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Singapore Prime Minister brings up Nehru to tell lessons on democracy

During a heated debate in Parliament, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong invoked India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to argue how democracy should function in the city-state.

The news: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his speech, “Most countries are founded and begin with lofty ideals and noble values. But, more often than not, things change gradually over decades and generations, beyond the founding leaders and the pioneer generation,”

  • This happened on Tuesday during a debate on the Committee of Privileges’ report on complaints about untruths told by former Workers’ Party lawmaker Raeesah Khan.
  • Lee feels that imbued with enormous personal prestige, they strive to meet their peoples’ high expectations in order to build a brave new world and shape a new future for their peoples and countries. However, after the initial frenzy wears off, succeeding generations often struggle to maintain the momentum and drive.
  • “Things begin with a fervent intensity. Leaders who fought for and won independence are frequently exceptional individuals of great courage, immense culture, and exceptional ability. They emerged from the crucible of fire as leaders of men and nations. They are the David Ben-Gurions, the Jawaharlal Nehrus, and we have our own,” Lee further added.
  • Politics is changing, and people’s trust in politicians. After a while, the electorate begins to believe that this is the norm and that better cannot be expected. As a result, standards are lowered, trust is eroded, and the country continues to deteriorate, according to the prime minister.
  • “While Nehru’s India has become one in which, according to media reports, nearly half of the Lok Sabha MPs have criminal charges pending against them, including rape and murder charges. However, many of these allegations are said to be politically motivated,” the 70-year-old prime minister said.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Nehru

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