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(中英文对照) Interview with Thum Ping Tjin about Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore – Part 2 历史学家覃炳鑫博士谈李光耀(2)

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马来西亚独立电台BFM89.9邀请牛津大学全球历史中心的客座研究员和牛津大学东南亚项的协调员覃炳鑫博士就李光耀的逝世进行访谈。(译者按:覃博士也是《新加坡1963年冷藏行动50周年纪念》(The 1963 Operation Coldstore in Singapore)一书的共同作者之一。他撰写的文章是:《‘骨肉团聚’:新加坡中文社群与人他们对新马合并的观点》(Flesh and bone reunite as one body”Singapore Chinese-speaking and their Perspectives on Merge)。他还撰写了一篇极其重要的文章:《Lim Chin Siong was wrongfully detained林清祥被拘留是错误的!》

https://wangruirong.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/lim-chin-siong-was-wrongfully-detained)

 

本网站已经在2015326日刊登了第一部分。(见:https://wangruirong.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/

 

以下是访谈第二部分的中文翻译。(本中文翻译内容如与英文原文有不符之处,均以英文版本为最终的解释权。)

冷藏行动中文版

Lee Chwi Lynn: 我们已经建立了有关为什么新加坡选择自己的前途的说法。您已经就有关早期新加坡经济和他(李光耀)被描述为是创造经济转型计划,是为了减少新加坡受到攻击经济条件的影响所带来的损失,和改进新加坡本身的经济前景以便继续增长。这是极其重要的。您怎样看待有一个国家的规模以及它缺乏天然资源。那些它是实行了哪些政策来确保经济增长的。

Thum Ping Tjin: 好的。Lynn小姐,您是知道的。我必须把问题摊开来说,因为李光耀并不是主导(新加坡)经济的主脑人物。在行动党的内阁成员有李光耀、杜进才、吴庆瑞、拉惹勒南和王邦文,经济的主脑人物是吴庆瑞。王邦文是目前仅存的一个内阁成员。

但是,他们是一个很好的合作团队,大家都各自对行动党做出了贡献。李光耀是不可争议的领导人。他是一个政治家。他是一个能够把计划落实的人,但是,他不是一个经济主脑人物。吴庆瑞才是一个经济主脑人物。我个人认为,这是非常不公平地把(新加坡)经济成就的功劳归功于李光耀,即便是一般上大家在谈到新加坡的经济成就时都说这是李光耀的功劳。

Lee Chwi Lynn: 我想,在今天的卜告都包含着有关这方面的讨论——他在某方面是负责,或者说,如您所知的,他在经济上成就是有很大方面的功绩。

Thum Ping Tjin: 假设,就经济上的稳定成就而而言,我想这是主要的组成部分。假设您从官僚权限,有效性——这些情况(指经济成就)就不是李光耀个人所带来的了。杜进才是行动党的中枢人物。他是一位有效力的党领袖。王邦文是党的组织秘书,同时,这也和受华文教育者有关。拉惹勒南是这个群体的理论家,回过头来说,吴庆瑞的一个经济学家。您是知道的,在我们谈论新加坡的经济成就时,首先我们必须记住一点就是在李光耀之前新加坡已经能够是一个非常富裕的国家了

 

在1930年(新加坡)人均收入的数据上,新加坡已经是亚洲国家中最富裕的了。在二战结束后,进入1950年新加坡已经在经济上复苏过来了。所以,尽管在亚洲唯一可以声称富裕的是东京。但是,它是一个大都会,不是一个国家。

所以新加坡是一个非常富裕的国家。但是,当时新加坡存在着的一个大问题是:它是一个剥削性的殖民地经济。工人在新加坡是没有基本权利的。他们无情的剥削工人阶级,所以当时的新加坡(社会)是谁难以置信的不平等。

在1950年,新加坡人的人均收入是约1200元马来亚币(不是马来西亚令吉)。但是,它的收入中间值仍是处于贫穷线下一样。这就说是100马来亚币。因此,您可以想象,在当时的新加坡 富人是那么的富裕。他们可以累积平均12倍于中间值的贫穷线。

这就是当时的新加坡情况。当时李光耀最大的成功点就在于:他认识到这一点而与工会共同进行工作——那就是为实现一个更加平等、社会主义和民主的新加坡而努力。在当时,整个工作在新加坡蔓延开来——在这个地方,第一次不论你的出生地是来自哪儿,大家都拥有共同的机会:你实际上,即便是你不会说英语,例如——歧视不懂说英语的也排除在外。

所以,我想,他们的卜告里所提的是缺少了一大部分事实。新加坡的富裕不是在李光耀领导下的行动党所取得的。

李光耀,(我所说的)李光耀是在1960年代和1970 年代的李光耀和1960年代和1970年代的人民行动党是一个社会主义政党。它当时的目标是要把新加坡建设成为一个平等对待自己的公民的国家。这是它们真正的(宝贵)遗产。

Lee Chwi Lynn: 关于这一点,回到1999年刊登在《时代》杂志的一篇文章提到了在亚洲其他国家缔造者他除外,这是个复杂而他所未曾做过的事。——他未曾涉及贪污。他未曾掌权在位很久。您同意这个看法吗?

