Monday, February 13, 2012

Lee Kuan Yew before and after gaining power



“But we either believe in democracy or we do not. If we do, then, we must say categorically, without qualification, that no restraint from any democratic processes, other than by the ordinary law of the land, should be allowed. If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought.”
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, April 27, 1955

“If it is not totalitarian to arrest a man and detain him, when you cannot charge him with any offence against any written law – if that is not what we have always cried out against in Fascist states – then what is it?. If we are to survive as a free democracy, then we must be prepared, in principle, to concede to our enemies – even those who do not subscribe to our views – as much constitutional rights as you concede yourself.”
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Legislative Assembly Debates, Sept 21, 1955

“If we say that we believe in democracy, if we say that the fabric of a democratic society is one which allows for the free play of idea. Then, in the name of all the gods, give that free play a chance to work within the constitutional framework.”
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Oct 4, 1956

“Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love – it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they’re conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict.”
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

“You attack only those whom your Special Branch can definitely say are communists. Then you attack those whom your Special Branch says are aiding communists. Then finally, when you have gone that far, you attack all who oppose you.”
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October, 1956

“Repression can only go up to a point. When it becomes too acute, the instruments of repression, namely the army and the police, have been proved time and time again in history to have turned their guns on their masters.”
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew, Straits Times, May 5, 1959

“These powers will not be allowed to be used against political opponents within the system who compete for the right to work the system. That is fundamental and basic or the powers will have destroyed the purpose for which they were forged.”
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew speaking in Parliament on the Preservation of Public Security Act, a precursor to the ISA, Oct 14, 1959

“I pointed to an article with bold headlines reporting that the police had refused to allow the PAP to hold a rally at Empress Place , and then to the last paragraph where in small type it added the meeting would take place where we were now. I compared this with a prominent report about an SPA rally. This was flagrant bias.”
- Opposition leader Lee Kuan Yew commenting on the Straits Times, 1959.



“We must encourage those who earn less than $200 per month and cannot afford to nurture and educate many children never to have more than two. We will regret the time lost if we do not now take the first tentative steps towards correcting a trend which can leave our society with a large number of the physically, intellectually and culturally anaemic.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1967

“I make no apologies that the PAP is the Government and the Government is the PAP.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, Petir, 1982

“One-man-one-vote is a most difficult form of government.. Results can be erratic.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, Dec 19 1984

“We have to lock up people, without trial, whether they are communists, whether they are language chauvinists, whether they are religious extremists. If you don’t do that, the country would be in ruins.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1986

“I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yes, if I did not, had I not done that, we wouldn’t be here today. And I say without the slightest remorse, that we wouldn’t be here, we would not have made economic progress, if we had not intervened on very personal matters- who your neighbor is, how you live, the noise you make, how you spit, or what language you use. We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think.”
- Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Straits Times, 20 April 1987

“It is not the practice, nor will I allow subversives to get away by insisting that I’ve got to prove everything against them in a court of law or [produce] evidence that will stand up to the strict rules of evidence of a court of law.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1988

“I’m not intellectually convinced that one-man-one-vote is the best. We practice it because that’s what the British bequeathed us.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, 1994

“Anybody who decides to take me on needs to put on knuckle-dusters. If you think you can hurt me more than I can hurt you, try. There is no way you can govern a Chinese society.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, The Man and His Ideas, 1997

“They say people can think for themselves? Do you honestly believe that the chap who can’t pass primary six knows the consequence of his choice when he answers a question viscerally, on language, culture and religion? But we knew the consequences. We would starve, we would have race riots. We would disintegrate.”
- Lee Kuan Yew, The Man & His Ideas, 1997

“If we had considered them serious political figures, we would not have kept them politically alive for so long. We could have bankrupted them earlier.”
- Lee Kuan Yew on political opposition, Straits Times, Sept 14 2003

“If I have to shoot 200,000 students to save China from another 100 years of disorder, so be it.”
- Lee Kuan Yew evoking the ghost of Deng Xiaoping whilst endorsing the Tiananmen Square massacre, Straits Times, Aug 17, 2004

“Without the elected president and if there is a freak result, within two or three years, the army would have to come in and stop it”
- Lee Kuan Yew on what would happen if a profligate opposition government touched Singapore ’s vast monetary reserves, Straits Times, Sept 16 2006

“Please do not assume that you can change governments. Young people don’t understand this”
- Lee Kuan Yew on the results of the 2006 election

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