Ephesus, 1994

Ephesus, 1994
On this grand tour, a Singapore lady complained: "Why come here?... see stones only." You be the judge of how some Singaporeans let us down....

© 2014 A. Khaw: Foreword...

Edited 5 Nov. 2014: Five years from start (Oct 2009) to finish, this blog was designed to tell
all about the contrived demise of the Singapore Herald in 1971, beginning with
"A blot on Sir Harry's Escutcheon" -- a tale of "the oppressor's
wrong, the insolence of office," of deception and chicanery and Harry
Lee's lies -- indeed, lying hardly describes what he did; with apologies to
Shaw, let's say "he overdid it, he got carried away in an ecstasy of
To a select group of friends, mainly journalists, who
have been invited to visit this blog, I am tempted to declare solemnly that this is not
a calculated effort to smear the image of a man held in high esteem by many... But no! I would rather leave it to
every reader to make up his or her own mind about how LKY’s failure to exercise
self-restraint has cost him dear!
Recently, his radio speeches on the Battle for Merger
were reprinted. However, having persuaded Singaporeans to vote for merger in
1963, he travelled north to advance a personal “Malaysian Malaysia” agenda. As
a result, the Tengku threw him and Singapore out of Malaysia. Can anyone now
recall what we did gain from being in Malaysia for 22 months? My own
recollection: Zilch!

e d i t l o r e

Introduction: "Lore" as in folklore... from pensive ruminations on a trip down memory lane. Safire vs. Lee: "You tinpot tyrant!" It does have a certain ring to it. Mr LKY defended Harry Lee in his self-serving memoirs -- which reminded me of a stand-up comic's opening line: "My life is an open book, only I have a few pages stuck together." (Rapturous applause). So, I am musing on Singapore's past, present and future -- and Life's lessons on the human condition; no memoirs for me, thank you.

Incredible! LKY's oxymoron

Incredible! LKY's oxymoron
QUOTE: "The Singapore Herald has been taking the Government on since its publication in July last year" -- by Mr LKY (See posting: A rush of blood to the head & A blot on Sir Harry's Escutcheon).

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sir Harry,GCMG (hon.) -- A blot on his escutcheon


PROLOGUE: This edited version replaces what I posted on July 27, 2014.  In the intervening weeks I have been consulting my notes on how LKY has been hoist with his own petard, e.g. he lies recklessly when it suits him  – when his speeches are published verbatim by the National Archives he is exposed as a liar.

 His speech writer/spin doctor and biographer Alex Josey has quoted a British diplomat as saying that LKY "is the most brilliant man around, albeit just a bit of a thug." I have recorded what he did to put the Singapore Herald to the sword. I have connected all the dots and find that this brilliant man chose to behave like a cretinous lout in 1970/71 – and is now exposed as (1) a serial liar, (2) a fraud, (3) a charlatan, (4) a despot who gets his way with brute exercise of power and chicanery.

Fast forward to 2014 for an orchestrated hagiography… Several books on "the wit of LKY" and a collection of pictures and his words have been rushed into print – to add to his self-serving memoirs. Is this a movement to elevate him to the level of Kim Il Sung, founder of that northern state whose uniformed columns we see on TV frog-marching to perdition?

I am blowing the whistle on how in May 1971 a vengeful, bilious Harry LKY, with malice aforethought, lied recklessly to silence the Singapore Herald. (Collateral damage: 200 jobless, plus their families.) It was a sustained campaign to muzzle the press.

