A Singapore without LKY
When Chok Tong became the PM, LKY took a step back. This was the first phase of preparing Singapore to continue without a LKY. It was the beginning of a transition. LKY was like the dowagers behind the veil, there in the background to keep things in check. When Hsien Loong took over the rein from Chok Tong, it was expected that the transition to a Singapore would move one step ahead and be complete, and LKY would fade away from the political scene. He had achieved what he wanted for Singapore and what he wanted for himself as a father. He could spend his time telling stories to his grandchildren. The transition of Singapore to the next phase, to run efficiently and effectively in the absence of LKY, is vital to give the impression that Singapore can continue on its own under a new leadership. And even without LKY, it will not run to a halt, there will be no leadership crisis and no drastic changes in policies and direction. The ethos and ways of doing businesses, running the country, will be as predictable as before. In other words, have faith and confidence that things will be normal. The last couple of years have seen LKY not only in front of the veil, but walking beside Hsien Loong in the running of state affairs. In some instances he was walking ahead. The direct participation of LKY in state affairs can be seen in different ways. From the positive angle, we have the strongest team ever, the Dream Team, running the country. We have two Dep PMs, a PM, an Immediate Past PM and LKY himself. It is a formidable team. The strongest team that Singapore ever had. What is a bit troubling is that the transition of a Singapore to a post LKY era is back at square one. It is still the LKY era with LKY fully in charge. It may be a perception, a wrong perception, but still a perception. For those doomsayers, there will be a new song to be sung. Or old song actually. What would Singapore be like without LKY? Will it sink, will there be a leadership crisis, will the new team be able to manage without him? Will there be fear, a loss of confidence and a flight of capital and investment? We have unwittingly taken a big step back in our process of having a Singapore running confidently and proving to the world that with or without LKY nothing changes. Is this good or bad?