新加坡歷史創造者的獨白──《李光耀回憶錄》評介

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1998 / 10月

文‧徐宗懋 圖‧薛繼光



新加坡內閣資政李光耀親筆撰寫的《李光耀回憶錄》,九月中旬問世即引起各界熱烈的反應。

「要寫一定要寫真話,要不然不必寫,」卸下總理職務的李光耀,在書中詳盡交代個人及新加坡的成長歷程。上冊由英國殖民、日本佔領、馬來西亞期間發生暴亂直到新加坡獨立為止,對於部份敏感議題,坦言不諱。

本刊特邀中國時報副總主筆徐宗懋寫評,並摘錄李光耀記者會及電視訪談部份內容,以饗讀者。

另,《李光耀回憶錄》下冊計畫在明年九月出版,內容為新加坡從貧窮到繁榮的奮鬥歷程,還有與台灣關係較為密切的兩岸調人部分,屆時本刊將再作詳盡報導。

新加坡內閣資政李光耀的崇拜者或憎恨者,或是純作研究不願妄加評斷的歷史學者,最近可能都捧著剛出版的《李光耀回憶錄》,試圖在裡頭找出自己還不知道的新東西。

所謂的新東西包括兩個層面:

一是歷史事件的過程。

二是李光耀個人的事。

由於李光耀肇建了新加坡共和國,是創造歷史的人,所以以上兩者必然有很大的重疊;但是這本回憶錄又是一本自傳,所以也有許多個人的事、私人真實的感受,這會有助於閱讀者捕捉歷史創造背後的心靈世界,激發有創意的理解和啟發。在這個意義上,《李光耀回憶錄》提供的主要是第二個層面的,它包括了許多生活的細節、許多時代的特點,表面上好像沒那麼重要,事實上卻如此生動活潑,即是這本書所提供的「新東西」。

提供歷史「新東西」

從歷史事件來說,一九五四年李光耀成立「人民行動黨」,開始正式走入新加坡的戰後史,一直到一九六五年,宣布新加坡脫離馬來西亞宣布獨立。這怞~內,新加坡內外局勢波濤洶湧、瞬息萬變,是最複雜的一段期間。但李光耀回憶錄敘述這一段史實時並沒有透露新的「政治秘辛」,道理其實很簡單。以星馬分家為例,一九六五年八月九日,在一般人萬分驚訝的反應中,李光耀和東姑拉曼同時告訴人民,從這一天起,新加坡和馬來西亞正式分為兩個國家。李光耀尤其難過,因為許多人相信了他的「馬來西亞人的馬來西亞」,團結在他的領導之下,如今在未被事先告知的情況下,李光耀自己先放棄了,豈非背叛和出賣?因此,李光耀難過傷神是不夠的,他有義務,也有必要以最誠懇的態度對外講清楚,這中間到底發生了什麼事,以重拾新加坡人的信心和支持。

事實上,從一九六五年八月九日開始,李光耀和他的政府即不斷重述許多歷史事件的細節,以清楚告訴新加坡國民自己的國家是怎麼來的,從而能在未來掌握其生存之道;換句話說,身為新加坡肇始者的李光耀說出歷史真相,邏輯上已成為新加坡根本的精神需求,它就像一個民族的古老神話一樣,成為其自我認同和神秘美學的來源。此外,不同歷史階段中敵對勢力者,不斷由新加坡內外提出挑戰,因此公布史實成了反擊挑戰的必然手段。

新、馬分家的秘辛

從以上的因素來看,新加坡建國前的史料經過三怞h年的「揭露」,已不容易有新內容,尤其新加坡承襲了英國政府的風格,對內政外交皆有著各種檔案紀錄的形式,因此政治報告中引述了大量的外交文件、國會報告、私人信函、政府文告等,使得事件來龍去脈的描述和觀點的鋪陳皆顯得有憑有據。如果說,李光耀回憶錄在這一部分有任何新東西,那就是他引述了美國、英國和澳大利亞政府近年來解禁的外交文件,來佐證一九六四年發生在新加坡的種族暴動是巫統背後主使的,以及星馬分家前夕,巫統領導階層對新加坡發出的恐嚇言詞。事實上,這一部分歷史對當前新、馬兩國政府仍具有高度的爭議性和衝擊性,即使舊事重提也很容易重挑種族情緒,演變為立即的外交衝突。