That was more than four decades ago – a fait accompli, so much water under the bridge. So why dwell on that event now? Why flog a dead horse? And why should you care?
In the first place, there was no recourse. You can Google: "J'Accuse" to learn how Emile Zola, beginning with a Page One article, was able to right a grievous wrong. In Singapore, it would have been impossible to get a similar article published in The Straits Times!
But even if the local press had not been muzzled all these many years, I might not have been able to tell this story earlier because I had two aged parents (who lived well beyond 85-90 years) and two families to support – so I couldn't afford to make waves about the untimely death of a newspaper at the hands of LKY. I still had to make a living…
You may draw different conclusions from my disclosures.  I am merely telling what I know about LKY. You be the judge! I am no dissident. Nor am I a malcontent …  And if you think I am being unduly harsh to LKY, let's be clear about this. I am only recounting how badly he behaved – whatever damage is done to his reputation, he brought it on himself.
As for my earlier question: Why should you care?  I believe in doing this as a civic duty. Mine is a small voice, that of a journalist who will not be silenced. I am blowing the whistle on Sir Harry's style, sharing information so that my fellow citizens will be wary of anyone or any maverick group who may come along in future to behave like another tinpot despot. This is also my way of honouring the memory of Francis Wong -- LKY's primary target.
This, therefore, is a wake-up call to my fellow citizens, especially our younger, better-educated ones, to take control and help shape their own destinies.
I was tested by adversity early in life. The Japanese forces landed on Dec. 8, 1941, at Bachok, a dozen miles from our schoolhouse home. My father, a Chinese school headmaster and my mother, a teacher in that school, lost their jobs immediately.
I was the eldest son at age 14-plus. I persuaded them to buy a trisha and started to earn enough riding it in the northeast corner of Malaya to feed eight mouths in my family.
It was only some 30 years later that I learnt that Arshad Ayub, first director of the Mara Institute of Technology from 1967 to 1975, was also riding a trisha in the southwestern town of Muar when the Japs invaded Malaya.  At 85, Tan Sri Arshad is now Pro-Chancellor of Universiti Technologi Mara.
I learnt of how he started out as a trisha  rider only because, as a lecturer in the School of  Journalism at the Mara Institute of Technology in Shah Alam, I wanted my Bumiputra students to learn to aim high by telling them of my own humble beginnings. The head of that journalism school, Ms Marina Samad, was in class that day as an observer. After class she told me about Tan Sri Arshad's trisha-riding days, something not generally known.
Among the Mara students, one has an effusive blog post describing me as a "brilliant tutor." This is not mock modesty, but I would prefer to be remembered as Mr Fixer or Mr Reliable, an honest hard-working journalist/guru always striving to excel at whatever job I had to do.  For many years in the Straits Times, whenever someone had a problem in the newsroom, that person would invariably be told: "Go see young Ambrose."
In this regard, I should explain that early in my journalistic career, the South-East Asian Press Centre organised in-house journalism courses and asked the Straits Times management to nominate a local journalist to liaise with the centre's trainers. I was nominated and it was up to me to take charge of journalism training when the centre's trainers moved on to other cities in the course of their work.
When I myself left the Straits Times to explore other career options, the Straits Times set up a School of Journalism in its Times House Annex, employing Neville Kros and Peter Watson to run this school …
After the war, I helped put two younger brothers through university, but was denied opportunities for tertiary education myself -- with my growing family and the two brothers and aged parents to support, I had to keep working. Still I did not despair and "I thank whatever gods there be for an unconquerable soul ... I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."
Up to a point, I think I am uniquely qualified to speak about LKY's brilliance and his shortcomings. He was a brilliant scholar – I guess he thought the rules didn't apply to him and was caned for being late. It was this experience that eventually convinced him that caning should be prescribed in our penal code for certain offences.
Then, when his father dangled him over a well for messing with the old man's hair pomade, another character trait took root in that brilliant brain. His father ensured that from that day the young lad would learn to obey him. From that day, I think, LKY learnt to expect people to obey him – or else.
As a brilliant young scholar, he failed to win a Queen's Scholarship in the year his wife won it. But brilliant scholars automatically regard themselves as superior to the hoi polloi!
I have to confess that I could have ploughed the same furrow.  Please don't read this as my attempt to compete with LKY's scholastic record, but from Std One to Std VIII (Jr Cambridge class) I was first in every exam – even with two double promotions (from Std One to Std III and Std V to Std VII). No Queen's Scholarship hopes for me because I was born in Thailand.
After the death of the Singapore Herald, I promised myself that a day of reckoning would come and I would tell all about LKY's machinations. I spurned opportunities to work abroad. A head-hunter from the Asian Development Bank arrived at my door in 1978-79 after I had installed a computerised newspaper publishing system at the Straits Times. He was an old friend, a colleague from the days when I was working in 1971-72 as Production Editor of The Asian with Tarzie Vittachi and a brilliant team in Hong Kong, and thought that the bank could use the services of a computer-savvy man in those early days.
The people who sold the computer system to the Straits Times also thought highly of my skills – their CEO flew in from the company's headquarters in Anaheim, CA, to offer me a job at about the same time.
However, taking pot shots at LKY from abroad was just not my style. I believed in planting my flag in Singapore to tell my story.
To my fellow citizens I have only one message: if you judge that political trends are going awry, take control. Speak up. We can always learn lessons from our own mistakes or the mistakes of others. There are lessons to be learnt from the mistakes of the past. Far too many citizens of the pioneer generation followed a leader blindly. They were under-educated or literate only in Chinese/Mandarin. They behaved like sheep and and in no time at all they found they had lost some basic human rights, i.e. the right of expression, the right of association, etc.
Do you realize that, except for Hong Lim Park gatherings, if you have a common agenda, you cannot gather in groups of more than five as a rule and the police have the right to ask you to move on or else! And in the world-wide index of freedom of the press, we now languish at No. 150, below Cambodia (144) and Malaysia (147).
What LKY started practising as Prime Minister was mind control! And the empirical evidence is overwhelming. He succeeded, perhaps even beyond his wildest dreams. From school text books, I believe many of our children begin to get brainwashed from a young age in Singapore.
Here's a quote from the late Devan Nair who declared that we have in Singapore "a population rendered politically comatose over the years." Not convinced? You think he had an axe to grind? He should know. He was LKY's faithful disciple for many years.
Let's hear it from political commentator Dr Catherine Lim, about problems arising from "the unlimited exercise of power by the ruling party, usually correlated with long years of fearful acquiescence on the part of the people…it is no secret that Singaporeans have always been resentful of the impact of PAP dominance in their lives."
She continues: "Then in GE 2011 (General Election May 2011) something happened, leading to a drastic change... The old compact by which the PAP would always guarantee competent, accountable leadership in return for full, unquestioning support by the electorate was broken by what the people perceived as the PAP's dismal failure to keep their part of the compact." (The key words are "unquestioning support" – LKY demanded "unquestioning allegiance.")
  I do not agree with fellow-journalists and friends who think that absolute power corrupted LKY absolutely. He just got used to winning and winning with ease – so he overplayed his hand.
Remember that Singapore lady doctor who first billed a member of the Brunei royal family for her services. The bill for over half a million was duly paid, there was no demur; so Dr Susan Lim sent another bill for millions. She was suspended. Do you agree that she also overplayed her hand!
