Friday, December 05, 2008

Singapore better off with one-party dominance, says PM

Singapore is better off with one dominant political party, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says.
He made the comments Sunday at a conference of his People's Action Party (PAP), which has ruled the city-state since 1959.

"As long as PAP provides clean and good government, and the lives of Singaporeans improve, the country is much better off with one dominant party," Lee said, according to a text of his remarks received yesterday.

He said change must take place not between parties but within the PAP, "changing itself to stay in step with the times, and ahead of events."

The PAP has all but two elected seats in the 84-member parliament.

Singapore's leaders have frequently maintained that Western-style liberal democracy is not the right model for their country.

The prime minister's father, founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, said earlier this year that the opposition would ruin the city-state's achievements in five years if they ever gained power.
He has also been quoted as saying that stability for investors in Singapore is more important than the democracy promoted by Western media.

The elder Lee is widely credited for shepherding the underdeveloped port into one of Asia's wealthiest nations in a generation. But despite its economic success, local and international civil rights groups have criticised the government for cracking down hard on dissenters and political activists.

Lee Kuan Yew holds the cabinet post of Minister Mentor in his son's government.

Singapore better off with one-party dominance, says PM
Macau Daily Times, Macau