Lee Kuan Yew more than anyone else built modern Singapore, and his legacy will be unrivalled economic progress and development. There is, however, a dark side to what he leaves behind – too often, basic freedoms and human rights were sacrificed to ensure economic growth. Restrictions on freedom of expression and the silencing of criticism is still part of the daily reality for Singaporeans. “We all talk about what he did right, but there is not enough discussion about what he might have done wrong,” says Sudhir Vadaketh, a writer. “There were a lot of things Singapore gained under his rule, but there were a lot of things lost too: such as individual liberty and a belief in a more egalitarian society. The pursuit of money, class consciousness and status became very much entrenched under his leadership.”
Slow progress in political and media freedoms as well as curbs on civil society were also features of his long rule. Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said Mr Lee’s economic legacy speaks for itself but it came “at a significant cost for human rights”. He tweeted: “Singapore should end Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy of being a one-party state where political opponents are targeted and contrary views muzzled.” You do realize there are kids who have killed themselves over bad grades, right? Don’t punish your child for not meeting some arbitrary expectation that you have. They can still get into a good college, obtain a decent job, etc. with a few Bs.