It was tempting for LKY to overplay his hand. The script for him to take charge had been written by others. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce took the first step, demanding that hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrants be granted citizenship. This was done. I signed up too, swearing allegiance to Queen Elizabeth -- my Citizenship Certificate No. 026151 dated 26 Nov 1957 was signed by one Leon Comber, Special Branch officer, also Registrar of Citizens, at the time and one-time husband of Han Suyin.
In 1959 the PAP won the general election handsomely by nominating a full slate of candidates; C.C. Tan's Progressive Party, for instance, offered three or a negligible number of candidates, if my memory serves me right.  Several other parties also took part, fielding small numbers of candidates.
In any case, it was pretty clear that the English-educated lot in the PAP were the anointed leaders – the colonial masters obviously preferred to deal with them. That 1959 victory was just too easy for the PAP.  LKY's comrades, Lim Chin Siong, Fong Swee Suan, James and Dominic Puthucheary, Sydney Woodhull, Devan Nair, Chia Thye Poh and many others prepared the ground among the majority Chinese population and played a pivotal role in paving the way for Harry to lord it over everyone else.
Once he had achieved his goal, he dumped them all – branding them as leftists.
Bloodied but unbowed…I started this blog in October 2009 to recount in detail how Sir Harry LKY, GCMG (honorary), blotted his copybook. First, I intended only to tell of what he did in his campaign to muzzle the press. But as I delved into the labyrinthine depths of how he acted with calculated ruthlessness to impose his will on the populace, I came across instances of egregious wrongdoing which I stored in my PC's desktop icons labelled LKY-perfidy and LKY-duplicity.
However from Feb. 2011 to Feb 2013, I stopped working on this blog for two years. What gave me pause was the thought that I would be offending the LKY-PAP faithful (about 60% of the electorate at last count) with my disclosures.
I was wary – I was telling a story that many of the LKY-PAP faithful would take issue with. I anticipated their protests:  "Who are you? How dare you pass judgment on one who has done so much for Singapore?"
There was another problem. The following e-mail sent to an Oral History Specialist at the National Archives is self-explanatory:
From: Ambrose Khaw [akstguru01@gmail.com
Sent: Tuesday, 22 July, 2014 2:35 PM 
To: Denise NG (NLB)   Subject: Eureka!
​Bonjour ma cherie Denise,
Apres la pluie, le beau temps! EUREKA! In The King and I, His Majesty told the governess he was bothered by "a puzzlement."
I too was stumped, for four decades, by a puzzlement. Why did our arrogant and all-powerful LKY, having inherited from our colonial masters the power to grant/revoke a publishing licence, without having to provide a reason, choose to spin a web of lies about "black operations" in May 1971 before pulling the Singapore Herald's licence.
For two years, I stopped work on by blog, editlore.blogspot.com, because in gathering the evidence needed to prove that LKY had lied, I could not provide a reason for his decision to beat about the bush before pulling the licence.
He even held off pulling the licence for 10 days, allowing us to mount a defence and to print letters from concerned citizens.
I am indebted to The National Archives of Singapore and to you personally for interviewing me to record for posterity my life experiences related to the development of print media in Singapore, including LKY's press relations.
In listening to the 41 hours of what you recorded, I found the answer to my problem. LKY had accepted an invitation to address the International Press Institute in early June 1971 -- and could not hope to escape unscathed if he had gone to that conference to announce to an array of the world's top editors that he had just pulled the publishing licence of a Singapore newspaper that riled him, in his own words, by "taking on the government."
By the way, taking on the government is not an offence. In truth, most discerning readers of newspapers would choose to read a newspaper that did take on the government, and not want to have anything to do with a paper that was just another mouthpiece of the government. Even LKY, with his towering intellect, one who has dazzled the likes of Henry Kissinger and Margaret Thatcher, in his lucid moments, would want to be counted as a discerning reader.
Now I can add the finishing touches to my blog and if you revisit it next week, you will see that he will have been exposed as a liar, a fraud, a charlatan. I have connected all the dots and the picture is complete. I see a parallel in the story of Capt. Ahab who pursued Moby Dick and vengeful, bilious LKY's personal agenda -- just to get even with my partner in crime Francis Wong because he was riled by, among other things, Francis's signed Page one Sunday Mail article headlined "A Plague on both your houses."
So four decades after the premeditated murder of the Herald, its last editor can say to LKY: "Gotcha!" Perhaps my friend Edwin Taylor, associate of Harold Evans, former editor of the Sunday Times in London. could chime in with: "LKY, we've got you by the short and curly." Edwin had a way with words. He told friends visiting him in HK: "We are cock-deep in Wanchai." (World of Suzie Wong!)
Before I forget. This is to authorise you to release all that you have recorded for "open access" despite your superior's worry about sensitive material related to LKY. He is no fool. The most damning words I uttered about him on tape were "crafty and devious."
He is not likely to want to haul me into court to provide me with a platform to tell all about him. The attachment is what I told you about my efforts in 1971 to get him to haul me into court. He declined, he did not even bother to prosecute me for deliberately asking the printer NOT to print the name of his firm at the foot of the pamphlet -- an offence under the Printing Presses Act.
Do keep well. Be happy. At 86 going on 87, I have had a good innings. ambrose
                                                                                         The attachment
             Lee — and lessons from Helsinki
             By Ambrose Khaw, Editor-In-Chief, the Singapore Herald
To be a Singaporean is to have a stake in a society that works. That was the opening line in the Singapore Herald's National Day edition on Aug. 9 last year. Given this stake, every Singaporean has a duty to ensure that, as the years go by, this society will continue to work better and better.
Last week, while Mr. Lee Kuan Yew was performing before an international audience in Helsinki, I was showing a visitor around Singapore. And everywhere we went, I could not help swelling with pride because all around us visual proof of dynamic progress abounded — progress of the kind that must be evident to all who have a modest memory and a pair of eyes.
We have many blessings to count in Singapore. Top of the list is an effective government. And sensible Singaporeans, I have no doubt, will buy the big picture painted by our Prime Minister in Helsinki about the role of the mass media in Singapore. They will also applaud his determination to ensure that "there is enough unity of purpose to carry the people of Singapore to higher standards of life …"
But the Prime Minister — and every Singaporean — must be equally determined that truth and justice and a democratic way of life shall not be among the first casualties, to be cast aside for reasons of political expediency, in our march towards "higher standards of life."
Already, in the Herald Affair, the interests of truth and justice, at least, have not been best served by the Government, and particularly by Mr. Lee in  Helsinki. There are sad lessons to be learnt from Helsinki.
Even before Mr. Lee went to Helsinki, the Government had shown, in its handling of the Herald Affair, signs of a lack of scrupulosity which high office does not excuse. From Helsinki we have had a revelation of a political animal at bay. We have seen to what lengths our Prime Minister is prepared to go to raise the level of deception, without a shred of evidence, about the Singapore Herald. It was a tawdry performance
At one point in Mr. Lee's speech to the International Press Institute conference in Helsinki, he said: "We want the mass media to reinforce, not undermine, the cultural values and social attitudes being inculcated in our schools and universities."
Fine words. It should be safe to assume that among the desirable "cultural values and social attitudes" the traditional virtues will find a place. Like honesty. In the question and answer sessions, Mr. Lee behaved in a manner that is more likely to undermine than reinforce traditional concepts of what is honest and just.
