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ANU to honour Lee Kuan Yew

By johnboy - 22 March 2007 41

The Canberra Times is up in arms (on behalf of concerned academics of course) over ANU’s decision to give Singapore’s former PM Lee Kuan Yew an honorary doctorate.

While I wouldn’t describe Lee Kuan Yew’s regime as ideal, I’ve also noticed that the vast majority of Singaporeans I’ve met regard him with a great deal of affection and not as a monster.

Is there any former leader they would approve of other than Nelson Mandela? (or maybe Stalin?)

UPDATED: The ABC has managed to get Michael McKinley to stand up and be counted in opposition to the award.

What’s Your opinion?

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41 Responses to
ANU to honour Lee Kuan Yew
Hasdrubahl 3:32 pm 22 Mar 07

Well I’m sure you could transfer your PhD studies to NUS. Like most things in Sing., it is considered “Number 1”!

Ralph 3:01 pm 22 Mar 07

I think most law abiding, hard working people, would never notice the ‘repressive’ Singapore regime.

I’d love to spend a couple of years there.

Hasdrubahl 2:39 pm 22 Mar 07

One year was about as much as I could take, but stuck it out for over two…and still, I live!

caf 2:22 pm 22 Mar 07

I found Singapore a nice place to visit, but I couldn’t live there for more than a year or two. Sure, it’s a successful and relatively peaceful society – but that comes at the price of what feels to me like a disturbing culture of conformity and control. It’s a democracy sure, but not one with anything like the vibrancy of the USA, Australia, India…

So good luck to the Singaporeans and Lee Kuan Yew, but it’s not my cup of tea.

Incidentally putting Chavez in the same breath as Stalin is like lumping Yew in with Pinochet.

astrojax 1:47 pm 22 Mar 07

Would seem to sit well with ANU’s recent propensity to get things arse about, like making the age of a brain more critical to its (and its owner’s) continuing association with the uni than the value and import of that brain’s capacity to contribute…

That said, it is in the great how-hard liberal tradition to align oneself with the victors at the expense of decency and personal convictions.

I wonder who instigated the hon. degree process…

kimba 1:42 pm 22 Mar 07

I wish I could get one….alas, I might as well buy one over the internet 🙂

Ralph 1:36 pm 22 Mar 07

For those of us who have PhDs (well I almost have mine) I feel that generally these things devalue the degree.

barking toad 1:17 pm 22 Mar 07

I can’t see the point in universities granting honorary degrees/doctorates to someone who hasn’t attended and achieved the required pass criteria after their years of attending courses. And that applies whether they’re a darling of the left (keating got one ffs) or lean to the right.

Is it done in an expectation of funding? Or a donation from the recipient?

Or is it an ego trip by someone in charge who wants to have a feather in his/her cap by being associated with awarding the gong?

This one seems to go against the usual leaning of academia, especially from the ANU.

Ralph 1:14 pm 22 Mar 07


kimba 12:28 pm 22 Mar 07

It would have been better if he had been made ‘honorary’ Chief Minister. The ACT would be in great shape!

Ralph 11:20 am 22 Mar 07

This is a grand award for a great leader. We could learn a lot from adopting the Singapore model in so many ways.

I suppose these snivelling academics wouldn’t be so up in arms if the award was going to Pol Pot, Stalin, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez or some other poster boy of the left.

la mente torbida 10:51 am 22 Mar 07

It says Lee was already in receipt of an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Melbourne University in 1994, now one from ANU…how many does he need?

captainwhorebags 10:35 am 22 Mar 07

“do you not think that the award of this honorary degree to Lee Kuan Yew mocks the memory of Nguyen and the others who were hanged by the Singapore Government?”

Yes, that’s what awarding this honorary degree is about. Mocking convicted criminals. I’m sure Dr Hawke had exactly that in mind.

bonfire 10:01 am 22 Mar 07

richly deserved award.

one of the regions greatest leaders.

Morgan Lee 9:57 am 22 Mar 07

For services to Human Rights??

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