[LETTER TO THE EDITOR]Singapore’s head of state is no example of nepotismIn an article under the title, “Make the Economy our Priority” (JoongAng Daily Oct. 7), Lee Chang-kyu alleged that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew had “handed down the position of premier to his son,” and that “his daughter-in-law and son-in-law have also taken important positions.” He also compared Minister Mentor Lee to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and former Indonesian President Suharto.
These criticisms are baseless. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was not appointed by his father. He was first elected a member of parliament in 1984, and since then has been re-elected four times. Last year, he was unanimously supported by the members of parliament from his party to succeed Mr. Goh Chok Tong as Prime Minister. Also, Minister Mentor Lee does not have a son-in-law.
Singapore operates a clean and open system of government. It is ranked internationally as one of the least corrupt countries in the world, and certainly in Asia. If Minister Mentor Lee were really like Kim Jong-il, his party would not have enjoyed the trust and support of the people for 40 years, the country would not be enjoying “over 8-percent economic growth,” and Mr. Lee would not have cited Singapore as an example for Korea to emulate.
by Calvin Eu