Netizens flame PM Lee for asserting that the government is not playing “racial politics”

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Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s latest comments on the reserved Presidential Election 2017 have attracted much criticism online.

The PM made his remarks on “Race, Multiracialism, and Singapore’s Place in the World” at a closed door dialogue with about 500 grassroots leaders. The head of government shared his take on public unhappiness over the PE2017 which was only open for Malay candidates – a decision the PM called “necessary” to preserve the nation’s multiculturalism.

At the talk held on 23 Sept, organised by the People’s Association, PM Lee made the following points:

  1. The last PE was reserved because it is a “reality” that non-Chinese candidates know they do not stand a chance in presidential elections, all things being equal. Citing the 2011 Presidential Election where all 4 candidates were Chinese, he said: “Where were the Farid Khans and the Salleh Maricans? Why didn’t they come?… Because they knew that in an open election – all things being equal – a non-Chinese candidate would have no chance.”
  2. Singapore’s racial harmony and multiculturalism is a result of government policies such as the GRC system, racial quota for public housing, and strong action against extremists: “There is nothing natural about where we are – multiracial, multi-religious, tolerant and progressive. We made it happen, and we have got to protect it, nurture it, preserve it, and never break it.”
  3. The majority Chinese race must make other minority races feel welcomed and valued: “The younger ones have only known peace and harmony in Singapore, and it is very easy to believe that race does not matter anymore. But this is not so. We have to know our blind spots, and make a special effort to ensure our minority communities feel welcomed and valued in Singapore. The Chinese community particularly must make a special effort to make the minorities feel welcome in Singapore.”
  4. The reserved election is a “guardrail” to move Singapore to an “ideal state” where citizens of all races are “naturally and regularly” elected as President. He added that reserving PE2017 for Malays wasn’t a regression towards “racial politics”: “There was some unhappiness. I can feel that; you do not have to tell me. People think we may be going backwards, towards racial politics. But actually the reality is the opposite: We are making necessary changes to strengthen our multiracial system, in order to continue to progress as one united people. If we did nothing, it was very likely that we would not have had a Malay president for a very long time. After a while, the minorities in Singapore would start to feel left out, and understandably so. The Chinese majority might also become less sensitive to other races. This would weaken our sense of shared nationhood for all Singaporeans.”

The PM’s comments drew considerable flak from netizens who asserted that regular folks have never had a problem with race and that it is the government that is playing the race card:

259 COMMENTS

  1. Chatting with Malay friends of my generation, almost all could not be bothered while some were actually embarrassed by the whole fiasco. It’s not even of their (the Malay community’s) doing, but the lofty imaginations of those dreamers in their ivory towers.

  2. I know what’s necessary. It is necessary to eradicate the train problems. It’s necessary to create more better paying jobs for singaporeans instead of importing more foreigners to come and snatch our jobs. It’s necessary to stop paying civil servants and politicians such ridiculously obscene amounts to serve the country and its a bloody small country!! It’s should be an honor and privilege to serve and if you are in it for money then you are clearly unsuitable. It’s necessary to stop bullying the opposition when you can’t keep your own damm house in order. I have a list of other more important and things which are NECESSARY!!!

    • Same sentiment! If we are racists we will not be able to talk about this issue and our Malay Countrymen will feel uncomfortable to discuss. Just hope that our foundation of unity we embraced for so long will not be thwarted. He claim to know that there are ill feeling l don’t deny sometimes, and its normal but it was not what he imagine it to be.What yeks is his policy in transparency.

  3. Talk shit, stir shit, stir more shit, and now you want us to eat your shit!?? Sorry we are not voting for more shit from you PAP!!

    PAP – Power Abuse Party also…
    PAP – Poop and Poop

    Should we have a voting contest?!

