Ladies and Gentlemen,
Strangely enough, for a better future, just like in Burma and North Korea, many in Singapore are waiting for Lee Kuan Yew to die. In Burma, they wait for the military generals to die. In North Korea they await the death of Kim Il Sung. In Singapore with Lee Kuan Yew's death, they hope they will get freedom. Just as the vultures who wait patiently around the dying hyena in the bush; vultures who can see the hyena in the throes of death. Lee Kuan Yew is 84 years old. Singaporeans hope it may not be too long to wait.
Someone who is not informed on Singapore's unique circumstances may ask why this is so? Is Singapore after all not a democracy? If they hate him so much, why don't they vote him out and put someone else in his place? Why have to wait until he dies? Is not only in brutal dictatorships that citizens have to wait for a tyrant's death to hope for a better future? Is Singapore then a dictatorship? What then about all this hype from Lee Kuan Yew claiming it is a first world country?
Those of you who read my blog are aware of the numerous comments, all claiming that with Lee Kuan Yew's demise, Singaporeans will be released from bondage. This is not the views of a free people. It can only be the hope of people who live under tyranny. Under Lee Kuan Yew's dictatorial rule.
Even if Lee cannot live that long, since he is, in one of our reader's words already a "frail old man"; must we wait till he dies? Is not the situation already ripe for change this very moment?
Have Singaporeans not already reached their breaking point? Their limit of their tolerance?
From the astronomical increase in salaries of ministers, to the intolerably high cost of living of the poor, to the daily suicides by jumping off high rise buildings and onto oncoming trains, by the increases in bus fares and food costs; has not the situation on the ground exceeded tolerance limits at this very moment? Could there not be demonstrations and protests against these injustices, this very moment, since the suffering people have lost all hope?
Straits Times or the New Paper, both state owned and controlled newspapers meant for for churning out state propaganda, on January 2nd, 2008 reports in the story "ComfortDelgro taxi drivers claim loss of earnings due to 35% surcharge" that taxi drivers are unable to survive with the present surcharges and fare increases. They are finding it difficult to feed their families; while the ministers pay themselves $3.7 million a year! Their tolerance, it appears have reached breaking point! What if 20 or 40 taxis drivers blocked Orchard Road with their taxis to send a clear message to this government! That they will not take it anymore!
It is reported in the same state controlled newspapers of January 02, 2008 in the story "Govt considers tightening eligibility criteria for HDB rental flats" that the Lee government is now going to make it more difficult for people to rent flats. There is going to be more stringent criteria. These one and two room rental flats are needed by the lower income Singaporeans. Now they are going to force many of these low income citizens to purchase 100 year leaseholds instead. These leasehold payments are much higher and beyond the reach of these low income citizens. These poor Singaporeans are being pushed to their limits of poverty. Insufficient income needed to just survive in Singapore. Could they not, being pushed beyond what they can stand, demonstrate and protest outside their flats to announce to the world their suffering!
The same state controlled newspapers on Jan 02, 2008 in their story "Tekka Market to move to Race Course Road" reports that Lee Administration now has decided to renovate Tekka Market. As a result the hawkers and grocers in it have to relocate temporarily to Race Course Road. After renovations they can return. But of course there is a catch. The catch is that their monthly rental charges which they pay to the government will go up too. It appears from reliable sources that it may go up to double or treble what they pay now! Can there be any mistake here? It is as clear as crystal. In line with the government's practice of squeezing more and more money from their people, the main purpose of the renovation was to collect more revenue from these stall holders and grocers. According to the report, many hawkers who are very well aware of this greed of the Singapore government had decided it best to retire forthwith rather than to struggle under intolerably high rental payments! What if these stallholders and grocers formed a protest outside Buffalo Road to protest this injustice?
And mind you, in all these cases of unilateral action taken by this government, that directly affect the people's lives, not one taxi driver was ever consulted; not even a single one room resident was consulted and not even one stall holder in Tekka Market was ever consulted. It is the same with every other action that this government takes about people's lives. They decide anything they want in their glass towers in their city offices. And the people are made to just accept these decisions like cattle. With no say whatsoever about their lives.
You can wake up tomorrow and find that Serangoon Road will be one way traffic east bound instead of west bound as it is now. That Komala Vilas an Indian Restaurant that has been in existence for over 100 years will be demolished. Taxi fares will now be $20.00 to start. Twenty thousand civil servants are to be retrenched. The entire Toa Payoh housing estate is to be demolished to make way for a huge amusement park for tourists; the residents will be relocated to Palau Tekong. Or anything else the government wants to do. Without even a mention of this to the residents!
Your lives remain precarious. Uncertain. You do not know which way the wind is going to blow. Where it will take you. You are not in control. Lee Kuan Yew is. Just as Kim Il Sung is in North Korea.
If you want, you can do something about it now. You can protest. Demonstrate. Distribute leaflets. Make public speeches. Strike. Go slow at work. Wear protest T Shirts and walk along Orchard Road. Sing protest songs. Strip naked in protest. Yell. Scream. Do what ever you think.
Or you can do nothing. And wait for Lee Kuan Yew to die. The choice is yours. It is your country.
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