An open letter to Mr Lee Kuan Yew
October 7, 2010, 12:42 am
Filed under: By Rachel Zeng, Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore

Dear Mr Lee,

May I extend my most sincere condolence to you for the demise of your beloved wife Madam Kwa Geok Choo.

Despite disagreeing with your political tactics over the years, I can deeply empathise with how it feels to lose a loved one to mortality, especially when more than 60 years of love, companionship and good memories have transpired.

As you grieve over your unfortunate loss, do allow me to gently remind you that time is running out – for yourself and the surviving political detainees who were arrested and tortured without trial, reportedly under your instructions.

Some decades have passed by this nation. The younger generation and future generations to come might be brought up to believe in the unjust accusations slapped upon your political opponents from the Barisan Socialis, the trade unionists, and the detainees of 1987 and more. Undoubtedly there will also be a handful of them like my colleagues in activism and myself, who will question the use and abuse of the Internal Security Act on these politicians, trade unionists, journalists, lawyers, artists and social workers. What these men and women went through were considered unjust because they were never given the opportunity of a fair trial. They were reportedly tortured and forced to confess on national television, the validity of the accusations they faced, without the existence of visible evidences.

One questions the fairness of such a procedure for how can an individual be a guilty criminal without going through the process of being proven to be so? You should know better as you are legally trained.

Thus before it becomes too late for you, I implore you to give them the right to speak, the right to a fair trial and the right to clear their names for I believe that like anyone else with a sense of humanity, you would also like to leave this world with a clear heart and conscience, as well as a better name.

Time is running out Mr Lee, do give it a thought. Perhaps by your willingness to give these former detainees a peace of mind to live the rest of their lives with a proper closure to their detention as well as to post-humously clear the names of Lim Chin Siong and many others, will you be able to leave this world with a lesser amount of hate upon your name, by those who are clearly aware of what had happened before.

Help us re-write our history with the truth never known before instead of letting it remain possibly partially false with unproven accusations, especially against the political detainees of 1963 and 1987. You do owe them a fair voice.

Thank you for reading my thoughts and once again, please accept my most sincere condolence for the demise of your beloved wife.

Yours sincerely,

Rachel Zeng


Happy Birthday to Yew!
September 16, 2010, 1:42 pm
Filed under: Lee Kuan Yew

Happy birthday to Yew,

Happy birthday to Yew,

Happy birthday to Yew,

Happy birthday to Yew!!!!

Just for Yew
September 16, 2009, 10:42 pm
Filed under: By Rachel Zeng, Lee Kuan Yew

He turns 86 today, good for him. No one lives forever, Lee, and no one gets younger every year. Not even with the help of pacemakers (and more…). Hehee

Battling snail speed on an ancient laptop since my computer is in coma, I have collected some quotes, links and videos about the man. I can’t believe that there are still so many out there heralding him as the man who cares about Singaporeans.


“Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love – it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they’re conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict.”


“If I were in authority in Singapore indefinitely without having to ask those who are governed whether they like what is being done, then I would not have the slightest doubt that I could govern much more effectively in their interests.”


“We must encourage those who earn less than $200 per month and cannot afford to nurture and educate many children never to have more than two… We will regret the time lost if we do not now take the first tentative steps towards correcting a trend which can leave our society with a large number of the physically, intellectually and culturally anaemic.”


“I make no apologies that the PAP is government and the government is PAP”


“If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society…So what happens? There will be less bright people to support dumb people in the next generation. That’s a problem.”


“We have to lock up people, without trial, whether they are communists, whether they are language chauvinists, whether they are religious extremists. If you don’t do that, the country would be in ruins.”


“I am often accused of interfering in the private lives of citizens. Yes, if I did not, had I not done that, we wouldn’t be here today. And I say without the slightest remorse, that we wouldn’t be here, we would not have made economic progress, if we had not intervened on very personal matters – who your neighbour is, how you live, the noise you make, how you spit, or what language you use. We decide what is right. Never mind what the people think.”


“Now if democracy will not work for the Russians, a white Christian people, can we assume that it will naturally work with Asians?”


“If you are a troublemaker…it’s our job to politically destroy you. Put it this way. As long as JB Jeyaretnam stands for what he stands for – a thoroughly destructive force – we will knock him. Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac.”

“Anybody who decides to take me on needs to put on knuckle-dusters. If you think you can hurt me more than I can hurt you, try. There is no way you can govern a Chinese society.”

“They say people can think for themselves? Do you honestly believe that the chap who can’t pass primary six knows the consequence of his choice when he answers a question viscerally, on language, culture and religion? But we knew the consequences. We would starve, we would have race riots. We would disintegrate.”


“If we had considered them serious political figures, we would not have kept them politically alive for so long. We could have bankrupt them earlier.”


“If I have to shoot 200,000 students to save China from another 100 years of disorder, so be it.”


“Political reform need not go hand in hand with economic liberalisation.. I hold unconventional views about this.. I do not believe if you are a libertarian, full of diverse opinions, full of competing ideas in the market place, full of sound and fury, therefore you will succeed.”


“Please do not assume that you can change governments. Young people don’t understand this”

“Without the elected president and if there is a freak result, within two or three years, the army would have to come in and stop it”


(Should be more but my internet connection here sucks so I have to be quick)

Lee Kuan Yew: Race, Culture and Genes (pdf) 

Lee Kuan Yew Watch