Sunday, March 18, 2007

Singapore's character has fundamentally changed since what it was in 1950s. The first question, is, better or worse? Second, who is responsible?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Look around you and you will agree Singapore’s character has changed fundamentally since it started. It is no longer the country that it once was. I do not mean the skyscrapers and the MRT. I mean its character, it’s people, it’s direction and it’s conscience. Question is, is it better or worse? And secondly, who is responsible?

The first issue is emigration. Mr. Lee since 1959 clearly misunderstood the effects and consequence of his arrogance. You have seen the intimidation and persecution of political opponents over the years. JB Jeyaretnam, Tang Liang Hong etc. These actions to suppress political opposition to him backfired. It did of course make the population submissive and compliant. But at the same time, this arrogance on his part caused massive and irreversible migration of the educated and capable from Singapore to western countries, which still goes on.

This serious brain drain, caused entirely by Lee Kuan Yew's failure to anticipate the consequences of his haughtiness and high handedness on his part has seriously stymied it's progress which could otherwise have been many times better. You see, Singapore’s needs it’s best educated. But Lee’s arrogance chases them away. What you have left in Singapore are the yes-men. These yes-men are not the ones who can progress the country.

On the issue of emigration, it is odd that he failed to realize that those emigrating, because they disliked his style of government of talking down at his people, would be the very best and most capable in the society. Those with skills, courage and a sense of adventure. These are the very people that Singapore needs. Yet it is these, whom he alienates by his pompous arrogance. Like saying it is my way or the highway.

On last checking the figures on CIA Worldfactbook on country conditions of Singapore, they are 9.12 persons emigrating from Singapore per 1,000 people. For a small country like Singapore, this is a huge untenable figure. Singapore is losing it's best. At the same time, due to this massive emigration from it's shores of it's brightest especially to Australia, the government decides to bring in unlimited numbers of persons from the People’s Republic of China and India, unilaterally, without any debate, and even if there was any, it is only among the PAP MPs themselves, who of course always agree to whatever Lee says.

You see, an immigrant from Communist China is totally different, completely, in character from a local born Singaporean. Singaporeans do not go to schools where Communist doctrine and total obedience to the Communist Party is taught. Therefore Singaporeans youths, tend to be more open minded, open to contrary opinion as compared to these mainland Chinese. Therefore the import of large numbers of these mainland Chinese completely changes the very character of Singapore’s population, and changes it in a detrimental way. What you need is debate. Not conformity. And conformity is what these mainland Chinese only know.

True blue Singaporeans whose parents came from China and India, who were part of the birth of modern Singapore are no longer there. Instead, massive numbers of people who know nothing of Singapore or what it stands for and it's character are brought in to live and work there. The character of the population entirely changes. These imports from China do not understand the country and neither will they be able to move Singapore ahead in the direction that the original Singaporeans born and raised there could do.

You see, Singapore’s population make up has completely changed. This is a fundamental change that goes to the root of what Singapore should have been. Mr. Lee is responsible for this in not consulting his people whether such a drastic action should or should not be taken. At the same time, it is the fault of the Singaporeans themselves for refusing to insist that Singapore is theirs and they demand to be consulted, regardless of whether or not Lee Kuan Yew has Gurkha police murderers at hand to kill any Singaporean protester.

Issue no 2. Confrontation with both it's neighbors Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. You know already that Indonesia refuses to sell sand to Singapore, seriously hurting Singapore’s construction industry. Malaysia wants to sever the cause way to permit ocean going vessels to pass along the straits from South China Sea to Malacca Straits to Tanjong Pelapas, which Singapore refuses, and therefore the animosity. Singapore’s underhand dealing with Thai telecommunications company has caused animosity from that quarter, causing both father Lee and son’s effigies to be burnt.

All these actions, that have caused so many disadvantages, have all been taken without any consultation with the people of Singapore. Again it is all been done by Lee's dictates with approval from his rubber stamp PAP MPs in Parliament, whom as expected will give their approval in unison to anything Lee wants. It is Lee's fault in causing these problems to Singapore’s interests and at the same time, it is the fault of Singaporeans who have sat idly by in fear to challenge Lee, lest Lee orders his Gurkha policemen to shoot at them at will. Fear is not an excuse for inaction. It is your own fault in sitting idly by, while Lee ruins the very fabric of Singapore.

Issue No. 3. All public institutions are effectively under Lee's orders. None of them are independent. The courts function under Lee's orders. The civil service is used to stifle Dr. Chee's legitimate lawful efforts to bring about change. The entire country is at the mercy of Lee's whims as and when it pleases him. It is Lee's fault in destroying the civic institutions of civil society. It is also the fault of the Singaporeans who timidly, out of fear of Lee's Gurkha police murdering them, quietly accept anything thrown at them.

Issue no 3. The building of the casinos. Gambling. To the early immigrants from China and India, it was unacceptable. Children were educated to enter the professions. Succeed through book learning. Doing good to society. And not to gamble, drink and engage in prostitution. This is the same under Taoism, Hinduism and Islam. There principles are universal. What right then has Lee to violate these fundamentals principles by building casinos? He has done it. He has never asked the people. Singapore is going to depend on gamblers, pimps and prostitutes for a living, like Macau is. Our parents never wanted Singapore to be Macau. It is Lee's fault. But not only that, it is the Singaporeans fault, because they fear to question Lee Kuan Yew. Just as the fault is Lee's, so too it is yours. The character of Singapore has fundamentally changed and it is your fault in standing idly by.

Issue No 4. Thousands of people in the lower economic rung such as the less educated and the old are unemployed and suffering and in unprecedented numbers throwing themselves out of their HDB high rise flats and on to oncoming trains to take their own lives. This is caused mainly be the uncontrolled imports of cheap labor because Lee and his son erroneously believe that the only way to compete is to lower wages regardless of standards of living plummeting for everyone. This is Lee's fault, both father and son. At the same time, it is your fault by remaining silently by, while this damage is being done to your country.

Let there be no mistake. It is Lee's arrogance and his threats to shoot his people if they misbehave that is the cause of the deleterious change for the worse in the character of the country. But at the same time, is it not also your fault, when you sit, in fear, in submission, timid and quiet while all this damage to your country goes on? You see, it is one thing to blame Lee and Company for whatever has happened and continues to happen for the worse. It is quite another for you to sit uncomplaining while all this is happening before your very eyes, and then say, that Lee is unjust and a tyrant.

Dr. Chee has repeatedly called upon the people of Singapore to protest, because it is your country. Just as I was coming back in my car from having bought a Jack in the Box sandwich just now, I heard on the BBC that the people of Hong Kong have protested against the China appointed premier and want someone else who is more pro democratic. Come on now. If the people of Hong Kong have some guts, don't you have any? Do it now. Take your country back.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do not mean to be discreet and post the comment without leaving a name.

It is just because I do not wish to go through the hassle to register for an account.

Over the last 20 years, I have had ample experience in dealing with Chinese in different countries in Asia : Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia (i wonder if i should regard the Chinese there as Chinese) and Taiwan. They are all different.

Singaporean. I do not think that I have ever met any Singaporean that is not weird. They cast me the following impression - Someone is going to rob me round the corner. Dare not to take risk. Anything off the rack will lead to a "heart-attack" the next minute. Dare not to loose. Not very good sportsmanship! Who is to be responsible to all these ? Mr. Lee , I strongly believe!

But one thing I have to say is that : Singaporean do need to greatly salute Mr. Lee for the reason that Mr. Lee has successfully saved a huge sum of the money for the Singapore - ironically, a country that does not have much promising outlook.