PHILIPPINES-WE NEED A STRONG STATE, NOT A STRONGMAN
President Rodrigo Duterte in Vietnam, Sept 2016. Wikimedia Commons
By Richard Heydarian
The Philippine Daily Inquirer-Oct 30
In the immediate years following the collapse of the Marcos regime, Singapore’s outspoken founder-leader Lee Kuan Yew couldn’t hold back his disdain for what he saw as “too much democracy” in places such as the Philippines. In 1992, during the 18th Philippine Business Conference, he confidently lectured his hosts by arguing, “I believe what a country needs to develop is discipline more than democracy.” The late prime minister’s emphasis on “discipline” over “democracy” has never lost its grip on the Filipino imagination. For some, Lee’s dictum is a perfect justification for authoritarian rule in the Philippines.
First published in: The Philippine Daily Inquirer