The man who doesn’t believe in democracy and human rights…

18 Oct

“If I have to shoot 200,000 students to save China from another 100 years of disorder, so be it.”

– in 2004 on Tiananmen Massacre

“I don’t measure myself by the yardstick of Amnesty International, Freedom House or Reporters Without Frontiers (Reporters Without Borders). I measure myself by the objectives of governance of my people.”

– on human rights and press advocacy NGOs in 2007


“Please do not assume that you can change governments. Young people don’t understand this”

– on the results of an election

“There is almost an unspoken campaign as I see it, to challenge and defy authority at every turn in order to delegitmise it,”

– in 2002, on Hong Kong & its peaceful street protests

“Between being loved and being feared, I have always believed Machiavelli was right. If nobody is afraid of me, I’m meaningless.”

– in 1997, on being loved and feared

“We have a different culture, a different way of doing things. The individual is not the building block.”

– in Dec 2005, on individuals and society

“We must encourage those who earn less than $200 per month and cannot afford to nurture and educate many children never to have more than two… We will regret the time lost if we do not now take the first tentative steps towards correcting a trend which can leave our society with a large number of the physically, intellecually and culturally anaemic.”

– in 1967 on population and birth policies

“We have to lock up people, without trial, whether they are communists, whether they are language chauvinists, whether they are religious extremists. If you don’t do that, the country would be in ruins.”

– in 1986, on detention without trial

“I have visited (Burma) and I know that there is only one instrument of government, and that is the army…If I were Aung San Suu Kyi, I think I’d rather be behind a fence and be a symbol than after two or three years, be found impotent.”

– in 1996, on Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma

“Mine is a very matter-of-fact approach to the problem. If you can select a population and they’re educated and they’re properly brought up, then you don’t have to use too much of the stick because they would already have been trained. It’s like with dogs. You train it in a proper way from small. It will know that it’s got to leave, go outside to pee and to defecate. No, we are not that kind of society. We had to train adult dogs who even today deliberately urinate in the lifts.”

– in 1997, comparing humans to dogs

“I ignore polling as a method of government. I think that shows a certain weakness of mind – an inability to chart a course whichever way the wind blows, whichever way the media encourages the people to go, you follow. You are not a leader.”

– in 2002 on opinion polls

“Political reform need not go hand in hand with economic liberalisation. I do not believe that if you are libertarian, full of diverse opinions, full of competing ideas in the market place, full of sound and fury, therefore you will succeed.”

– in 2004 on economic and political reforms

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