Sunday, December 16, 2012

Reforming PAP under Kuan Yew is not possible : Dr Poh Soo Kai

.. But after Kuan Yew's death, there may a fight within the PAP. At the moment, there are 3 factions in the PAP..."

A founding member of the PAP and a former political prisoner of 17 years, Dr Poh Soo Kai offers a perspective of the history of Singapore's struggle for independence and gives his views on the current PAP Government and the recent strikes by bus drivers. Recorded in Malaysia.



  Dr Poh Soo Kai and a History of the Malayan-Singapore Left

6 comments:

Jin Go said...

At 27:40 Dr Poh referred to a list by Rodin of the government linked firms headed by members of the family. How to reference this list?

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Ben Hu said...

In his lecture on the history of the Malaysian and Singapore left, Dr Poh Soo Kai has been very consistent in reminding people from both sides of the Johor Straits that Singapore has always been historically and geographically an inalienable part of peninsula Malaya now known as peninsula Malaysia.

Singapore’s relation with peninsula Malaysia can be likened to Hong Kong with mainland China. Interactions and intermingling of people from both sides of the Johor Straits or the Shenzhen River can never be cut off. The linguistic, eating and other daily lifestyle habits of a Malay, Chinese, Indian and or Eurasian from Singapore is hardly discernible from his or her counterpart from peninsula Malaysia whereas a Chinese person from Hong Kong can be easily identified from his or her counterpart from mainland China the minute he or she starts to speak Cantonese freely spiced with Hong Kong jargons or more particularly Mandarin with a heavy Hong Kong Cantonese accent. If Hong Kong can remerge with China, more so Singapore with Malaysia especially if and when the “Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy)” mindset – consciously and systematically perpetrated by the ruling UMNO party with the help of their former British colonial masters – loses its mass appeal and or dominant influence in the daily discourse among younger generations of Malaysians especially those from the Malay community.

The coming 2013 General Election in Malaysia may mark the end of UMNO’s incumbency along with its “Ketuanan Melayu” mindset which forms the ideological anchor of its long-standing “Bumiputra (meaning ‘princely sons of the soil’) Policy” of “ensuring that the native Malay racial majority will enjoy their full share of the nation’s wealth”. This would set the stage for the rise of a “Malaysia for Malaysians” mindset which even current UMNO leaders have to pay lip service to but only the multi-racial Keadilan party leaders are able to put into practice by opening their party doors to all Malaysians regardless of race and religion. The Keadilan-led opposition coalition – Pakatan Rakyat – was able to break the two-third majority stranglehold of the Malaysian parliament by the long-ruling UMNO-led Barisan Nasional during the 2008 GE under the charismatic leadership of Keadilan leader, Anwar Ibrahim whose return from political wilderness was instrumental in helping to pull off such a historic political feat. Former longest-ruling prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew should feel vindicated because his long incumbent People’s Action Party in Singapore was championing the same mindset with the “Malaysian Malaysia” slogan before the PAP was booted out of the Malaysian Federation in 1965.

As for pointing out the fact that Singapore has always been a safe haven for hot money accumulated by super-rich Asian tycoons from newly industrializing countries in East, South and Southeast Asia especially hot cash from Indonesia, China and recently India, Dr Poh has exposed the secret behind the Singapore success story which all boils down to becoming the Switzerland of the super-rich in the region. However, the limited space of barely 700 square kilometers puts a severe cap on how far Singapore can continue playing Switzerland to the tremendous amount of money needed to be laundered and or kept for long-term safekeeping from public auditing in their host countries. Remerging with Malaysia immediately resolves not only space limitation but also aging demographic problems. Surely Lee Kuan Yew and his ruling party elites are more than capable of fathoming this objective limitation to the continuity of Singapore playing the role of being the Switzerland of Asia, aren’t they?

In view of a possible opposition victory in the coming GE in Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim and most of his coalition partners in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat leadership would not be unreceptive to suggestions for a re-merger between Malaysia and Singapore, would they?

Ben Hu said...

In his lecture on the history of the Malaysian and Singapore left, Dr Poh Soo Kai has been very consistent in reminding people from both sides of the Johor Straits that Singapore has always been historically and geographically an inalienable part of peninsula Malaya now known as peninsula Malaysia.

Singapore’s relation with peninsula Malaysia can be likened to Hong Kong with mainland China. Interactions and intermingling of people from both sides of the Johor Straits or the Shenzhen River can never be cut off. The linguistic, eating and other daily lifestyle habits of a Malay, Chinese, Indian and or Eurasian from Singapore is hardly discernible from his or her counterpart from peninsula Malaysia whereas a Chinese person from Hong Kong can be easily identified from his or her counterpart from mainland China the minute he or she starts to speak Cantonese freely spiced with Hong Kong jargons or more particularly Mandarin with a heavy Hong Kong Cantonese accent. If Hong Kong can remerge with China, more so Singapore with Malaysia especially if and when the “Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy)” mindset – consciously and systematically perpetrated by the ruling UMNO party with the help of their former British colonial masters – loses its mass appeal and or dominant influence in the daily discourse among younger generations of Malaysians especially those from the Malay community.

The coming 2013 General Election in Malaysia may mark the end of UMNO’s incumbency along with its “Ketuanan Melayu” mindset which forms the ideological anchor of its long-standing “Bumiputra (meaning ‘princely sons of the soil’) Policy” of “ensuring that the native Malay racial majority will enjoy their full share of the nation’s wealth”. This would set the stage for the rise of a “Malaysia for Malaysians” mindset which even current UMNO leaders have to pay lip service to but only the multi-racial Keadilan party leaders are able to put into practice by opening their party doors to all Malaysians regardless of race and religion. The Keadilan-led opposition coalition – Pakatan Rakyat – was able to break the two-third majority stranglehold of the Malaysian parliament by the long-ruling UMNO-led Barisan Nasional during the 2008 GE under the charismatic leadership of Keadilan leader, Anwar Ibrahim whose return from political wilderness was instrumental in helping to pull off such a historic political feat. Former longest-ruling prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew should feel vindicated because his long incumbent People’s Action Party in Singapore was championing the same mindset with the “Malaysian Malaysia” slogan before the PAP was booted out of the Malaysian Federation in 1965.

As for pointing out the fact that Singapore has always been a safe haven for hot money accumulated by super-rich Asian tycoons from newly industrializing countries in East, South and Southeast Asia especially hot cash from Indonesia, China and recently India, Dr Poh has exposed the secret behind the Singapore success story which all boils down to becoming the Switzerland of the super-rich in the region. However, the limited space of barely 700 square kilometers puts a severe cap on how far Singapore can continue playing Switzerland to the tremendous amount of money needed to be laundered and or kept for long-term safekeeping from public auditing in their host countries. Remerging with Malaysia immediately resolves not only space limitation but also aging demographic problems. Surely Lee Kuan Yew and his ruling party elites are more than capable of fathoming this objective limitation to the continuity of Singapore playing the role of being the Switzerland of Asia, aren’t they?

In view of a possible opposition victory in the coming GE in Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim and most of his coalition partners in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat leadership would not be unreceptive to suggestions for a re-merger between Malaysia and Singapore, would they?

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