Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took a dig at the Indian lawmakers, saying “almost half” of the members of the Lok Sabha — the lower house of parliament — have criminal charges pending against them.
“Nehru’s India has become one where … almost half the MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal charges pending against them, including charges of rape and murder,” Lee said.
The Singaporean PM stated this while speaking about how a democratic system needs MPs with good norms and values to function, the importance of public trust in the government and his views on the COP’s recommendations, among other things, the Strait Times reported.
“Most countries are founded and start off on the basis of high ideals and noble values. But more often than not, beyond the founding leaders and the pioneer generation, over decades and generations, gradually things change.
“Things start off with passionate intensity. The leaders, who fought for and won independence, are often exceptional individuals of great courage, immense culture, and outstanding ability.
“They came through the crucible of fire and emerged as leaders of men and nations. They are the David BenGurions, the Jawaharlal Nehrus, and we have our own too,” Lee said.
But beyond that initial fervour, succeeding generations often find it hard to sustain this momentum and drive, he said while giving the example of Israel and India.
“Ben-Gurion’s Israel has morphed into one which can barely form a government, despite four general elections in two years. Meanwhile, a stream of senior politicians and officials in Israel face a litany of criminal charges, some have gone to jail.
“While Nehru’s India has become one where, according to media reports, almost half the MPs in the Lok Sabha have criminal charges pending against them, including charges of rape and murder.”
“Though it is also said that many of these allegations are politically motivated,” he added.
PM Lee’s statement prompt New Delhi to summon Singaporean envoy to India to express its concerns in this regard.