin to understand what he has wrought". Though the article this letter was written in protest against was indeed rather silly, simple and sycophantic.

Singapore's Jeyaretnam fights for another day

Harry Lee's 'tolerant climate'
"I have the honour of being banned from Singapore since 1982. Not being a shopping addict or fanatic I miss nothing, actually; moreover, I have been given to understand that our shops in Malaysia are actually better and cheaper. And as for tall buildings, they have never interested me, after having seen some of them in different parts of the world." - LOL

Against the odds: one man's bid for democracy aka how Tang Liang Hong got screwed. I notice there's no mention of that sedan chair quote, which is quite telling. Here's something more balanced.

Ong Teng Cheong: Extended interview - Ever delicate, he.

Singapore authorities use libel laws to silence critics

Singapore facts stranger than fiction - Another view of the Jemaah Islamiah arrests

The following is from an article about the recent Jemaah Islamiah arrests. The writer's biases are evident - witness the long diversion on how democracy in Singapore is flawed - but it makes for somewhat insightful reading anyway ;)

Dragnet in Disneyland:

"The most interesting it gets here are the comings and goings - often to the defamation court - of Singapore's emasculated opposition, notably a clean-cut lad called Chee Soon Juan who shockingly thinks it reasonable to suggest that 43 years of uninterrupted power for Lee's People's Action Party (the world's fourth-longest tenure after the North Korean, Chinese and Cuban communists) might be enough.

Lee hates Chee. Indeed, if George W. Bush's speechwriters are short of insults to spray at evil-doers, they could hire people like Chua Lee Hoong [Ed: I hate her writing style. And it's not just because she's shamelessly so pro-PAP most of the time], a former "analyst" with Singapore's secret police, cum Straits Times columnist.

Chee's been called a liar, a fraud, a gangster and a loser. But in the cruellest cut of all for local xenophobes, Chua dubbed him a "Sarong Party Boy" seeking solace with sympathetic foreigners, just like Singapore's notorious Sarong Party Girls, the local temptresses who prowl for (willing) erstwhile foreign studs possessing the coveted "five Cs" - condo, car, cash, credit card and club membership.

A loser Chee certainly is. The PAP controls all but two of Singapore's 85 parliamentary seats and neither maverick seat is carried by Chee.

Still, that doesn't deter official obsessing about Chee, who gets the Lee family's goat by pointing out that its half-a-dozen-odd members run or chair some of Singapore's biggest public and private companies, its two leading government investment companies, founded its leading law firm while also running the central bank, the finance ministry, filling the positions of the senior minister and deputy prime minister and sitting on a number of corporate boards, local and foreign. (It's not nepotism, insists the government - it's just that the Lee family is very capable and there's not enough qualified Singaporeans to fill the posts. And Singapore insists it abides by world's best practices of corporate governance.)"
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