On the heels of his successful e-mail rant to hundreds of people about Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) leadership faults, Mr. Li Hongyi, a low-ranking officer (2LT) and son of Singapore’s PM Lee, has decided to take his letter-writing campaign one step further. Although 2LT Li is very upset and frustrated about conditions within the SAF leadership, he is even more angry and frustrated about the top brass in the Singapore government’s leadership. 2LT Li’s approach to remedy the situation is not to work his way up the chain of command domestically, but to reach out to hundreds of foreigners by e-mail and make sure everyone understands his thoughts on the matter. Singapore Donkey has obtained a copy of his new e-mail:
I am using this last opportunity to issue a letter of complaint against the quality control of leaders in the Singapore government, more specifically against its PM. During my time as his subordinate, the PM was AWOL on at least 2 counts (sipping tea when he was supposed to be attending mentoring tutorials with MM Lee), attempted bribery (threatening to become corrupt without a 50% salary increase), and lied to his subordinates and foreigners (about the treatment of his political opponents and the true amount of freedom in Singapore). The judiciary HQ has effectively given no punishment, and has not even made these infractions known to the rest of the public. PM has banned publications about his wrongdoing, and has even sued those such as the Far Eastern Economic Review and its editor who have tried to inform the public about his infractions.
Even if you attribute the lack of punishment to extreme leniency, the decision to not inform the public about his bad leadership is even more suspicious. Especially in a democracy such as Singapore, where the importance of duty cannot be over emphasized, to not even inform the public of the occurrence is to send a signal that there is nothing wrong with his actions. If it was unintentional it shows gross negligence for something which is clearly an important matter, and if intentional shows a level of corruption that I need not elaborate on.
While some might say this is just a small matter, a story of a single bad prime minister, the fact that it was not dealt with more severely is indicative of a bigger problem. It shows the lack of quality control being practiced for the leaders of Singapore. The following quote was taken from Singapore’s own homepage:
“The quality and commitment of our people will continue to be the most important determinant for advancement” – Member of Parliament Ms Indranee Rajah
We can take criticism about having archaic laws against homosexuals, repressive newspaper ownership laws, and even questionable relevance of censorship in the Media Development Authority to modern day operations. But one thing that cannot be tolerated is a reputation for having bad leaders. Such a reputation would compromise Singapore’s credibility far more than using refurbished British colonial laws or old mentors for our ministers.
While I may only be a 2nd lieutenant, I am a citizen of this country. And as a citizen I have the right to demand high standards from the leaders of Singapore. While it is true that high standards are hard to come by and even harder to enforce, for such events to come to light and yet nothing be done about it is to say the very least, unacceptable and disappointing.
2LT Li Hongyi
2LT Li is expected to depart Singapore for his studies at MIT, into which he was admitted because of his intelligence, not because of any family connections or Singapore’s donations of money to or connections with MIT.