Singapore beyond Lee Kuan Yew
3 prominent politically well versed citizens spoke about a Singapore after LKY in a seminar organised by NTU yesterday. Mahbubani, Cherian George and Ho Kwon Ping gave their takes on what Singapore will become by then. There were concerns and optimism that all the things that needed to be done have been done to ensure that Singapore will continue to survive after LKY. But the 'huge political vacuum' created by LKY's sheer presence is very telling on whether anyone can fill his shoe. To make such a remark, it shows that after all these years, not a single one that is being groomed is close to fill the gap. Is this what we called a very successful leadership grooming and transfer process? Why is the best and ablest still fall so fall short of the expectation? Ho Kwon Ping made this observation, "This is not a pent up society waiting for the demise of the strongman in order to overturn highly unpopular laws." He added, 'Rather, the Govt has the support of the politically vital heartland in its pragmatic, incremental approach to change, even as it responds to tomorrow's generation.' These remarks suggest that Ho Kwon Ping has a lot of faith that nothing will change and the heartland is all behind the unpopular laws of the Govt. I am wondering how he came to such a conclusion. My reading is just contrary to his observation. But mine is based on my own reading of the mood of the people and what I have heard and read. The very fact that there is great fear of a split within the PAP is an indication of the differences in the views of the current leadership. And if that be true, how big is the schism and would it be big enough to overturn most of the unpopular policies? As for the heartlanders, they are very reticent in what they feel except for the kopitiam talks and what one heard inside a cab. I have my doubts that the present heartlanders are the same heartlanders of yesterday.