FALSE: Lee Kuan Yew’s ‘quote’ on PH democracy

FALSE: Lee Kuan Yew’s ‘quote’ on PH democracy
Lee Kuan Yew never said the words attributed to him

Claim: A quote attributed to former Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew says, “The Philippines’ version of democracy as of late is best called a government by stupid people, of stupid people.”

The quote can be found on the website makingitfuninthephilippines.blogspot.com, which posted a blog entry dated July 21, 2015 with a title that read, “The Filipino people need more discipline, not more democracy.”

Part of the blog includes a photo of Lee Kuan Yew combined with text about the problem with Philippine democracy.

Rappler found this claim through the tool CrowdTangle, where it had a total of 8,000 interactions on Facebook. It was reshared to Facebook by hyper-partisan pages such as We Support PDu30 Administration and We Support Bongbong Marcos, Marcos Loyalist, and DDS for Life. 

Rating: FALSE

The facts: Lee Kuan Yew never said those words. The quote was the opinion of the blog author and was falsely attributed to Singapore’s former prime minister.

In the latter portion of the blog, the author said the same quote without citing Lee. 

The title of the blog, however, references the speech delivered by Lee during the Philippine Business Conference on November 18, 1992. The following is an excerpt from his speech based on the records of the National Archives of Singapore: 

“Contrary to what American political commentators say, I do not believe that democracy necessarily leads to development. I believe that what a country needs to develop is discipline more than democracy.” 

Besides this part, Singapore’s founding father did not mention anything about the poor state of democracy in the country as a consequence of having “a stupid government and a stupid people.”

The image used in the claim originated from Getty images with its watermark removed and replaced with the name “VincentMarcus.” The photo was taken by Bloomberg photojournalist Jonathan Drake. 

The website makingitfuninthephilippines.blogspot.com described itself as “Just another blog ranting with facts and opinions concerning the Philippines’ welfare.” Its author uses the pen name Sean Akizuki. – Glenda Marie Castro/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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