Lee Hsien Yang: Fight Covid-19 first, Singapore polls must wait

Singapore has triggered a “circuit breaker”, a partial lockdown, now that cases of local Covid-19 transmissions have overtaken imported cases. Addressing the country on 3 April, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the move to close schools, shops and offices for non-essential services was aimed at pre-empting more infections.

After weeks of worry, many Singaporeans are now relieved that more stringent measures are being taken to keep them safe from the Covid-19 virus. Yet there remains a strong feeling that the nation is being forced to split its focus at a crucial moment in this health crisis. On 7 April, as people prepare to hunker down at home under the “circuit breaker”, the People’s Action Party (PAP) will be pushing through the Parliamentary Elections (Covid-19 Special Arrangements) Bill.

The Bill is an indication the PAP is putting its interests, and Lee’s, above those of the country and the people it rules. The ruling party seems to be still obsessing over how to call an early election while it has a full year left in its term, during a pandemic the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called “the worst enemy you can ever imagine”.

For someone who urged Singaporeans to “trust that you are not working for personal gain, but for national interests”, Lee’s refusal to rule out an imminent election is baffling.

Since PAP’s defeat is an improbability, why the hurry to the polls? Does it fear the repercussions of the recession that is in the offing? The question needs to be asked: has the government been too reactive and doing too little, just to avoid alarming the people or limit the economic damage? To what degree have its actions been blinkered by its desire to hold an early GE?

At this time, Singapore deserves the undivided attention of the PM and his entire team, to honour the sacrifices of our medical frontliners who face the daily risk of infection. Instead, the ruling party is spending precious time and mental energy on electoral arrangements while new clusters of infection are popping up.

The world has sung Singapore’s praises for its handling of the Covid-19 crisis, citing the many lessons learned during the fight with SARS in 2003. During the SARS outbreak, schools were shut 26 days after the first patient was detected. This time, it has taken more than 70 days since the first Covid-19 case was reported on 23 January. Singaporeans cannot be blamed if they wonder: if SARS was a lesson, why this inordinate delay?

There were a total of 238 cases of SARS in 2003. Covid-19 cases reached the 1,000 mark on 1 April, and now numbers 1,114 (as at 4 April). This is not just any fight. Covid-19 is dramatically more contagious than SARS, and it has been fiendishly difficult to break the chain of infection. Distracted by the push for an early election, did the PAP take its eye off the ball? Do Singaporeans feel the government is putting the welfare of its citizens above all else?

Governments around the world have declared emergencies and about one third of humanity is locked down. Singapore has seemed slower to respond, couching its incremental measures in euphemisms, such as “circuit breaker” and “home-based learning”.

After Lee’s announcement on Friday, a panel of his ministers expounded at length on why these new measures are justified now. Yet Singapore remains at DORSCON Orange. Memes and jokes exploded online and spread through messages, poking fun at the DORSCON status and the colour of Lee’s tie, whether it was orange or red and the true signal of the state of the nation.

Singaporeans should be very angry that the current leadership seems to have misplaced priorities and are also seemingly deaf to grim realities. Definitively ruling out an election for the next few months will lay people’s fears to rest.

Lee asserts that he needs a strong mandate to handle the Covid-19 pandemic. He has 12 months remaining on his watch, and a supermajority in Parliament with 93 percent of seats to boot. Is this existing mandate not sufficient for him to lead Singapore at this time?

With the special Bill, the ruling party is continuing to signal an early election. If called while Covid-19 infections are not fully controlled, an election while Covid-19 is raging will put lives at blatant, unnecessary risk. A risk the people of Singapore, civil servants, the police, volunteers and others involved in the organisation of an election, did not ask for. Mandatory voting means the vulnerable, in particular older folks and those with preexisting conditions, will be forced to court danger.

What Singapore needs right now is a singular, all-consuming focus to take every necessary measure to beat Covid-19. An election during Covid-19 could cause cases to spiral faster.

If there was a time to yearn for the decisive, straight-talking Lee Kuan Yew and the leaders of old, it is now. Being straightforward and open was always the hallmark of Lee Kuan Yew. The PAP of the past acted in the interests of Singaporeans and placed the greater good as its top priority. Singaporeans did not doubt this of the founding fathers of modern Singapore. Such trust needs to be earned by each successive generation of leaders.

 

Lee Hsien Yang

 

*Lee Hsien Yang is a Singaporean business executive. Prior to his business career, he trained as an engineer and served in the Singapore Armed Forces. Lee is the younger son of Singapore’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, and the younger brother of the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

 

* This post was first published on Malaymail and shared by the author on his Facebook page.

