It was reported in the media yesterday (17 Jul) that the AGC is looking into comments made by Li Sheng Wu who is the son of Lee Hsien Yang.
In a Facebook post last Saturday (15 Jul), Sheng Wu shared a link to a WSJ article on the family feud between his father, his aunt Lee Wei Ling and his uncle, PM Lee, calling it a good summary. In his post, he also made a comment criticising the Singapore’s court system. In response, the AGC said it is looking into the matter.
Later, Sheng Wu responded with another online post saying that the original posting was shared on “friends only” privacy settings. He added that he was “somewhat surprised” that what he had said “has been enough to trigger a response from the Attorney-General’s Chambers”.
Lee Wei Ling, also posted about the matter, saying that she is “surprised that AGC takes such negative reaction to a private post”.
Chee Hong Tat jumps in
The Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of Health, Chee Hong Tat, has also weighed in on the matter. The Chinese media reported Mr Chee as saying:
“I am disappointed at the actions made by Sheng Wu. Is this the way to respect Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his values? I also don’t understand why Sheng Wu continues to launch his attacks online despite his father (Lee Hsien Yang) has declared that he would stop doing so.”
Mr Chee is of the view that Sheng Wu has “used the views of some foreign journalists to crticise his grandfather (LKY) and slander the reputation of Singapore and our courts”.
Chee Hong Tat went against LKY’s wish to deter dialect usage in Singapore
It’s interesting that Mr Chee talks about respecting the values of LKY when he himself did not appear to do so.
In 2009, while he was the Principal Private Secretary to then MM Lee, he wrote a letter to the news forum attacking an article published by The Straits Times (ST). In his letter (‘Foolish to advocate the learning of dialects‘, 7 Mar 2009), Mr Chee ridiculed those who were still talking about using dialects.
“Singapore’s experience over 50 years of implementing the bilingual education policy has shown that most people find it extremely difficult to cope with two languages when they are as diverse as English and Mandarin,” he wrote. “This is why we have discouraged the use of dialects. It interferes with the learning of Mandarin and English.”
“We also emphasised the learning of Mandarin, to make it the mother tongue for all Chinese Singaporeans, regardless of their dialect groups,” he added. “It would be stupid for any Singapore agency or NTU to advocate the learning of dialects, which must be at the expense of English and Mandarin.”
“That was the reason the Government stopped all dialect programmes on radio and television after 1979. Not to give conflicting signals, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew also stopped making speeches in Hokkien.”
But then came 2015 General Election and Mr Chee decided to run for office. During the campaigning, he created controversy when he introduced himself to the public in Hokkien. He also had no qualms singing in Hokkien to serenade the voters, especially the elderly.
When probed by reporters about the seemingly contradictions he was exhibiting during the 2015 GE, he “sidesteps the issue, and (declined) to say more on the matter”, reported ST.