  4. His is a desperate reaction to a serious miscalculation. Bcos if the reasons he gives are genuine it would be done BEFORE the ‘election’ not after. Another batch of lies by a dying man, after seeking sympathy for his illness(es)

  5. Talk talk talk about what president duty etc. we need minority to be president and need a Malay. Then when comes to PM. Sporeans not really for minority PM. Really Talking cock. Smart nation my foot. Don’t take us like a fool…

  6. PM LHL, This whole saga of the Reserved Presidential Election is wrong in every way! It is even CRIMINAL! According to President Halimah Yacob’s NRIC she is under Race : Indian. By falsely stating that she is a Malay is a crime. Specifically gaining a financial benefit through ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’ or commonly called fraud. The other aspects have all been hotly debated. The conclusion: You are trying to defend the indefensible! This fiasco has permanently crippled your legal and moral authority. For your own sake please resign.

  7. How to tell someone he has made a mistake when he thinks he is smartest in the Country? What? Democracy? His core team all agreed with the move, just as the parliament did not find his brother’s accusation holding any water! What? Ownself check ownself and ownself agree with ownself? They were voted to represent the people, the 70% agreed that they are adequate in representing them… What? Affect GE 2020? Let’s suppose they pass on 19% from the last pool, but increase 1 million new citizens, they still get above 60%, still 2/3 mah! Go home and do your math. If they are desperate enough, MP running for the GRC need to have served at lease 2 terms of MP or civil servant, the minority candidate at least one term… there’s nothing you can do…

  8. Some of you do not know manners. Mr Lee was voted as prime minister . So during his term kindly address him properly and pl do not resort to silly names or bad words etc. to express your discontent.

  9. It’s as if the Govt created its own bogeyman and terrified the bogeyman they self created . Personally they should stick to principles of meritocracy and listening closer to the ground instead.

  10. Do the right thing do it with dignity . Why keep defending the reserve PE and not answer to the missing Point? Some big mistake have been made and they will bare the price . Have some common sense as DPM says we are no fools

    • The trouble is that he thinks we are all fools ! Or rather he knows that 70% can be fooled all the time , so why not continue to cover wools over their eyes . Most of the 70% are completely beholden to him now – FT who have become Singaporeans , civil servants, stat board staff are all beholden to vote them. !!!

  11. Neccessary for who? For PAP lah! They do not want the incoming President to cause problems by digging into their accounts. How to safeguard the reserves if cannot see the reserves. That is why they put a puppet that they can control and not ask inconvenient questions.

  12. If LHL want to stop playing racial politics, he should start with all government ministries and stat boards. Open ALL government jobs to all races (except maybe MOE 2nd language teachers).

  13. end of the day simple la he looking for a person that listen to him and can control type la. now do liao cone out say it not abt race. explain explain explain…..what to do you the boss ma

    • Which argues strongly for the hypothesis that there is NOTHING in Singapore’s reserves — at least, only a tiny fraction of what competent management would have left there. No wonder there’s never been a transparent, independent audit: the Emperor has no money with which to buy clothes other than pink.

  14. For sure, he is delusional and he has made sure that his sycophants follow him. He makes us more aware of race than ever before. Besides, since when has people changed their race to qualify to be the selected minority? If he wanted it to be an elected presidency, he should allow the other 2 to participate in an election. Big BS!

  15. Is he undoing the legacy of his father faster than the bullet train? Afterall, his 2 siblings had labeled him very unkind words. One wonders if he is still fit to be PM?

    • After all the train that was initiate by the late LKY which was running well, is lightning fast, with very competent finger pointer, with no technical know how, and very good PR kelong. Should be a Oscar award for faster finger pointer & blabbering pointless mouth in every direction without any sense. And very fat pay check & good performance bonuses for having the most breakdown in the whole world. Well done!

    • He is a great copy cat ! Just review the videos of the Fullerton election rally for both lky and lhl and you will see lhl copied his father every word to the t except he could not deliver it in a more persuasive manner and without compunction like his dad ! Shame Shame ! In toastmasters competition he would be disqualified for pilfering others work !

  16. ministers in the singapore government joined for the money should be kicked out by the citizens as their hearts, brains, minds , thinking and passions are in the money and not for the betterment of its citizens well beings. It is a parasite sucking the money from the tax payers money.