 

 

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31 Responses to “Lee Hsien Yang: Fight Covid-19 first, Singapore polls must wait”

  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Although there is MUCH to be desired on your father’s reputation especially the treatment of his oppositions and the Abortion Bill… I will refrain from commenting on it in my comments in response to your Post…

    I watch you and your family very closely after your father’s rise to POWER…you and We Ling seem to have a mind of your own from young, unlike the PM who was Groomed???

    You brought your children up without TV and yet one went on to be a Master in his Profession @ Harvard and the other has a Mind of His Own like you to go the way he LIKES and NOT the way it should be…

    I don’t agree with dynastic follow through and I believe your sister & you think likewise…the worse half in your brother is grooming a white horse??? to seat in a chair being warmed by an Idiot…

    Gladly I would like to see you stand for election with Dr Tan’s party to serve a term or two to Straighten Things for Singapore as in 1959 to 1965…

    If NOT… I wish you and Wei Ling well

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  • Be REAL:

    Hello, pinky and his doggies have been given the current mandate and should fulfill their duty to contain and solve the crisis.

    How come must get another mandate before getting this job done? If cannot deliver, they should not even be asking. It means that they are not up to it.

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  • Singapore needs help:

    We have severe problems with the integrity and ethnical of the leadership in Singapore.

    If Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on 3 April said the move to close schools, shops and offices for non-essential services were aimed at pre-empting more infections. Then, on 06 April, all people have to package their foods and not allow them to consume their meals at the food stalks. Besides, the government will enable the school to resume student activities on 4 May. From all this reported measurement, we presume that we are facing the most significant ever crisis in Singapore. In this situation, we should make a tough decision to stop all significant events, including the election. Not sure why there is a lag in our decision making and still hang on the decision to have an election.

    However, our PM still insists on a ongoing election, why our government are put people life and our political landscape into a significant risk at the expense of their governed party interest. It is irresponsible, with all this consideration, Singaporean should stand up and support Lee Hsien Yang’s claimed of:

    “The PAP of the past acted in the interests of Singaporeans and placed the greater good as its top priority. Singaporeans did not doubt this of the founding fathers of modern Singapore. Such trust needs to be earned by each successive generation of leaders.”

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  • Dr. Chan:

    @LHy
    Please have your name on the ballot box against the dishonorable Ah Loong. I am very sure you will win because you have true heart for Singaporeans. Not playing politics.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    @Mr. Lee Hsien Yang; don’t you think this is the best time for PAP to call for General Election? Who cares what would happens to voters?

    Now is the best time to call GE, this situation is the best period to hold the voters at ransom! Whatever PAP’s demands must be met!

    PAP has delayed effective action and deliberately imported infections into SG to make a bad situation worse, just to ensure the taskforce is most needed.

    As an analogy. You signed a renovation agreement and paid a deposit with a contractor to do up your house. He started knocking up every thing. Later he asked for an increase in the agreed sum, with all kind of excuses. If you agreed, he continues, otherwise he returns part of the deposit, retaining a big portion of it for demolition work done.

    In this Covid-19 situation, PAP asks for mandate of 5 years for a job that others required 6 to 8 weeks. PAP also wants a stronger team but using the same members. With this situation getting worse each day we are stuck!!

    Singaporeans, pray! People, pray hard! Hope the 70% will be wise enough this time to tell PAP “enough is enough”!

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  • With you:

    SG should stay focused with full concentration and maximum effort on tackling covid-19 instead of multitasking with divided attention. Most of us are 老百姓 the average joe who find efforts & resources diverted to deal with “unrelated” covid-19 subject unfathomable & perplexing. Spare a kind thought for the common folks. We are only simple-minded 老百姓 trying to stay healthy to make ends meet, not some insignificant & expendable digits.

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:

    If his brother decides to proceed with the elections, LHY should join the Opposition and be a candidate.

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  • WakeupSG:

    CNA:Local universities cancel in-person examinations, move assessments online
    https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid-19-universities-ntu-smu-cancel-in-person-examinations-12607906

    If local universities can cancel in-person exams, why govt can’t cancel Pandemic GE given that the risk of being infected is much greater when the Covid-19 virus is still raging on!

    How can SG STAND UNITED when Pinky is thinking of calling a Pandemic GE causing much divisiveness & dilution of limited resources in our fight vs Covid-19 virus which is more contagious than SARS?

    All the crying & clappings for the frontline workers’ sacrifices will be in vain when the govt is sending wrong signal to them that we are more interested in getting a “selfish mandate” from Pandemic GE than to co-labour with them to fight the “invisible enemy” first!

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  • Great Asia:

    Will PAP fat cats tell you about the travel patterns of those people infected with coronavirus?

