Lee Kuan Yew in his new book ‘One Man’s View of the World’ has described Pakatan Rakyat (PR) as “an opportunistic and ad hoc group not held together by even a vaguely coherent set of ideas but by a common desire to unseat the government” (as reported in an English daily on Aug 8).
He is absolutely wrong as all of Pakatan’s three component parties are championing the cause of good governance and that is the main ideology that holds the opposition coalition together.
Lee of course would love Barisan Nasional to go on controlling Malaysia so that Singapore can surge ahead in terms of economic prosperity. As long as BN is in power, Malaysia cannot hope to catch up with Singapore. Therefore Lee is certainly a great fan of BN.
This columnist’s Singaporean cousin who was in Malaysia for an aunt’s 80th birthday dinner last September had made this insulting remark about Malaysia:
“As long as BN continues winning general elections, I am very happy. With BN at the helm, you guys can only chase after the dust we left behind.”
Another Malaysian cousin of mine defended Malaysia by saying that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and ETP (Economic Transformation Programme) can challenge Singapore but this Singaporean cousin only laughed it off.
Thus Lee’s remark talking bad about Pakatan is certainly a great boost to BN. Many Singaporeans think that Malaysia is far behind Singapore in terms of economic progress.
Singaporeans brag that many Malaysians find greener pastures in the republic especially in terms of jobs and education.
This columnist’s friend who works in Singapore but stays in Johor is earning well and benefiting from the cheaper cost of living in Johor although he mentioned that he had to face the daily hassle of travelling across the causeway to his workplace.
Lee prides himself on building Singapore to what it is today and it is in his interest for BN to hold on to power forever as he has seen what Pakatan can do in Penang and Selangor.
Pakatan can challenge Singapore
He would most definitely not want Pakatan to helm the nation because he is shrewd enough to know that if Pakatan is the federal government, Malaysia can compete with Singapore and give the island nation a run for its money.
The good governance practised by Pakatan in Penang and Selangor can certainly provide a challenge to Singapore if this is duplicated in the federal government.
Singapore’s minister-mentor had also opined that if Pakatan is the federal government, it would “either be torn apart within or be paralysed by indecision”.
Thus far neither of that has happened in Penang and Selangor. Therefore, his opinion is absolutely baseless.
Granted there has been flip-flops in Kedah when it was under PAS but this was due to the PAS menteri besar’s own indecision and not due to the Pakatan administration per se.
As for Kelantan’s lack of economic progress, it is a well-known fact that the Kelantan PAS state government has been financially strangled by the federal government for more than two decades.
If Malaysia practises good governance, the country can easily surpass Singapore as we have vast natural resources of good quality.
However, this is not to be. Due to mismanagement by BN and our people leaving overseas for greener pastures, we are now far behind Singapore in terms of economic prosperity.
One must remember that way back in the 1960s, the Singapore dollar was on par with our Malaysian currency. But now it has more than doubled in value and Singaporeans who shop for branded goods in Malaysia can be heard singing the bird song: “cheap, cheap, cheap”.
Malaysia also used to be ahead of South Korea in terms of economic progress. But now they too have left us far behind! What is wrong with the Malaysian management team?
That is the reason why Singaporeans like to brag about their country’s good governance. They gloat that Malaysians can only dream of good governance as a vision beyond the rainbow.
Overall, the influential Lee is no different from those Singaporeans who enjoy taunting Malaysians by saying that Singapore have progressed to First World Nation status.
This columnist’s cousin always says that their decision to go it alone in 1965 is thus the right decision.
It is a good thing that our sportsmen and sportswomen are far better than theirs on the world stage – this gives us something to boast about.
Start working Najib
Lee’s book certainly does not portray Malaysia in good light. He has criticised both our government and our opposition in a very put-down manner and seems to imply that we are failures and Singapore is more superior than us in all ways.
Therefore Najib must wake up to this criticism to show that Lee is totally wrong. Najib must take this as a personal challenge thrown at him and work hard to bring Malaysia forward.
Najib cannot maintain an “elegant silence” in the face of the challenges facing this nation more so especially now with the crime rate at an all time high.
He must rise up to the challenge and bring our nation to greater heights. It is now or never.
We the citizens are fully backing him. He must be open to criticism and ideas from the citizens because at the end of the day when push comes to shove, we are all loyal Malaysians who only want the best for Malaysia.
Selena Tay is a DAP member and a FMT columnist.