Politics Is For Every Citizen

You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.

I grew up in a family at the centre of Singapore politics. From the time I was born in 1957, politics was a part of my family, as my father fought first for independence for our country and then led the challenging and arduous journey Singapore took to nationhood.

It would have been the most natural thing for me to have entered political office. But political leadership in Singapore needs to be much more than about one family or one man. The empirical evidence shows that dynastic politics causes bad government. When people enter politics on the back of the family name, they are often evaluated based on their parents and not their performance. This unfair advantage undermines meritocracy. How can we expect politicians to hold each other to account, if they are blood relations?

I chose instead to enter the world of business, to be accountable to shareholders, employees and customers, and the community. I also sought to contribute to Singapore through volunteering in other institutions beyond my corporate roles. I wanted to forge my own path, to be my own man and a man of my word.

I have chosen not to stand for political office because I believe Singapore does not need another Lee. I am interested in politics. I am involved through speaking up, by supporting candidates and parties I believe in, by contributing my time, ideas and resources to causes I support, and by seeking an open and independent media. I do not seek power, prestige or financial rewards of political office. I hope to be a catalyst for change.

Being involved in politics can take many different forms. Amongst others it needs citizens to be aware of and contribute to the public discourse in the country, to support political parties one believes in, and to help them reach out to other voters. It is support for an independent media and for open and transparent government. It is being engaged, speaking truth to power, volunteering one’s time and contributing financially or otherwise for causes that one believes in. Politics is both the right and the duty of every citizen.

Our country needs a broad and diverse parliament with members who care for its citizens and the future of our nation and hold themselves accountable to the citizens. It needs people from different walks of life who can imagine, inspire and execute. We need new ideas to reinvigorate Singapore. We must have genuine discussions and rigorous debate involving a diversity of Singaporean voices as we seek to navigate the challenging waters ahead. We need leaders who listen and who are receptive to those voices and needs.

In the last few years, I have been approached by countless Singaporeans who have asked me to stand for political office. These are Singaporeans from all walks of life. I am deeply humbled. Many Singaporeans are very troubled that Singapore no longer has the leadership it needs. Sadly, the current government has failed its people. The rising anger and frustrations of the populace speaks for itself. The PAP has lost its way.

We need to take action now. Speak up and be heard. Discuss openly the issues facing our country. Read and share independent journalism. Seek transparency and accountability in government. Talk to your friends and family to help them see the need for change. Volunteer your time and resources to support the parties you believe in.

Vote fearlessly. Rescue the future of the country we love.

Politics is not just for politicians. It is for every citizen.


* Facebook post by Lee Hsien Yang.




19 Responses to “Politics Is For Every Citizen”

  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    PAP “lost its way”? Whilst we applaud Yang’s cry for diversity and freedom for participation, etc., we must urge him to acknowledge that much of the “way” was LKY/PAP’s all along, resulting in this “climate of fear”, etc. Indeed, any change from the “old guards” days as represented by LKY/Goh Keng Swee has been some easing of “fear”, etc., which present day PAP has brought about.

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  • Uselesspap:

    political parties are not in favour of foreign workers.
    Many good and high paying jobs will disappear, especially from the MNCs.

    Singaporeans must realise that jobs and opportunities have to be created. They don’t come naturally. If we fail where are we going to find jobs? In our neighbouring countries? Can we earn what we are earning now? Will there be jobs for us?Are we welcome?
    Another important thing is 90 over percent of our daily necessities are imported if we fail can we survive?
    So think, if there is

    Look around you la,

    Asean, don’t look so far.

    You think pap loose this election , ALL MONEY , BUSINESS, GONE !!





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  • trublu:

    HY is right,politics is part n parcel of every citizen even if we are just A LITTLE RED DOT; in fact,more so than countries with vast expanse of LAND MASS?!
    WE ARE SO COMPACT,everywhere we go in SINGAPORE,somehow POLITICAL DECISIONS will affect us deeply.
    If you were living in the forest in TAIWAN IR EVEN Malaysia,you can choose to *avoid* politics but not in LITTLE RED DOT!

    Abd so,every sg,like HY says,must be *INVOLBRD* im politics one way or another.
    We can stand actively as activists or even election candidates and even if we choose to be bystanders,WE MUST EXCERCISE GRAVE DISCERN WHEN VOTING.

    YES,PAAP has lost its way indeed.

    Vote for ALTERNATIVE!

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  • disappointed:

    A bit disappointed..
    Singapore don’t care whether you are a Lee…
    Only want good man that can stand and fight for and with them…

    Action type…not good talker only.

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  • REGIME CHANGE is the solution:


    Vote for Opposition parties. Throw out the PAP. It is that simple.

    Also, most important is to convince your family members and friends to do the same.

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  • Bernard:

    Good day Sir Hsien Yang,

    Your sharing is positive and true.

    Every citizen has a part to play in politics.
    - In Shaping of our lives and nation
    - In Creating a better and brighter future for our children
    - In Ensuring the less fortunate, disable and disadvantage are care for too
    - In ensuring Justice and Equality
    - In ensuring Safety and Security and more.

