Saturday, February 4, 2012

Toh Chin Chye vs Lee Kuan Yew

Quoting LKY,

"I will confine myself to my recollection of him as a man of strong character. He was a redoubtable fighter for equality for all peoples, regardless of race, language or religion," Mr Lee said, sending his condolences to his son-in-law, Johnny Ng.

Stingy old man, so ungracious. Members of the Old Guard brought balance to the excess of LKY with Dr. Toh as a heavy weight. (An example of the balance from Dr. Toh)

He disagreed too much with LKY and so he dropped  him from Cabinet isn't it? If you disagree with LKY too much, he thinks you are wrong and dumb. What conceit.

Toh Chin Chye would have helped to create an Athens out of us, but LKY has made this place into a Sparta and is forever getting us to "eat bitterness". He did it again yesterday as a broken record over the need to accept immigrants.

Toh Chin Chye and Rajaratnam were pragmatic idealists; a difficult balance only achieved by those with deep insight. LKY was a cynical realist who would only be imaginative when his back is against the wall, otherwise he always feared and act on those fears from materializing, creating a kiasu Singapore culture. All that mattered to him is the economy and defence; all material and nothing spiritual. The others, including Goh Keng Swee had a more holistic view of life.

The passing of Dr. Toh is a good time to remember what was left out in the development of Singapore and how we might make a better mix with better regard that man does not live by bread alone. At minimum there would be more humanity and compassion.

Fortunately, Lee Hsien Loong was far more humble, gracious and generous than his pugnacious father.

Quoting from the PM's letter to Dr. Toh's family:

During the Budget debate in 1985, Dr Toh made a passionate speech criticising the Central Provident Fund contribution, then 50 per cent of wages, as a heavy imposition on employers. I had just entered politics, and as a minister of state in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, I stood up and rebutted him vigorously. But as it turned out, Dr Toh was right. The economy soon went into a steep recession, and by the end of the year, the Government had concluded the CPF rates were too high and indeed needed to be cut.

See also: Dr. Toh Chin Chye: He fought his own party

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