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Bertha Henson Calls on Lee Hsien Loong to Step Down as Prime Minister

Prominent political critic Bertha Henson has called on prime minister Lee Hsien Loong to step down, saying that the personal affairs are becoming too much of a public spectacle.

The NUS journalism lecturer said in a Facebook post today that Lee is “past 70 and the worst of Covid is over”, alluding to the prime minister’s earlier statements that he wanted to hand over the baton upon turning 70 and once Singapore has emerged from the pandemic.

She added that Lee’s “authority” has been affected by the Lee Family Feud, and leaving behind a fractured family as his legacy is not what his father, deceased former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, would have wanted.

This is Bertha Henson’s post, reproduced in full:

“I am taking a lot of risks here but it might well be a good time for LHL to step down. He is past 70 and the worst of Covid is over.

His family affairs are becoming a public spectacle when much of our time should be focused on the greater needs of the country.

Let’s start on a new slate with LW and company.

As a private citizen, there will also be less of a perception that State power is being used for essentially a family squabble – although the State will deny this strenuously.

This squabble, in my view, has affected his authority. People will remember a fractured family as his key legacy, not quite what LKY would have intended.

He can choose to sue whoever he wants who repeats his siblings’ words (and he has) but making a point in court is not going to banish images from people’s minds.

We are getting distracted by the nitty gritty of drawing up wills, the definition of fugitive and abscond, prosecution versus persecution and whether names should have been released etc – as if we didn’t have enough to think about when the issue of the house came up during the family squabble.

Let the PM handle his own affairs, and let the G concentrate on the work ahead. With that, I wish the Lee family all the best. Patch up or be estranged. Don’t need to let the rest of us in on it.“

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