Thum Ping Tjin: 很好,这并不是真实的……您可以在我的学术论文找到的答案是‘不是真实的’,而不是‘是’或者‘不是’(笑声)。

他没有贪污。是的,这是绝对的。但是,你问一问自己——新加坡是一个没有天然资源的国家。而其财富是依靠外国投资。外国资本流入是经济的基础上。如果你在新加坡贪污,你是不可能侵吞新加坡的天然资源的。你必须创造一个可以让外国资本进入新加坡的环境。然后,你把外国资本减少。这就是你为什么不会在新加坡成为贪污犯。假设,你现在看回过去20年行动党的领导人所做的一切,总理的薪金已经是朝向2百万元(新币)目标上。那您就问一问自己,这是不是贪污(行为)?当新加坡人在选举投票时,可以问一问自己;这是不是可以简单的预言和透明化的腐败情况。这是不是贪污?

 

对于您另一部分的问题,你就是:他并不在位很久。好的。他昨天还继续是一个国会议员啊!您说对吗?他只是在2011年离开内阁。他离开的原因不是他自己选择离开——而是因为行动党自独立以来赢得的支持票是最低的。事实上,假设他在1991年离开内阁的那个时候。他是可以退休了。我想,他的卜告内容应该更坦白和仁慈一些。这样人民将会记住他的贡献。但是,他选择要成为资政和继续长期深入介入新加坡的政治(事务)。当然,他的儿子是总理,所以他的影响力仍然是存在的。所以, 如果您问我(这个问题),我个人认为,他掌权太久了。

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: 在李光耀的整个漫长的事业里,行动党要如何调整他们的政策?因为在这些政策上,他们是保证新加坡在某些程度上的成功的同时也面对抨击的。

Thum Ping Tjin: 是的。我想,我现在最大的顾虑是李光耀逝世后,我们是不是把李光耀制定这些政策视为是某些信条。李光耀很喜欢使用‘实用主义’这个字眼。这也是就他成为政治家的一个座右铭。这包括了他在的政治事业一身中戏剧性的改变他的政策。

 

在1955年到1959年之间,他是热衷于民主、透明化和自由(运动)的群众偶像——这一切(运动)在他取得了掌权之后都进入了橱窗里了。因为他不要让人家对他的政策产生质疑。接着,在1959 年到1963年,甚至是到了1965年,他热衷于认同与一个马来亚。他热衷于实现一个更大的马来西亚;在1965年后,他热衷于新加坡的独立。当然,这一切并没有经过投票的。他仍然还是一个社会主义者。因为他还在谈论着平等和公平和英才教育。

 

但是,从1980年或者接下来,在新加坡的反对党已经被他镇压下来后,他就把自己转为一个更加公开的独裁主义者。在制定自己的政策时采取了具有实用主义和效益性的政策。当然,后来他把这个政策明确的阐述成了‘亚洲价值观’——假设一个容纳30到40亿人口的区域,把它说成是‘亚洲价值观’。这一切不就是当时他要证明自己的政策吧了。(待续……)

Interview with Thum Ping Tjin about Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore – Part 2

新书:1963年冷藏箱的50周年

Lee Chwi Lynn: We’ve established, possibly, the motivating factors for why Singapore was the way it was, why we had to part ways. You mentioned the economy earlier and he (Lee Kuan Yew) is described as having instituted an economic diversification plan which limited Singapore’s vulnerability to international economic conditions and improved its prospects for continued growth, which is very important when you’re looking at a country of that size and with its lack of natural resources. So what policies did he implement and used to ensure this?

 

Thum Ping Tjin: Well you know Lynn, again, I think we need to unpack the question a bit because Lee was not the economic mastermind, Goh Keng Swee was the economic mastermind. Of the big five in the PAP Cabinet – Lee Kuan Yew, Toh Chin Chye, Goh Keng Swee, S Rajaratnam and Ong Pang Boon – only one is left, Ong Pang Boon.

 

But each of them contributed very different things to the PAP and they worked incredibly well together as a team. Lee was the unquestioned leader, he was the master politician, he was the one who could get things done but he wasn’t the economic mastermind. That was Goh Keng Swee. And I feel it is very unfair to credit economic success to Lee Kuan Yew even though it’s become so popular to talk about Singapore’s economic success being the result of Lee Kuan Yew.

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: I think almost every obituary today has kind of included that in the discussion – he was responsible in some way or, you know, in a big way for the economic success.

 

Thum Ping Tjin: If you think of stability as a key ingredient for economic success, yes.

