Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Facebook

At a Civil Service award ceremony held yesterday (April 27th), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong boasted about how his ruling party government and how it has never failed Singaporeans:

“Can Singapore’s political system fail in the same way?” asked Mr Lee. “People don’t think about it. Those who do often find it unimaginable. They think it can’t, they think it won’t. Because as far back as they can remember, the Singapore system has never failed.”

The Singapore dictator then went on to mock democratic countries in Europe saying that their people lost confidence in their democratic system and that their government policies are pesudo and inefficient:

“Look at these European countries with longer histories and better-established institutions than us, and with a stronger sense of nationhood. Yet they have run into these problems.

Why should we believe that we are immune to this? Globalisation and technology affect us too. The lure of extremism and radicalisation, of seductive pseudo-solutions to complex challenges, is real.

Our politics too can turn sour or go wrong. And our policies may turn out to be ill-conceived, may fail to win support even if they are theoretically sound or simply may be overwhelmed by events beyond our control.”

All this hasn’t happened to us – yet. We have been very lucky. But it can happen and more quickly than most of us imagine.”

PM Lee Hsien Loong then went on to claim that the Civil Service is apolitical despite preferential treatment of estate upgrading and the abuse of the Peoples’ Association for ruling party election campaigning:

“Singapore’s elected political leaders are supported by a non-partisan civil service and that both sides have been able to work well as they share fundamental values and goals such as meritocracy and inclusive development.

They should also be politically impartial. There will always be a fine balance – between the civil service being neutral and non-political, and the civil service being politically sensitive and responsive.

It’s inherent in the role of the civil service, to work with and work for political leaders, in a political environment, and yet maintain a certain detachment from politics. It is a fine balance which has always been required and which we must continue to maintain.”

This story is covered North-Korean style by Channel News Asia.