人民行動黨政府始終堅信,一九六四年新加坡種族暴動是由巫統激進派領袖賽加化阿巴一手挑起的,目的是故意在新加坡製造社會騷亂,以便吉隆坡的聯邦政府得以戒嚴之名接管新加坡。過去,新加坡政府一直向社會大眾傳佈這項觀點,但姿態有所節制,以免造成馬來西亞政府的強烈反彈。不過近兩年,新加坡政府為了加強人民的憂患意識,開始放開來談,李光耀在回憶錄中不僅重覆了過去的資料,也首次引述了大量當年美國、英國大使館的報告,來印證巫統激進分子確實居心不良。不過,李光耀畢竟是新加坡至今極具份量的領袖,他對這一段歷史的詳細描繪以及對巫統挑撥種族仇恨情緒的再度指控,必然會激起馬來西亞巫統領袖的激烈反駁,李光耀似乎也已準備好一場即將來臨的舌戰。

面對歷史,無懼指控

除了歷史事件以外,李光耀個人的經歷和情感也是回憶錄中饒富趣味之處,畢竟這是一個精彩的人生,是什麼樣的環境和遭遇,造就了他的思維和情感?一九四二年初,日軍攻佔新加坡並統治了三年八個月,這段艱辛的戰爭歲月是少年李光耀的政治啟蒙期。過去他曾提到若干的經歷,但多半是零零散散的,回憶錄中的描述則是怳嬪嗾蒚P生動,包括他被日本兵摑耳光,推跪在地上拳打腳踢,以及僥倖逃過日軍「大檢證」的屠殺行動。一九九四、九五年間,有關日本應否擴大其在亞洲的軍事角色時,曾在亞洲國家中激起強烈的爭議,這段期間李光耀曾向美國和日本媒體發表明確的意見,反對日本擴大海外軍事角色,其引證的就是本身在日軍佔領新加坡期間的恐怖經歷,甚至進一步導出對日本文化陰暗面的批判。對許多日本政要來說,這一部分的見解聽來相當刺耳,對李光耀也頗有微詞,然而有關日軍侵略暴行向來都是日本與亞洲各國之間的爭議,新加坡僅為其中一個勢力。

李光耀在回憶錄中對日軍的評價儘管露骨,但不失為中肯。他寫到:「我這一代人親眼看過日本兵的本色,不會忘記他們在作戰時對死亡所抱的近乎毫無人性的態度。日本軍官的樣子很滑稽。他們的腿很短,有些還是弓形腿,但卻穿起高及膝蓋的皮靴,走路時拖著腳,彷彿穿涼鞋一般。起初他們的樣子看起來很好笑,幾個月後,我對他們的看法就不同了。他們並不是小丑,而是傑出的戰士。他們的體型跟歐洲人不同,軍服和武器採自西方,但是他們的作戰素質卻不容置疑。他們作戰時的兇猛,消除了我和朋友們先入為主的印象,以為他們是屬於比人矮半截的民族,只會玩軍人的遊戲罷了。經過仔細觀察之後,我敢肯定,單在戰鬥精神方面,他們無疑是世界上最傑出的士兵之一。可是,他們對敵人的暴虐和兇殘,卻跟匈奴不相上下。成吉思汗和蒙古的遊牧民族也不比他們殘酷無情。對於原子彈是否需要投在廣島和長崎,我毫不懷疑。如果沒有它們,新馬數抶U平民和在日本本土的數百萬人民,恐怕會死於戰火之下。」

反對日本擴大軍事力量

如果說,日治時期促成李光耀對權力本質的理解,那麼戰後負笈英倫的經歷則塑造了李光耀政治思想的雛形,其核心就是反對殖民主義以及承襲自英國工黨的民主社會主義。

在英國的日子無疑是愉快、興奮的,不僅在於生活中充滿著學習的熱情,更在於那是一個大時代的開端。隨著二次大戰的結束,接著而來的是傳統殖民地國紛紛瓦解,這意味著不同的思潮、不同的政治勢力,不同的夢想風起雲湧、氣象萬千,這是一個充滿各種創造可能的時代,張開雙手歡迎著各方英雄豪傑。

由於生活中遭遇種種歧視的刺激,李光耀成為強烈的反英分子,但他對於共黨分子的霸道與擅於欺騙也同樣反感,他的政治選擇趨向於溫和的反殖民路線,一種非共的社會主義。即使如此,當他日後從政,了解了政治和經濟的現實以後,對於工黨過於理想化的社會福利政策,也立刻做出修正,採取符合實際的政策。他寫到:「當時我年紀還輕,滿懷理想,根本不了解政府的負擔是何等沉重。更糟的是,在這麼一個平均主義制度下,每一個人所感興趣的,主要是他能夠從共同資源中得到些什麼東西,而不是他應該怎麼工作,為共同資源做出貢獻。」這個結論使得作為費邊主義信徒的李光耀,日後治理新加坡時轉為實用主義的路線,而且到了今天依然如此。

