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(中英文对照) 历史学家覃炳鑫博士谈李光耀(3)(完结篇)Interview with Thum Ping Tjin about Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore – Part 3

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 转载自《公民在线》网-2015年4月4日

 您的浏览器的软件可能无法支持这个视频。但是,您可以下载MP3来聆听.

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)

冷藏行动中文版

本网站已经在2015326日刊登了第一部分。

(见:https://wangruirong.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/

本网站已经在201545日刊登了第二部分。

(见:https://wangruirong.wordpress.com/2015/04/04 /

以下是访谈第三部分的中文翻译。(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。)

 

历史学家覃炳鑫博士谈李光耀(3)(完结篇)

Lee Chwi Lynn: 这也是一些部分是在强调理想的对吗?人民把票投给我那是因为我给他们带来了所要的结果,这是人民所要知道的。我假定这些结果是来自承诺,反过来说,这是否是让他获得了权力。因为,人们已经说,他做了。但是,他获得了这样的反馈。

 

Thum Ping Tjin: 但是,他同时也是两个不同的标准。因为,他没有承担犯下的大量巨大的错误。第一个最大的错误就是新加坡从马来西亚的分割出去。他却让自己犯下错误的焦点转移到经济上。——这就是他为自己所塑造的声誉和新加坡的成功。

  

在1970年末期,他提出所有的重大政策是破坏了新加坡的根基的。因此,他们尝试使用所谓通过‘第二次工业革命’把新加坡的经济转型。这就是尝试把新加坡推向价值的梯级,——提高薪金,推向高科技的经济。换言之,行动党尝试单方面重新尝试确定新加坡在世界经济的地位。他们知道,他们不仅可以这么做,资金会立即逃出。

 

我想,是1983年和1984年之间,新加坡的国民生产值(GDP)剧降了10%。这是一个巨大经济萎缩。在那个时候,他们就开始对公积金、建屋发展局进行胡搞了。把新加坡的选贤教育制度的基础改变为今天的精英教育政策。

 

在思考新加坡的问题时必须考虑这四大方面的问题的因素——经济方面、住房问题、公积金政策和教育政策方面。他们在1970年代末期开始在这四方面进行胡搞。您可以看到在1980年初期出现巨大的灾难,这就是导致1982年(工人党的)拉惹勒南中选为国会议员和1984年(民主党的)詹时中中选为国会议员。这是新加坡首两位反对党国会议员。人们之所以发出声音,那是李光耀没有实现的他的承诺的结果。这一切都是他自己搞砸的。

 

现在李光耀除了自己以外要求所有人承担责任。

 

这就是为什么在1980年到1984年,他把自己所有的老战友——吴庆瑞、杜进才、惹耶勒南和王邦文都被挤出(政府内阁)。在1980年或是1984 年他们都先后都离开了。同时,他又引进了有新思维的新一代领导人。但是,您看,谁没有离开(内阁)?谁还继续担任总理的职位?

 

在这段期间,为了确保新加坡人不会再要求他承担责任,在1980末期,他引进了一系列专制的措施,其中包括了通过市镇会直接把公共服务与选票挂钩;为了稀释反对党的支持票,他设立了庞大的集选区制度,民选总统制度;为了避免宗教组织群起反对他们,而制定了许多新的法律、法规和条例控制宗教组织;制止律师公会对他们制定的新法律进行评论;理所当然的,在1987年到1988年,他们又重新使用内部安全法令的手段。——在‘光谱行动’计划下,他们逮捕了一群社会活动分子。所以,当我们谈到(李光耀的)成就时——那是李光耀自己自毁诺言、自己不愿承诺责任。他们修改了法令以便防止未来的政府需要承担着一些失败的责任。

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: 当然,在拥有这一切权力下,他在过去数十年(对反对党人士)进行诽谤起诉、刑事犯罪起诉和不经审讯的逮捕。新加坡政府已经消灭了许多的不同意见的声音,其中可以举出的人物的名字在我的脑海里出现,那是惹耶勒南、徐顺全博士、谢太宝博士。您可以详细说明他们当中的这些杰出人物和他们为什么沉默?

