JET-SETTING MM DISPENSES ILL ADVICE TO ASIAN NATIONS; SINGAPOREANS BREATHE A HUGE SIGN OF RELIEF
For all those who have been watching the news lately, our "mentally-challenged" mentor of sorts, MM Lee, has been jet-setting to various countries, almost immediately after the elections.
Now, if you have been following the going-ons of MM Lee's outbursts and fear-mongering speeches during the 2006 General Elections, you would have wondered, in a incredulous sort of way: Are these the words straight from our Founding Father's mouth?
Apart from branding opposition parties "riffraff", to haranguing the whole Worker's Party over the Gomez affair, our MM seems quite adamant to exert his influence on his largely conservative, albeit dominant party.
With the elections all but over, MM Lee, it seems, have set his sets over the horizon: Jet-setting to various Asian countries and dispensing "words of wisdom" to all and sundry, he preaches, or rather, drones to any nation who will listen.
Of course, you get the occasional "riff-raffs", like the Thais, you know, those barbarious lot. How dare they criticize our obligarchy? Even Thaksin envies our one-party system!
No checks, lots of fixings of opposition parties, well, it all comes in the territory for our dear MM. So much so, that he is eager to share his despotic ideals to the whole world!
MM LEE IN SHANGHAI: LEARNING MANDARIN, THE TYRANT'S WAY?
On May 15th, Mr Lee made his stop in Shanghai, China.
Like a prima donna, Mr Lee courted publicity with China's Vice-Premier, Li Lianqing:
MM Lee launches Chinese edition of "Keeping My Mandarin Alive"
SHANGHAI : Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has launched his latest book in China, and on hand to grace the occasion was his old friend, former Vice-Premier Li Lanqing.
The book describes the challenges Mr Lee faced in learning Mandarin.
Its Chinese publishers are confident that it will find a ready market in the mainland.
It was a meeting of old friends between Singapore's Minister Mentor and the former Chinese Vice-Premier.
Many years ago the two leaders worked closely on the Singapore-Suzhou Industrial Park.
This time, in Shanghai, Mr Li was a special guest at the launch of the China edition of Mr Lee's latest book.
In fact, Mr Li even penned a foreword for the book.
Said Mr Li, "I always thought Minister Lee received Chinese education since young, but after I read his memoirs, I found out that he started learning Mandarin much later, after 30 years old. I was very impressed."
Ah, a meeting between the Lees.
Mr Li Lian Qing's flattering remarks on a man who only started to learn his mother tongue at a ripe old age of 30 would have been valid, had Mr Lee not belittled his mother language.
Singaporeans who have been around long enough, or are well read in Singapore politics, would not have failed to recognize the fact that it was he who forced the streamlining of all Chinese schools into English ones, in a bid to counter communists and other trade unionists, who were recruiting hot-blooded university students to carry out "deviant" activities, which really wasn't to MM Lee's liking.
Now, before I continue, I would like to highlight this often-missed enigma of MM Lee. For a man who had made a career out of "fixing" communists, MM Lee's flirtations with Communist China, is, at best, puzzling.
And the Communist counterparts seem to be quite delighted with him around too, even when our MM seems quite unabashed by his lack of proficiency with the Chinese language.
Not only that, he manages to publish a book, titled, "Keeping My Mandarin Alive", about his struggles with his supposed mother tongue. Hmm. My question is, why did it took the whole of 30 years for the fact to dawn on him, that he ought to learn Chinese. Perhaps he spent too much of his early years learning Japanese, so that he could work as a translator for invading Japanese Army, meant that he had no time to learn his "cherished" mother tongue? Or maybe he was too hung up with his "English elite" status of his times?
And his advice to anyone who is struggling to learn a foreign language? Read and laugh:
Said Mr Lee, "Initially I thought, this book is an account of my journey of learning Mandarin over the last 50 years. It includes my learning methods and experiences. These contents should not interest the world's largest Mandarin-speaking environment, which has some of the best speakers of Mandarin. This book will not be of value or need to the Chinese readers. But the book's chief editor, Chua Chee Lay, told me, even though this book is about the learning of Mandarin, it can be a useful reference to the many Chinese readers who are eagerly learning English now."
Mr Lee advice to those Chinese learning English is to be bold, to not worry too much about grammar or pronunciation, and to use spoken English to improve your written English.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Grammar and pronunciation is just not that important, according to our mentally-challenged minister. I wonder how many Singaporeans are listening to his rather treacherous advice.
No wonder we have Singaporeans sprouting "Singlish" everywhere I turn. Talk about "first-class".
LEE'S ADVICE TO KOREA: FOLLOW THE SINGAPORE MODEL?
On May 19th, MM Lee was in Korea, dispensing more advice. This time, though, the target was Korea. He was there to received an honorary degree in politics (pork-barrel politics???) from Korea University.
According to MM, Korea is the very opposite of the Singaporean model: Docile, meek Singaporeans who wouldn't give a damn even if a minister suggests throwing old folks to gulag camps.
Quotes from MM, from dongA.com:
i. “Korea is considered the ‘nation of conflict’ by foreigners despite its rapid economic development.......Korea will be able to develop further if it turns its intense energy deriving from conflicts between employer and employee, and between political parties toward its advance in the global market.”
Here, MM Lee alleges that foreigners may be put off by the turbulent nature of South Korean politics, in contrast to the staid, one party rule in Singapore. He talks about converting "intense energy" generated by friction into a global push into the global market.
Again, MM Lee fails to realize that social awareness cannot be equated with economic growth. The inception of one-party rule will not guarantee immunity from recessions, as the Thai economic crisis have proven.
Besides, absolute power corrupts. The NKF fracas is exactly the model of absolute rule. The key to democracy is power to the people. The Koreans, it seems, are doing just that, exercising their citizenship rights.
A powerful voice from the people keeps the government on its toes.
ii. “To cultivate a global perspective and strengthen Korea’s national competitive power, multilingual ability is the most required. Most of all, master English and Chinese."
Once again, MM Lee is comparatively candid with his assessment: He wants the Koreans to copy the Singapore model: Learn Mandarin and English, go explore the China market, and create another Suzhou industrial park incident.
Again, for a man who so abhors Chinese schools, this is one statement that really intrigues me.
And who is he to "advise" Koreans to learn whichever language he wishes them to learn? What gives him the right to tell the Koreans what or what not to do?
Does MM Lee think that Koreans are as dumb and timid as Singaporeans, who want nothing more than a stable job and food on their tables?
1. Anyone who reckons that grammar and pronunciation is unimportant cannot be a language teacher.
2. Mentally challenged ministers who love to clown around in other countries must do so at their own expenses.
3. MMs who wish to sell books in future must have the explicit approval of communist leaders in China.
4. To love commies, or hate them. To love Mandarin, or abhor it as an abomination. Will the real MM please stand up?
On a positive note, it would be better for our MM to jet around Asia more often. Better have him dominate some other nation's headlines, then read about his stupid diatribes of election forms and riffraffs.
Go MM go MM go!!!