走「實用主義」的路線

可以說,日治時期與負笈英倫的兩段體驗,決定了李光耀政治生涯的基調,至於後來周旋在國際勢力、共產黨、種族主義分子的政治鬥爭,則是實踐及增補其政治基調的過程。這中間,李光耀也透露出以往不曾提及的小故事,其中讓人驚訝的是,他直接道出當年聯盟(以巫統為首的多元種族執政聯盟)高層的腐化,包括東姑拉曼和陳修信(馬華公會領袖),試圖用財富收買行動黨政要,並安排有女色招待的私人宴會,以縱操李光耀等人。

由於東姑拉曼是馬來西亞國父,有著崇高的歷史地位。他已逝世多年,在「死無對證」的情況下,李光耀關於這些事的回憶,等於是對馬來西亞國父名聲的一大打擊,馬來西亞政府為了維護本國國父的聲譽,必然會有激烈的反擊。

無論如何,李光耀回憶錄就如其前言所敘,並非正式的歷史,但無疑是第一手的歷史佐證,它甚至比歷史還要鮮活,充滿著整個時代的起伏情緒,以致於這樣的情緒聯繫上了今天的環境,即注定會繼續澎湃著。

p.113

書名:《李光耀回憶錄》

頁數:七四八頁

售價:五二○元

發行:世界書局

日期:1998年9月16日初版

p.115

《李光耀回憶錄》在台灣舉辦的新書發表會上,冠蓋雲集,郝柏村、趙耀東等李光耀的老友也都出席恭賀。

相關文章

近期文章

EN

The Singapore Story-- Lee Kwan Yew Puts it in Writing

Tsung-mau Hsu /photos courtesy of Hsueh Chi-kuang /tr. by David Mayer


In mid-September, Singaporean Senior Minister Lee Kwan Yew published The Singapore Story. These personal memoirs have provoked strong reactions throughout society.

Says Lee, "If you're going to write something like this, you have to write the truth, otherwise there's no point in writing anything at all." In this book, the former prime minister gives a detailed account of his own life as well as the birth of the Republic of Singapore. This volume (the first of two) begins with the British colonial period and continues through the Japanese occupation, the rioting that occurred during Singapore's brief union with Malaysia, and finally, Singapore's independence. Lee provides an extremely candid account of the events as he experienced them.

Sinorama has retained the services of Tsung-mao Hsu, Senior Commentator for the China Times, to review Lee's memoirs. In a second article, Sinorama provides excerpts of remarks made by Lee during press conferences and television interviews.

The second volume of these memoirs, which is scheduled for publication next September, deals with Singapore's struggle to rise from poverty to affluence. Many readers may well look forward with particular interest to Lee's account, also to come in the second volume, of Singapore's role as an intermediary between China and Taiwan. Sinorama will publish a detailed report on the second volume after it comes out.

Without a doubt, even as you sit reading Sinorama, many people will be eagerly poring over The Singapore Story (published in Taiwan as Memoirs of Lee Kwan Yew). Some will be ardent admirers of the former prime minister. Others will be detractors. Still others will be historians more interested in research than in passing judgment on the man. All of these readers, however, will have one thing in common-they'll be hoping to pick up fresh new bits of information about this historical figure.

Those fresh bits of information would fall into two categories-those which shed light on the course of historical events, and those connected with Lee's personal life.

There is considerable overlap between the two, of course, since Lee is the Republic of Singapore's founding father. Many of the anecdotes and feelings of the private man help us understand the impact of personalities upon historical events. In this sense, it is primarily the second type of information that we learn for the first time in these memoirs. The book includes a lot of intimate detail which recreates the nitty-gritty flavor of the times. Much of it might seem at first glance to border on the trivial, but it is precisely this detail which lends the memoirs their impact and offers the reader something new.