    We as citizens can contribute in many and different ways. Not just joining a political party as you rightfully said. My ex Mother-in-law is one freaking blind bat, ungrateful and an indoctrinated ivory tower living in that, she’s SATAN in disguise. Outward holy and inward EVIL. She lived in past beholden glory and current material glamour with total blindness to a changing environment.

    Hope, our effort of sharing and educating evolution of bad PAP incumbents in current governance, will yield changes in eradicating evil PAP individual and to replace with good individual.

    God save Singaporeans and Singapore.


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  • TumasikPatriot:

    Nature vs Nurture…Yang, you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT and you have my greatest Respect “HORMAT”

    Singapore will be DEPRIVED of a Brilliant analytical and Commonsense Mind…

    I, for one not a great admirer of your dad and dynastic Follow Through with cronies & relatives in tow…willingly without reservation accepts a Patriot REGARDLESS!!!…

    and…I BELIEVE you are a TRUE PATRIOT with People & Nation in mind

    to serve even for a single term to put Right what had gone WRONG is the RIGHT thing to do…that is what I believe Doc’s vision is and I M sure you share the same vision…

    Mould a Team that has the same vision as 1959 when people from all walk of Life join the PAP to OUST a corrupt and inefficient SPA headed by Lim Yew Hock and like they say the rest is History until the 80s when they Broke the MOULD!!!

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  • oxygen:

    SINKIES HAD BETTER WAKE UP – if you DON’T CHOSE the future, the “future” will chose you.

    The world will always be buffeted by turbulence, sly and devious political interest will manipulate what is left OF OPPORTUNITIES that emerges thereon to
    further their own advantages and profit of power, longevity of hegemony preservation and money grabs AT YOUR EXPENSE OF THE SILENT MAJORITY.

    Wake up and listen to contrary voices that refused to be tamed – they often tells you uncorrupted unpolished truths which prostitute media would work very hard to hide from your eyes and minds.

    AND POFMA IS A PIMP working overtime with prostitute press to blindfold peasants.

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  • PAPVID-20:

    What a master stroke by LHY. By just joining an oppo party and not contesting, his words are now ever more powerful and convincing than if he were to run in the election.

    If he’d join PSP’s Tanjong Pagar team, only residents there would pay attention to his speeches. But now that he’s only another citizen supporting the oppositions to deny the present ruling party from taking almost all seats in parliament, his words would make the fence sitters sit up and think harder. He could sway many votes towards the oppos.

    Don’t need to contest in the election, LHY has already sent chills down the papies’ spin; made his d!shonourable bro look so sickly and the DPM so kan keong and confused. It just shows that LHY is much wiser and a greater strategist than his useless bro who managed to stay in power only bcoz of all the Yes-Men around him.

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  • TCB = The Circuit Breaker:

    Tan Cheng Bock aka The Circuit Breaker that arrests the Lightning from killing common Singaporeans.

    Chee Soon Juan aka Chief Singaporean Justicebao who fights incessantly for Singaporeans’ justice and equality.

    May God guide them to the long desired fair Parliament.

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  • Great Asia:

    The era of American hegemony has been ended by Trump.

    After 500 years, non white civilisations have finally risen again. The world will be shifting into multilateralism in the next 10 years. There will be many challenges ahead. Singapore will need strong leadership in the next decade, we can’t allow bananas to lead this country. Because they will drag all of us into geopolitics.

    My opinion:

    Tharman be the next PM.
    Lee Hsien Young be the next President.


    We can prevent:
    1) LEE from making himself the Minister Mentor.
    2) Ho Ching from ruling this country from behind the curtain.
    3) PAP from making Singapore to be the Israel of ASEAN.

    Ha ha ha!

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Reported on Straits Times :Quote – “Singapore GE2020: WP’s East Coast team expects ‘a good fight’ against PAP team led by Heng Swee Keat

    WP candidate for East Coast GRC Nicole Seah greets residents during a walkabout at Bedok North, on July 1, 2020. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH
    Jolene Ang
    SINGAPORE – The Workers’ Party (WP) team contesting East Coast GRC expects a good fight against its People’s Action Party (PAP) rivals led by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, calling his inclusion in the PAP line-up a pleasant surprise.

    Mr Kenneth Foo, who is part of the WP’s East Coast team, told reporters on Wednesday (July 1): “We were pleasantly surprised that Mr Heng actually made the move from Tampines GRC to East Coast GRC… He has been on national television, everyone knows he is the DPM, and we think that it will be a good fight.”

    But the WP team will stay focused on its plan to work with and reach out to more residents in the area, said Mr Foo, 43, who ran in Nee Soon GRC in 2015, where his team lost to a PAP team led by Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam.

    He said: “For the past five years, we have been ploughing the ground. We have worked with and (tried to) understand the residents, set up new programmes to help the residents.”

    He added: “Although we are a new team here, the work has been consistently done.”

    This marks the fourth time the WP is fielding a team in East Coast GRC. At the 2015 GE, it lost to a PAP team anchored by then Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, with 39.3 per cent of the votes against PAP’s 60.7 per cent.

