21 September 2003

New School of Public Policy Announced

On 16 September, the Prime Minister announced at the Senior Minister's 80th birthday banquet, the opening of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS. The SM "is synonymous with Singapore", and the public policy school is named in recognition of the leader's role in "achieving First World status for Singapore".

I had the chance to speak to the newly appointed Dean of the public policy school yesterday, and Professor T. Sarkar was able to provide more details, which I will share with my readers.

"As Singapore's prime minister for three deacdes, the SM is the architect of the nation, and posesses rich personal expertise on crafting public policy," said the jubilant Prof. Sarkar, who had just been transfered over from his Brigadier-General post in the Singapore Armed Forces. "Of course, this postgraduate school will tie up with the venerable American institution, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, but the SM and I will design the course to reflect and propagate democracy and capitalism with Singaporean characteristics, and draw on his unique political career."

A preliminary course list was shown to me, and it does look like a very well-thought-out syllabus which centres on the Singapore story and the SM's unique contributions to it.

Autumn 2004

LKY 1101 Managing State-Labour Relations I: Rationalising the Unions

"Singapore's early unions were fragmented, chaotic, and infested with Communists. SM will lecture on how to streamline the structure of the unions, including drafting laws to ban the right to form unions, and setting up a single state-approved union."

LKY 1102 Corruption and the State

"SM will personally lecture on how to create a clean, graft-free society. Drawing on the experience of the PAP Old Guard and his more recent experiences, he will also explain how to avoid the temptations of personal corruption."

LKY 1103 The Meritocratic Society

"Guest Lecturers DPM Lee, BG Lee Hsien Yang, and Madam Ho Ching will explain how to create a society where, in addtition to being corruption-free, only the best and the brightest can succeed in a level-playing field."

LKY 1104 Technology and the State

"Guest Lecturer Ronald Reagan, a personal friend of SM, will address the issue of committing the State to technological advances and R&D, using his famous Star Wars Programme and his son's SWII as examples."

Spring 2005

LKY 1201 Managing State-Labour Relations II

"SM will co-chair this course with Lim Boon Heng, continuing the issues of the previous semester. Now that you have a single union, how do you control the workers and ensure their compliance in your nation's economic development?"

LKY 1202 Elections and the State

"In any democratic state, elections are a necessary evil. SM will explain how to get over elections as fast as possible, and get back on track to the real business of managing the State.

LKY 1203 Economic Policy and the State

"Guest Lecturers and personal friends of the SM, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, will expound on Reaganomics (aka Voodoo Economics or Supply-Side Economics) and Thatcherism as a capitalist philosophy, and their implications on making your nation richer, as well as widening the gap between the rich and poor. Greed is good! Only when some people are filthy rich can a nation prosper!"

LKY 1204 Continuing your Legacy

"On his expected retirement in 2005, the current PM Goh Chok Tong will join SM to lecture on protecting political legacies, and handing over power in a meritocratic and open manner."

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