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Singapore column misleads

While I have not always agreed with the opinions of The Tech's columnists, I have usually been impressed with the logical arguments they have employed to convince others of their views. However, Matthew H. Hersch '94's recent column was an attempt at satire which fell flat ["Tech banned in Singapore," Oct. 30].

The inaccurate information and the fact that no information appears other than that which also appeared in one issue of The Economist leads one to believe that Hersch had not done any research on the matter other than reading the half-page article in the noted journal. Hersch also displayed a great ignorance of

the geographical, historical, and political situation of Southeast Asia.

Singapore is a parliamentary democracy, and the fact that the People's Action Party has won every election in the past two decades is rather a tribute to Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's fine leadership than any slight on the democratic process.

His party's drop of nine points in the last election is, in fact,

an indication of a maturing opposition rather than any fault

of the PAP. Lee himself has been nurturing the opposition, realizing that in order for demo-

cracy to work there must be an opposition, by setting up non-constituency seats in the parliament for those opposition members who did not receive enough votes to win a seat, but obtained enough support to be deserving of one.

The comparison of Lee Kuan Yew to Lenin was offensive, for Lee believes more in the free market than even American Republicans.

Furthermore, Time, to my knowledge, is not banned in Singapore and never was. A few years ago, its circulation was restricted, but these restrictions were lifted soon after. It should be noted that the reason Time's circulation was restricted was not that it published an article critical of the government, but that it did not allow the government the right of reply.

Hersch further misled his readers by calling The Asian Wall Street Journal an Asian version of The Wall Street Journal. The newspapers are related only by their owner and similarity in name, and not by content or management. The Asian Wall Street Journal is far more political and abrasive than the American journal. The Asian Wall Street Journal is also not banned in Singapore, and can be found in the many libraries around the nation.

David B. Mercer '92->