Singapore

Key test for S’pore political system is good govt: PM Lee

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he hopes that in 10 or even 20 years, Singapore will continue to have a functioning political system that commands respect from the population and is delivering good government to them.

He added that the key test for the political system is whether it is generating a leadership that is competent, committed and delivering results.

"It is not whether you have got the right numerical balance in Parliament, between the opposition and the Government," he said. But whether it is functioning to govern Singapore well, he added.

PM Lee was speaking to CNN's Fareed Zakaria on the presenter's GPS programme, in a broad-ranging interview conducted during his visit to New York last month.

Part of the interview was aired on CNN on Sunday. A video of his responses on the future of Singapore's democracy was posted on CNN's website on Monday.

Mr Zakaria said many people look at the Singapore political system and say it is too unfairly tilted towards the ruling People's Action Party.

He asked if Singapore would have a more balanced two-party system or a more open democratic system in 10 years.

The CNN anchor also asked: "Can you have a real democracy where one party wins 80 per cent of the seats for 50, 60 or 70 years?"

Mr Lee said: "If that is how the population votes and that is the will of the people, why should that not be a real democracy?"

Mr Zakaria noted that there are arguments that the ruling party has unfair advantages.

PM Lee said every seat is contested in the elections - it was the case in 2015, and almost every seat was contested in 2011.

"The population so voted," he said. "If they were unhappy with me, I would not be sitting here so peacefully, smiling and talking to you. I would have other problems on my mind."

Singapore Politics