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tv   The House That Lee Built  Al Jazeera  March 1, 2018 1:32am-2:01am +03

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in our other top stories students have returned to marjory stoneman douglas high school in florida for the first time since a form a student shot and killed seventeen people inside the grounds dozens of police and grief counselors were on campus to help ease students back into their classes the shooting has galvanized nationwide the debate over gun laws with students promising to keep the pressure on leaders. afghanistan's president has offered to recognize the taliban as a legitimate political group as part of negotiations aimed at ending sixteen years of war garny made the proposal at the start of an international conference aimed at creating a platform for peace talks. donald trump has invited the emir of qatar to visit the united states in april jeff to mean a funny is said to receive the off a jury in a phone call with the u.s. president on wednesday both nations are keen to strengthen ties in a set to have discussed regional cooperation as well as economic issues so much
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more in everything we're covering on our website al jazeera dot com for all the latest on our top stories and analysis that takes you behind the headlines that's it for myself in the team here in london people in power is next. head of the september twenty fourth national election survey showed a satisfied for the state of their economy this is easily estonia's biggest tech success story the company was bought by microsoft in two thousand and eleven we bring you the stories that are shaping the economic world we live in counting the cost at this time on ounces era. by the time of his death in twenty fifteen singapore's founding father lee kuan yew had one widespread respect as the architect of the city state's prosperity but he'd also been accused of restricting freedom of speech and repressing political opposition now his complex legacy is on scrutiny amid
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a bit of family dispute and growing calls for greater democracy weeping to find out why. it's one of asia's richest cities a modern metropolis safe orderly and business friendly. often described as an economic miracle tiny singapore has no hinterland and a few natural resources. when the former british colony became an independent nation in one nine hundred sixty five there were even doubts about its survival. to
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take all seven in less than one generation form a developing country and one of the most developed countries in the world you know we have to be grateful for mr lee kuan yew for having this last say that vision. it would be prudent for us and use asia to have europe as a four part to talk about singapore success is to talk about its first prime minister lee kuan yew adored by many appalled by some l.k. why as he is often referred to was as controversial as he was visionary. he does loom larger than life a lot of the story singapore tells itself is wrapped up with my grandfather and a lot of the story in the world has about singapore's wrapped up with him although he's a very rough and tough man by he gives you the confidence that i get things done you may not like it never mind but this is the way of being should be happening.
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when he died in two thousand and fifteen an estimated one and a half million singaporeans turned up to say their final goodbyes. most were ordinary people. grateful for what they said were the contributions of a great man. later that same year the ruling people's action party co-founded by lee kuan yew and in power since one nine hundred fifty nine one nearly seventy percent of the vote in general elections giving least son singapore's current prime minister lee hsien loong a resoundingly mandates we've had a good fifty years we must go forward now to make the next journey just as fulfilling just as successful just as amazing to the world and two of those.
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two years on the mood is markedly less upbeat. singaporeans have long been told that they live in a meritocracy run by the very best minds that perception is now being challenged in unexpected ways. on the fourteenth of june two thousand and seventeen a curious post started circulating on facebook titled a public statement by liu a ling and lee c.n. yang we have no confidence in pm lisi and long and are worried about singapore's future it was the opening salvo in what some are calling the oxley feud. at the center of the quarrel this house a colonial era bungalow on oxley road just off singapore shopping district this is where lee kuan yew lived for nearly seven decades and where he raised his family he
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had repeatedly said he wanted it demolished off to his death. now according to lee's younger children their brother singapore's prime minister was doing all he could to preserve the property. my father and odds were very reluctant about going public the fact that they took that step was because they felt very much sort of forced into a corner like all the you know various arms of government were being our rate against them and you know that if they kept quiet they would have seen. essentially a careful dismantling of my grandfather's last which. in an astonishing series of facebook posts lisa and young and leeway ling accused their brother the prime minister of misleading their own father. even more disturbing they said he to produce the executive power in a bid to preserve the house at oxley road. and they alleged that their brother and
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his wife wanted to milk lee kuan use legacy because they harbored political ambitions for their son lee homely the simple answer is that i didn't deceive my father i explained to you yesterday how my father's primary wish on the house has always been clear he always wanted it knocked on. where my siblings and i differ is on whether my father was prepared to consider alternatives should demolition not be possible in early july the singapore parliament cleared lease of any wrongdoing after a two day hearing at the time his people's action party held eighty three out of the eighty nine elected seats here. both the prime minister's office and lea hongi declined our requests for comment but on facebook posted for what it's worth i
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really have no interest in politics. the thing about not being interested is you can remain an interested until you become interested if he didn't want to be in politics he could have said things a lot more clearly and in a way that would be you know at least a little bit difficult to walk back. was spending the day weirdly shown in cambridge massachusetts. near me and how you know my family and i really did history i mean when my grandfather wasn't about to go he stayed and. now it dinners at elliott house every monday it's you know it's my one work obligation. and a columnist at harvard university who was in singapore on holiday when he found himself in the crosshairs of the oxley feud the catalyst was a post on his facebook page in which he described singapore's court system as
