Photo of Lee Kuan Yew and Kishore Mahbubani from Google

The dean of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policies, Professor Kishore Mahbubani, has been dismissed from his position following a high profile disagreement with the dictatorship. The retirement announcement was sudden and the professor never once hinted about quitting before.

The former senior diplomat of Singapore and long-time friend of Lee Kuan Yew today (Nov 6) announced that he will be taking a 9-month sabbatical leave to “expand and deepen” his research:

“After 13 years, it is timely for a new leadership to take the school to greater heights … I look forward to the opportunity of the nine-month sabbatical to expand and deepen my research and writing.”

Just 3 months ago, Prof Kishore Mahbubani criticised dictator Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong saying that he is nothing like his father, a globally-respected figure:

“Mr Lee Kuan Yew never acted as a leader of a small state. He would comment openly and liberally on great powers, including America and Russia, China and India. However, he had earned the right to do so because the great powers treated him with great respect as a global statesman. We are now in the post-Lee Kuan Yew era. Sadly, we will probably never again have another globally respected statesman like Mr Lee.”

Lee Hsien Loong was reportedly enraged by the comment from his father’s former underling, and summoned his diplomat – ironically, Kishore Mahbubani’s successor – Bilahari Kausikan to bite the PAP old guard. Diplomat Bilahari Kausikan scolded his predecessor “muddled and mendacious” and the open quarrel led to the two camps of old PAP supporters and new PAP supporters hurling abuse at each other.

About a month ago in Sep, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said that he is “not getting money’s worth” spent on Lee Kuan Yew’s School of Public Policy – expressing his most direct approval of the institution for continuously disagreeing with the Lee Hsien Loong dictatorship.