    • Lky is not God ! Not everything he does is correct ! This high politician pay stuff is just too much to accept ! The last revision was a wayang , cos it’s still stratospheric rate salaries ! No where else in the whole wide World subscribe to such ridiculous policy ! Not china , Not USA , not Japan – three of the greatest economies in the world in terms of population sizes and GNP ! Their leaders are earning fractions of what lhl and his henchmen are earning . How to ever command respect from the citizens ?

  17. LHL….Do not treat Singaporean as idiots or stupid!!!! There’s no racial disharmony here except u created a monster u can’t destroy. As a matter of fact…It’s the Singapore govt that started the whole PE with a minority race election. LHL…i think your days are numbered n resigned while u can. Whole Singapore govt cabinets have the highest salary in the world and yet they can’t-do a job right. i.e….Ministry of Transport. Get your things fixed before u ask us to listen to u!!!!

    • His ego won’t let him step down. As long as his cabal can maintain power, he’s the world’s last believer in the divine right of kings. Especially overreaching PMs acting as kings.

  18. A damn small country and yet our govt ministers get paid a fucking obscene amount of money!!! You left all the low paid income earner behind and hired foreigners to fill in the blank. Much Singaporean are left behind without a job or been marginalized. Thanks to your damn Govt for being so caring to Singaporean all these years. Seems to me u are taking good care of foreigners and letting them in like there’s no tomorrow. Take care of your own people first before u bring them in. The only way for PAP to be in power is to get foreigners who have become PR to vote for your party. Many jobs have been stolen by foreigners……admit it.

  19. He is talking cock, just to covered his mistakes, besides a reserved malay President then why set the criteria so high tats the other two are disqualified. The 500 millions is set so that in future no one is qualify except themselves.

  20. When the next election comes….he will be going to shred crocodile tears and ask for forgiveness for his mistakes in the reserved President election…..and hope that people will become sympathetic by his actions….i didn’t realize he is such a great ACTOR…should make a movie with him as the main STAR ……

  21. There was a time Germany choose Hitler
    And they are happy to be with Hitler
    Even some of the British monarchy hail Hitler administration
    As time goes by
    As Hitler grow more greedy
    Germany began resent Hitler
    The rest i don’t have to tell you
    All dictators have the same feather and they flock together
    No matter Who they are

  22. Can Singapore citizens trust a person who has a JOKER face? He may be smiling & treating you well, IN FRONT OF YOU. But at back he were stab hard or sabo hard to you, when you are not alert or in the dark.

  23. This is a poor management and wayang from LHL. I hate it when he always bring LKY on the table to support his own wrongdoings. Please don’t disgrace LKY name. You xia suay can already. Don’t make LKY name bad as you make your own bad

  24. Dumdum mumbling rubbish again, better retire and have a good go with your empress dowager b4 6x6x2. You’re obsolete,delusional old senile that making majullah singapura lost faith in your nonsensical policy. Better rule Disneyland, at least its a make believe fantasy.

  25. Reading the clown prince BS on what’s necessary …..it can only be concluded that Singaporean must now truly do the necessary and that is always to bear in mind the shameful day 9/11 and do right by the vote come 2019!! This is the real necessity!!!!

  26. No matter what reasons or defenses u gave…we commoner knows best… it’s better that u dun explained too much to avoid more displeasure from all… u have already take your country folks a fool…

    • He should step down before he completely destroy his father legacy…in his mind, the legacy is about nice buildings and getting rich. It is not about gaining the respect of the citizens and caring for the poor and disadvantaged.

  27. what a bad move, his father did away with race card and the son use this card…
    a display of ‘kiasu’ism…
    oops..because of some underlying critical matter???

    hiya, recent developments indeed effected many to doubt his judgement, honesty, integrity and foresight …

  28. Singaporeans have been living in harmony within the 4 races for decades and we will be happy if any of the race boarded the president post under circumstance of the people’s choice . There is a famous saying , once you told a lie …. subsequently more would have to be told to cover the previous lies . PM Lee , you seem to be avoiding the key reason why This nation is unhappy . Instead of rectifying the roots of the cause , you causally shy away and untactfully led people off the main track .

