Potpouri at Causeway

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mahatir Versus Lee Kuan Yew

Tun Dr. Mahatir snapped at Lee Kuan Yew again for making a comment in New York Times that Malaysia is a failed state by allowing schools of various streams in Malay, Tamil and Mandarin.

Mahatir criticised Lee Kuan yew for being racist and not abiding by UMNO-PAP agreement that Lee would not participated in Peninsular politics after Singapore joined Malaysia. Doesn't this sound very much apartheid  where Singapore and Lee were to be  separated from Peninsular and Malaysian politics?

Mahatir has treated Singapore as  a Bantustan just because it has been predominantly resided by Chinese and Non-Malays. But Mahatir cannot change the fact that Singapore has always been apart of Malay Archipelago, and used to be of Johor Sultanate once a upon a time.    

No country in history has so willingly given away part of its territory except by UMNO and apartheid regime in the context of "Bantustan" or Hoemleand in order to sustain numerically  racial supremacy. Mahatir has twisted the fact that, at that material time, the racial proportion was at the formation of Malaysia.

Secession of Singapore was inevitable to maintain UMNO's Malay supremacy theory.

Nonetheless,  Lee Kuan Yew commented  that vernacular schools are the source of failing economy and disunity among Malaysians. In reality, it is the discriminative education policy towards various schools and the creation  Malay-only schools and higher education centers that causes disunity.

Multilingualism is not the cause of disunity as has been proven otherwise  in Switzerland, Canada, Belgium and many other countries. English is not the only wonder that unites people of all races as Lee likes to put it. Singapore's main competitor, Hong Kong is largely  Cantonese speaking  although English and Mandarin are spoken as second languages.  Cantonese is still a predominant language of instruction in schools in Hong Kong.

Lee can rule the island state of Singapore with his own prejudice but not a much diverse and bigger country like Malaysia. His vision has made Singapore an advanced nation but might have not worked for other countries. .


  1. Boo you are wrong. Hong kong had China as the hinterland, so in spite of lacking in English (thank goodness) prowess, they could do a lot of business. Plus historically they had a better base of merchants whereas Singapore was made up of the lower class people of different nationalities.

    Singapore had to use every trick in the book to win small wins which was primarily to feed its people. I dont think there was grandoise plans in the beginning, just survival. Its discipline imposed by LKY and the team brought it up.

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