    I have been asking this question since day one. And I’ve been telling you that PAP monkeys are wayanging.

    It’s not difficult for any discerning Singaporean to notice that Honourable son will want to exploit this opportunity to hold the General Election. As this will be his last GE as the PM of Singapore, so he wants a BIG win to be his swansong.

    He has been trying to keep Singapore “business as usual”, so that the PAP fat cats can have the time to plan and execute the GE.

    This evil soul has used Singaporean’s health to exchange for this political legacy!

    Ha ha ha!

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  • Great Asia:

    Don’t be hoodwinked by this evil soul!

    Don’t let him use the Constitution as an excuse to hoodwinked you into holding the General Election.

    They had changed the Constitution to create a half-Malay President. They can do anything to the Constitution, as long as it serves the goal of PAP.

    To the PAP monkeys, the Constitution is just toilet paper.

    Ha ha ha!

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  • Great Asia:

    The spread of the coronavirus has gone out of control because Honourable son wants to keep Singapore business as usual for him to hold the General Election.

    The so called contact tracing is just a wayang!

    From day one until now I’ve been trying to warn you against the motive of this monster.

    Ha ha ha!

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  • TruBlu:

    Holding GE DURING COVID is actually SWITCHING ON THE *CIRCUIT BREAKER* n contradicts the govt efforts to slow down the flow of germs.

    Can MEDICAL DIRECTOR say not???

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  • silenceIsGolden:

    Election PAP style is simple. No rally. No need to go out to campaign. Use youtube to speak your peace. Period. All vote online. Done. Over and out.

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  • Crap PAP:

    “SG-United” slogan is a scam created jointly by PAP, PA and CNA to drum up support for PAP in the coming election.

    PAP is using taxpayers money to boost more votes for themselves.

    Election MUST NOT happen now.

    If PAP force it on us, we should vote more Opposition in Parliament.

    Let’s give Dr Chee, Dr Paul Tambyah, Lawyer Lim Thean and Dr Tan CB a chance to serve us better.

    With more Oppositions in Parliament, PAP will work much harder for next 5 yrs for the good of Singaporeans.

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  • Harder Truths:

    SG locals are ballsless. No point telling them anything. Let the disease destroy as many as it can. After that there is a global depression. That will kill off more $G locals.

    After than the pappy plan is to replace all the killed off by FT – simple and practical. $G locals have no use but to live and die as slaves.

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  • No election lah:

    No election lah.
    Concentrate on the Virus problem.
    Save lives more important.

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  • N.Jungne:

    See the difference between an honest person and the Greedy devil

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  • Nk:

    One min.tell people to stay united.next min to stay
    One meter apart.can go bonkers.

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  • MarBowling:

    Mai Hum and his best friend Trump BOTH have the same and similar DNA when BOTH WILL” I DO WHATEVER I WANT. So expect Mai Hum to “DO WHATEVER I WANT” TO WIN THE COMING GE! Period.

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  • pap now is wear mask bfr kenna:

    pap lies, all the time.

    not enough masks. pap says, wear mask only when kenna.

    but as paper cannot cover fire, pap now lan lan. 180 degrees belakang pusing. pap now says, wear mask before kenna.

    but sheep is not so sheep after all. sheep asks, where got mask?

    pap no choice. give sheep some token of mask, the WASHABLE mask, although utterly useless one since only surgical masks work.

    sheep all happily wait long long for useless mask.

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  • Kiasuderen s/o Kiasideren:

    During this period of calamity, old people are getting more and more kiasi. Forcing them to go out voting is a cause for concern as they are the most vulnerable lot. And maids have to accompany them to the polling stations.

    The dire consequence is a catastrophic calamity. Name it CoronaGE.. for such a landmark decision in the history of Mankind.

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  • oxygen:

    @ Crap PAP

    ABSOLUTELY!! Pandemic election is PAPpypolitics’s own fabricated virus.

    Crap PAP: “SG-United” slogan is a scam created jointly by PAP, PA and CNA to drum up support for PAP in the coming election.

    PAP is using taxpayers money to boost more votes for themselves.

    Election MUST NOT happen now.

    If PAP force it on us, we should vote more Opposition in Parliament.

    Let’s give Dr Chee, Dr Paul Tambyah, Lawyer Lim Thean and Dr Tan CB a chance to serve us better.

    With more Oppositions in Parliament, PAP will work much harder for next 5 yrs for the good of Singaporeans.

    Why?

    NEVER TRUST POLITICIANS’ MOUTHS IN CRISIS. To avoid doubt, just ask Jeanne Claude Juncker, EU longest serving president.

