Lee Dynasty: Is Li Hongyi the Anointed One?

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by Augustine Low

The public, to be fair, did not give much thought or credence to a third-generation Lee as Prime Minister. The prevailing sentiment was that it would be a bridge too far, a feat too audacious to pull off.

But now all bets are off – ever since Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling raised the spectre of a Lee dynasty in the shape of Li Hongyi, son of PM Lee Hsien Loong and wife Ho Ching. Public speculation and conjecture has understandably gone into overdrive.

So let’s ponder the once imponderable. The starting point is that Li Hongyi is a civil servant. This is an important distinction because it signifies a clear intent to embark on a career and life of public office. And public office is after all not far removed from the higher echelon of political office.

Li Hongyi is currently Deputy Director of the Government Digital Services Data Science Division of the Government Technology Agency of Singapore, a statutory board under the Prime Minister’s Office. He has impressive credentials – a recipient of the Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science, the Public Service Commission Overseas Merit Scholarship, a top government scholarship, and a graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.

It would not be amiss to contend that Li Hongyi is not in public office to remain Deputy Director for long; his rise could be meteoric because his bosses, whoever they are, at whatever stage of his career, would find it expedient to groom and promote him.

There were denials after the allegation by blood relations Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Wei Ling (“based on our interactions”) that PM Lee and wife harboured political ambitions for their son. Li Hongyi posted on Facebook: “For what it is worth, I really have no interest in politics.” PM Lee called the allegation “absurd” – that’s it, just that one word, no definitive slaying of the allegation.

Now, contrast the terse denials with the unequivocal statement from Li Shengwu, son of Lee Hsien Yang: “Not only do I intend never to go into politics, I believe that it would be bad for Singapore if any third-generation Lee went into politics. The country must be bigger than one family.”

So we have on the one hand terse denials and on the other hand vehement, categorical rejection. More significantly, having no interest in politics is not the same as saying one would never go into politics because it would be bad for Singapore.

We only need to look at Li Hongyi’s father to sieve out a precedent. Goh Chok Tong has taken pains to emphasise many times that it was he personally who spotted the talent of Lee Hsien Loong and roped him into politics, and certainly “not at the behest of Lee Kuan Yew.”

So we have in Lee Hsien Loong someone who was persuaded to enter politics and through force of circumstance ended up being Prime Minister. To say that the exact same thing could happen with Li Hongyi is speaking to the predictability of the PAP – but is it ludicrous and out-of-character for the next Prime Minister or some other stalwart in the cabinet to eyeball the talent of Li Hongyi and make that call to him to serve Singapore at the highest level? Would Li Hongyi be self-serving enough to turn it down? And remember, it would NOT be at the behest of Lee Hsien Loong.

Again, force of circumstance and service to nation dictating that another Lee rises to be head of government. The script has been written before and we cannot rule out a new chapter in the works, the common thread being bloodline politics.

Li Hongyi is only 30 years old and we may well be jumping the gun here. But his father entered politics at the relatively young age of 32. And with the benefit of hindsight and the knowledge of how meritocracy in Singapore pans out, the once imponderable can now seem fathomable.

Li Shengwu (facing contempt of court charges and out of the country, possibly for good) is right: Singapore must be bigger than one family. But his uncle Lee Hsien Loong might have something to say about that. In time, we will know if the PAP is brazen enough to annoint Li Hongyi to perpetuate the Lee Dynasty.

Augustine Low is a former journalist and managing director of a public relations agency.

 

145 COMMENTS

  1. This Leezard will follow his papa footsteps laid by his grand-papa. His papa will follow his grand-papa till the day he drops dead! The Leezard family will continue milking millions dollars salaries and others from SG people from generation to generation like FREEHOLD land!!

    • KH Ngai-Not if the public would have it! The public’s resentment and contempt against dynastic rule can have a grave repercussions! Albeit contriving to do it the greedy clown prince and his white termite gang’s members/supporters will assuredly do!!
      Singaporean should wait no more ……the monopoly of one party rule need to be broken in order that the base for dynastic rule not grow further ! Democracy must survive for if not Woe be upon the nation for generations to come !!!