Of special interest are the years between 1954, when Lee first took to the political arena by founding the People's Action Party (PAP), and 1965, when Singapore declared its independence from Malaysia. It was a time of high drama for Singapore in both its domestic and foreign affairs. These were complex years, when changes of lasting import occurred almost overnight. In dealing with this period, however, Lee Kwan Yew reveals nothing we did not already know about the behind-the-scenes politics of that time. The reason for this paucity of new information is quite simple. Take, for example, the breakup of Singapore and Malaysia. On 9 August 1965, Lee Kwan Yew and Tunku Abdul Rahman shocked the people of their respective nations by announcing, separately and simultaneously, that Singapore and Malaysia had officially become two separate states as of that very day. The split was an especially bruising affair for Lee Kwan Yew, because it was he who had championed the "Malaysian Malaysia" line, and it was under this banner that many had rallied to his support. Who among his supporters would not have felt betrayed when Lee abandoned the Federation without even consulting them first? It was not enough for Lee just to feel bad about his country's secession; to regain the trust and support of the people of Singapore, he had a need and a responsibility to let others know exactly what had happened.

From that day in August 1965 when Singapore split from Malaysia, Lee Kwan Yew and his regime worked to ensure the survival of Singapore as a nation. Part of that effort included a continuous campaign to tell the citizens of Singapore the details of a number of historical incidents, so that they would know how their nation had come to be established. In other words, Singapore had a vital emotional need for its founder to lay bare the facts of history. Singapore needed this historical narrative in the same way every society has always needed its myths, for in this narrative, Singaporean society was to find its identity and sense of mythological origin. At the same time, there was never a time when hostile forces did not pose a challenge to Lee. It was incumbent upon him to use his revelations about history as a means of fighting back.

The inside story

Lee could hardly have told us much of anything new in his memoirs, for he had already devoted a tremendous effort during 30 years in office to the task of recounting the events that preceded the founding of the republic. Furthermore, Singapore has been deeply influenced by its long years under British rule. The Singaporean government maintains copious records concerning all its domestic and foreign affairs. Political statements over the years have drawn upon a large body of diplomatic documents, parliamentary reports, private letters, and government proclamations. As a result, descriptions of events in public life have always been well documented. There are two areas, however, in which Lee does bring new facts to light. Firstly, to bolster his assertion that the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) instigated the race riots of 1964 in Singapore, Lee quotes extensively from US, British, and Australian diplomatic documents, for which the 30-year limit on confidentiality has expired in recent years. Secondly, he describes threats made by UMNO leaders against Singapore in the run-up to the split between Singapore and Malaysia. This episode is still an extremely sensitive issue for both governments. Even though Lee is recounting something which happened over three decades ago, it can still very easily generate ethnic tension and lead immediately to diplomatic conflict.

The PAP regime has always maintained that the firebrand UMNO leader Syed Jaafar Albar instigated the 1964 riots so that the federal government in Kuala Lumpur could declare a state of martial law that would allow it to move in and take over the administration of Singapore. This is what the Singaporean government has always told its people, but in doing so, it has kept something of a low profile in order to avoid provoking a backlash from the Malaysian government. In the last two years, however, the Singaporean government has grown more strident on this issue in order to generate a heightened sense of crisis. In his memoirs, Lee Kwan Yew does not just repeat the stock accusations of the past. To back up charges of foul play on the part of UMNO extremists, Lee quotes for the first time from reports prepared by the embassies of the United States and Britain. Coming from a leader of Lee Kwan Yew's political stature, the detailed descriptions of past grievances and the rehashing of the charge that UMNO stirred up racial trouble will be sure to elicit a vehement response from the Malaysia's UMNO leadership. Lee Kwan Yew knows perfectly well that he is stirring up a hornet's nest.

Telling it like it is

In addition to political events, Lee's memoirs are a good read for what they reveal of his personal life. It has, after all, been a remarkable life. What were the major influences upon Lee's thinking and personality in his formative years? Japan invaded Singapore in early 1942 and ruled the island for three years and eight months. This time of war and hardship coincided with the budding of Lee's political consciousness. He has occasionally recounted anecdotes in the past, but only in passing. In these memoirs, however, he recalls at length the wartime memories of his youth. One time a Japanese soldier slapped him in the face. On another occasion he was forced to his knees and kicked. And he was fortunate not to have been a victim of the Great Purge. In 1994 and 1995, the question of whether Japan should take on a greater military role in Asia stirred intense controversy in many Asian countries. At that time, Lee Kwan Yew stated in no uncertain terms to American and Japanese news media that he was opposed to a stronger overseas role for the Japanese military. In stating his opposition, he told of his own terrifying experiences during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, and even spoke of a dark side to Japanese culture. Such statements did not go over well with important Japanese political figures, many of whom had harsh words for Lee. Japan's wartime excesses, however, have always been a source of contention between Japan and its East Asian neighbors. Singapore is not the only country at odds with Japan on this score.

