Mr Lee Kuan Yew will no longer be called a Minister Mentor. He will now simply be called the Honourable Member for Tanjong Pagar. He has announced his retirement from the government cabinet, the first, and perhaps the last time since Singapore's independence in 1965, almost 46 years ago.
He has done the right thing. Not that his views are no longer valued. I enjoyed reading him in Hard Truths, and find agreement in much that he had to say. But there is a sense that his politics, built through the struggles in the 1950s and 1960s, and surely thereafter putting in tough policies to ensure Singapore's survival and prosperity, reiterated in Hard Truths, is perhaps past due. This is not to take away the incredible achievements of this man. It takes a coup or an uprising in some countries to push a sitting leader, such as Hosni Mubarak, and Ben Ali of Tunisia, off their seats of government. Fortunately, in Singapore, it took a General Election, a democratic process no less, for both Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Mr Goh Chok Tong, 2 former PMs, to call time on their stay in the Singapore Government Cabinet.
I wish Mr Lee Kuan Yew more great years of health and happiness for he certainly deserves them.
For Mr Goh Chok Tong, becoming a tuition teacher towards the tail end of his political career isn't too bad either. One only hopes that the student is worth his time.