Good intentions, but is this law a step too far in the wrong direction?
According to the Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Lawrence Wong, the government has plans to introduce laws that will “protect the name and image” of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who unfortunately passed away on 23 March 2015.
This is meant to protect the revered name of LKY from “commercial exploitation and misuse”. He also mentioned that many members of the public have raised such concerns. (Got meh?)
Details of the potential law
Lawrence Wong said that this law, if enacted, will not be a complete ban on the usage of the late Mr Lee’s name. Instead, it will be a situation where prior approval is required from the relevant authorities.
Charitable usage of the name will probably be allowed, such as for tributes.
Wong casually ‘suans’ BreadTalk
“The first example that you can easily see was what happened with the company that tried to do the buns, right? So again at that time there was a lot of public reaction about how this was distasteful and it was commercially exploitative and it was probably bad and not the right thing to do.“
This comment by the minister was made with regards to how local bakery chain BreadTalk put a coconut, gula melaka flavoured bun on its shelves during the period of national mourning for Lee.
“There have been concerns of people, also of potentially printing T-shirts, selling them with his name and images, and figurines that can be sold for profits or commercial gain.”
This was picked up by local satire page SMRT Ltd (Feedback), who in turn, put out a rebuttal post on Facebook.
Public reactions generally negative
Although we saw a handful of supporters, comments were negative 80% of the time.
Yes, an Indian man was so inspired by LKY that he named his newborn boy after him. Read more about it here.
No, please no.
Well, not “all” love him. *cough* Roy Ngerng, Kenneth Jeyeretnam *cough*.
Sorry Lawrence Wong, don’t arrest me. Pls.
A tad overboard
I’m sure many Singaporeans are grateful to Mr Lee and what he has done for Singapore. However, let us also bear in mind that Lee was at best, a powerful visionary and strong leader; but a man still. He is neither a god nor deity; and somehow I get the feeling that this law is trying to promote Lee to a god-like status.
Indeed, the man made us into a nation, but he is not all that the nation of Singapore is.
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