Mr. Lee's many admirers and supporters, including many among my staff, had hoped that he would produce in Helsinki a trump card, at least some evidence to prove his charges against the Herald. He produced none — and had to resort to a desperate piling of insinuation upon insinuation, in the hope that the truth would be buried. To borrow one of the Prime Minister's favourite expressions, his performance simply got "curiouser and curiouser." Blame for involvement in the alleged Herald "black operation" was laid successively at so many doors before Mr. Lee would admit that he had come up against "a blank wall." He will not accept that the blank wall IS THE TRUTH, because he is "a suspicious man by nature." In another age, given an emperor as suspicious as this, many heads would have rolled, on suspicion alone, by now.
Mr. Lee also disclosed in Helsinki that he hoped to sue two of the Nanyang Siang Pau editors1 for telling lies about him. To ears like mine, such statements have a hollow ring when they come from a man who gives blatant displays of callous disregard for the truth himself. Let's examine just a few examples:
EXAMPLE No. I — Mr. Lee flies in the face of the evidence when he persists in accusing the Singapore Herald of trying to persuade Singaporeans that a self-defence capability "is futile and foolish." Even the New Nation, a competitor, allows (on June 10) that the Prime Minister cannot make out a prima facie case. We at the Herald know that our editorial stand on National Service was the exact opposite of what Mr. Lee suggests and we have asked repeatedly to be judged on what we have printed in black and white.
We have called for a Commission of Inquiry. Why does the Government not set one up to settle this once and for all? Is the Government afraid of the truth? The New Nation's editorial of June 10 also allowed that our treatment of the Shirle Gordon incident2 "must now be regarded as an example of responsibility."
EXAMPLE No 2 — Mr. Lee said in Helsinki that our first editor-in-chief, Mr. Francis Wong, had been "fired" — this for an international audience without access to the facts. It was his word against Mr. Wong's. Mr. Lee knows that Mr. Wong was a sacrificial lamb. Mr. Wong resigned, but there are so many unsavoury aspects of the Government's handling of this matter that I will spare Mr. Lee by not disclosing all the sordid details3. It is sufficient to say only that Mr. Lee, more than anybody else, should know why Mr. Wong resigned.
EXAMPLE No. 3 — Mr. Bob Reece, our foreign editor, also resigned — and was NOT dismissed, as Mr. Lee declared in Helsinki.
EXAMPLE No.4 — A more subtle one this time. First. it was necessary to establish that there was foreign investment in the Herald. That we do not dispute. The foreign investment, however, was cleared with the Government beforehand. The Government's position, before Mr. Lee went to Helsinki, was that as long as there was foreign investment in the Herald, there was a danger that there COULD BE foreign manipulation of our editorial policy. That is also a fair assumption. For our part, we know that there has been no such attempt at manipulation. In Helsinki, Mr. Lee was emboldened to deviate from the truth by declaring that we HAD ALREADY BEEN MANIPULATED. So far, if there has been any manipulation in the Herald Affair, I submit that it has been such shoddy manipulation of facts by the Government, with the skillful use of the mass media under its control to pile on the insinuations and innuendoes, higher and higher, hoping that progressive deviations from the truth will pass unnoticed.
Further — always remembering that Mr. Lee's words in Helsinki were mainly for foreign consumption — he made remarks about "a riotous fortnight4, vicious, asinine and puerile attacks on him."  In any court of law, any such obvious attempt at begging the question — assuming what has to be proved — would not be allowed to pass unchallenged.
Mr. Lee's use of words like "riotous, vicious, asinine and puerile" to describe our last 10 issues (not a fortnight) betrays a contempt for his own electorate, concerned citizens who stood up to be counted5 when a paper was exercising its right to defend itself against unfounded charges. We suppressed letters couched in less than reasonable language. We exercised more restraint than Mr. Lee did when his own back was to the wall in Helsinki. Surely, for one fighting for his own political survival, he should know he cannot deny us the right to defend ourselves.
What has all this to do with a stake in the Herald? As citizens, we can take our Prime Minister at his word.  If we want an honest, independent newspaper in Singapore, we can help pay for one. A stake in a paper like the Herald is a stake in a better society, in which men elected to high office can be told bluntly that they must not assume that their election to high office means that they have acquired proprietary rights to the minds of the people.
Even the Undergrad, a varsity publication, is fighting vigorously for survival today, because there have been attempts to emasculate it. Pressures are being applied6, and there are disturbing signs that our elected Government wants to dictate what we shall read — indeed, how we shall think.
Before he went to Helsinki. Mr. Lee had stated at a celebrated televised Press conference that newspapers owned by Singaporeans would be allowed "to make money, even make politics."
In Helsinki, he contradicted himself. At one point, he said he did not mind foreign investment in Singapore newspapers "so long as editorial control is exercised by Singaporeans." We know, of course, his views on foreign investment7 in the Straits Times Group. But for long-term stability, let us take Mr. Lee at his first word. Let us find ways to finance a 100 per cent Singapore-owned newspaper. The Singapore Herald Co-operative Society project is one I commend to you.
Footnotes: 1Just bragging, he did not sue.  2We were ordered not to print anything about her arrest (see F. Wong's  defence).   3Mr Wong resigned – LKY vendetta.  4Readers wrote in to ask: 5Why Mr LKY, are you doing this? Give us proof. 6The printer would not print any further issues.  7S.T. had foreign investment all the time; LKY's position was untenable from the day he first launched his "black ops" campaign.
(End of attachment: This pamphlet was published to tempt Mr Lee to haul me into court to provide me with a platform to tell all about his machinations, resulting in the death of the Herald. The printer's name was not printed at the foot of the pamphlet – an offence under the Printing Presses Ordinance. I called him a liar, etc.  He also declined to issue a writ, knowing that the best defence in any defamation action is justification.)
 As a retired journalist, I am merely relating what I know, having observed him, reported on him, subbed/edited his speeches and public pronouncements, recorded his less-than-private outbursts since the early 1950s -- and after connecting the dots, I believe I can faithfully put on record for posterity what I have pieced together about him… In my story covering several decades, you may detect a sense of outrage – and why not? I admired LKY, I trusted him, like many Singaporeans, then he betrayed us, he lost or discarded his moral compass. In general, most people hold their leaders to a higher moral standard!
In the satirical British television programme Yes Minister, Jim Hacker is told this old joke by his Private Secretary Bernard Woolley …
           Woolley: In the service, CMG stands for "Call Me God."
           Hacker:  What does GCMG stand for?
           Woolley: God calls me God.
In my book, our wannabe Singapore god comes across as a pain in the anal orifice with a god complex --  exposed as a control freak by retired S.T. editor Cheong Yip Seng in  "OB Markers."
Control freak? Sir Harry started early. I was only a fledgling reporter when I found out that he allowed, perhaps even encouraged the Fajar group in the Socialist Club of our first university to meet and debate Socialist doctrine and related matters behind closed doors -- BUT he made sure that the newspapers would not be able to print anything about these discussions. Reporters were barred. Why encourage that group? His private agenda -- to keep tabs on possible trouble-makers? Remember the Fajar group's sedition trial?
And does anybody remember that we started out as the Socialist Republic of Singapore? In our teens, perhaps a few years later, many can be expected to have come across Karl Marx's seductive: "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need." Marvellous! That's how we can create a world without poverty.
I gather that the Dean of the Law Faculty then, Professor Tommy Koh, was possibly a distinguished moderator at these Socialist Club debates – certainly he was allowed in, indeed welcomed, a man much respected and admired to this day. Let's call a spade a spade. It was mind control by Sir Harry (or Wily Lee).
Now let us review "all the good things Sir Harry has done for Singapore."  It is public knowledge that his towering intellect has dazzled the likes of Henry Kissinger and Lady Thatcher. And Singapore's economic success owes much to what was done on his watch.