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client it was visible only to his friends but someone he's not sure who took a screenshot which was quickly shared online the government demanded a retraction and apology chung refused and prosecutors have since commenced contempt proceedings against him he's agreed to meet us today on condition we not talk about the case instead we discuss his grandfather's legacy there are two histories we could be telling ourselves twenty years from now there is a history where we say that my grandfather made a great contribution to singapore's development to help make it become a modern society with sort of a professional unimpeachable government and his legacy would be that you know unlike. many models of sort of independence leaders who are big
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personalities right that he would have managed to create sort of good institutions that would outlast him. and there is a model you know twenty years from now when we look back on singapore and say this is just one more country where it had a good leader and there are lots of early in the pendants leaders who did great things but our country and it still circling the orbit of what used to be i worry that in the years to come the government won't have the courage to step away from relying on his legacy. now lives in a self-imposed exile he says he has no plans to go back to singapore and no desire to be involved in politics it's valuable in singapore that there be a transition away from the family brand name. i'm not sure why my grandfather chose his own son and was willing to have his own son go into politics and be prime
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minister. but all i can say is there are a lot of human beings you know if there's one person in the world you're going to overestimate it's your own child. across the world another singaporean is also trying to live a quiet life away in a self-imposed exile. roy moved to taiwan's capital taipei a year and a half ago. few people here know it but he was once an activist and opposition politician who ran and lost in singapore's general elections in two thousand and fifteen. another thing after the election it was actually quite difficult to look for charles. you know big international companies with employing me as well. so at that point i i mean one who one of us for life my life he who i knew and the living and it was difficult to do so. i must say out there all over the line of.
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the public's attention when he started writing and speaking about singapore's central providence fund or c.p.s. a mandatory saving scheme for working adults this is what i want to hear the mayor who have the money to pay that whatever you thought here i thought it was think yes in may two thousand and fourteen shortly before this protest lisi on long suit him for defamation over a blog post and was sacked from his job at a public hospital. the prime minister's lawyers said he had insinuated that lisi on long was guilty of criminally misappropriating c.p.s. funds all i was concerned about was to talk about the pension if i was. being able to able to live fair equal life i just want to talk about that but the last
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was complete destruction. he lost and the courts awarded the prime minister damages and costs totaling some one hundred thirty six thousand us dollars. is paying in installments and won't be free of debt until two thousand and thirty three. it's clear he's struggling to come to terms with all that's happened . if you don't live in singapore you're on the stand the fear you know. what it does to your brain and then if you don't understand the concept of the somoza of the goal true so sometimes when i put the question the people i tell them you know they said they are scared i say ok if i would challenge the government and they are so that means they're scared. it's no secret singaporeans do not enjoy many of the liberties citizens in most first world nations take for
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granted the economist intelligence unit classifies the country as a florida democracy and it is ranked one hundred fifty first out of one hundred eighty countries on the reporters without borders press freedom index. there's just one place where public protests are allowed. speakers corner a field near the city center surrounded by surveillance cameras. we were playing the usual game at the back that was the police by. some activists have gathered today for a silent protest to mark international human rights day. for most singaporeans the occasion is a nonevent the kind of soft western political freedoms that the western media for example have to talk about are not things that the majority of the powers value anyway prosperity can be achieved without having to fall a western. political system. there's another school of thought though that
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says most singaporeans ought to scared to catch a retired lawyer and activist long still remembers the night thirty years ago when police came for. i never saw myself as a threat to the p.d.p. and i never saw myself as having the ability to lead people to go and confront. the government. you know well as the rest i just couldn't believe that. she was held for more than two years without trial rounded up along with twenty one other singaporeans in a crackdown code named operation spectrum. the government said they were part of a marxist conspiracy. the notion that there was ever a conspiracy has been widely discredited bought it would be more than two decades
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before these former detainees dad to speak publicly about their experiences you know oh. you know i. obviously had it. in those i was just. coming and he did. a few singaporean activists expect a repeat of operation spectrum. but there remains very little room for dissent. last october police arrested artist ceylon parlay when he stood in front of parliament that's part of a performance in on a former parliamentarians charts hypo who was imprisoned without trial for twenty
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three years on the singapore end or just one pos and can constitute an illegal assembly. if you did what i did in most other countries especially as an artwork right morning when i get on with christian i think most people just need to be alone. my intention was to form the world and then if unjust laws get in the way of the realisation of it then that's that's not really my problem that's the state's issue that it has to deal with itself. paul a was released off the ridge day in custody but if he is charged and found guilty he faces a fine and up to six months in prison. oh form a p a p member of parliament tan chang book says lee kuan yew believed such draconian measures were necessary i remember only twenty one said you have to have that during his time the need for you to get things done.