 

Thum Ping Tjin: 好的。 他们都是当时的政治环境下的牺牲品。他们每一个人都有自己不同的具体情况。我想,共同的原因是:他们反对李光耀和他们寻求更大的责任。他们试图引入一个更民主的过程到新加坡。我想,这就是他们的共同点。

 

不论他们这么做是都还是错,最终(决定权)还是由我们(选民)的选票去决定,而不是由政府去决定这些人的做法是对还是错。

在内部安全法令下,谢太宝从1968年到1999年一共被监禁了31年。惹耶勒南没有被监禁,但是他面对无数次的诽谤诉讼直至破产而被禁止继续律师执业;徐顺全也是面对这样的处境。所以,基本上他们就是使用法律手段。我想,这是新加坡政府惯用和善于使用的一种手段。这是他们为了确保所有的事情都是在他们制定的法律范围里进行。不管法律是否是——不论你是否遵循法律的精神,法律只是法律。这完全是一个不一样的事。

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: 纸上所说‘民主’的是不是经常被错误的叙述、被误释或者是被当成是肮脏的字眼。在新加坡当谈到民主时,都被视为是‘偏执狂的言论’,或者还是有一个更精确的描述吗?

 

Thum Ping Tjin:作为一个历史学者。我想,民主在新加坡的成功道路上是曾经扮演过一个重大的角色的。因为我们不要忘记,在1959年,新加坡人民是通过投票选出了反对党。这个反对党就是人民行动党。当时的这个政党是被形容为带有‘浓厚的共产主义色彩’、‘信仰极左的社会主义政策’的政党。但是,人民看到了政治家们提出的(政见)。人民看到了他们的领导人。当时,人们说要李光耀。他当时是所有的领导人中一个非常聪明的人。他有这种能力和智慧。当时新加坡人民做出了明智的选择。在1953年到1963年期间,新加坡人民几乎每一年都进行一次投票——补选、选举和全民投票。很明显得,我们有权做出选择。因为新加坡人民在这段期间似乎做出了很好的表现。

 

与此同时,在1960年代和1970年代行动党实施了很多政策。这些政策在选举期间是具有激烈的争论性的。在1955年、1959年和1963年——这些年代的选举课题都是涉及新加坡未来前途和为新加坡的未来提出替代政策的课题。所有参与竞选的政党都把有关的课题公开的摆在选民面前,选民们有权作出正确的选择。这是当时新加坡伟大的成就。

 

在另一方面,假设您看到在行动党巩固了他们的政权后,突然间人民并没有提出任何新的想法。你不需要去证明自己的任何想法。把辩论的推动力是在选举、选举程序,或者是 国会里。这一切导致了我前面所说的(政治)环境。在1970年末期和1980年初期,政府确实在这段期间搞砸了很多事情。

 

所以,我认为,在新加坡‘民主’已经被政府贬低了。它既不需要承担责任而又可以继续掌权的含义了。但是,民主是新加坡成功的一大理由。

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: 左翼或者替代选择的历史已经被定义为与官方的历史有所区别了。这是官方在1997年通过国家教育进行贯彻。您是否可以这么说,国家历史在新加坡扮演的角色已经为了国家的需要通过课本不断被诠释了。

 

Thum Ping Tjin: 哦!这是绝对的。到处都在诠释历史——为了让新的一代了解过去以及理解他们未来的挑战,历史一再重新撰写。——为了帮助下一代人了解过去和了解他们在未来的挑战,每一代人都在重新撰写历史。因此,随着社会文明的发展——我们的社会化文化也同时发展了——我们告诉人们的历史是从一个大人物和非常空白的西方历史开始的。——这个历史上包括在这些官方的历史的——这些少数民族、妇女的故事等等

 

重新诠释历史是一个持续的过程的。因为我们对过去的改进的了解,是我们(对历史)了解的越多和有关我们自己及过去;当我们面对新的挑战时,我们就会寻求过去的(历史经验)来适应这些新的挑战。

 