 The true story is that many others contributed to this success, notably Dr Goh Keng Swee. And every Singaporean "muddling through," as people in Britain used to say, despite problems, just earning a living and keeping the economy ticking over, also contributed to this success. All you pioneer generation chaps and ladies, you were also nation builders!

Beg your pardon. A diversion – let's give Sir Harry his due. Hail Global Citizen! I guess the award recognised his unwavering support of U.S. policy in maintaining a military presence in this part of the world. Also, he has a briliant analytical mind, which earns him brownie points for fairly regular reports on the state of the world according to Sir Harry -- with data gathered from extensive reading and reports from our Foreign Ministry officials stationed in the world's major capitals.

Alamak! Another diversion! His Battle for Merger radio speeches have now been reprinted.
History records that he won this battle. But it was a Pyrrhic victory. In 22 months, we were  out of Malaysia! Does anyone remember what we gained from nearly two years in Malaysia? How about the downside? Do you remember the lingering resentment and bitterness that erupted in the Prophet Mohamed birthday riots in Singapore in July 1964?
When we joined Malaysia, do you remember exactly what Sir Harry did in trying to supplant Tan Siew Sin? Instead of looking after Singapore's wider interests (e.g. working towards establishing a common market, etc.), from Sept 1963 to Aug 1965 he started pursuing a personal agenda, wasting time and energy, carried away by his own eloquence in Suleiman Court in K.L. where he attracted huge crowds, mainly Chinese, cheering him on as he launched a personal campaign to do the Bumiputras out of their special privileges.
To the Malays, this man was "kurang ajar." Finally Tengku Abdul Rahman threw him and Singapore out of Malaysia. He wasn't a team player, he dropped the ball, he was barking up the wrong tree. (Sorry about the mixed metaphors here, can't resist how LKY kept baying about his vision of a Malaysian Malaysia.)
So on Aug. 9, 1965, LKY wept on TV – just political theatre 101. Forewarned, he knew in advance that separation was a done deal. On the Internet you can find this story. Though both the 1965 Singapore Yearbook and Struggle for Success have pinpointed Aug. 6 as the day Dr Goh Keng Swee, Singapore's visionary Finance Minister, was officially told that Singapore must leave Malaysia, Tun Razak, in his earlier talks with Messrs Goh and Lee, must have let on enough for them not to be taken totally by surprise.
Our Law Minister, the late Mr Eddie Barker, was asked by Mr Lee at the end of July to draft a separation agreement. The two had agreed that to prevent any leakage, Mr Barker had best do it himself, involving no official, not even a stenographer. The only person he could call on for secretarial help was the Cabinet Secretary, Mr Wong, whose office was just next to Mr Barker's in City Hall.
And so Mr Barker went to work, preparing not only the draft agreement but also other legal documents dealing with formal separation details, such as the division of assets. He told no one, not even his wife. Once the Tengku and his senior colleagues had made it clear they intended to go through with the split, there was much work to be done, the most important of which was to settle the terms of the separation. Dr Goh and Mr Barker represented Singapore in the negotiations. On the Malaysian side were Tun Razak, Dr Ismail and Attorney-General Kadir Yusof. They first met in the late afternoon before adjourning to Sri Taman, Tun Razak's Lake Gardens home.
Mr Barker had brought along his draft agreement, which Tun Razak and his colleagues read carefully, seeking clarification here and there. The two sides kept at it until Dr Goh said he wanted a break to return to Singapore House, a two-storey bungalow in the heart of KL which served as the official residence for Singapore ministers when they were there. He was hungry. But Tun Razak told him not to bother.
"I'll give you dinner," he said. In fact, as Mr Barker recalled, Tun Razak added in jest: "I've told the policemen outside not to let you and Eddie go until I give permission." After dinner, they were joined by Tun Tan Siew Sin, the Finance Minister, and Mr V.T. Sambanthan, Minister for Works, Posts and Telecommunications, who represented, respectively, the Malaysian Chinese Association and the Malaysian Indian Congress, Umno's partners in the Alliance government.
The negotiations went smoothly. Only a few amendments and insertions were made. The six of them -- Dr Goh and Mr Barker for Singapore and Tun Razak, Dr Ismail, Tun Tan and Mr Sambanthan for Malaysia -- signed the agreement just after midnight.
Luckily for Singapore, Dr Goh already knew what exactly had to be done. A key consideration for joining Malaysia was that there would be a common market, and we could be the New York of Malaysia, but every application for setting up factories in Singapore to export products to an enlarged hinterland (with Sabah and Sarawak included) had to go to K.L. for approval.
K.L. had no incentive to grant approval for these applications. Singaporeans generally had  been lied to – they had been led to think Malaysian officials have lower IQs. Nothing could be further from the truth. In K.L. they knew there was vastly more land in Malaysia for factories, the factories there could give the populace jobs, and they were literate in English then…
Dr Goh knew of the K.L. objections and realized that without the promised hinterland, we had to set up factories to export products to the world.
It is an open question whether Sir Harry could have sat down with the K.L. leadership to negotiate a deal for so many factories to be built in Singapore and so many to be set up in Malaysia. But he had antagonized the other side with his contentious "Malaysian Malaysia" campaign.
And MCA leader Siew Sin had the last laugh – after the separation, he told Parliament in K.L. about Singapore "this island of xxx square miles at low tide (pause) or is it high tide?" Gales of laughter.
Note that my own assessment at the time was that when we joined Malaysia LKY had decided from the word go to present himself as the champion of the Chinese (and other non-bumiputras), tilting at Umno ultra windmills (and the Sultans, of course). Curiously, in Tom Plate's "Conversations with LKY," Dr Mahathir Mohamed was among a number of world figures  invited to comment on what he thought of LKY and his legacy.
Dr Mahathir, Prime Minister of Malaysia 1981-2003 commented: "He is a big frog in a small pond. He is not satisfied with what he has. He had ambitions to become Prime Minister of all Malaysia. He tries to lecture people but people dislike that. People do regard him as an intellectual, as something more than just an ordinary politician. He's always invited to give his views on things and, to that extent, he is something bigger than Singapore. But the fact remains he is only the Mayor of Singapore. This is something he doesn't like. You see, he wants to be big. Feels that we in Malaysia took away his opportunity to lead a real country. But I think he will go down in history as a very remarkable intellectual and politician at the same time, which is not a very often thing." And I thought he only wanted Tan Siew Sin's job!
 And even when the die was cast and Tengku Abdul Rahman had decided that there was no future for Singapore in Malaysia, LKY pleaded in vain for some confederation arrangement… LKY records this in "The Papers of Lee Kuan Yew (truly an immense body of work, of more than a dozen volumes, presenting sanitized records of what he thought and did – "see what I did, I was so clever.")
And when the ultras were baying for his blood, LKY was aware that while we were still a member state of Malaysia, with K.L. in control of internal security, there were demands for him to be arrested as well as assassination threats. LKY and those ministers closest to him decided to seek asylum and set up a government-in-exile in Sihanoukville/Cambodia. As it turned out, there was no need for this; the separation blow fell before the gang of four or six or eight could hightail it to Cambodia. By the way, Khir Johari was against killing or jailing LKY – " we don't want to make a martyr of this man."
Curiously again, Tom Plate quotes LKY on page 31: "I think what the Western world readership does not understand is that at the end of the day, I am not worried by how they judge me. I am worried by how the people I have governed judge me. I owe them this responsibility when I put my self up for election in the 50s, won it, took them into Malaysia and took them out of Malaysia. We had to make an independent Singapore work."
All this was spoken with a grin, according to Tom Plate reporting on an extended interview on 27 and 28 July 2009 at the Istana. He also notes that LKY was "cocky and defiant, animated and very alert."
So what are we to make of this? In his self-serving memoirs, LKY makes a habit of glossing over difficult passages. Let's face it, what he did in Malaysia in nearly two years has come to a sad end  – and all he chooses to say is that he took us out of Malaysia! There is a word for this: dissembling!
On the plus side, after the separation, we succeeded in our Plan B to export to the world. For this we first have to thank Sir Stamford Raffles for location, location, location! Our tax holidays, our nimble English-speaking workforce helped, need I tell you more? Our pluses would fill a book; let's look at some of the more obvious ones.
First, count our people as a plus. Going back two or three generations, our first immigrants were mostly descendants of peasants from places like Guandong, Gujarat or Goa. They arrived on our shores penniless, hungry, willing and able to work – and work they did at first as coolies. In our museums look up pictures of how tongkangs were loaded and unloaded in the Singapore River. Later some moved up from coolies to working class and merchants… That's the historical background.
When independence was thrust upon us, if there was work to be done, it got done. In time, with MNCs setting up factories, any supply chain problem was quickly solved by what we now call the SMEs.
More pluses? How about our compulsory CPF savings, coupled with HDB home ownership, providing an unending source of funds that just begged to be invested? Add to that our COEs, parking and gantry fees. Despite our relatively low income tax rate, the money just kept rolling in …
As to what LKY did in Malaysia, historians will debate whether "good intentions and bad judgment" put paid to all his work. Certainly, he thundered and blundered, but I believe he was born under a lucky star, as indeed was Singapore…
So with hindsight we can see that in spite of LKY's false start in Malaysia, independent Singapore prospered. Perhaps we should thank our neighbours for failing to match Singapore's pluses in efforts to persuade MNCs to invest in their country. I will refrain from commenting on their perceived deficiencies and problems relating to how MNCs could not be sure they would get a square deal.
The best tribute to LKY, in my view, came from Mr Chan Chin Bock, super EDB salesman. Like me, after leaving school he was a teacher for a short while before joining The Straits Times as a sub-editor, seated next to me for a few weeks. Then he disappeared, without a word…
Anyway, as EDB super salesman, after lining up hundreds of potential U.S. investors, he relates how he arranged for LKY to talk to them.  Picture then, LKY, with his British accent, dropping his despot's mantle, he charmed and won over the investors, according to Mr. Chan. Tom Plate also acknowledges that LKY's passable imitation of BBC diction is not something to be sneered at. I am saddened to learn that Chin Bock is now confined to a wheelchair.
I do not know how many Singaporeans today remember that we had people selling snake oil on the streets in Singapore, but there is no denying that the snake oil salesmen of old Singapore knew a trick or two. LKY's sales pitch was perhaps another chapter in the story of Singapore salesmen's prowess.
Singapore was lucky after we were thrown out of Malaysia. For one thing, the PAP did not have battles to fight with the Barisan Sosialis because Dr Lee Siew Choh persuaded his 13 members of Parliament to shoot themselves in the foot; they boycotted Parliament and finally resigned. And the Barisan party just went belly up.
This is a personal footnote: Shortly before he died in 2002, Dr Lee decided to publish his memoirs. I answered his advertisement asking for help and met him in his home in a lane off Dunearn Road near the University hostels. I was there to present my credentials. In his living room, I met him, his wife and two sons, a doctor and a dental surgeon.
I didn't really want to help him publish his memoirs; what I wanted to find out was any private information about his relations with LKY. But that was my only visit to his home, because as I walked out, his two sons accompanied me to the garden gate and begged me not to humour the old man. It was clear they did not want the man's memoirs published. The Wikipedia record of Dr Lee's achievements has this last line: "His memoirs have not been published."
We were also lucky that we had friends in London. Harold Wilson's Labour Party decided to close all the military bases and pull all British troops out of Singapore. These troops and their families spent enough money in Singapore to help keep our economy on an even keel…Wilson decided to put off the departure of these troops for a full year. That was a big help.
I almost forgot. MNCs setting up shop in Singapore can count on one big plus – Singapore is one big strike-free zone. Google "Capt. Ryan Goh" and you will learn how LKY barged into a meeting of SIA pilots and read the Riot Act to Capt. Ryan Goh and the other pilots."
That put paid to any strike plans by the pilots and other trade unions in Singapore. The more recent minor strike by public service bus drivers recruited from China was an aberration. Their supervisors dropped the ball by not recognizing that a discrepancy in wage structures of these drivers and those recruited from Malaysia could have been explained satisfactorily before things got out of hand.
Capt. Ryan Goh's fate is a sad story. But even if you disagree with LKY's methods, you have to award him an A-plus for ensuring that we could give a guarantee of industrial peace to potential investors. LKY never had any reason to change his modus operandi.
Don't quibble about the fact that the pilots at that meeting could have ejected LKY – no locus standi, you understand?
Here I think another assessment of LKY's style is apt.  It is from a journalist buddy of many years Mr Cyril Pereira, now resident in Hong Kong:  "The man was capricious and loved to flay his victims. He did a lot of good and a whole lot of bad. Singapore history should not forget his imperious treatment of the state and all the people in it as his private property."

