“We are witnessing a convergence of authoritarian and democratic regimes in a gray zone” | EUROtoday

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Eugénie Mérieau.

Lecturer in public legislation on the University of Paris-I-Panthéon-Sorbonne, Eugénie Mérieau conducts analysis for the CNRS in comparative constitutional legislation between the intolerant democracies of Asia and their liberal cousins ​​in Europe and the United States. Researcher and instructor in Singapore (2020-2021), Thailand (2015-2017), Germany and the United States, she is the writer of Dictatorship, an antithesis of democracy? 20 misconceptions about authoritarian regimesrepublished in February (Cavalier bleu, 240 pages, 13 euros).

Singapore has been led by a brand new prime minister since May 15. Lee Hsien Loong, son of the founding father of the city-state, is succeeded by Lawrence Wong, appointed by the People's Action Party (PAP), in energy since 1965. Can we communicate of the top of an period?

This is definitely not the top of the PAP. This very efficient get together has the means to coach new generations of political leaders – Wong belongs to the fourth. And it's not essentially the top of the Lee period. There is nothing stopping Li Hongyi, the eldest and hottest son of former Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong from changing into the subsequent chief. Aged 37 and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT, aux Etats-Unis], he’s at the moment a senior civil servant on the Singapore Government Agency for Digitalization. When the media requested Lee Hsien Loong if his son is perhaps , he replied within the destructive. But he himself mentioned the identical factor at his age. This displays the aura that the Lee household nonetheless enjoys within the nation, and the phenomenon of political dynasties is frequent in Southeast Asia.

Read additionally | Article reserved for our subscribers With Lawrence Wong at its head, the city-state of Singapore is making a change in continuity

The legislative elections scheduled for the top of 2025 will go away little room for suspense, because the PAP retains the hegemony of energy. What is it primarily based on?

The PAP anchors its legitimacy within the grand “narrative” of Singapore’s financial efficiency, which, since independence in 1965, has gone from a so-called “third world” nation to one of many richest states on the planet – it’s forward, by way of its GDP per capita, of all Western powers. Lee Kuan Yew's memoirs are titled From Third World to First. The Singapore Story: 1965-2000 (“From the Third to the First World, the History of Singapore”, Harper, 2000, untranslated).

The second story, which may be very promising, is that of safety. Singaporean society is multiracial (Chinese [75 %], Malays, Indians and others) and multi-religious (Buddhists, Christians, Muslims and Hindus). The racial riots concentrating on Singapore's Chinese majority in 1964, when town was nonetheless an integral a part of Malaysia, gave a glimpse of a society undermined by violence. However, since its independence in 1965, Singapore has skilled nearly none – in contrast to Malaysia and Indonesia. It has additionally been spared Islamic terrorism, though most nations in Southeast Asia have been its goal and, typically, its focus. These PAP grand narratives should not primarily based on ideology, however are primarily based on outcomes.

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