现在,对于政府来说,他们已经把利用历史作为一种工具脸。在过去,60年代(新加坡)从马来西亚退出来,它们寻求把自己从(马来西亚)退出来的这段开来的这段历史分割开来。拉惹勒南拒绝有关新加坡人有一个自己的历史的说法。他说, ‘我们的历史上从现在开始。清白的历史,我们就从这里开始’。

 

但是事与愿反。因为他们在90年代时面对了反击了。新加坡人并没有有关行动党为他们争取到任何成就的感觉。为此,他们开始了国家教育的课程了。他们又开始重新修订历史了。假设您看他们我们自己在上个世纪50、60、70和80年代的历史时,他们已经改写了。因此,他们自己就是历史修正主义者,当然,现在他们的历史学者重新诠释他们的历史。他们估计我们是历史修正主义者(笑声),这是非常愚蠢的。

 

Lee Chwi Lynn:自我审查和审查他人在新加坡是不是一种普遍的行为?

 

Thum Ping Tjin: 哦。这是非常复杂的。它并没有非常清晰的划分。我想,我们是在自我审查。在新加坡存在着很多的恐惧惧感。我想,我们是担心自己会不会因为某些事情而惹上麻烦。我想,审查的动机是来自很多不同的事情的——担心自己的恐惧感、担心家人的恐惧感。是的。我应该说,在新加坡是时有一种自我审查和审查他人的形式。但是,我应该说,其实这全部源自一种具有恶意的意向。他们就是已经这么做的。他们在一些无伤大雅的事情上,引用了内部安全法令和进行法律诉讼(对付反对者)。他们向我们不断的灌输非常严重的心里恐惧感。但是,我想,一切正在改变中。我想,未来我们不会再有(从事于)自我审查的这样的恐惧感的心理了。

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: 我的最后一个问题。随着李光耀的逝世,您认为新加坡共和国的未来(走向)是如何?

 

Thum Ping Tjin:实事求是的说。我不认为两天后事情会比昨天改变的很多。让我们实事求是的说,假设您想一想,现在的政府基本上并没有取得太多的成就。

 

在法理上——李显龙政府的选举成功是依靠他们过去的前辈的成就,当然,更确切的说,李显龙是(李光耀的)儿子,他无法拒绝他(李光耀)。所以,他们只能沿着李光耀的老路继续走下去。他们只能继续高举李光耀所的一切作为幌子,要求人民必须投票给行动党。他们将沿续李光耀的政策。所以,李光耀的逝世不会是一个分水岭。我想,当李显龙离开的权力中心,那就是他不再总理的职位上时,即是他离开政坛——那新加坡将会可能会是一个分水岭。那时候,我们将会第一次在没有李光耀(影响下)向前迈进。因此,我不认为,(目前不会有任何)巨大的政治改变。

 

但是 ,我所期待的是,在没有李光耀存在的情况下,我们将开始思考很多有关我们自己的事情。我们将会停止思考有关这个在过去20和30年那个人的言论。我们会开始自问,今天什么(事情)是对新加坡最有利的?在不需要那些权力至高无上的人告诉我们每一个人那些(事情)是对的?那些(事情)是错的?我想。我们可以通过各种辩论的形式,产生自己的解决方案。我们将会对持不同意见的人采取更加宽容度态度,因为对于辩论和民主来说是这是极其重要。

Interview with Thum Ping Tjin about Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore – Part 3

新书:1963年冷藏箱的50周年

Lee Chwi Lynn: There was also a certain emphasis on the idea of results, right? That people vote for me because I get them results and they know that.  And I suppose with the results that come from promises, did that in turn come to inform his power, because you have people saying, well, he does this, but he gets results.

 

Thum Ping Tjin: But he also had a double standard, because he never took responsibility for his massive, massive failures. The first obvious massive failure is the separation of Singapore from Malaysia. But let’s focus on economics. That’s what made his reputation and made Singapore such a success.

 

In the late 1970s, his policies undermined all of the great policies which underpinned Singapore. So they tried to transform Singapore’s economy using what they called the second industrial revolution, which tried to push Singapore up the value ladder, increase Singapore’s salaries, move Singapore to a much high-tech economy. In other words, the PAP tried to unilaterally renegotiate Singapore’s position in the world economy. And they found that not only could they not do that, but capital immediately fled.