LKY never really bothered about good PR. When we had 12 MPs in Malaysia, he pleaded with the Tengku: "Let us be your loyal opposition," taking a cue from Westminster. We were ranked like all the other States, each one led by Mentris Besar.

However, in Singapore when we had any MPs sitting on the opposition benches, LKY made it a point to demonstrate that he had a mean streak. What he himself wanted in Malaysia, the opposition was not going to get! 
When you hear people say: "He got away with murder," more often than not, you know the words are not to be taken literally, but LKY cynically managed to get away with the premeditated murder of the Singapore Herald. In brief, this was how he did it.
If you are under 55, the following will be all new to you because you would have been in primary or lower secondary school when the following events unfolded in May 1971.
First, an example of how LKY speaks with a forked tongue about journalists. Similar gratuitous insults come trippingly off his tongue as the mood strikes him.
He has been quoted as saying, apropos nothing in particular:  "When students can't pass exams, when they can't make it to become doctors, lawyers or engineers, they plump for journalism."  Yet when he was writing his memoirs, LKY recruited a gaggle of journalists to help him get the job done professionally.
Also, he roped in journalists S. Rajaratnam and Lee Khoon Choy and Othman Wok to hold senior Government positions.
The complete story of the contrived murder of the Singapore Herald is told by Francis T. Seow in his book entitled "The Media Enthralled" i.e. enslaved. Mine is an abridged version.
I have to digress here – to provide the context in which these events unfolded. Let's begin with the Singapore Scene in the 1950s. Broadly speaking, the various segments of society were:
  1. The Establishment:  Our colonial masters, the administrators, the upper-class business community, e.g. A. C. Simmons managing director of The Straits Times, captains of industry, professionals, e.g. lawyers like C. C. Tan and T. W. Ong (Straits Chinese British Association), medical/health service professionals – and old money;
  1. The support system: the civil service, the police force, the British army, the law courts;
  1. The working class: clerks, teachers, merchants, immigrants, many toiling away as coolies…
Now let's study tribal loyalties.  Like it or not, despite official efforts to persuade us to sing that we are "one people, one Singapore," our tribal pulls are strong. The Chinese still have clan associations. How about Sinda? And other latter-day institutions with tribal roots?
On the internet you can find this: "Ong Teng  Cheong was a Hokkien, he was popular with the public; this triggered the inferiority complex of Lee Kuan Yew who is a Hakka peranakan. So LKY  became wary and jealous of Ong Teng Cheong…Lee Kuan Yew can only resort to threats and intimidation to rule."
The Straits Times editors misjudged LKY when he came on the scene. The tribal pull of the Establishment group, sitting pretty on top of the social pile, was so strong that when LKY took his first public steps as a lawyer/politician, acting as underpaid or unpaid legal advisor to the militant Middle Road unions, these editors and the Straits Times directors (our captains of industry then, who were also directors of Robinson's and Fraser and Neave and any number of other British companies) found it convenient to treat LKY as a brash upstart, a Johnny-come-lately advisor to some troublesome unions at the time…
So when LKY sent out press releases to the newspapers, invariably The Straits Times Editors dropped them in the waste basket – after reading them, because that's what editors do. LKY was fortunate that S. Rajaratnam was then Associate Editor at The Singapore Tiger Standard. Raja made sure that LKY's press releases were printed in the Singapore Standard although LKY dismissed the Singapore Standard then as "journalistic trivia."
And that was how, when I was also working at the Standard, I would find LKY eating humble pie a couple of nights a week for several weeks loitering in the Standard's backlane, an unhealthy place redolent of the odours of a septic tank because collection of "nightsoil" from backlanes stopped only a few years later with the introduction of mod cons.
He was there, in T-shirt and white shorts, seated at a teh-tarek stall, occasionally smoking and drinking beer, waiting patiently for David Tambyah (brother of a Dr Tambyah, one-time President Devan Nair's personal physician) to pick up two copies of the paper hot off the press a little after midnight – one for himself and one to deliver to LKY on orders from Rajaratnam.
Somehow, knowing LKY, I think he never forgave the S.T. editors. He later labelled them "those timorous editors" after he had brought them to heel. His public threats to jail them (using the I.S.A., also inherited from the colonial regime) resulted in The Straits Times shifting its head office to Kuala Lumpur after the 1959 general election – the company then became The Straits Times Press (K.L.) Ltd -- or was it Berhad? Can be checked on the Internet.
Back to the death of the Singapore Herald.  He trained his heavy guns on the press in general on 28 April 1971 at a seminar on Communism and Democracy. After dealing with what he did not like about the Chinese and Malay papers, he alluded to an English-language newspaper's dubious sources of finance and its encouragement of "permissiveness in sex, drugs and dress-styles."
Further, he accused this paper of "paying lip service to national service, then faulted it on every count." Another accusation: the Herald had been "taking on" the government since it commenced publication on July 8 the previous year. And he suspected that with the "dubious sources of finance," it followed that the paper was mounting a "black operation" against the government.
At the Herald, we waited with bated breath. We could guess at what he was up to, we knew of his irritability and impatience – of his orders to deny our reporters access to Government sources of information, etc. Our only proper response to his reference to "dubious sources of finance" was to remind him that the Straits Times group also had foreign investment.
LKY left it to Minister of Culture S. Rajaratnam to spell out exactly what he thought we had done wrong. Let us get this straight: this was not a list of criminal charges – still the list of alleged "offences" read like a prosecutor's list of charges…
The Defence – Day One: On May 19, in response to Mr Rajaratnam's list, I published on Page One our defence in a signed editorial headlined "The right to live with dignity."  On the same day, Mr Francis Wong's reply to LKY's charges was also published on Page One. (You should read these articles posted in this blog on June 27 2010.)
            [Cut to a day or two before Day One] Do you remember a stereotype movie scene
in which some poor soul is being questioned in a room by a group of heavies, whose leader begins by saying: "Ve haf vays to make you talk" ???
Well, believe it or not, our capricious, wily LKY has such a room in City Hall. I myself was questioned by him there.  He had invited newspaper publisher Sally Aw Sian, who had invested $500,000 in the Herald three months earlier, to meet him and she flew in from Hong Kong – only to be ushered into such a room to be questioned for a total of eight and a half hours over two days! She later telephoned from H.K. to reveal that he cast doubts on her motives.
And LKY himself made it abundantly clear at a celebrated press conference two days later that all he wanted to extract from her was a "confession" that the half-million dollars invested in the Herald was NOT her money.