  2. We the citizens of Singapore must put a STOP all this NONSENSE of Tyranical and Dynastic Rule and not let it fester for these LEECHES to rule ? We must also STOP AT TWO, get my drift ?

  3. Kim Jong Un must eliminate all bloodline threats to his hold on power. Jong Nam poisoned. his son is the last remaining bloodline – they went after him in beijing but failed. See ours in the same light,

  4. PM then SM, until another LEE becomes PM, then MM …. and then on and on and on until…. and the beat goes on and on…. do Singaporeans want this? Is it good for our country in the long run?

  5. Did he not say he is “not interested in politics for what it is worth”? So, interest and destiny are not the same paths, i guess. Or the Lees are betting that 10 years from now the new adults won’t know of his famous renunciation?

    • They can do what they like – whenever and however they like …. who can stop them?? Without Singaporeans being brave enoght to carve the future they want : then this will continue … SM and then MM….

  6. You can make the difference but when it comes to GE voting every one goes into the shell and afraid of making a difference. We can write until the cow jumps over the moon but in order to make the difference your voting is needed. 70% made their choice and they will do the same. So what’s the point of all these.

    • The point is that we need to stop preaching to the already converted (here and online generally) and take every opportunity we can to talk with other voters. People push away because they’ve been taught not to be interested in politics; we should point out how politics in the DPR Singapore is most interested in _them_.

  7. 哈哈哈正所谓黄狗相残、黑狗背后虎视旦旦。
    Hahaha, happy to see the Yellow dogs bite each other,
    Blackie dogs behind watching to seize opportunities?

  8. tell the famiLee to go make a country themselves import many PRCs (since they love them so much) and govern that country.

    This is Singapura. Bukan atok nenek kau moyang kau BUKAN keturunan kau peh asal usul SIAL.

  9. why else would he drag on successor PM with no clear candidate even now, In the past PM successor candidate would be DPM by now. Maybe his sibling is right after all. If GST can flip, dun be surprise Li Hongyi “not interested” in politic also can #flip.

  10. Wait See
    Already See , higher tax increase
    What is there to see
    See lah any improvement
    3rd World to number 1.
    Everything nos. 1
    Citizens Pay not nos.1 work harder lah
    All will see .
    See Hor
    The Best Is Yet To Be.

  11. Don’t worry in old Chinese believed Dynasties never last more than TWO Generation .
    Karma Will Be Served If There Is Two just wait and see.
    OrMiTouFoh

    .Om Mani Padme Hum

  12. Lee Dynasty should be stopped! I doubt another lee can do a good job. For someone who grew up in an ivory tower, how can this person care for ordinary citizens. If he really want to serve singapore. Set up a company and employ all Singaporeans only. Not FT, no cheap foreign labour. Earn your own money and not depend on taxpaper money.

  13. Do Singaporeans understand modern democratic principles (not necessarily in the progressive definition only) or do they only understand dynastic rule like some weird variation of ancient shamanic god/emperor rulership?

  14. IT SAYS “LHL IS SOMEONE TO BE PERSUADED TO JOIN THE POLITICS”???

    IS THIS STATEMENT CORRECT? I DOUBT IT. I THINK LHL WAS VERY MUCH WANTED TO BE PM.

    REMEMBER DURING LEE FAMILY SAGA, SOMEONE REVEALED THAT AT THAT TIME WHEN GCT WAS PM AND THEY WERE LOOKING FOR A SUCCESSOR, SPECULATING TONY TAN OR PERHAPS LHL.

    BUT LHL WENT TO GOH KENG SWEE’S ROOM TO REMOVE SOME DOCUMENTS FROM HIS ROOM. THEN JAYAKUMAR (OR ANOTHER INDIAN MINISTER) TALKED LHL OUT AND JAYA WAS BEING SLAPPED BY LHL ON HIS FACE DURING THE ARGUMENT. GCT THEN COMPLAINED TO LKY ABOUT IT, WHO THEN APOLOGISED TO BOTH TONY TAN AND JEYA WHO WANTED TO RESIGN BUT STAYED ON AFTER LKY’S APOLOGY.

