Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from Today Online Ooi Boon Keong

In a forum letter to state media Straits Times, government university professor, Gopinath Menon, with Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has called for the government to rename some of Singapore’s roads to “honour Singapore’s leaders”. The ex-Malaysian professor said that since the British named Singapore roads after all the governors like Robinson Road, Shenton Way and Clementi Road, the ruling party dictatorship should start re-naming roads to “more appropriate ones” like the names of PAP leaders:

“The British honoured almost all the governors of the Straits Settlements and Singapore by naming roads after them, for example, Robinson Road, Shenton Way and Clementi Road. These should be kept as a reminder of our history. But there are also major roads bearing the names of European businessmen (Adam and Still roads) and British colonial officials (Lornie Road). Some are unrelated to Singapore’s history, such as Clemenceau Avenue and Havelock and Neil roads. These road names should be reviewed and changed to more appropriate ones, like those of our past presidents – only Benjamin Sheares has a bridge named after him – as well as our pioneer political and community leaders.”

Academics in government universities rely heavily on government funding and many like Professor Gopinath Menon often make audacious suggestions or voice out comments in support of the ruling party. Those who have criticised the ruling party are publicly reprimanded by government ministers and even forced to resign like Professor Kishore Mahbubani from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Those who openly praised and cheer for the ruling party are duly rewarded for their effort. Some become “experts” featured in state media interviews like Dr Gillian Koh, or even get appointed as Nominated Member of Parliament like Dr Eugene Tan.