Singapore's Lee denies Islam remark

2011-09-05 14:41

kalahari.com

  • Religion
    Be an eyewitness to various religions and learn about the wheel of existance, Christ's Crucifixion... Now R77.00
    buy now

Singapore - Singapore's outspoken former leader Lee Kuan Yew on Monday denied calling Islam a "venomous religion" after leaked US diplomatic cables set off a furore in the multiracial city-state.

One of hundreds of cables from the US embassy in Singapore released last week by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks had Lee as describing Islam as a "venomous religion" in a 2005 meeting with then senator Hillary Clinton.

"This is false," the 87-year-old Lee, Singapore's founding prime minister and elder statesman, said in a statement.

Lee said that he looked up a foreign ministry note of the meeting, and "nowhere does it record me describing Islam as 'venomous', nor did I say anything which could have given that impression".

"I did talk about extremist terrorists like the (Southeast Asian) Jemaah Islamiyah group, and the jihadist preachers who brainwashed them. They are implacable in wanting to put down all who do not agree with them," he said.

Organised terrorists

"So their Islam is a perverted version, which the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Singapore do not subscribe to."

During the meeting, another US lawmaker in Clinton's party had asked Lee about "how organised terrorists were internationally", according to the leaked cable signed off by then US ambassador to Singapore Frank Lavin.

It said Lee "responded that orthodox Islam was a powerful force capable of recruiting volunteers for terrorist groups".

"He noted Singapore's experience in 2001 and 2002 in dealing with Jemaah Islamiyah's terrorist plots in Singapore and characterised Islam as a 'venomous religion'."

Singapore has a predominantly Chinese population with minority races including Malays, who are mostly Muslim, making up 13.4% of its population of five million.

Comments sparked furore

The small Southeast Asian nation's closest neighbours geographically are mainly Muslim countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

Lee's comments sparked a furore among Singapore's online community, which now plays a large part in shaping public debate in the city-state, where newspapers are perceived to be pro-government.

"LKY (Lee Kuan Yew) should not make general and sweeping statements like that," Lee Rou Xuan, a Singaporean citizen, wrote on the Facebook page of the blog site The Online Citizen.

"He should have taken a greater effort to find out more or maybe his million-dollar-paid ministers should have given him some good advice."

Sonny Pereira, another Facebook user, said the former leader's remarks were seditious.

"This is serious! He ought to (feel) shame in public and the Arab world for what he said. This is sedition!" Pereira wrote.

Read more on:    lee kuan yew  |  singapore  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Newlands - 13:00 PM
    Road name: M3 Southbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC approaching the Newlands Avenue exit
  • Wednesday Bakoven - 12:59 PM
    Road name: Victoria Road Northbound
    DELAYS between Oudekraal and Bakoven
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Wi-Fi enabled With the BlackBerry Curve 8520 connect to your home...

From R1100.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.