Lee Kuan Yew on Cory, EDSA

There’s this new series of books that were recently published about Lee Kuan Yew that I’ve been wanting to get my hands on. It contains his interviews, letters and speeches. I’m not sure if these books are sold or if they’re made available only to local libraries. I can’t find them in amazon.com (for kindle) so I’ve been visiting the local library these past few days.

I read (“try” is the better word) everything about LKY. With his party, he methodically put in place policies that disciplined, secured and developed Singapore.  No politician alive today could match LKY’s political resume.

Last year I saw the son, PM Lee Hsien Loong, addressing the public not far from where I live.

I have this grand dream of interviewing Lee Kuan Yew, of course, aware how the probability of this from ever happening is close to nil but, hey, I’m an optimist, it could happen and when it does, I’ve written my questions down — I’m ready!

Here are some excerpts from “The Paper of Lee Kuan Yew: Speeches, Interviews and Dialogues Volume IX” about Cory:

” [Cory has] best chance any Filipino could’ve asked for to clean it up, to clean it up…”

” [Cory government] administrative ability must now enforce this let’s-keep-it-clean against a culture which tolerates a large degree of grandeeism. The grandee is entitled to this as right from the Spanish days and he dispenses favors. It’s very much a personal obligation. If I am the grandee, I give you these things and you owe me filiality.”

“[Cory government] administrative must be translated into rules of guidance, conduct, plus criminal procedure mechanism to ensure that those who break the rules are duly punished by due process of law. It’s not difficult. But to get it instituted is very difficult.”

“But I don’t think it cannot be done. I think it can if anybody can do it, President Aquino can because she comes with a clean slate and overpowering mandate to do what is necessary.”

“[coup attempts] could have been anticipated and, therefore, countered more easily. Mrs. Aquino’s main adviser had no leadership experience. He’s a human rights fighter against Marcos, honest, concerned with fighting the remnants of the Marcos system and loyally supporting the president, but he did not understand the mechanics of power.”

“Yes, she [Cory] can, provided she pays attention to the mechanics of power in this country. The Filipino society is an explosive society. Governing the Philippines is a little like taming a wild horse. I think that Mrs. Aquino has enough talent and courage to achieve her objectives, but once again, she must be extremely vigilant.”

LKY was optimistic after EDSA, perhaps, he, like us, was hoping that was the start we needed. Sadly, the Cory government didn’t live up to the expectations. While the Lady President was honest and kind, she was not the right person for the job.

I’m sure of one thing though, the freedom we won in EDSA was negated by massive government corruption, national security issues and extreme poverty after ’86.

And, yes, those long dreadful “B-R-O-W-N-O-U-T-S”!


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