    AND YET GCT STILL CAN INSIST ON APPOINTING SUCH ROTTON LHL TO BE HIS SUCCESSOR DESPITE LKY’S OBJECTIONS TWICE??

    OBVIOUSLY, IT SHOWS ROTTON LHL WAS ALREADY EYEING FOR THE POSITION, IF NOT, WHY REMOVE DOC FROM A VETERAN MINISTER WHOSE LEVEL WAS AS THAT SENIOR AS LKY? STRONGLY BELIEVE GCT KNEW HOW MUCH LHL WANTED IT TOO.

    BEFORE 2015 GE, I THOUGHT LHL SAID HE WANTED TO STEP DOWN. THEN MEDIA INTERVIEWED HIM TO CONFIRM IF IT WAS TRUE. HE DARED NOT DIRECTLY ANSWERED THEIR Q.

    BUT AFTER LKY’S DEATH AND AFTER GE 2015’S LANDSLIDE VICTORY, ALL THE MORE LHL DIDN’T WANT TO STEP DOWN.

    THO HE AGAIN SAID HE WANTED TO STEP DOWN AFTER NEXT GE BUT RECENTLY HE AGAIN SAID HE “STILL HOPED TO CONTINUE TO SERVE”?? I LITERALLY HEARD HIM SAY IT OVER TV NEWS.

    I BET IF THE NEXT GE IS ANOTHER LANDSLIDE VICTORY, DO YOU THINK LHL TRULY WILL KEEP TO HIS WORDS??

    WHY GO.”DIGITAL”? BECOS HIS SON WAS IN THE DIGITAL SECTION IN CIVIL SVS. PROBABLY LHL WANTS TO HANG ON AS LONG AS HE CAN TO PAVE WAY FOR HIS SON TO SUCCEED HIM.

    SO LONG AS SG CONTINUE TO VOTE FOR PAP, THEN WITHIN PAP WILL VOTE FOR LHL TO BE PM AFTER THE GE.

    SG CAN ONLY VOTE FOR THE RULING PARTY TO BE GOVT BUT UNABLE TO PICK, SELECT, CHOOSE AND VOTE FOR PM.

    SO, HOW TO CONTROL THE SITUATION? UNLESS VOTE PAP OUT, ONLY THEN MOST PROBABLY ABLE TO CUT OFF NEPOTISM AND LEE DYNASTY.

    • You said to vote PAP out, which party do you then propose Singaporeans vote for instead? Which other party has the potential to run the country?

      WP has always self declared to be satisfied as back seat passengers (or was it sleeping co driver)

      SDP has a cheepanzee who is more like an egomaniac one man army with not enough people to even form a cabinet.

      RP has Kenneth Jeyaratnam who is more like a leaking half cup of water. Btw, I’ll rather vote for his brother Philip than Kenneth who even has a job in politics because JBJ set up a party for him so he would not be out of work.

    • AS I HV MENTIONED BEFORE, EACH OPPO PARTYHAS SOME GOOD AND SOME LESS BETTER ONES.

      IN THE LAST GE2015 DEBATES, REMEMBER SOME AUDIENCES SAID IF ALL OPPO COULD FORM ONE BIG PARTY, MORE LIKELY SG WOULD VOTE FOR THEM I/O SO MANY DIFFERENT PARTIES.

      SO, CONSOLIDATE ALL OPPO PARTIES (IF INTERESTED ONES) INTO ONE BIG PARTY. THEN SELECT THOSE GOOD ONES TO BE REPRESENTATIVES WHILE OTHERS AS SUPPORTERS FOR OTHER TASKS.

      PLS GO TO FB (THE INDEPENDENT. SG) (ARTICLE: LEE DYNASTY IS LI HONGYI THE ANOINTED ONE) AND READ MY COMMENTS AND OTHERS COMMENTS TOO:

      http://www.theindependent.sg/lee-dynasty-is-li-hongyi-the-anointed-one/

    • SOME FB USERS COMPLAINED SO MUCH NOW ABOUT ROTTON PAP.

      SOME ASKED: WHAT HV YOU DONE?