That press conference, designed to brow-beat the manager of the Chase Manhattan Bank, Mr Hendrik J. Kwant, to reveal the extent of the Herald's indebtedness to his bank, was reported by the Straits Times – with almost the entire proceedings recorded verbatim. Over at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, just imagine how its Chairman and officials must have reacted in horror. Singapore was being promoted as a financial hub, yet its Prime Minister was forcing a banker to reveal details of a client's financial status.
After about an hour or so, I raised my hand, stood up and was allowed by LKY to observe that he had used the word "operation" only once and he was talking of a commercial rather than a black operation. "You are not persisting in this charge of  black operations, are you?"
According to Francis Seow's report on page 68, "In an unequal exchange of  obfuscated bullying, Lee attempted to silence Khaw by showing up his ignorance (of the Herald's financial position) and when it failed to dampen the irrepressible Khaw, told him bluntly that he was 'not part of the press conference' but merely 'a part of the Herald staff whose credit has been seized'."
LKY added: I am not here to be cross-examined by you." From this point onwards, it was clear that our Page One defence had blunted his "black ops" charges. And as I left the room later, at the door a young lawyer, Henry Hangchi, grabbed me by the arm, smiled broadly and asked: "Mr Khaw where did you study law?"
It was from this day that, putting together all I had learnt from first-hand dealings with LKY, I began to realize that his brilliant mind could be turned off at will – whereupon his mind was the worst kind one has to deal with, namely a CLOSED mind.
Consider this: Remember how he alluded to the Herald's encouragement of "permissiveness in sex, drugs and dress-styles." He railed against the way some young people were imitating  the Hippies at the time, and gave orders for the police to take "appropriate action."  The way he dealt with the problem amounted to a personal crusade!
In our newspaper, we pooh-poohed the idea that the Government should dictate how long people should wear their hair or how they should dress. He read this to mean we were encouraging "permissiveness." Well, his actions came back to bite him in that area which we decline to name a second time. His policemen rounded up three young men, gave them free haircuts; only the guys were Malaysians and they lodged complaints with their High Commissioner.  As a result, LKY had to put off a planned visit to KL. Ha!
Day Two: The publication of our Day One defence on May 19 gave our readers the first inkling that we were not going to take the Government's attacks lying down.  The earlier vague charges by the Government merely left people guessing. Now the battle lines were drawn. Concerned citizens stood up to be counted. The first letters from readers arrived, telling us that they wanted to help…
Our editorial offices on the 3rd floor of the People's Park Complex began to receive a large number of citizens, young and old, who asked what they could do to help. The numbers swelled after office hours. The Undergrad's editors asked for details so that they could print a response to the Government's actions.
Young schoolgirls volunteered to help sell our paper, journalists from the Straits Times group and the Chinese papers arrived to offer help. The Union of Journalists also pledged support.
Day Three, Four & Five: After reports of LKY's press conference hit the streets, people began to realize that, having been thwarted in his efforts to have us found guilty of  "black operations," his Plan B was foreclosure by the bank…
More letters of support flooded in… We reported that we were aware that our bank funds were likely to be cut off, so our staff had pledged to work without pay. I had to think of a better way to deal with this problem.
I spoke to a close friend, SIA first class cabin steward John Seah. I asked him what he thought of our struggle. Also asked him if he supported us. He did, but did not say so in so many words. I then told him that we could not appeal for funds, but the public could buy advertising space, e.g. place a quarter-page ad for instance just to say "This is a Save the Herald Ad," even add an appropriate message.  He bought it. And after the first ad appeared the next day, we started printing many more.
We received more offers of help, including free meals from owners of restaurants in the area
Best of all, Dr Chee Phui Hung, revered doyen of Singapore doctors (who was often affectionately addressed as "Agung") walked into my office accompanied by four or five men, who told me they were also doctors although they made a point of asking me not to identify them as members of any special group, such as the Singapore Medical Council, etc.
Again, a personal footnote: When I was studying in St Xavier's Institution in Penang, the Christian Bothers made a point of telling us at evening prayers about prominent alumni like Dr Chee Phui Hung. I also was a classmate of his younger brother Chee Phui Lay, who also graduated and practised medicine in Ipoh or Taiping. So I was delighted to meet Dr Chee Phui Hung at last.
Before the group left, Dr Chee handed over $25,000 in cash to pay for "Save the Herald" ads with a "Unitate Fortior" (Unity is Strength) signature. I report sadly that by the time our last issue was published on May 28, there was a balance of unspent ad dollars from these doctors that went to the receivers.
The remaining days up to Day Ten May 28: We were able to publish up to May 28. LKY could have pulled our publishing licence before May 28, but he gave us 10 days to publish letters asking him questions, mainly this question: "Mr Prime Minister, You have levelled charges, but have produced no proof. Just what are you up to?"  
I draw your attention to that "Lesson from Helsinki" pamphlet I posted earlier.  At the time,  I had to rely on reports by Reuters and AP to learn of  what LKY had said in Helsinki – in particular, the words he used to describe the "puerile, asinine and vicious attacks" on him …
I had the benefit of reading the exact words he used in the National Archives' record of his speeches. His exact words: "puerile, asinine and vitriolic attacks."  He was talking of words laced with vitriol!
Now, we may not always agree on what is puerile. "Asinine" is easier to define. "Vitriolic"  attacks certainly would not have been passed for publication by an editor like me. My reputation is secure in this respect. In all the letters published on the 10 days from May 19 to 28, I was careful to ensure that there was no chance that we could let even one letter land us in trouble – any incitement to violence, for instance, any seditious slant, would have to be stopped.
With hindsight, I now think it is very likely that crafty, devious LKY held off pulling our licence in the hope that we could slip up and let through a letter or two that could let him get away with a blatant lie like "vitriolic attacks" on him.
Anyone who cares to check our last 10 issues at the National Library can do so by going through the microfilm records – I have done so myself.
I am not really trying to move a lot of people to turn on LKY, who has been at pains to burnish his public image. "Compulsive self-promotion" is how Mr David Marshall puts it. All I really want is to find in Singapore "twelve good men and true" who will deliberate on what I have written and render a verdict … Have I made out a case in pursuit of justice?
In Dennis Bloodworth's "The Tiger and the Trojan Horse" published in 1986 – 15 years after the death of the Herald, I have found additional evidence to indict LKY. There on page 326, Mr Bloodworth declares in black and white that the Herald "was proposing to attack national service." He also quotes LKY as saying that it was " involved in black operations financed by hostile outsiders."
Now, remember we were never involved in a court case, but if these statements had been produced in court in a deposition, guess who would have been charged with suborning perjury? Who else could have fed Mr Bloodworth this information?