In these memoirs, Lee does not mince words in his characterization of the Japanese troops. Still, it cannot be denied that he speaks the truth. Lee writes, "The people of my generation have seen Japanese troops as they really are. We can never forget the callous attitude towards death that they displayed during the war. They were strange-looking. Their legs were very short, and some were even bow-legged, yet they wore tall leather boots up to their knees. When they walked, they would drag their heels, so that they sounded as if they were wearing slippers when they passed by. At first, I just thought they looked silly. After a few months, however, I didn't think they were silly at all. These were no clowns. They were outstanding fighters. Although they used Western-style military uniforms and weaponry, they were physically different from the Europeans. As fighters, they left nothing to be desired. Their fierceness in battle erased the initial impressions that I and my friends had had of them. We had thought that those short little people would just scuttle around like little toy soldiers. After watching them at close range, however, I can guarantee that they are among the most outstanding fighters anywhere in the world. However, they were every bit as vicious and cruel toward the enemy as the Huns had once been. Genghis Khan and his nomadic hordes were not any worse than the Japanese. As for the debate about whether it was necessary to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it was the right thing to do. If they hadn't dropped the atomic bombs, several hundred thousand ordinary people in Singapore in Malaysia would have died, and fighting on the Japanese mainland would have killed millions."

Against a greater military role for Japan

Lee's understanding of the nature of authority was molded during the Japanese occupation of Singapore. Then, during his post-war stay in England, an incipient political philosophy began to take shape. At the core of this philosophy were two key elements: (1) opposition to colonialism, and (2) the democratic socialism espoused by Britain's Labour Party.

His years in England were filled with happiness and excitement, partly because of his enthusiasm for life in general, and partly because it was a time of momentous historical change. The end of World War II was followed by the collapse of the traditional colonial empires. New intellectual currents, new political forces, and new hopes and dreams were coming to the fore. Everything was changing at vertiginous speed. It was a time of great possibilities. It was a world where a hero could make his mark.

Lee met with frequent racism in England, and became strongly anti-British, but he was also disgusted with the skullduggery and dictatorial ways of the Communist Party. He gravitated toward a moderate anti-colonialism and non-communist socialism. Nevertheless, when he himself came to power and developed an understanding of political and economic realities, he quickly dropped the social welfare policies of the Labour Party, which he came to regard as excessively idealistic. Instead, he opted for more pragmatic policies. He writes, "I was young and full of idealism. I had no idea what a heavy burden of responsibility the government had to bear. The worst thing about that type of egalitarian system is that everyone is principally interested in how to maximize their share of society's common resources, not in how they can help to build up those resources." This conclusion led Lee, an adherent of Fabianism, to adopt a pragmatic line once he became country's prime minister. It is an approach he has never abandoned.

Taking a pragmatic line

It would probably be accurate to say that the Japanese occupation of Singapore and Lee's stay in England formed his basic political philosophy, while he acted upon and revised this philosophy in the course of later dealings with various international forces, communism, and racist political upheaval. Lee's memoirs also contain little vignettes that he has never mentioned before. One of the more surprising things in the book is his unvarnished description of corruption among the top leadership of the UMNO-led Alliance. He recalls, for example, how Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tan Siew Sin (the leader of the Malaysian Chinese Association) attempted to buy off the top leaders of the PAP with bribes, and how they tried to control Lee and others by arranging private dinners with attractive call girls.

Tunku Abdul Rahman is held in high esteem in Malaysia as the country's founder, but now that he is dead and gone, unable to defend himself, Lee's reminiscences constitute a severe blow to his reputation. The reaction of the Malaysian government is sure to be severe, for it must preserve the Tunku's good name.

As Lee states in his preface, these memoirs do not constitute a formal study of history. They are, however, a first-hand source. Unlike a scholarly tome, they ripple with the surging passions of a time still remembered, and still connected to the present. Indeed, the publication of these memoirs is itself another chapter in an ongoing saga.

p.113

Title: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew

Length: 748 pages

Price: NT$520

Publisher: Singapore, Times Publishing, Ltd. Taiwan, World Publishing Co.

p.115

A number of dignitaries, including Lee Kuan Yew's old friends Hau Pei-tsun and Chao Yao-tung, were in attendance at the Taiwan book-release party for Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew.

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