The dysfunctional relationship among the Lee siblings might have stayed behind closed doors but for two inconvenient details. First, they were fighting over the house of Lee Kuan Yew, the man who was virtually synonymous with Singapore for five decades. Second, the eldest among the siblings is the current Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong.
To reveal just how rotten someone so close to the Supreme Leader could become might look unwise. But it also showed that Mr Jang’s execution was a foregone conclusion. The message to the people is that corruption is punishable by death, and that no one is spared—not even family.
The proportion of children born to unmarried mothers hit a record 47.5 per cent last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. The figure has risen from 25 per cent in 1988 and just 11 per cent in 1979. If the trend continues at the current rate, the majority of children will be born to parents who are not married by 2016.
ON JANUARY 2nd front pages of many Chinese newspapers carried identical headlines. “Greater political courage”, they proclaimed, was needed in the execution of reforms. But even as they try to signal their openness to change, China’s new leaders are nervous of demands that they move faster to loosen the Communist Party’s grip. Most worryingly for them, some of the boldest calls are coming from within the establishment.
Since the leaders, headed by Xi Jinping, were installed in November the party’s propaganda machinery has been working hard to make them look reformist and open-minded. Newspapers trumpeted Mr Xi’s decision to visit the reformist mecca of Shenzhen in early December on his first out-of-town tour. Later in the month the state news-agency, Xinhua, published profiles of Mr Xi and the party’s six other most powerful men. With the articles were rare photographs, including some (above) from years past of Mr Xi with his wife, Peng Liyuan, a well known folk-singer, his daughter, who now attends Harvard, and his father, who has since died.