MM Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore was originally to have been awarded an honorary doctorate of laws from the Australian National University. However, due to criticism from Australian academics over MM Lee’s “oppressive regime” (echoed by Professor Michael McKinley, a senior lecturer there), MM Lee may not get the diploma after all. In a face-saving move, the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore has come to the rescue, offering to award MM Lee two honorary doctorates to make up for the one he may not get. One will be a doctorate in Defamation Law, and one will be a doctorate in Nation Building Science, two areas that the minister mentor is undoubtedly an expert in.
MM Lee also pointed out that Prof. McKinleys comment’s, which included the words “oppressive regime,” lack of “intellectual openness in [Singapore],” and “repressive” are grounds for defamation. “I am not oppressive,” stated MM Lee, “and I will sue anyone who says that I am.” The case is expected to be filed in a Singapore court, not an Australian court, however, due to the greater fairness available in a Singapore trial court.