Jan 9, 2008
Muslim radicals in S-E Asia will not prevail
MINISTER Mentor Lee Kuan Yew believes that Islamic terrorists in South-east Asia cannot win the war against their governments.
He is optimistic that 'the early burst of enthusiasm that they can change the world' may fade away.
Speaking in response to a question on whether South-east Asian governments are losing the fight against terrorism, Mr Lee said on Monday: 'I'm not sure that's correct. I don't think they are losing so much as they are not beating it down as well as they can. The problem is they are not winning the hearts and minds of the people.'
Focusing specifically on Singapore, he said: 'What has troubled us is that some of our own educated Muslims are being self-radicalised through the Internet, which is a very worrying development...''
But Mr Lee is sanguine that, eventually, the radicals will not win.
'I think it's a phase. Can it go on? Yes. For how long? I cannot say. Five years, 10 years. Will they win? No, cannot win. They haven't got the capabilities to take over a country or a government.
'So after a while, it becomes an exercise in futility.
'So this early burst of enthusiasm that they can change the world, have a caliphate, or restore a caliphate that's never existed, that may fade away.
'I can't predict that but I do not predict they're winning. And that's the reason why I believe in the end, the Muslims won't go with them. They can't go with them.'