Singapore needs charismatic leaders like Lee Kuan Yew: PM Lee

ANI | Updated: Apr 08, 2018 01:19 IST

Singapore [Singapore], Apr 7 (ANI): Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said the country still needs charismatic leaders like former Prime Minister and his father Lee Kuan Yew, who could argue in the Parliament eloquently and hold the government to account.

Addressing the Singapore University of Technology and Design's (SUTD) first Ministerial Forum earlier this week, Prime Minister Lee said, "It is hard enough to build a strong team of leaders in a small country like Singapore. It would be shortchanged if I were to ask three ministers, for example, to switch sides just to boost the opposition."

He added, "The more you have a safety net for the performer, the more dangerous the stunts the performer will do. Because there is no risk, so you will push further. The People's Action Party (PAP) government certainly did not create any 'safety net' for the opposition to let them win easily in any elections. On the contrary, it created monumental obstacles for the opposition to overcome."

Prime Minister Lee stressed that the current multi-party democratic system in Singapore, that is, the First-Past-The-Post voting system adopted from the Britishers, was not designed to have one dominant party in the country, The Online Citizen reported.

"It came about over time," he added.

Using his father, Lee Kuan Yew, as an example, Prime Minister Lee recalled that the PAP won only three out of the 25 seats in the country's then legislative assembly when it was in the opposition in 1955. He said that one of the three seats was won by his father.

"I think the (then) colonial government was fully held to account. Today, they don't have such a person in the opposition," he remarked. (ANI)