      MY ANSWER IS: EXERCISE YR VOTE CORRECTLY. VOTE THE RIGHT PARTY TO BE THE GOVT AND DON’T VOTE BASED ON “BLIND FAITH AND BLIND TRUST”

      AND NOW, MANY CITIZENS COMPLAIN SO MUCH??? BECOS HV VOTED FOR THE WRONG PARTY TO BE THE GOVT BASED ON.” BLIND FAITH AND BLIND TRUST”!!

    • Lim LG yes yes everyone knows the idea of exercising the vote correctly, vote the right party blah blah blah!

      So my question to you is VOTE FOR WHICH PARTY INSTEAD AND WHY!

      It’s easy to say don’t vote for PAP or vote wisely BUT no one can give a sound argument on WHO TO VOTE FOR AND WHY!!!

    • Lim LG who are the ‘some good ones’ in the oppo party and which party?

      What the F is ‘some less better ones’? Are you just stringing words to avoid using the word BAD!? Or maybe INCOMPETENT?

    • Michael….IT LOOKS LIKE NONE OF THE OPPO IS AS GOOD AS PAP TO YOU, THEN CARRY ON AND VOTE FOR PAP.

      DON’T THINK THAT WITHIN PAP, EACH AND EVERY ONE AGREES WITH EACH OTHER. IMPOSSIBLE.

      YOU MENTION “CHEEPANZEE” (MONKEY SWINGING FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER?)

      DON’T PAP ALSO BEHAVE LIKE CHEEPANZEES TOO? PUTTING ONE CANDIDATE TO CONTEST IN ONE CONSTITUENCY, IF FAILED, THEN MOVE TO ANOTHER ONE.

      LIKE ONG YE KUN CONGESTED IN ALJUNIED GRC IN 2011 BUT FAILED. THEN GE2015 CONTESTED IN ANOTHER GRC, THEN SUCCESSFULLY PARACHUTED INTO PARLIAMENT. WHY DIDN’T PAP PUT ONG YK TO RECONTEST IN ALJUNIED GRC AGAININ 2015?

      IF SG NOT WILLING TO TRUST TO GIVE OPPO A “CHANCE”, NOBODY CAN TELL OR PERHAPS DISCOVER THEIR TALENTS AT ALL.

      DO YOU THINK ALL PAP MINISTERS AND MP ARE COMPETENT PPL? IF SO, WHY SO MUCH COMPLAINTS FROM CITIZENS?

      SIMILARLY, IN A COMPANY, I’M. SURE EVERY EMPLOYEE FEELS GOOD ABOUT ONESELF TO BE A COMPETENT PERSON. BUT IF YOUR EMPLOYER DOESN’T “TRUST” TO GIVE YOU A “CHANCE” TO PERFORM, YOUR EMPLOYER CAN NEVER DISCOVER YOUR “POTENTIALS AND TALENTS” AT ALL.

  15. Well, the good thing is that this has been exposed by the siblings…. If there is no such dynastic ambition or that it can’t be pursued now, the story ends there. If not, let’s see how it’s going to play out in the future ! Surely Singaporeans are not that stupid as to support or endorse it now that they’ve been forewarned !!!

  16. SG screwed by Lee family since WW2 15 February 1942 not enough. We should be building statues of LKY, wife, Nathan & Osaman at kneeling position in front of WW2 memorial for people to remember and beat up. Still want LHY the spoilt brat who jump chain of command to complain at dinner table for his guard commander replacement was late to kill other’s career for his benefit from military disciplinary fine of a mere S$1400.

  17. I think we singaporwans owed the lees so much that they can do what they wish to let their son n sons son run this country as if it their own i believe the building of a nation is not just one perdon but one right person with a team of right perdon at the RIG4HT TIME so please return this country back to its people

  18. Recently, he openly said he will not join in politics. Is he been groomed as a princeling whilst the next PM warm the seat for him ? Chinese business are always destroyed by the 3rd generation !

  19. First and foremost, can we have an elected PM. The PM now is elected within the winning party that forms the government and is not chosen by the citizens.
    Let us have an election for the PM.

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