 

Between, I think it was ’83 and ’84, Singapore’s GDP shrank by 10%. There was a massive recession. And at the same time, they meddled with the CPF, with the HDB, the fundamentally transformed Singapore’s meritocratic education system into the very elitist one today.

 

So these are the four big things you’d think about when you think about Singapore – the economy, the housing, the CPF, the education. And they meddled with all of them in the late 1970s, and you see huge disasters happening in the early 1980s, which leads to, in 1982, the election of JBJ, and in 1984, the election of Chiam See Tong, Singapore’s first two opposition MPs. The people spoke because Lee Kuan Yew was not delivering. There were no results. He had screwed up big time.

 

Now Lee Kuan Yew demanded accountability from everyone except himself.

 

Which is why, from 1980 to 1984, he pushed out all of his Old Guard colleagues – Goh Keng Swee, Toh Chin Chye, Rajaratnam, Ong Pang Boon, they all left, either 1980 or ’84, and brought in a new generation of leaders with new ideas. But who did not leave? Who remained Prime Minister?

 

And in the meantime, to ensure that Singaporeans could no longer hold him accountable, he introduced a whole raft of extremely authoritarian measures in the mid to late 1980s, including directly tying provision of public services to your vote, through the town councils; creating mega-constituencies called the Group Representation Constituencies, to dilute opposition votes; the elected Presidency; and introduced all these new laws to control religious organisations to prevent them organizing against him; to stop the Law Society from commenting on laws; and of course he brought back the use of the ISA in ’87-’88 with Operation Spectrum, where he arrested a lot of activists. So we talk about results – but he himself failed to deliver, but failed to be accountable for it, and then changed the laws to prevent the government being accountable in the future.

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: And of course having the power to do that means that you also have decades of defamation lawsuits, criminal prosecution, detention without trial. The Singapore government has extinguished many dissenting voices and some names that pop to mind are JB Jeyaretnam, Dr Chee Soon Juan, Chia Thye Poh. Could you elaborate on some of these figures and how they were silenced and perhaps why?

 

Thum Ping Tjin: Well, they were all victims of various political circumstances of the time, and each of them has very different circumstances, I think, but the unifying factor is that they opposed Lee Kuan Yew and they sought greater accountability and they sought to introduce a more democratic process to Singapore. I think that’s why unifies all of them.

 

Whether or not they are right or wrong is a different thing, but it’s for us the voters to decide, not the government. Chia Thye Poh was locked up under the ISA for over – 1968 to 1999 – 31 years. JBJ was not locked up but he was sued multiple times and bankrupted and barred from running from office, and so was Chee Soon Juan. So it is basically the use of the law, and I think that’s one thing the Singapore government has been very good at, to ensure that everything they do is within confines of the law as it is written. Whether the law is – whether you follow the spirit of the law, whether the law is a just law, is an entirely different thing.

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: It’s been written that democracy is often misrepresented, misunderstood, or otherwise treated as a dirty word. When it comes to politics in Singapore, is that just paranoia speaking or would that be an accurate depiction of events?

 

Thum Ping Tjin: As a historian, I think democracy has played a huge role in Singapore’s success. Because let’s not forget Singapore voted for an opposition party in 1959 called the People’s Action Party, which the-then government of the day said was rife with communism, which espoused some very left-wing socialist policies, but people looked at the politicians on offer, they looked at the leaders, and they said we want Lee Kuan Yew. He is the smartest, he is the best leader out there, he has the capabilities, he has the intellect. Singaporeans made a very wise choice. And in between 1955 and 1963, Singaporeans went to the polls an average of once a year – for by-elections, elections, and a National Referendum. And clearly we must have made the right choices, because Singapore seems to have done pretty well out of that period.

 

And in addition, many of the policies that the PAP implemented in the 1960s and early 70s, were fiercely debated at the polls, between. 1955, 1959, 1963 – those elections were about the future of Singapore and alternative policies for Singapore, and the parties put out those policy platforms in front of the voters, and we chose the right ones. So Singapore was a great success.

