Tin hat dictator Lee Hsien Loong, fronting for his unable-to-let-go-of-power dad, Lee Kuan Yew, is doing his Legalist dance again. They've gone and banned the Far Eastern Economic Review for the unacceptable crime of reporting truthfully about opposition leaders Chee Soon Juan. Can't have anything like a free and open press to get in the way of Lee family power.
It used to be that the Lees would try to invoke Confucianism to rationalize their authoritarianism. It was always a weak claim, when their methods of rule so obviously call upon Legalism to a much greater degree. And banning publications is right in line with the legacy of the first Qin emperor. When his Prime Minister, Li Si, proposed destroying books (scroll down to "Qin Empire") that challenged the Emperors authority, Qin thought it was a capital idea :
Li Si then complained that scholars study antiquity and criticize their own age to mislead and confuse people. This discussion of the Emperor's laws causes problems and should be prohibited. Li Si therefore recommended that all historical records other than Qin's be burned. Anyone other than approved academicians with literature or writings of the philosophers must turn them in to be burned within thirty days or be subjected to tattoo and "wall dawn" labor. Books on medicine, divination, agriculture, and forestry were exempt, apparently because they were considered of practical value; but they could only be studied under the tutelage of a law official. Furthermore anyone who used antiquity to criticize the present was to be executed along with his family.
Practical knowledge, which may have the indirect political effect of boosting the image of the Lees, is fine. But critical political or cultural or social thinking, forget about it.
I wonder when they will start tattooing journalists there....
UPDATE: just had to add this image, via Singabloodypore: