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When Lee Kuan Yew Meets Rosmah

  • (Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily)

Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor? What a weird combination!

I can understand why Lee wanted to meet many people, including the Prime Minister and his deputy, MCA leaders, Pakatan Rakyat leaders and media executives when he came to pay a visit.

Lee wanted to see them on behalf of some significance. He could get a lot of information that helped him to understand Malaysia better by talking to these people.

It is understandable even if he wanted to talk to a hawker or a taxi driver as they could provide him with another type of information to inspire a different thought, giving him another level of understanding about Malaysia.

But Rosmah Mansor? Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s wife? I don’t understand.

Just like when Najib visited China, I’m afraid that all the diplomats of both the countries would be surprised if Najib wanted to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao’s wife Liu Yongqing.

How weird!

However, Lee was well-known by his careful thinking and good insight. There must be logic behind everything he did.

Rosmah is the Prime Minister’s wife with a status. But she is not a politician and she possesses no governmental position.

But Lee said that Najib and Rosmah work as a team. Najib may consider his wife’s views before making a decision.

Can we consider Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali a team, too? But Lee did not meet Dr Siti during his last visit to Malaysia. Also, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and wife Tun Jeanne Abdullah were inseparable, but did Lee ever meet Jeanne?

At the very least, for Lee and many others, Rosmah is not an ordinary First Lady, like Dr Siti or Jeanne, but an influential First Lady instead.

Of course, the participation scope and influences of the First Lady is a controversial subject in many countries. There is a gray area in terms of both public and private affairs.

Lee and Rosmah spoke for an hour over satay and kueh. They exchanged opinions on bilateral relations and education issues.

The focus was neither on whether Lee liked the satay and keuh, nor the bilateral relations and educational policies.

Lee has always been a good observer. Perhaps, the meeting with Rosmah was another gain of his visit. (By TAY TIAN YAN/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)

MySinchew 2009.06.15


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