 

On the other hand, if you look at what happened after the PAP solidified its hold on power, suddenly there aren’t any new ideas bubbling up from the people, and you don’t have to justify your ideas in the cut and thrust of debate at the polls, electoral hustings, or in parliament. And that leads then to the situations that I was describing earlier, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, where the government really screwed up big time.

 

 

So democracy, I think, has been vilified in Singapore by a government which does not want to be accountable but wants to stay in power. But democracy is fundamentally a big reason for Singapore’s success.

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: Leftist or alternative history has been defined as history differentiated from official history which came in the form of National Education implemented by the government in 1997. Would you say the role of national history in Singapore has been constantly reinterpreted to fit the country’s needs through the course of time?

 

Thum Ping Tjin: Oh, absolutely. Interpretations of history everywhere – history is rewritten by every new generation to help understand their past and to understand the challenges of their future. So as humanity has evolved – as our society and culture has evolved – we have gone from the history of big men and a very white, western history to telling the story of people who were excluded by these official histories – the stories of minorities, of women, and so on and so forth

 

History is a constant process of reinterpretation because our understanding of the past constantly improves as we learn more and more about ourselves and our past; and as we face new challenges we seek to draw on the past to meet those new challenges.

 

Now, for the government, it has used history as a tool. In the post ‘60s, in order to divorce itself from Malaysia, it sought to divorce itself from history. Rajaratnam rejected the idea of Singaporeans as having a history and said, “Our history starts now. Clean slate. We start from here.”

 

But then in the ‘90s, as that backfired because Singaporeans had no consciousness of what the PAP had achieved for them, so then you start this National Education programme. So the government revises its history, and if you look at how its written its history between the 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, that has changed. So they themselves are revisionists, but of course now that there are historians reinterpreting their history, they attack us as revisionists (laughter), which is quite silly.

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: Is there a common practice of self-censorship and censorship of others in Singapore?

 

Thum Ping Tjin: Hmmm. I think it’s very complex. It’s not clear cut at all. I think we do censor ourselves. There is a lot of fear in Singapore. I think we do worry about whether we’ll get in trouble for certain things. I think that the motivations for that censorship comes from a lot of different things – fear for yourself, fear for your families, but yes, I would say there is a pattern of censorship in Singapore and censorship of others, but I wouldn’t say it’s all ill-intentioned. We need to think about the consequences of our words and the consequences of our actions. But I think we go way too far with the self-censorship. And of course the government very much encourages it. And they have, with the use of ISA and lawsuits, for some very innocuous things, they have instilled very serious fear in all of us. But I think things are changing and I don’t think we should have so much fear [that we engage in] self-censorship in the future.

 

Lee Chwi Lynn: And finally, with the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, what do you think the future holds for the Republic?

 

Thum Ping Tjin: Honestly, I don’t think things will be much different tomorrow than they were two days ago. I think that fundamentally, if you think about it, the current government, let’s be honest, has not achieved much.

 

The legitimacy – the electoral success of the Lee Hsien Loong government rests on the achievements of their predecessors. And of course what is more, Lee Hsien Loong is his father’s son, and cannot repudiate him. So they will cling to what Lee Kuan Yew did, they will continue to hold Lee Kuan Yew up as an example of why people should vote PAP, and they will continue to cling to the policies of Lee Kuan Yew. So Lee Kuan Yew’s passing is not the watershed. I think it’s when Lee Hsien Loong steps down from power, when he leaves the office of Prime Minister, when he leaves politics – that would be a bigger watershed for Singapore because then that would be first time we would have moved on from Lee Kuan Yew.  So I don’t think things would be very different politically.

 

But what I do hope is that without Lee Kuan Yew around, we will start thinking a lot more for ourselves, we will stop thinking about the words of a man whose heyday was two, three decades ago, and start asking ourselves, what is best for Singapore today? Without this all powerful hegemon to tell everyone what is right and wrong, I hope that we can work out our own solutions through vigorous debate and that we will be far more permissive of dissent, because that is hugely important to debate and democracy.

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