26
三月

新加坡國父–李光耀

作者 : 客座隨筆   在 邁向現代 Road to Modernity

李光耀先生 (Lee Kuan Yew) 被稱譽為新加坡國父,於2015年3月23日凌晨3時18分病逝,享年91歲,全國悲痛,舉世哀悼。他生前對新加坡的貢獻偉大,對全球的影響深遠,毋庸置疑;從新加坡國民的角度和親歷去審視他的功業,則更為真確。海遠和雅帆的好友「祖」兄,在香港土生土長,已一直僑居新加坡十多年,雅帆特邀他講述對李光耀逝世的感言,以表悼念,亦為歷史留存印記,全文載錄如下:

Lee Kuan Yew is undisputedly the founder of Singapore and a gifted politician. Although we may not fully agree with his ways to rule the country, he had done a lot for Singapore by establishing an efficient and clean government, his focus was how to benefit the country and make Singapore a success. I think the politicians in Hong Kong can learn a lot from him. However, due to different political and social backgrounds of Hong Kong and Singapore, the Singapore model would not work if it is 100% copied and applied to Hong Kong; the vice versa is also true. Below is a summary for your reference.

“" As the founding father of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew was a strong nation builder who pulled the Chinese, Malays and Indians together after the Second World War to create a Singaporean identity based on multiculturalism. He formulated the government policies with a realistic assessment of a small country’s limitations, created an efficient public administration and set up incentives schemes to attract foreign investments which is the foundation of Singapore’s economic takeoff. I think what sets Singapore apart from other Asian nations is that Lee was strongly against corruption and he introduced severe measures to stamp out the corruption practice so that the benefits of its economic boom would not mainly benefit the privileged class.

Lee offered a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. When Deng Xiao Ping visited Singapore in 1978, he expressed his admiration for the economic policies of Singapore. Subsequently Singapore was chosen as the hosting venue for the first meeting of Taiwan and China government representatives. As one of the few statesmen who managed to establish a good relationship with the China leaders (and Taiwan as well) when the Cultural Revolution in China came to an end, his visionary insights about China and Asia was highly regarded by various US presidents, the UK prime ministers and other administrations around the world.

As an authoritarian with paternalistic leadership style, sometimes even down to micro management, Lee believed that western democracy was not suited for developing nations and discipline, social order and authority should take precedence over the western values of individualism, liberalism and democracy. Singapore has restricted press freedom and democracy according to the Western standards under his iron-fisted rule, Lee once invoked Machiavelli in declaring: “If nobody is afraid of me, I’m meaningless.” During one of his interviews with the foreign press, he said: “I did some sharp and hard things to get things right. Maybe some people disapproved of it…. but a lot was at stake and I wanted the place to succeed, that’s all".

Nowadays the Singapore’s younger generation is more accustomed to free expression on social media and the current prime minister of Singapore (son of Lee Kuan Yew) has said that it is a different generation and a different political scene. Many people are expecting the government to deliver a kinder and gentler Singapore.

Many elite politicians can sell their visions (or dreams in layman terms) successfully to their people and become country leaders, but not many of them can walk the talk afterwards. Lee Kuan Yew knew that what most ordinary people want is job, food, house and security. Some people may love him, some people may hate him, but it is fair to say that he is one of the few statesmen who could make the vision to become true during his lifetime and today Singapore has become a country that its citizens are proud of.""

【後記】「祖」兄補充說:

“Singapore government has also realised that there is inherent weakness in the Singapore model as people may rely too much on the government’s support and direction. The willingness to take risk is not strong enough among the locals (when compared with the people from China and India) to create new innovative industry and overseas business ventures. Sometimes even the elites may be afraid to take risk in drawing up new government or business strategies as failures would not be tolerated in the past. As a remedial measure the government has launched some campaigns to tell people that they should be more innovative and take certain risks, an initial failure may not be a bad thing if they can learn the lesson and turn it into a success afterwards.

It would be interesting to see how the two models, Singapore (after the Lee Kuan Yew era) and Hong Kong (after the political turmoil last year) would evolve over the next 10 to 20 years.”

備註:「祖」兄對《海遠網誌》的支持,仝人謹此衷心致謝。

這篇文章發表 於 星期四, 三月 26th, 2015 7:57 下午 在 邁向現代 Road to Modernity. 你可以回應這篇文章透過 RSS 2.0 feed. 你可以 留下回覆, 或 引用 從你的個人網站.

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