India pushes back on Singapore PM's 'criminal, rapists' remarks about Indian MPs

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Updated: Feb 17, 2022, 06:32 PM(IST)

Lok Sabha and Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong. Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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On February 15, Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said that "Nehru's India has become one where, according to media reports, almost half the MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal charges pending against them, including charges of rape and murder."

The Indian government has raised the issue of Singapore's Prime Minister's comments in Parliament with Singapore's Envoy. 

The issue was brought up in response to Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's comments regarding Lok Sabha (India's Parliament) members facing criminal charges. 

According to sources in Delhi, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's remarks were "uncalled for."

On February 15, Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, said that "Nehru's India has become one where, according to media reports, almost half the MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal charges pending against them, including charges of rape and murder."

Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, referenced the legacy of India's first prime minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, during a parliamentary debate on democracy in Singapore, saying that the country's foundation was set with high ideals and noble principles.

PM Lee Hsien Loong, quoting Pt. Nehru, observed that most countries are created and begin with high aspirations and noble principles.

But, more often than not, things change over decades and generations, well beyond the original leaders and the pioneer generation.

"Most countries are founded and start off on the basis of high ideals and noble values. But more often than not, beyond the founding leaders and the pioneer generation, over decades and generations, things change, "Lee said on Tuesday during the debate on the Committee of Privileges’ report on complaints about untruths told by former Workers’ Party lawmaker Raeesah Khan.

"Things start off with a passionate intensity. The leaders, who fought for and won independence, are often exceptional individuals of great courage, immense culture, and outstanding ability. They came through the crucible of fire and emerged as leaders of men and nations. They are the David Ben-Gurions, the Jawaharlal Nehrus, and we have our own too, "he said.

They seek to satisfy the great expectations of their peoples to construct a bold new world and shape a new future for their peoples and countries, imbued with enormous personal prestige.However, as that initial fervour wears off, successive generations frequently struggle to keep up the energy and desire, according to Lee.

Politics is changing, and people's trust in politicians is eroding.After a period, the electorate begins to believe that this is the usual and that nothing can be done about it.As a result, standards are lowered, trust is undermined, and the country continues to deteriorate, according to the Singapore Prime Minister. 

"Many political systems today would be quite unrecognisable to their founding leaders. Ben-Gurion's Israel has morphed into one which can barely form a government, despite four general elections in two years. Meanwhile, a stream of senior politicians and officials in Israel face a litany of criminal charges, some have gone to jail.

"While Nehru's India has become one where, according to media reports, almost half the MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal charges pending against them, including charges of rape and murder. Though it is also said that many of these allegations are politically motivated," Lee said. 

Each successive generation, according to the 70-year-old prime minister, must maintain and expand on the system that Singapore has inherited. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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