    Jean-Claude Juncker profile: ‘When it becomes serious, you have to lie’

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/10874230/Jean-Claude-Juncker-profile-When-it-becomes-serious-you-have-to-lie.html

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    MarBowling:
    Mai Hum and his best friend Trump BOTH have the same and similar DNA when BOTH WILL” I DO WHATEVER I WANT. So expect Mai Hum to “DO WHATEVER I WANT” TO WIN THE COMING GE! Period.

    Comparing Trump with the IDIOT is an insult to the word “SAME” one is a Man and the other 1/4 of it

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  • JUNelect:

    Hey lhy, your daddy was the one who created this system, true right hearted native citizens like chiam, jeya, tang liang hong, etc., knew long ago this system was sorrily flawed! Had you not been booted out from Fraser and heave with your wife and son now fallen from grace, no complaints would have been heard

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  • JUNelect:

    The same goes for the likes of tcb?

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  • TruBlu:

    Mr Lhy shud join the oppo as one of the LEADERS;he is more than qualified.

    He came from the INSIDE N i am 100 pct sure,he knows much more than most other people.

    Hope Mr Lhy can do sgs a good turn

    We need REAL LOCAL TALENTS NOW!
    Where is BOY GEORGE,he said he will come to sgs’ help when needed?

    Or,was he talk talk birdie only?

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  • Good for older people:

    Kiasuderen s/o Kiasideren:
    During this period of calamity, older adults are getting more and more kiasi. Forcing them to go out voting is a cause for concern as they are the most vulnerable lot. And maids have to accompany them to the polling stations.

    The dire consequence is a catastrophic calamity. Name it CoronaGE.. for such a landmark decision in the history of Mankind.

    Older adults also infected or impacted badly by the virus. They are having a hard time to survive during the crisis period. If you want them to vote might well kill them, maybe that is the way to relieve their suffering. In this situation, PM is doing something good for their life then they are happier to thanks him to expedite the election.

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  • Baby boom during stay in:

    During this stay in the period, PM should promote more ejection rather than election. Maybe we can have more chances for the baby boom. Why still insisting on the election? The policies are rigid, but our mind or decision is flexible, by changing the scenario, it will benefit our policy.

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Reported on Stomp website :Quote – ”
    Man’s body found floating in Bedok….

    Cherlynn Ngmail
    Posted on 06 April 2020 | 29,269 views | 11 comments | 356 reading now
    Submitted by Stomper Anonymous

    This story was submitted via Web contribution form.

    This story was submitted via Facebook. Click here to join our Facebook page.

    A body was discovered floating in the waters of Bedok Reservoir on Monday morning (Apr 6).

    Stomper Anonymous was jogging in the area when he noticed police officers at the scene.

    Anonymous said: “At that time, the death tent was not up yet but there were many police officers around. They said a body had been found and were cordoning off the area.”

    In response to a Stomp query, the police said they were alerted to a case of unnatural death at Bedok Reservoir at 7.34am.

    The body of a man was retrieved and he was pronounced dead at scene by a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedic.

    Police investigations are ongoing.

    Stomp has contacted the SCDF for more info….. “Unquote.

    Response :Another man need to learn swimming lesson in Bedok reservoir again. This is the type of government who only take care of women welfare such that so many men need to learn swimming lessons in reservoir. Look at all those beast women in human resource all employing all the women for jobs until all the men serve National Service are not given priority for the good paying job. No wonder so many men need to learn swimming. Just wonder this man got contract corona virus or not. If he has, who knows his saliva or dead body inside the Bedok reservoir will spread the Corona virus to the water to the Bedok residents or not?

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  • 陈大婶:

    Go AMK fight.

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Yesterday, I went to Punggol to get my re – usable mask (second time for mask) . Previously, I write on TR Emeritus that re-useable mask this time round may issue just two pieces (actually, there is sarcasm, I really expect one then) And reality, this round the Punggol e*** women wing side just issue one miserable piece of re-useable mask and probably expect everybody to use it and wash it forever without spoilt or damage. However this time round, the distribution of re-useable mask uses less manual labour of just about four to five persons. Maybe I went late at night and so no need so many people ???? However it is still a waste of all resident’s time to come and collect just one mask. Such mask should effectively be distributed by Singapore postage by mail to our letterbox instead, those evil no brainer PAP women wing chose to do things in a non productive way. Why is our “top brainer” GCT see a wrong in non productive way of distributing out mask (and this is not the first time of non productive distribution) , yet the “top brainer” GCT keep his mouth shut about such wrongdoing way of mask distribution which keep repeating, and wasting people time to travel, effort, and bus fares,………. Is GCT even a “top brainer” in any aspect when he see a wrong but keep his mouth shut and there is forever no improvement.

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