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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 

Coming Soon: 4-Part Series on the History and Founding of PAP & the Old Guards of Singapore

The past articles of this blog focused mainly on the present and recent history of Singapore Politics, on PM Lee Hsien Loong, Third Generation Ministers and on recent Election issues. But no Singapore Politics would be complete without the history of PAP, its early founding and the tale of 6 men. As such, I will try to attempt on a new direction (more like reverse direction) in bring the past history of Singapore Politics to “blog space”. Thus this will be a 4 Part Series on the Histories and Leaders that would be featured in the coming month. Here are the synopses:

Part 1: History and the Founding of PAP
For those who have visited the PAP website, would know that they have a short concise history of the Party. As in most concise history, the details that they left behind are often the most important and interesting. Stories of their struggles, backstabbing, “politicking” and crisis made what PAP is today. This article will span from 1957 to the day of separation with Malaysia in 1965 and involved the lives of Seven Key Leaders that shaped the present day Singapore Politics. Lee Kuan Yew, Goh Keng Swee, Toh Chin Chye, S Rajaratnam, Devan Nair, Lim Chin Siong and Lim Kim San. Aside from Lee Kuan Yew, who is well publicized to say the least, the 6 other leaders will be featured in separate articles.

Part 2: Old Guards and Leaders of Singapore I
True Founders of Singapore: Dr Toh Chin Chye and Dr Goh Keng Swee
Both men were the pioneering members of PAP and Deputy Prime Ministers of Singapore. One is the founding Chairman of the PAP, the other the true architect of Singapore’s success. In the confusion of Singapore’s sudden separation with Malaysia, PM Lee Kuan Yew wept on national television and withdraws to a government bungalow in Changi. But behind the scene was the stabilizing force of Dr Toh Chin Chye made the chaos orderly. Dr Toh also played a crucial role in the development of Science and Technology in industrialization of Singapore. As for Dr Goh Keng Swee, he is widely hailed as the true architect of Singapore’s success with his visionary leadership. He was first Defense Minister and practically transformed the swarm lands of Jurong into an industrial oasis.

Part 3: Old Guards and Leaders of Singapore II
Almost Prime Ministers: Lim Chin Siong and Devan Nair
Both men were said to be Communist and detained for several times for their beliefs. But if history has taken its turn, Lim Chin Siong would have become the Prime Minister of Singapore, or at least this was what Lee Kuan Yew said. Once, Lee Kuan Yew introduced Lim Chin Siong to David Marshall, “Meet the future Prime Minister of Singapore!” David Marshall laughed but LKY said, “Don’t laugh! He’s the finest Chinese orator in Singapore and he will be our next Prime Minister!” History has its own ironies with LKY himself being the PM. Devan, on the other hand, was the lifeline of PAP after the party split. Should he have joined Lim Chin Siong and not created NTUC, the power in office today would not have been the PAP. With the credit of bringing the union over to the PAP, he was later appointed President of Singapore only to unceremoniously resign from office.

Part 4: Old Guards and Leaders of Singapore III
Leaders Home and Abroad: Lim Kim San and S Rajaratnam
The HDB housing is probably one of the very rare cases of public housing gone right in the world. Where every other country failed and Singapore’s public housing succeeded due to one leader, Lim Kim San. Away from home, the Foreign Minister that steered Singapore into the Global map was S Rajaratnam. The investments we attracted, the foreign relations we built, the diplomacy that was forged when Singapore was not even on the world’s map, Rajaratnam made us a “country”. After independence, two main problems plagued Singapore: Housing and Jobs. Lim Kim San assured the housing and Rajaratnam brought in the foreign investors and made diplomacy our only defense when we do not have soldiers.

Hi trasy:

Answering wolong's calls eh? ;)

lol zi wo zhe at82 ye lol

how my chn nt bad ar

u may refer 2 this bk called "lee's lieutenants"

oiiiii got others leh u going 2 leave them out no big no small hehe joking la u wana write who write who lor hehe others whom u left out r ong p b e w barker othman wok but its more or less there la
e w barker plated a crucial role during separation lky thanked him 4 a bloodless coup in 1975 when spore was stable barker wana leave e govt n returned 2 law but lky asked "whom hv i got?" hence he stayed on til 88 when lky was debating abt ministerial salaries he said he felt v guilty abt barker had he remained in law he wld hv been paid more he robbed him of @ least 30 million coming bk 2 the pt tht we shld pay men 4 wad they r worth nvr underpaid a gd man nt easy 2 find even found he may nt wan 2 serve

lim k s is a gd reader of men even after stepping down as minister lky put him in charge of a selection panel which screen potential PAP candidates his nephew stood against jbj during anson by election in 81 but lost.

how? my political knowledge nt bad ar? lol

Hi At82

In a diplomatic way, I'm "listening" to my audiences (probably only you and wolong)...hahaha...

Nah, actually I always wanted to write on the old guards and it is also a good opportunity to study and learn about our past leaders.

Hi Wolong,

Yes, I've got that book and another source that was based on one-on-one interviews with the 6 mentioned names. As for other leaders like Ong Pang Boon, Othman Wok and E W Barker, I do have the information as well. But I wouldn't want to promise too much too soon. Actually I was also thinking of writing on K Byrne. One of the lesser known founding backbone of PAP. As they say, only promise what you can deliver! haha...we will see how it goes.

