Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore, as we know is trying to become a center of learning and research in the region and the world. One direction of their plan concentrates on going into the development and research into bio medicines. To create this center of learning, Singapore claims they are getting top rate scientists to work in Singapore.
This is a pipe dream and will never materialize. As long as Singapore is seen by the world as a repressive society, which they are at present, with the highest rate of executions in the world even for petty drug mules, with a compliant and corrupt judiciary that destroys Lee's opponents by abusing the law, with a muzzled press and seen as a country run by Lee's decree and not law; highly educated foreigners would not be prepared to help a totalitarian country such as this to become a center of anything, let alone research, with their help. Top rate professors and researchers will refuse to be collaborators.
The Internet allows the highly talented academia the world over to know what a repressive country Singapore is before they even step foot on Singapore soil. The government cannot successfully hide the control that goes on within the island however much they tried. Academic researchers are among the people who are most concerned about cruel dictatorships around the world, being the ones most constrained by their conscience not to do wrong. Many of these great researchers will feel compelled to withdraw any support for Singapore when they know that the country is nothing more than a dictatorship that denies the basic rights of their own people.
If you did get some researchers to work in Singapore, these will be the second rate ones, willing to work for anyone however evil, as long as the money is right. But Singapore will not get the very best of the world's talent.
I cannot imagine the world's great talent helping the Burmese government to become a center for biotechnology. Neither can I imagine the world's greatest thinkers and scientists to help a dictatorship such as Singapore.
My advice to the Singapore leadership is this. You have a bad name throughout the world. You hang petty drug mules. You do not allow a free press. You bend the law to destroy your opponents. You are seen perhaps only one rung better than the cruel Burmese dictatorship. Begin to improve the bad image by allowing democracy now. If you do not do this, it will never be a center for learning and research because a repressive dictatorship cannot hope to be a great center for learning. Learning requires freedom.
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