Comparing the late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew to his son, current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Dr Tan said that LKY would “never run from a fight”.
But, his son apparently prefers not to even engage, as seen in how Deputy Prime Minister first spoke on his behalf regarding the reserved elections debate in parliament, then how Minister in the PMO Chan Chun Sing spoke for DPM Teo, and how Law Minister K Shanmugam had to speak for Maj-Gen Chan.
He also took a swipe at the prime minister’s wife, Ho Ching, saying he opposed her appointment (as head of Temasek Holdings).
He said that the wife of the prime minister is an “important” position and must not be seen to have any conflict of interest, and history has shown that there have been such conflicts.
Dr Tan said that there is a sense of “insecurity” in the current PAP leadership.
He criticised the PAP’s 4th gen leaders for being “soldiers” cut from the same mould and as such think and function alike.
Comparing them to the PAP old guard, Dr Tan said that the likes of Lim Kim San, Hon Sui Sen and Rajaratnam were a “very stable” group of leaders under the stewardship of LKY.
Dr Tan added that the Group Representation Scheme, which was formed with the intention of ensuring minority rights and a scheme that he had personally approved of, has since become a tool to coat-tail people into office.
Dr Tan said the PAP’s brand of politics has created “obedient” citizens whose lives are defined by “fear” and “insecurity”.
This, because of the pervasiveness of the government’s control, which causes them to consider their livelihoods when deciding on dissent.
He questioned, rhetorically:
“What kind of society will we have if fear defines our lives?”
A former PAP member of 26 years, Dr Tan said that some of his former PAP colleagues also share his views, but are afraid to voice their opinions.
Before a crowd-of about 200 people, some of which called for him to be a “unifying figure”, Dr Tan Cheng Bock revealed that he is planning to mentor what would hopefully be a new generation of political leaders.
“I want to be a mentor to teach people how to win elections”.
He said that he is willing to mentor “anybody who wants to learn”, whether they are from the PAP or the opposition.
“Quite a number have approached me to mentor them, and I will be meeting with them.”
With regards to contesting in the next General Election, Dr Tan said he is keeping his options open.