Kuan Yew's "technical" intelligence against Anwar

If BN was ousted, it may end Kuan Yew's dream of a Lee dynasty

The dark hand – albeit indirectly - of Singapore’s Machiavellian minister mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, in ensuring that Malaysia remains a non-competitor to his island republic has found its way out through WikiLeaks.

In an astonishing news report published in The Sydney Morning Herald, it was revealed that Singapore intelligence officials told their Australian counterparts that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim had committed sodomy in 2008 - based on their "technical intelligence".

The 63-year old Anwar has denied the manifestly fabricated charges leveled against him two years ago just as he was preparing to stage a parliamentary comeback. He has accused Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor of masterminding the plot to stop him from becoming a threat to their political power. Sodomy is illegal and punishable by imprisonment in Malaysia.

“No doubt, we are talking about WikiLeaks and there is bound to be a lot of junk and unsubstantiated slander involved, but the interesting point to note is that the root source is actually Singapore intelligence officials. Why did they ‘leak’ to the Australian officials? Did they also inform Malaysia, U.S. and the other South East Asian nations?” PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

It must be noted that amongst lawmakers around the world who have stood up for Anwar and demanded that Najib drop the trial, Australian members of Parliament have been the most outspoken. No less than 61 Australian senators have expressed their support for Anwar in a joint communique.

Singapore's taiko (big brother) syndrome

Kuan Yew -  a brilliant but ruthless dictator
Within South-East Asia's booming markets, which has a combined population exceeding 500 million, it is well known that Singapore aspires to play 'big brother' or take a lead role in regional politics. But it is held back by its minute geographical size and a mere 4 million population.

The largest economy remains Indonesia with a population that exceeds 200 million. And while Singapore’s economy may finally surpass that of Malaysia’s this year after being booted out from the Malaysian federation in 1963 for provoking racial unrest, Kuan Yew himself admits that Singapore's fate remains shaky and the republic may not survive more than 50 years.

Indeed, despite its huge wealth, competition from a neighbor as close-by and as well-endowed with natural resources as Malaysia – whose land size is also 447 times larger – can kill it and easily too.

So far, the chips have all been on the Singapore side of the table thanks to the incompetent and corrupt leadership of the BN government. Experts say past leaders including Mahathir Mohamad – an unpopular dictator in the same style as Kuan Yew himself – have only played to Singapore’s hand by promulgating racial politics and allowing race to color economic policies and decisions.

“If good and clean leaders are given a chance to overhaul the outdated and discrimnatory policies of the past, if leaders like Lim Guan Eng and Anwar are allowed to rule and clean up the system, Malaysia will boom. That doesn’t mean Singapore will flounder because they are very responsive but it may no longer be as easy for them,” Ramon Navaratnam, past president of Transparency International, told Malaysia Chronicle.

Opposition politics would end the dream of a Lee dynasty

But perhaps the factor that Kuan Yew fears above all else is the influence that the emergence of a viable two-party system in Malaysia will have on Singapore society.

Tian - social implications on S'pore is even more immense
His supporters say his warning that Singapore may not survive 50 years was to shock the nation out of complacence, that it cannot afford to take things easy, that it cannot afford to be corrupt or even to have a political opposition.

His critics however are less dewy-eyed, accusing him wanting to perpetuate a Lee-dynasty in Singapore where his children and grandchildren will always rule. It cannot be denied that his family has an iron-clad hold on the island's entire administrative and financial structure.

“Imagine if Anwar and his Pakatan Rakyat overthrew the BN government, what sort of signal would that send to the Singaporeans who are already becoming restless at the dictatorship that Singapore currently is. So it is not just economic or financial competition, the social implications are even more immense,” said Tian.

Endorsing Najib but at a huge cost for Malaysia

In news report entitled Caugt in political sex trap, the Sydney newspaper said the cable dealing with Anwar’s sodomy case was dated November 2008, when Malaysia was ruled by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and Najib was his designated successor.

Kuan Yew visited when Najib took over in Apr 09
''The Australians said that Singapore's intelligences services and [Singaporean elder statesman] Lee Kuan Yew have told ONA in their exchanges that opposition leader Anwar 'did indeed commit the acts for which he is currently indicted',” the newspaper wrote.

“The document states the Singaporeans told ONA they made this assessment on the basis of "technical intelligence", which is likely to relate to intercepted communications,” it added.

It is no secret that Kuan Yew personally favored the ineffectual Badawi-Najib team, which had lost 5 out of Malaysia’s 13 states to Anwar's Pakatan during the March 2008 elections. The BN also lost its long-held two-thirds parliamentary majority – an ominous signal that surely sent shivers down the authoritarian corridors of power in Singapore.

"This is why when Najib took over from Badawi last year, Kuan Yew agreed to come down on an official visit to Malaysia even though he knows he is not welcomed by Mahathir. It was to show the Chinese community in Malaysia that Singapore endorsed Najib and on his part, Najib has responded by agreeing to the KTM Tanjong Pagar land swap deal even though it disadvantages Malaysia greatly," PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Akin told Malaysia Chronicle.

"Kuan Yew has never liked Anwar even when Anwar was in Umno because of his ABIM (an Islamic Youth movement) days. When Anwar was able to get PKR, DAP to work together with the Islamist PAS in Election 2008, the Singapore administration was very nervous. They have great suspicions towards PAS and its ideal of an Islamic state."

Other interesting information contained in the leaked Singapore cable, which comprises the views of senior Singapore officials, included :

■ Malaysia is in a "confused and dangerous" state due to incompetent politicians.

■ Thailand's political elite are dogged by corruption and the country's crown prince is "very erratic and easily subject to influence".

■ Japan is a ''big fat loser'' and Tokyo and Delhi were struggling to deal with China's influence due to their "stupid" behaviour.


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