 

If you think of bureaucratic competence, efficiency – those are the things that Lee Kuan Yew brought although he wasn’t the only one. Toh Chin Chye was the steel spine of the PAP, he was a very effective party leader. Ong Pang Boon was the party’s organising secretary and also the link to the Chinese educated. Rajaratnam was the philosopher of the group but Goh Keng Swee was the economist and again, you know we talk first about Singapore’s economic success. It is important to remember that Singapore was a very very rich country before Lee Kuan Yew.

 

By 1930, Singapore was the richest country in Asia in terms of per capita income. And after the war, by 1950, Singapore had recovered already. So the only place in Asia which could claim to be richer was metropolitan Tokyo which of course is a city not a whole country.

 

So Singapore was fabulously rich, but Singapore’s big problem was that it was an exploitative colonial economy and it had no workers rights. It ruthlessly exploited the population, the working class. So Singapore was incredibly unequal.

 

The mean income in Singapore in 1950 was around 1,200 Malayan dollars, but the median and modal of income was the same as the poverty line, which was about 100 Malayan dollars. So if you imagine, the rich in Singapore was so rich that they pulled up the average, the mean to 12 times the modal and the median income which was the poverty line.

 

That was Singapore’s problem and Lee Kuan Yew’s great success was recognising that, working with the trade unions, helping to make Singapore a much more egalitarian and much more socialist, much more democratic place. It was a place where for the first time, regardless of your birth, you actually had opportunities; you actually, even if you didn’t speak English, for example, – that discrimination against non-English speaking – work was rampant in Singapore; the introduction of the women’s charter.

 

So the PAP’s great achievement under Lee Kuan Yew was not to make Singapore rich, it was to make Singapore fair and I think that is missing in a lot of obituaries.

 

Lee Kuan Yew – the early Lee Kuan Yew, the 1960s and 70s Lee Kuan Yew – and the 1960s and 70s PAP was a socialist party that aimed to make Singapore a fair place that treated all its citizens fairly, and that is their real legacy.

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: On that note, an article in Time Magazine back in 1999 claimed that what really sets this complex man apart from Asia’s other nation-builders is what he didn’t do. He did not become corrupt and he did not stay in power too long. Would you agree with this?

 

Thum Ping Tjin: Well, not really…. You’ll find that as an academic my answers tend to be “not really” rather than “yes” and “no” (laughter).

 

He did not become corrupt. Yes, absolutely. But ask yourself – Singapore is a country with no natural resources. Instead, its wealth lies upon foreign investment, foreign capital flowing in. If you become corrupt in Singapore, you can’t plunder your country’s natural resources. You have to create an environment where foreign capital keeps flowing in. Then you take your cut of that foreign capital. That’s how you would become corrupt in Singapore. Now if you look at what the PAP’s leaders have done in the last two decades, where salaries – the Prime Minister’s salary is now upwards of $2 million. And ask yourself, is that corruption, or is that simply having predictability and transparency in your corruption. That is a question that Singaporeans need to ask ourselves when we are faced with the vote at the ballot box.

 

As to the other half of your question, [whether] he did not stay in power too long. Well, he’s still an MP as of yesterday, right? And he only left the cabinet in 2011, and as a direct result – not because he chose to leave, but as a direct result of the PAP’s lowest vote share since independence. He could have retired – if he had left the cabinet in 1991, I think his obituaries would be far more generous and far kinder, and I think people would remember him with greater fondness. But he chose to stay on as Minister Mentor and continued to intervene heavily in Singapore politics for a long time. And of course, his son is Prime Minister, so he still has influence there. So I think he stayed on in power too long, if you ask me.

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: And throughout the course of his very long career, how were the policies of the People’s Action Party justified? Because, of course, these are policies which, while they guaranteed Singapore some measure of success, also came under fire.

 

Thum Ping Tjin: Yes. I think that, again, my big fear now that Lee Kuan Yew has passed on, is that we take his justifications for those policies as some sort of gospel. Lee Kuan Yew loved to use the word “pragmatic”, and that’s what he was as a politician as well. Whatever worked at the time, he would use. And that included his justifications for his policies, which changed dramatically over the course of his political career.

 

Between 1955 – 1959, he was a massive champion for democracy, transparency, freedom – and all these things went out the window once he got into power, because he didn’t want his own policies to be questioned. Then from 1959 until 1963, and even 1965, he championed a Malayan identity, he championed the idea of a greater Malaysia; after ’65 he championed an independent Singapore, and of course, not having electoral certainty, he still was a very socialist and talked about equality and fairness and meritocracy.

 

But from 1980 or so, once the last vestiges of Singapore’s opposition were shut down, then he switched started becoming far more openly authoritarian, and justified his policies in terms of pragmatism, efficiency, and of course later on he articulated this “Asian values” – as if one can generalize about a region of 3-4 billion people and say that there’s such a thing as “Asian values” – but these are all things to use to justify his policies at the time.

 (to be continue….)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “(中英文对照) Interview with Thum Ping Tjin about Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore – Part 2 历史学家覃炳鑫博士谈李光耀(2)

  1. 不错的文章,内容观念明确.禁止此消息:nolinkok@163.com

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