Have pity on the writer (aka me!) who has to juggle studies (taking an unprecendented 25% more modules than other undergraduates for his second major) and many other "external" commitments on the "ground", as well as conducting an individual research of youth voting behaviours!


wellllll i believe we r nt ur onli audiences many politicians reading 2 but.......

But what?

hello Thrasymachus

am a fan of your blog :D

do you have a email add...?

but they dun wan 2 comment la

write abit on opp la u may start with e 3 in parl nw how wld steve chia win? lol

Hi trasy:

Hee, looks like u will catching the attention from above huh ;)

from who? at82 tht chn word means wad? uncle here no study hor enlighten me

wana noe when elections coming? lol

wellll lky maybe the captain of the team but without capable lta he wont make it 2. can MJ win 6 nba chiampionships without scottie pippen, luc longley, horace grant etc etc u know the ans

but hving said tht the cpt must be superb 2 for ultimate responsibility falls on him

halo u think i so stupid xiao di sui bu cai but........ gms v smart ma say 1st 3 wks of dec 05 ask him predict lor lol btw where is gms? v quiet on ur blog hor lhl challenge ltk lead a team 2 amk he dare lol

To wolong:

u mean the pic? Oh it is the traditional chinese character for 诚 which means sincere. :)

So when is GE? hahaha

orhhhhhh so u v sincere la? ya must be sincere 2 e ger u wana chase hehe

then u noe wolong means wad? since u all in2 chn history dun hv 2 say la u all noe

To wolong:

haha... I know la. Hidden dragon nick for zhuge liang. ;)

Hi Wolong and At82

Whoever reads this would not change much of the content that I intend to write. haha...I guess this is the number one principle on politics according the great Aaron Wildarsky: "Speak truth to power".

Surprise that wolong didn't comment much in the "Singabloodypore" blog. Haha..no meaning intended.

And At82, I was at the George Soros forum as well. Guess wat, on the same day, JBJ was selling his books outside the Convention Centre near his talk.


Hi Wien

Thanks for dropping by. Glad that you found this blog interesting. Any comments left on this blog will be emailed to me too. So you don't need to email me and your comments will still reach me well and good. Thanks!


so george soros was referring 2 him? u bought any of his bks?

how did soros teach u anything? make a bet against the pound slp n wake up nxt morn 2 be richer by 2 billion rite? lol

mahathir hate him like shittttt

u think i go 2 tht blog lol

zhuge liang styled kongming zhuge kongming well known military strategist in romance of 3 kingdoms who wked hard for the restoration of han dynasty. his famous words "ju kong jin cui si er hou yi"

sad 2 say brains is nt all u need 2 achieve big aims. its a combination of many traits. guts determination "chopper ability" etc etc r required.

2 be honest there r @ least 2 chances whereby he could defeat sima yi but he din capitalize on it or rather i shld say ppl ard him din seize the chance

1st chance - @ the valley so wad heaven help him rain by then he lost many troops burnt 2 death wang ping was there y din he giv chase?

2nd chance - sima yi was even frightened by a wooden statue of zhuge liang if i were jiangwei i wld jiang ji jiu ji lol

haha ur old uncle here nt bad ar can be strategist? no la uncle bu cai frd say if i born tht era can reunify china woh think they making me happi lol

Hi Wolong

Just came from the "front line" at 1.05am....

Nope, Soros didn't teach me to make money with a single British pound...haha

Nope, I didn't buy JBJ's book but I've got a friend who lend me the book but have not read it yet...still sitting on my shelf.


what u mean by "frontline" dun understand leh lao uncle no study toke simply can? hehehe

Hi Wolong

Can't really spell it out, if not, my identity will be at risk...haha...

Let's just say it is a service to the "citizens"... ;)


MPS isit say la aiyo scared wad wah cum bk so late must be helping a heavyweight minister then ever go down to teck khee branch prof tan wld cover lhl pity him dunno wad time go hme (all these things we do ppl noe duuno rite onli know how 2 draw parallels between nkf and pap btw u comment on sporeloyalist y bother him melvin tan rite lol he dun bother u leh lol)

btw u go there help out any young boi boi or all quite old liao like me ar lol

u noe y some ppl dun bother u cos ....... btw where gms u go his blog y so quiet ltk dun dare lead a team 2 amk rite hahahaha

do u noe y opp always roughly capture tht % of the votes (stop saying there's no level playing field hor u think they form e govt of cos they will nt they giv us level playing field)

gms say wad errrr media always show the bad side of them like chee shouting @ goh c t y chee dare 2 shout dun dare 2 be shown on tv? lol u say media pro pap let me tel u u dunno how ST anti pap in the 50s

Yo Trasy,

What do you think of what I said about the "4 time bombs"? u have been quite quiet on this, give some feedback leh ;)

Hi T,

Could i post some of your articles in some forums? i think they do give a more balanced view to what most Singaporeans, esp the younger ones, have of PAP.

BTW do you know of Dr Albert Winsemius's role in the development of Sg?

Yes, very little is know of Kenny Byrne, do write something on him if you can afford the time. And more on "Almost PM" can?


Hi Lock2ky

Thanks for your comments. Perhaps it would be good if you let me know which articles you wish to post and on which forum. Maybe then, I go give you a definite answer. Thanks!


This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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