    Mr Foo and his four WP teammates are all running in the constituency for the first time. His team members are Mr Dylan Ng, 44, who works in finance; Mr Terence Tan, 49, a lawyer; Mr Shariff Kassim, 54, a former researcher; and Ms Nicole Seah, 33, an associate director in a multinational marketing firm…. “Unquote.

    Response : Seem like Nicole Seah is still well received in East Coast. I think she is still a vote booster afterall. And she is from marketing company. So marketing is really her trade. However the end is still WP will lose at East Coast. For how could the future PM Heng Swee Keat lose to WP. If Heng Swee Keat loses, that’s the end of his future PM position. And Heng is smart enough to take over a departing Swiss Standard ghost position.

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  • MarBowling:

    Great and insightful comments by Lee HY.

    A down-to-earth person who REALLY CAN UNDERSTAND what is happening in our beloved country, especially what the COMMON FOLKS ARE FACING SINCE HIS ELDER BROTHER SQUATTED ON THE IMPERIAL THRONE!

    Voters in the coming Pandemic ERECTION, please LISTEN to what Lee HY HAS COMMENTED. VOTE WISELY!

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  • Soccerbetting2:

    Nowadays, everywhere we go, we need to go through temperature scanner that send certain radiation rays amount to our head brain. If we keep entering different department stores in the mall, again and again such radiation amount from scanner is transmitting to our head and returning a signal temperature to the scanner. The question is whether the continuous scanning of such radiation levels even though minute, will it create cancer effects on the long run of accumulation effects daily in and out? Obviously, everything will be brushed off as nothing will happen and those temperature radiation scanner will be safe to the body. What about patients that already have health problem in their body being affected by the daily accumulation of temperature scanner radiation dosage. Our society will always be tune to what those manufacturers say and none will say their equipment unequal to deliver safe radiation on the long run. So should we have some awareness of such problem. Obviously, if you scan one or two times daily, there will not be much of a problem to healthy people. Sick people with muscle, nerve, or whatever problem, will there be dangerous effect to them? Just query. Again TR Emeritus may shamelessly block my post from posting?I have a lot of solutions to solve problem for the country, but whether I want to give my ideas is another issue. So don’t block me off totally.

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  • Nicky:

    Can someone clarify why during the televised debate on 1st July, Vivian insisted that there was no mention regarding 10 million population? It was reported on The Straits Times dated 29 March 2019, and I quote The Straits Times as follow:

    “On the projected population of 6.9 million by 2030, set out in the Government’s 2013 Population White Paper, Mr Heng said the number goes beyond how densely populated Singapore would be. The social space is as important.

    Singapore’s population density is not excessive, he said, noting that other cities are a lot more crowded in terms of liveable space.

    He cited former chief planner Liu Thai Ker, who said in 2014 that Singapore should plan for 10 million people for it to remain sustainable in the long term.“

    Here is the link to the article: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/sporeans-must-remain-open-to-foreigners-says-heng

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  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    The ST report on it today states that whilst Heng did refer to Liu Thai Ker’s, he “did not mention 10 million” but only Liu’s saying that we are not yet overcrowded. But surely Heng DID quote Liu’s 10 million, and in endorsement?

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  • one may be disadvantaged:

    //You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.//

    the best opener liner ? of course, white idiots do not like average daft sinkies to be interested or get involved too much politics or political decisions by the white idiots ??

    while one may not want to get involved with politics, politics (or their policies) will involve / affect everyone (either one may benefit or one may be disadvantaged) ????

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  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    Yang says Singapore politics should not be dominated by “Lees”. Does he not know that it had largely been “Papa’s” doings, intended or not? LKY started weeding out, one by one, of the “old guards”, and their complaints, we heard rumours of, was that they thought they were still young enough; then why so soon? Now, we all have had this experience at our workplace. Some colleague got promoted and emplaced over us. Then those contemporaries soon became “die hards” and “too old” to adapt, and so younger ones were emplaced (in order to weed off competition, and facilitate control of underlings?) So LKY weeded off even Toh Chin Chye, and we had such as Jek Yuan Tong, who queried the raisings of Ministerial salaries, etc. They had all been “die hards”, and LKY replaced them with the young whom were easy to control. So they remain beholden to him to this day? Goh Keng Swee was the last to go, and even he, we were told, had had misgivings with LKY. We recall the days when the youngish LKY pronounced “We are all in one team”, seemingly giving due credit to Goh Keng Swee, at al. But then, as he said at one rally at Fullerton Square, “I (note) have not achieved all this, and allow some to now undermine all it all!” Notice LKY pronounced his theory of genetic inheritance. But only his genes have become powerful, not Goh Keng Swee’s, even though LKY had acknowledged his genius. And the genes of others in the “team” of “old guards”? Not only the genes of his, but also associated persons, such as Ho Ching? Coincidental. As Goh Chok Tong said, “It’s a remarkable family”!

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  • Good for Singapore:

    Best outcome for Singapore.
    PAP get the mandate with reduce majority and more Opposition MPs.
    The swing against PAP is a wake up call ,especially the nearly 27% swing at West Coast GRC.
    A beginning of a more Caring and accountable Government?
    Hope the life of the common man will see a significant improvement…especially the bottom 30%.

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