Verification and some excerpts on “the aristocracy” below.
Presented in 4 sections:
P.S. Thanks to some hardworking netizens for help with research and fact-checking. Above image of LKY from Facebook.
1. “Meritocracy means a country picks its best citizens, not the relatives of the ruling class, to run a country.”
— Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (2015)
2. “Without a natural aristocracy. . .society will lose out.”
— Lee Hsien Loong, 2015
3. OCBC has been described as a “clan bank” with “familial ties between the bank’s directors and close networking.”
— The Star, 2011
- NOTE: Teo Chee Hean’s father and grandfather; Tony Tan; Tan Chin Tuan (Tony Tan’s uncle); and Mrs. LKY’s father (Kwa Siew Tee) held senior positions in OCBC.
4. “It is all but impossible to distinguish between legitimate and ill-gotten gains because there is no public disclosure of the wealth of officials and their relatives. Conflict-of-interest laws are weak or nonexistent. The business dealings of the political elite are heavily censored in the state-controlled news media.”
— ‘Princelings’ in China (NYT)
5. The networks of hundreds of GLCs that are popularly referred to as Singapore Inc are not just vehicles for the conduct of business. Collectively they provide an extensive and almost inescapable vehicle of elite patronage and power.
There have been scholars who have been critical of the government in their youth, but by the time they have arrived in government, they have always transformed themselves into models of elite solidarity.
— Michael Barr, The Ruling Elite of Singapore
6. It makes it a lot easier to understand Singapore if you [begin] from the premise that it is a Chinese family business, complete with a patriarch, an eldest son, guanxi networks and questions of cross-generational continuity.
— Michael Barr, The Ruling Elite of Singapore
7. Guanxi refers to the benefits gained from social connections and usually extends from extended family, school friends, workmates and members of common clubs or organizations. It is customary for Chinese people to cultivate an intricate web of guanxi relationships, which may expand in a huge number of directions, and includes lifelong relationships. The more you ask of someone the more you owe them. Guanxi can perpetuate a never-ending cycle of favors.
— Wikipedia (Guanxi)
8. “Family ties develop and strengthen over generations through family, clan, or tribal group activities and ceremonies. This family network can be a source of prestige as well as socioeconomic and political sucess.”
— Encyclopedia of Social Networks (SAGE)
9. “Fundamental change to the political regime will have to await Lee Kuan Yew’s demise. . .any legitimacy that Lee has secured through his personal authority will likely pass with him.”
— Cho Oon Khong, 1995
10. “It may not be imperative for us to know the family history of all the faces that appear in Singapore Tatler. But Singaporeans should at least know more about the roots of those who hold this country’s destiny in their hands.”
— Tan Sai Siong (Straits Times)
11. “Cling to people you can trust — your family, your clan.”[youtube.com/watch?v=3ofjSBGmOcY&w=420&h=315;feature=youtu.be&t=10m30s]
— Lee Kuan Yew, 1984 National Day Rally (video below)
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1. Verification for the right side of the image can be found on this post, re: how Tony Tan is related to PM Lee Hsien Loong.
2. Wee Kim Wee’s mother was Chua Hay Luan. Chua Hay Luan is the sister of Chua Kim Teng (father of Chua Jim Neo, LKY’s mother). Mr. Wee addressed Chua Jim Neo as “cousin” in the preface of a book published in the mid-70s. The preface was mysteriously removed from later publications.
3. This post has some text and links on how Teo Chee Hean is related to PM LHL.
In a 2006 Sunday Times article, Teo Chee Hean paid tribute to Tan Chin Tuan by saying:
‘I remember [TAN Chin Tuan] because he was very kind to my father (Teo Cheng Guan). After the war, he gave my father a job at OCBC and my father worked with him for many years. He was always very kind to our family.’
- READER TIP: Newspaper article about Teo Chee Hean’s family (mostly about Teo Eng Hock, Teo Chee Hean’s great-granduncle). The man on the right is Teo Chee Hean’s father. The woman in the centre with black cheongsam is Teo Chee Hean’s mother (Mrs. Teo Cheng Guan, or Madam TAN Suang). 张志贤 is Teo Chee Hean’s Chinese name.
4. On Teo Chee Hean’s link to Ivy Lim (sister-in-law of Kwa Geok Choo / Mrs. LKY): Teo Chee Hean’s father and Lim Chong Pang are the same generation. Teo Chee Hean and Ivy Lim Seok Cheng (Lim Chong Pang’s daughter) are the same generation. So they would address each other as 表姐, 表弟. In English, “cousin.” The link is through Teo Chee Hean’s great grand aunt (Teo Choon Lian) and Ivy Lim’s great grandfather (Lim Peng Nguan; spouse of Teo Choon Lian).
5. On Lim Kim San: Lim Chong Pang’s father was Lim Nee Soon. Lim Nee Soon’s daughter, Lim Mui Gek, married Tan Huck Khong. Tan Huck Khong’s uncle is Tan Chong Teck. Tan Chong Teck’s grandson is Pang Kim Hin — Tan Chong Teck’s eldest daughter, Tan Poey Quee, married Pang Leong Chwee and is the mother of Pang Kim Hin (married to Chew Kheng Imm). Pang Leong Chwee’s sister, Pang Gek Kim, is the wife of Lim Kim San. Thus Lim Kim San is the uncle of Pang Kim Hin.
6. On Goh Keng Swee: Lim Chong Pang’s father-in-law was Lee Choon Guan. Lee Choon Guan’s father-in-law was Tan Keong Saik. Tan Keong Siak’s father’s brother had a son named Tan Kiong / Keong Keng, who had a daughter called Tan Siok Kim. Tan Siok Kim was married to Chew Cheng Yong. Chew Cheng Yong’s brother-in-law was Goh Leng Inn, father of Goh Keng Swee.
* Tip: Many of the names mentioned above were the leading pioneers in banking and trading sectors during The Straits Settlements. They also held many leading positions in the municipal commission where they worked closely with the British colonial government in the running of domestics affairs of Singapore.
Hence, they all played influential roles in the politics and economy during that time.
As such, readers are encouraged to do their own reading on these pioneers.
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1. According to several netizens, this is the “main branch” of Singapore’s Royal Bloodline.
2. This chart shows the intermarriages between Straits Chinese Banking Families in Singapore. Done by Roy Ngerng (originally posted on his blog, TheHeartTruths).
3. A Feudalism chart showing the 99%’s place in society (image by Amendment Gazette).
4. Collection of “elitism” quotes by PAP Ministers.