Photo of Tay Kheng Soon from Facebook

In an interview with state media ChannelNewsAsia (CNA), PAP old guard and former key architect of modern Singapore Tay Kheng Soon slammed Lee Hsien Loong’s administration and the government’s S$53 million a year ministerial salaries.

“What’s wrong, is that there is an unintended moral hazard. When you have so much high pay, you don’t want to risk anything. This is a flaw in the Lee Kuan Yew model. In fact, I’m writing about this right now, and I’ll be publishing publicly soon. So, the moral hazard has institutionalised a conservatism that is not serving us very well.”

The PAP old guard who is responsible for the planning of KK hospitals and major infrastructure relocations like Changi Airport said that the current government is unaccepting of his ideas and that they often go into conflict:

“CNA reporter: Your engagement with the Government on planning issues wasn’t always positive. Why so?
Tay Kheng Soon: We didn’t set out to be negative at all. Unfortunately, the Government at that time, and to some extent even now, is rather unaccepting of alternative points of view. So inevitably, we came into conflict.”

The PAP old guard then said that the Singapore government will often steal good ideas and adopt them as their own:

“Tay Kheng Soon: Yeah, they’re open to ideas provided there is a decent period of burial…
CNA reporter: Decent period of burial?
Tay Kheng Soon: There must be some time lag, so that people forget. And public memory is usually very short. Once they’ve forgotten, then the good idea or whatever that may be, would be resurrected by the Government as their own ideas.”

Criticising the education system, Tay Kheng Soon also commented that the Singapore government does not know how to maximize land and resources use to accommodate a bigger population:

“You take another situation. All our school classrooms are empty during the evenings and during the weekends. Why? It’s a terrible waste. If it’s in the central nervous system, adult education, social functions and so on can be held in those classrooms which are otherwise empty. This is the kind of bad planning that we have and it’s based on really wrong thinking.”

You may read the full interview here.