Lee Wei Ling: Reference to Mao Zedong and cronyism were parts ST wanted censored

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Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter, Dr Lee Wei Ling, published a note on 26 Mar in her Facebook asking Singaporeans not to hero-worship her father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. She said that Mr Lee himself would not have been a party to such hero-worship.

She later wrote in her Facebook that she was not going to write for the publication of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) anymore because of censorship issues. The newspaper had apparently refused to publish her commentary uncensored.

The editors (both past and present) of The Straits Times (ST), a major publication of SPH, took issue with Dr Lee’s post and said that they had not censored her views, but were only editing her commentary.
ST_Forum_Letter-Apr-5A past editor of ST, Janadas Devan, in particular suggested that Dr Lee was an incoherent writer and snidely wished her well in publishing the second edition of her book ‘A Hakka Woman’s Singapore Stories’. Mr Devan who is now the Chief of Government Communications as well as the head of the government-funded think-tank Institute of Policy Studies, was the editor of Dr Lee’s book. The book was published by an arm of SPH – Straits Times Press.

In a note written in her facebook today (6 Apr), Dr Lee highlighted the parts which an ST editor wanted out from her commentary.

Dr Lee had compared the leaders of two countries – Mao Zedong of China and Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom – with her father. While China hurriedly built a monument to its leader (who it considered semi-divine) Britain only commemorated her prominent leader 50 years later, Dr Lee said.

She said Mr Lee Kuan Yew was dead set against a personality cult and any hint of cronyism, and would have preferred a commemoration like that accorded to Mr Churchill 50 years later, over the one sanctioned by the government which started on 23rd March with a remembrance ceremony held at the former Parliament House, and lasted for an entire week.

This part of Dr Lee’s commentary was what ST wanted censored edited out.

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Posted by Lee Wei Ling on Tuesday, 5 April 2016