SINGAPORE (AP) – The estranged brother of Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is not taking part in next month’s general election, but said on Tuesday he hopes to be a “catalyst for change” when the campaigns started.
Lee Hsien Yang, who brought his family feud into politics by joining an opposition party, said the ruling People’s Party “had lost his way” from the time his father, Lee Kuan Yew, was Prime Minister. He hit on his brother and said that empirical evidence showed that dynastic politics are causing bad governance and that Singapore’s leadership had failed people.
“I chose not to stand for political office because I don’t think Singapore needs another Lee,” Lee Hsien Yang said in a statement on Facebook. “I’m not looking for power, prestige or financial rewards from a political office. I hope to be a catalyst for change.”
“We need new ideas to breathe new life into Singapore. We need to have real discussions and a rigorous debate with a diversity of Singaporean voices as we try to navigate the challenging waters, “he added, urging Singaporeans to” fearlessly vote “for a brighter future.
The PAP, which has ruled Singapore since 1959, has been praised for its economic management, but has also been criticized for muzzling the media and voting against. It won an overwhelming victory in 2015 with 69.9% of the vote and achieved 83 out of 89 parliamentary seats. This year, it faces matches for all 93 parliamentary seats, but the opposition is fragmented.
Prime Minister Lee, 68, told reporters after his candidacy on Tuesday that he was not concerned about his brother’s influence on voters. The elections are expected to be the last for Lee, who has been ruling since 2004 and plans to retire.
“As for Lee Hsien Yang, I have no comment. He has the right to speak, just like everyone else. Today we can have five, six million votes on the internet on social media. The public will judge which ones are worth listening to and which ones make sense, “said the prime minister.
The Lee brothers, whose father Lee Kuan Yew was Prime Minister of Singapore for 31 years and turned it into a prosperous city-state, have been working since 2017 on a public space about the future of the late patriarch’s home.
Lee Hsien Yang and his sister Lee Wei Ling accused their oldest brother of abusing his power to prevent them from demolishing the family home according to the wishes of their father, who died in 2015. They accused him of trying to keep the house to keep his house. own political popularity and legitimacy. Lee Hsien Loong said the government should be able to decide whether the house will be preserved as part of the national heritage and that he played no part in the decision.
Analysts said the presence of younger Lee can help the opposition make a profit, but will not seriously threaten the PAP.
Prime Minister Lee “this time tries to lead the PAP to another famous victory amid the global pandemic,” said Eugene Tan, a law professor at Singapore Management University. “However, if the PAP does poorly, it would lead to an in-depth review and raise serious questions about what the mandate means.”
Opposition parties have accused the government of putting politics above public security by conducting polls during the coronavirus pandemic, but Prime Minister Lee has said they can be safely held. Campaign is being muted, with strict safe distance measures and rallies prohibited. More polling stations will be established, the 2.65 million eligible voters will have specific times to vote to ease the crowds and priority will be given to seniors.
On Tuesday, politicians wore masks at nomination centers to submit their candidacy, but the usual fanfare and loud crowd of supporters waving party flags were missing.
The small city-state, which has one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in Asia with over 43,000 cases, removed most lockdown restrictions earlier this month. Most infections are related to the dormitories of foreign workers, but have since declined while cases outside the dormitories have stabilized.
Associated Press Writer Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia contributed to this report.
Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.