I repeat, I once admired LKY and his brilliant mind. Then one learns he can be petty – worse, not just petty, but small-minded.  Decent people despise small-minded people. (Note to Peter L: Now you understand).   -- ends --

Epilogue (edited on Oct 26, 2014, with additional details): A few select friends invited to visit this blog have said the above is an unsatisfactory way to end this report. What next? they ask. I did declare that I would tell all about how LKY did us in. See top right column of this blog, ending with "I have promises to keep." This I have done. To leave this undone would be unprofessional.

Because he acted within the law, there was no recourse. Perhaps now that he is exposed as one who has acted as a man without honour, he may come clean and say his mea culpas. Posturing? Why not? The National Archives has recorded other instances of posturing by him.

By the way, humility becomes all-powerful leaders. Reflect on the fate of dictators who did not learn to be humble, e.g. Mubarak, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi.

Don't expect any apologies from LKY, though. He offended the Muslims, remember? When told of his error, all he would say was: "I stand corrected."

A few words about the man’s habits: “He gets arrogant,” one of his ministers told me with muted fury in 1968, “gets testy, goes through the roof, won’t listen, shouts you down…” You’ll find this passage on page 325 of Dennis Bloodworth’s  “The Tiger and the Trojan Horse.”

Let us not forget that two of LKY’s most senior Ministers, Dr Goh Keng Swee and Dr Toh Chin Chye, began to distance themselves from the Prime Minister in the early 1980s….  Dr Goh resigned and left to work in China (and it is well-known that he is no Chinese scholar).

Dr Toh was also disenchanted and made no attempt to hide what he thought of LKY. He began to speak publicly in Parliament against PAP policies… Perhaps these two old-world gentlemen recognized that LKY was behaving like a bully and declined to be associated publicly with him.

I learnt early in life in boarding school in S.X.I. that the only way to deal with bullies is to stand up to them. If you don't stand up to them, they get bolder. In 1971, when the Herald published its defence we were standing up to a bully. This blog took five years to finish -- 43 years after the death of the Herald. So this is no rush to judgment.

And what did we have to defend? We were punished, unjustly and most brutally, for disobeying orders issued by an arrogant bully. Our most grievous sin was that when LKY issued an order not to publish anything about the 1970 National Day rehearsals, we published a huge picture with the marching column blanked out, but with crowds watching on both sides of the road. To LKY this was unforgivable. He had issued an order and expected to be obeyed. We actually complied by blanking out what he did not want to see printed.
We had a special message for him. Reading any open, obvious message is easy, but it helps to pay attention to body language as well. Our message, apart from the open words in the caption, was this: "Look Mr Prime Minister, you run the government, leave us to run newspapers."

In the caption, the harshest words by Francis Wong (Singapore's only Nieman Fellow) were: "It is a bit thick" that newspapers should be told to blank out a news event that thousands already know about.

By the way, LKY often declared that if there was anything printed about him that he disagreed with, he would rebut robustly ... Forty-three years have passed -- our caption, reading between the lines, clearly told LKY that his order not to print was, to use his own words, daft, asinine, stupid. -- and there is still no robust rebuttal !!! I intend to send him a postcard, addressed to him at Parliament House to ask him when we can expect his robust rebuttal!

It is worth noting that because LKY got away with muzzling the local press in 1971, he was emboldened to pass a few laws  to bring to heel, in quick succession, several regional newspapers and news magazines, e.g The Asian Wall Street Journal, The Far Eastern Economic Review, etc. This probably appealed to his intellectual vanity!

I could go on and on... Of  LKY's antics, Dr Catherine Lim has also published less than flattering reports -- in refined language. I am a journalist, I call a spade a spade. Still, I am keenly aware that many readers could judge what I have recorded as the rantings of a long-winded bore. LKY himself may instinctively say to himself: "Bah! Another strident, scurrilous attack on me." He routinely dismisses online anti-PAP and anti-LKY comments as "noise."

On TV after the 2011 general election, I recorded Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's comments on LKY's reminder to voters that they would be sorry if they voted wrongly -- using the word "repent."
Most Singaporeans, especially those who voted consistently for Chiam See Tong in Potong Pasir,  would have understood that LKY was uttering a threat. He had made sure that those Pasir Potong constituents would be last in line for HDB upgrading programmes, etc. although they paid their taxes, COEs, etc like other citizens, contributing equally to the national coffers. Only crafty, wily LKY could think of how to punish them with unequal treatment of this sort!

The P.M. said on TV: "I believe MM's comments were negatively received by a significant number of Singaporeans."  One PAP group constituency was lost to the Workers' Party and LKY was persuaded to leave the Cabinet and ride off into the sunset.

I learnt to ride a horse long ago, about the same time that I took flying lessons in a Gypsy Moth. Riding a horse involves the proper use of thigh muscles! It is sad to think of an old man riding off into the sunset, not on any noble steed, but in a wheelchair... while ruing the day in 1970 he issued that #^*#* order to Singapore newspapers not to print anything about the National Day rehearsals.

There is no ready explanation for that stupid order. We speculated at the time that LKY thought he couldn't trust newspaper editors. What if they published a close-up shot of some Israeli officers? In those days,these Israeli officers were masquerading as Mexicans in our Army to teach our Chinese soldiers to fight a war, surrounded as we were by Malay hordes...