  29. The amount of effort being put in to justify themselves after the fact is a classic symptom of guilt-reflex. They are weaving a cocoon of self righteousness to recede into and to “brainwash” themselves into believing they were right. Repeating their mantra to themselves and others at this stage serves to convince themselves rather than others. Watching from the outside, it’s somewhat pathetic.

  30. NONE OF THE MIW CAN BE TRUSTED AT ALL.

    PLS READ THIS

    HIS FT CRONY MINISTER LEAKED IMPORTANT INFORMATION WHEN HE WAS IN MONETARY AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE, WHO WAS CHARGED FOR VIOLATING THE OFFICIAL SECRET ACT.

    AND YET THARMAN CLAIMS THAT “IT DEFINES THAT PAP IS INSISTENCE ON HONESTY, INTEGRITY AND TRUE TO THE SINGAPOREANS”???????

    https://books.google.com.sg/books?id=TwKhBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA109&lpg=PA109&dq=tharman+leaked+important+information+when+he+was+in+mas&source=bl&ots=i6eVwhAWn-&sig=xwqW944j2Ix1D1dLp0_2dZg3gkU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjOgpjPgM7WAhWL6Y8KHXHQBAgQ6AEIGjAE#v=onepage&q=tharman%20leaked%20important%20information%20when%20he%20was%20in%20mas&f=false

    ALL OF THE MIW ONLY CARE FOR THEIR MILLION $ SALARIES AND HIGHEST PAID POLITICIAN SALARIES IN THE WORLD.

    THEY WOULDN’T DARE TO SPEAK AGAINST THEIR CONSCIENCE FOR FEAR OF BREAKING THEIR IRON RICE BOWLS $$$, $$$, $$$

  31. No 1.. Where were farid and salleh in kast election??? They would still be disquallified…so what are talking about???? NO doubt about Halimah’s capabilities..Had she been voted in …which we r confident would….all if us will be standing tall today behind her…’Right thing to do’ but did u do it right….so u waiting for malay billionaire to stand for election….he must be mad to want rub shouders with the likes of u…

  32. Let us now make something very clear:

    Tar Man was preferred by many of us, REGARDLESS OF OUR RACE OR RELIGION, to be our next prime minister. It was because of his recognised stature, capability and temperament.

    But after his COWARDLY retraction of what he said, if he loses favour in the coming day, we must remember it is NOT because of his race or religion. It is because he’s just like the others, barking on his master’s command

  33. really bird talk, now new rule, recent 3yr top post in 500m company EFFECTIVELY KILL OFF ANY CHANCE OF MINORITY OUTSIDE PAP. So it is helping minority or help whom? Even Chinese also hard to qualify. All these talk abt race, mulitracial is just diverting attention from 500m.

  34. Enough said. No amount of wishful thinking clarification will make us forget or atone the anger and disappointment of concerned citizens. Come next GE, let the voting do the talking. Just remember to vote wisely and vote for a change.

  35. Tis pinkie clown keeps reminding us of races.So, who is the real racist here?I neber had any problems with my malay,indian,eurasian or sikh NS comrades,workpeers,schoolmates,so why is tis clown keeps harping on racial issues?Does he really think a perpetuating chinese president wld cause a racial slur in our society? GROW UP!

  36. What does our national pledge means, One People, One Nation , One Singapore. Regardless race, language, or religion? So Mr. LHL please don’t use races as your political tools to cover up for your political motives. To be a good leader, please be truthful to all your fellow Singaporean.

  37. Why should people feel so unhappy about EP reserved for minorities? This is how Singapore want to show inclusiveness so that minorities have a role in this small country. GRC is one example of how the govt. ensure minorities can enter parliament. Those people for feel that we are no more color-blind should look at the mirror and ask whether they are Singaporean or Chinese/Malay/Indian/Eurasian Singaporean!

  38. Reserve the next Prime Minister appointment for a member of our SG Minority Race. There is at least 1 qualified man of extraordinary intelligence, statesmanship, internationally applauded brilliance and integrity to be PM of SG. Walk the Talk!

  39. He did not play the racial card and also did not abuse his power like his Brother said. All these are confirmed in Parliment and endorse by all this crony and accepted by 70%.

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