Posted on March 13, 2012


English: Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singa...

Former Singapore Prime Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, Image via Wikipedia

Bakri Musa has a point to make in his recent posting :M.  Bakri Musa 12 March 2012 What Will People Say? (

 “When the late Tun Razak moved his family to Sri Taman, the Prime Minister’s official residence at that time, his children pleaded with him to have a swimming pool installed. The Tun, acutely aware of the costs to the public, would have none of it.

 “What will people say?” he told his children.

 Not that the Tun did not want to indulge his children or that he was being unduly stingy, rather he was conscious of the need to differentiate the personal from the official. Unlike many especially from the Third World, then as well as now, Tun Razak was the rare leader who did not consider the public treasury to be his. Even when there were grey areas, as with the swimming pool, he would err on the side of not burdening the public with the cost.

 It could be argued that since Sri Taman was government property, expenditures on improving it as with building the pool should be borne by the public. However, as the pool would benefit essentially only the prime minister’s family and invited guests, he acted with an abundance of prudence and probity in refusing to have the pool installed. Read more in

It’s interesting to listen to a remark made by  an ordinary “I am a believer ” who says:

“Honestly Razak’s son do not have any calibre or intelligence to lead the country by example! LKY travelled as PM in a normal airline with an extra seat ( 1st class) for him to sleep along the long journey ! Our PM should emulate this act of self sacrifice! … Our first PM retired as a broke government servant. He had to pay back his accumulated income tax! One can see clearly those who were genuinely serving the country and those who pretended !”

Some people might say “We just cannot follow the life of the yesteryears, but sholud follow today’s trend-setters.”  The above comment comparing Singapore‘s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew with the current Malaysia’s Prime Minister, DS Dato’ Najib Tun Razak  is a oint to ponder. And some people may also want to add: Probably it is not appropriate to comment or to compare two different personalities of two different countries.” One may wonder where will this lead to if “we go on comparing notes, especially when it comes to personalities of contries like Singpaore and Malaysia. For instance, does the current Prime Minister of Singapore travel a normal airline with an extra cost (1st class) as compared to Najib travelling  in his “special airline” (if ever there is one)?”

Anyway, it would be very interesting if Najib could respond to what other people say about the cost of his son’s engagement. I mean in his own words!

Posted in: Current Issues