Singaporean Indian Activist Tries to Dismantle Lee Kuan Yew Legacy

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Just days after a Facebook video of a polytechnic lecturer Tan Boon Lee admonishing Dave Parkash for dating a Thai-Chinese girl went viral, Singaporean activist Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh took the opportunity to once again pen his thoughts on the mysterious origins of racism in Singapore.

In his lengthy and unsurprisingly biased article, he argues that it was Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy that led to the rampant racism of today. Quoting Lee Kuan Yew’s earlier speeches which highlighted the human psyche’s inherent nature of being reluctant to accept another race into their family, Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh then accuses Lee Kuan Yew’s racist words and policies for the resulting racism in Singapore today, like the Dave Prakash incident. Why is Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh being so selective about the words of Lee Kuan Yew? Has he forgotten about Lee Kuan Yew’s other speeches about fighting to be a multi-racial nation?

Source: Lee Kuan Yew Press Conference 9th August 1965 – After Malaysia voted to expel Singapore

But if Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh is such a righteous crusader against racism, why is he condoning the racist actions of Zainal Abidin, the person behind the Sharon Liew persona? Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh even says that Zainal should not have to go to jail for his racially offensive tweets. Why the double standards?

Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh’s criticism about Lee Kuan Yew apparently doesn’t just stop at racism. After the passing of Lee Kuan Yew in 2015, Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh wrote a lengthy piece condemning Lee Kuan Yew as a ruthless dictator who eliminated his domestic opponents, including politicians, trade unionists and journalists, all in his effort to consolidate his power. But how else would a businessman or a politician expect to come out on top? Is Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh suggesting that others in Lee Kuan Yew’s position would not do the same? Does he expect Lee Kuan Yew to shake hands with his opponents?

However, Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh was quick to point out that Lee Kuan Yew did not massacre any of his opponents (many of whom were communists eager to destroy Singapore), but instead imprisoned them to a ripe old age, where they were provided for their entire lives. Unlike many real dictators in other countries, where they do actually slaughter their opponents and their families.

As if it wasn’t enough, Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh also calls Lee Kuan Yew a mercenary, who would sacrifice anything and anyone, which included friends, allies, history, culture and language, all in the pursuit of growth for Singapore.

But isn’t this the very reason how Singapore became the prosperous nation that it is today? The pursuit of growth?? But that aside, has Lee Kuan Yew really sacrificed culture? (has any culture been eliminated in Singapore?), or language (has any language in Singapore become extinct??). Just what on earth is Sudhir Thomas Vadketh talking about?

Some would think that Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh’s lengthy complaint, might have stemmed from him being treated unfairly and unjustly, or that he was simply blaming the government or Lee Kuan Yew for his own failings. But the truth is, Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh was one of many who had benefited from the system, who managed to get a good quality education locally at St Andrew’s Secondary and Raffles Junior College, which enabled him to get into UC Berkeley and later Harvard.

But why is Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh choosing to condemn one of the founding fathers of Singapore, instead of being grateful for benefiting from the prosperous nation that he help built? Would he prefer to languish in a country plagued by corruption and poverty?

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