Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Facebook

In his forum letter to Chinese newspaper Lian He Zao Bao, former PAP MP Goh Choon Kang criticised the current PAP administration as “arrogant, slack and lost touch with the ground”. The criticism was featured in a propaganda article by state media Straits Times earlier this week.

In his letter, the former PAP MP wrote in Mandarin (translated by Straits Times) poignantly pointing out the society’s inequality and government’s complacency:

“They lose touch with the masses even though they are in leading positions. They feel that their achievements today are based solely on their own capabilities and talent within the meritocracy implemented by society. They bask in their own successes, sing their own praises and no longer have the slightest empathy for the people, with the political parties fighting for power but unable to understand and sympathise with the public feeling.

The system becomes such that it is your own problem if you cannot keep up with the times or are left behind. As a result, many pressing issues do not get proper attention. For example, jobs being outsourced or becoming short-term hired labour because of globalisation, job losses, workers facing job instability, wage stagnation, uneven distribution and a widening gap between the rich and the poor…

Like mainstream political parties in other countries, the PAP may encounter issues of being too comfortable, of arrogance, slackness and losing touch with the grassroots because of its long-term rule, if it does not have sufficient awareness of potential problems or is unable to correct some possible problems in time.”

Just earlier this week, several academics published a book criticising Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as “less pivotal” when compared to his father Lee Kuan Yew:

“Founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew was a captain who led from the front, while Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong appears comfortable to let his colleagues do more of the talking when presenting major policies. I would not embed ‘Lee’ in the title because Lee Hsien Loong’s role and impact is less pivotal compared with Lee Kuan Yew’s.”

One of the editors even pointed out that unlike Lee Hsien Loong, Lee Kuan Yew did not hire friends as key appointment holders:

“Aside from Eddie Barker, Lee Kuan Yew and his team were not buddies. They were men who were at loggerheads about many things, but were united for a common purpose.”