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in two thousand and eleven ton surprised his former posse when he ran for president narrowly losing to a candidate backed by the p a p. handed out there are the president's role is largely ceremonial but he or she can in certain situations prevent the government from drawing on singapore's reserves he or she also approves key public service appointments many easing up organs are waiting to to get somebody to ask those questions. or to solve resolve straying whether we have any lossless who is who is putting its finger into it is resolved. i think most important also is the appointments you know. how do you appoint people. very important you appoint people based on friendship as
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a president i would not allow that not yet of. his plans to stand again in two thousand and seventeen were thwarted when the government changed the rules reserving that year's election for candidates from the men lay a race and tightening requirements for those hoping to throw their hat in the ring one and you would think the government explained that the session as necessary for minority representation. but the move sparked a rare protest with hundreds of singapore in the showing up at speaker's corner to express their displeasure. in here and only one candidate qualified to stand former house speaker and p.h.p. member of parliament early may yeah call them why not have free and fair elections because the p.p. does not have the confidence that it can actually win a free and fair election what it shows really is the very short termism of the p.h.p.
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it shows their fear of transparency their fear of people actually having a voice a say you know their fear of giving up even a tiny iota of power. articles published monday thursday tom divides his time between coordinating a program on southeast asian studies at oxford university and managing an online publication and think tank in singapore so any questions paid points would you not let the mostly. one of his goals is to get singaporeans to be less afraid to speak up but he knows it won't be easy he too has been penalised for doing so. i used to work for the national university of singapore and after i sat the publishing and giving lectures about my research which proved that lee kuan yew had lied about his use of detention without trial from the one nine hundred sixty s.
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onwards i was privately informed by someone senior in the university that i would never be able to work in singapore as an academic it's part of the formal academic system again. the people's action party agreed and then changed its mind about having a representative speak to us but we've managed to contact some of its active supporters. want to see if this is really a valuable life. patrick you is a long time grassroots leader. and i look at singapore all the fundamental is really very sound. we have in many countries governments in great luck selling out even their own country and countrymen so that the will be able to achieve their own personalized version on parties and objectives i think if you look at the
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governance of your set up in singapore to see that there's no check and balance is not completely correct i think we do have a group of leaders even though this serve under the same political parties they are willing to stand up to voice up their concerns sometimes don't in public sometime not in the parliament but behind closed doors. but even among staunch party supporters the oxley feud and the controversy surrounding the elected presidency have been a test of faith i will not deny that people be shaken by what have done last year but trust the government be shaken but we must always remember why is the policy making there must be a reason we have to be patient i and i have trust in the party in the ruling party . the only opposition party with seats in parliament declined to speak to
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us so i think they're forming two thousand so we're spending time today with the singapore democratic party when human unionism was you know the. case although i think any so it's kind of encouraging you know we've had a couple of very good conversations we've had the usual people get of us but otherwise i think it's a pretty good no we're not going to from you doree. pool tambi are ran and lost here in two thousand and fifteen right he's pressing on but remains realistic about his chances for success and you reduce you lose. your cranium disappear and that's right thank you gerri i mean i think you know thank you very much good to see you. and you're up against if you've got annoyed and they make use of all the resources available to them they have all the mainstream media but ultimately you know. i'm pretty sure that. the thing is not sustainable they're kind of monolithic sort of
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one party ideology it's not sustainable the morning it so nicely needs you she says you want to do this it's a belief his colleague has held on to foot decades now sorry to bother you in the sunday morning how are you she soon drawn has been arrested jailed sued and bankrupted for his political activities. he's never won an election especially in a system like we have in singapore we're still very autocratic people are still very fearful i've heard countless times where people have said we want to vote for the opposition for you but you know we're not sure if votes can be traced back we'll try to assure them there's absolutely nothing to fear because your vote is absolutely secret of us spread the word and join a facebook or what i think that singapore would be better off if there was a robust presence of the office. and parliament that there be enough competition
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that you know the ruling party doesn't feel like it can do whatever it likes. we meet again in hong kong two days before the new year. he's spending a somewhat surreal holiday away from home. i don't know exactly how much the government keeps trying to surveil my family but this is probably the first christmas where i've made christmas plans with the family sort of over encrypted messaging. when i see my parents outside of singapore right now i feel a sense of relief. that they're not there. and that's a very odd thing to feel about whole. new believed in the power of fear but now members of his own family are too afraid to go back to the country he
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walked so hard to build my grandfather always worried about having the family together but he also worried about the persistence of singapore's institutions. i just don't know you know. looking both at what's happened to the family and what's happened in singapore's institutions i just don't know what would have caused a more grief. the way we communicate is what defines us. don't ways has been. as innovation in technology continues to shape our lives. i am hearing content creation and distribution utilizing cloud technology and artificial intelligence. the future has never seemed closer than it does today. and what lies beyond the
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a survivor of the genocide there are people who beg me to kill them when they're suffering but it didn't come to heart and he's dedicated his life to searching the woods for bones of the victims of the srebrenica massacre. holding them here is that all. you know hope of finally laying the past to rest and giving peace to the victims' families because you need to if i could just kind of think about i could bury him bone hunter at this time on al jazeera. this is al jazeera. hello i'm rob matheson this is the news our live from doha coming up in the next sixty minutes internet and bombings and plans of
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