The team of writers was led/assembled by none other than Han Fook Kwang, the Straits Times editor who also wrote the book "LKY the Man and his Ideas". I guess the first book did not sell MM Lee's ideas hard enough so we need a 2nd book to get the hard truths across. When PM said he was going to gazette TOC as a political association, he said that it "has the potential to influence the opinions of their readership and shape political outcomes in Singapore". Now anyone with common sense is asking why isn't SPH & the Straits Times gazetted? With MM Lee appearing in the newspapers every other day, if not every day, to express his wise thoughts why does one need to get a book to understand his ideas?
I remember a speech by Bill Clinton a few years back. He warned about people who believe they possess the 'absolute' or 'hard' truths because it can lead to actions and decisions that are extreme and detrimental to human society.
"We do not want duds like Chee Soon Juan and JB Jeyaretnam getting into Parliament"- MM Lee during an interview for the book.
That was what he believed...and so he went on to have them bankrupted and 'demolished'. But all these people wanted to do was promote democracy in Singapore. When Singaporeans voted MM Lee into office 5 decades ago, Singapore was among the most democratic countries in Asia. Phillipines, Indonesia, Thailand were either ruled by dictators or under martial law. We had many independent newspapers, many strong political parties and a politically vibrant society. Today, many countries S. Korea, Phillipines, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and even Malaysia have made progress to towards becoming full blown democracies while Singapore has turned into a one party state ruled by semi-authoritarian leaders. MM Lee has put in place an elitist system based on selection. You can read about how he came to the conclusion that such a system is superior to liberal democracy in Straits Times editor Han Fook Kwang's book "Lee Kuan Yew : The Man and His Ideas"[Chapter extract found here ]. While most would agree that good (the best) men with the right motivation to serve should be selected for the civil service, he extended this idea to the extreme by limiting various freedoms (speech & press) and eliminating the competition of ideas by repressing political opponents so that the selection system will have primacy over democratic elections....along the way, the PAP created GRCs and linked votes to estate upgrading. The reality is after decades of MM Lee's undemocratic system, Singapore is 27th on UN HFI and every single country above Singapore is a democracy and most are liberal democracies.Chee and JBJ are not duds. The 82 people put in place by his selection system who allowed GST to be increased, ministers' pay to reach the highest on the planet, foreign influx to be so massive, and rejected the idea of minimum decent wage for workers....these people are the real duds.
"I’m not intellectually convinced that one-man, one-vote is the best. We practise it because that’s what the British bequeathed us" - MM Lee.[Link]
At the end of the day, we still have a "one-man-one vote" system which the PAP did not find a way to get rid of. While they undermine it by linking votes to upgrading and controlling the media to spread their propaganda, Singaporeans still do not have this right taken away from them. When ordinary Singaporeans stand in voting booth, they will ask themselves 2 questions, "Is my life better that it was 4 years ago? Will my children's lives be better 10 years from today?"....in the coming months, the one truth that will emerge is you cannot earn people's votes by making their lives worse....and this truth will soon dawn on the PAP!