Readers of this blog who are unfamiliar with the goings on in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, may think reading the comments that there are many who think Singapore is a democracy based on the rule of law. The reader is warned that they may be Singapore government employees whose job is to discredit those who criticize Lee Kuan Yew's authoritarian rule. Please use your discretion as to how much weight you will give these comments.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, as you know, not only owns but controls each and every news media in Singapore, a country totally without a free press, a position he has insisted right from his earliest days as Prime Minister. The main newspaper in Singapore, the Straits Times reports on Feb 7, 2009 "We'll survive the recession". It refers to a speech he made at Tanjong Pagar Constituency recently. In spite of the worst recession in the history of the country, he says Singaporeans have nothing to worry about, and as always, Singaporeans will come out of it victorious and prosperous.
What he fails to mention is that this is nothing more than a pipe dream, in the desperate circumstances of Singapore today.
What a country needs above everything else is an engaged and intelligent citizenry, interested and loyal to their country, able to think and articulate ideas, and with the combined effort of all, the country moves ahead through good times and bad, somehow able to survive and flourish.
Singapore does not have this fundamental requirement of a thinking and engaged population. Lee Kuan Yew has made himself the dictator. And as all dictators, he has made it abundantly clear that he will not tolerate contrary opinion. He will not tolerate free speech. Over the years since 1959, through systematically punishing those who disagreed, and sending them to jail in increasing numbers, he has effectively silenced the entire population of Singapore except for a handful of martyrs who are prepared to go to jail for it. And the rest, an entire population have been silenced, the only ones speaking being those who tow the line, sing praises to the dictator and succeed through false pretences.
Over the years he has perfected the trick of killing a chicken to frighten the monkeys. Today a handful of government scholars who are given ministerial positions plan the future of Singapore, in isolation from their lofty offices, completely detached from the man on the street or his aspirations; a planning that complies with and obeys Lee Kuan Yew's dictates. Whereas the rest of Singapore patiently wait to know what is next in store for them.
Look at the upright honest Singaporeans who have tried to speak but have been promptly silenced and destroyed. JB Jeyaretnam, not to be confused with this son, Philip Jeyaretnam, was a respected politician whose ideas were of great use to Singapore. But since what he said was not pleasing to Lee Kuan Yew's ears, he is sued bankrupted and sent to prison. Dr. Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party is a highly educated neuropsychologist passionate about his country, but sadly, one whose ideas did not comport with that of Lee. So he faces constant harassment, defamation actions and criminal charges, sent to jail and bankrupted. His voice is not given the light of day.
For a country to survive the vagaries of fortune, it needs their people's input, their ideas, their passion and their love for the country. Lee Kuan Yew has destroyed the thinking man. No one in Singapore dares to be candid about anything. The only voices that are heard are those of PAP politicians, Lee Kuan Yew's minions who dutifully parrot his views to advance their careers, because that is the only way to succeed in a country where he has a monopoly on the thought process.
The average man in Singapore is completely detached from policy making. He cannot print a newspaper and sell them to the public, because that activity is illegal. There are a few who express their opinions on the Internet but they do this under assumed names, afraid to say who they are because of what will happen to them.
And you have seen the mess that Singapore is in now, with Lee Kuan Yew's minions who have had the monopoly on the thought process. The country is in shambles. Far too much concentration spent of foreign companies expecting them to take care of Singaporeans. This dire situation would not have come to pass, if everyone was given his share of dignity.
In a society where the law is abused for political ends, where judges such as Belinda Ang Saw Ean blatantly abuse the law to remove Lee Kuan Yew's critics, where the police force is used as a political weapon to apprehend and convict his critics, an entire people have been silenced and completely divorced from engaging in political discourse; in a situation like this, how do you expect the country to solve the myriad of problems that face it. The average man in Singapore today is merely a follower. He goes to his work and does what he is told, day after day, with no other opinions about anything except his personal matters. Such a population cannot ever expect to face the challenges that any country faces through it's journey.
His was a speech which was nothing more than a series of blank statements of greatness mixed with complete inaccuracies. He should be told that merely making grandiose speeches is not enough. He has to face reality for once. Leaving aside the blank assurances of hope, his statements, some of which are clearly false has to be looked at.
He says the younger generation, like their predecessors will guide the country ahead, but he fails to mention that this younger generation are only capable of repeating his opinions and nothing else. It would have made no difference if they were all removed and Lee Kuan Yew did all the thinking, a one man show, which is what Singapore really is.
He takes pride in saying, in the past there was only $100 million in reserves and now there is more than $100 billion. Although we do not know for sure whether this money actually exists or if it is a figment of his imagination; even if it exists, what good is it, when you have a system of government where only a selected few make decisions, decisions which have to be first approved by the supreme dictator, Lee Kuan Yew? You might lose everything the next minute with a government such as this, and in any case, it does look as if it will all be lost anyway with the economy in the state that it is.
He says the parents of Singaporeans managed to struggle through difficult times and advanced their country. True, but the earlier generations had a stake in their country. They contributed to it's advancement because then, people still believed that Singapore was worth fighting for. They respected their public institutions. They respected their courts for administering justice. They respected their civil service for serving society. They respected their police for administering the law. So they worked hard for the country to which they belonged.
It is completely different today. No one today has any faith or respect in their judges when they see them shamelessly abusing the law to silence Lee's political opponents. They have no respect at all for the police force which is used to round up Lee's critics. No respect at all for the civil service which favors government cronies over others. No respect at all for Lee Kuan Yew and his minions including his hand picked president, SR Nathan who pay themselves salaries which amount to several million dollars a year. An entire nation has withdrawn from their civic responsibility. This is not a generation that can do anything, let alone save Singapore from the shambles it now is in.
Admitting the sad fact that emigration is draining the educated from Singapore in unacceptable numbers, he tries to stem the tide by saying foreign countries in Asia are worse than Singapore except Japan. But he fails to mention Australia and Canada to which overwhelming emigrants from Singapore go to. These countries must obviously be better than Singapore, or else why do more and more Singaporeans go to them?
He talks about the Resilience Package to help the increasing numbers of poor and unemployed. But the mechanism as to how this is done is not explained, except that a great fanfare is made in the local press each time one of his Members of Parliament dishes out $100.00 on rare occasions to someone or other. As proof that this is not clearly sufficient are the recent instances of a man punching a politician and subsequently dousing him with gasoline and setting him alight. Only yesterday another man was arrested for sending a death threat to another politician and a few weeks ago, a man had written on a sign outside Parliament "I love you Harry Lee" and "Come sue me Lee Kuan Yew'. Under Singapore's draconian barbarous laws, this man will be tortured by caning.
It would be wise for Lee Kuan Yew to face reality for once. You cannot expect to overcome any national difficulty unless you have got the people of Singapore on board. And as long as he is determined to hold a monopoly on the political thought process, Singapore will be going from one calamity to another. And making stirring speeches will not be good enough.
Another dictator also made great and stirring speeches when everyone knew all was lost. That was Adolf Hitler.
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