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 underlying problem is that Singaporeans are not masters of their destiny. Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's dictator, decides what is good for them and what is not. This subservient life is not pleasant. It creates fear; fear of the government. Regardless of what one might feel, it is necessary to accept whatever Lee Kuan Yew and his minions decide for them; because if they complain, they stand to lose lose their liberty, their money, their career, their everything.
This stifling burden compels them to be submissive turning them into a compliant citizenry. It denies independent thinking. Like an obedient slave, they have to accept whatever is thrown at them. If there is change, it comes about through the orders of Lee Kuan Yew and his minions in government. It is they who have the mandate from Heaven, at least that is what they think, and the people's duty is to accept without complaint. It is not a life that any proud young man or woman should want. That is why there is so much unhappiness among Singaporeans. That is why Singaporeans continue to emigrate to Australia and Canada in increasing numbers.
Any foreigner coming to Singapore would undoubtedly be impressed with the Singapore skyline. Tall modern buildings, well paved roads lined with beautiful shrubbery, modern amenities, a clean city. No doubt on the outside very impressive. You cannot fault him if he walks away admiring Singaporeans for their good life.
But you see, man does not live by modern buildings alone. Man needs happiness. Man needs security. Man needs to be able to wake up in the morning knowing the next minute, he will not be thrown in jail because Lee Kuan Yew is displeased. A man needs to know that he can succeed in life through his own ability and hard work, regardless of whether the rulers like him or not.
Success in Singapore comes at an unbearable price; unbearable that is for self respecting upright men and women. It requires not only ability, but one other important qualification; which is total submission to Lee Kuan Yew. One has to publicly endorse every policy and law that Lee Kuan Yew may decide for him. If you are capable and at the same time, are willing to cringe, crawl and flatter, you will see high office, unimaginable wealth. It requires a sheep like character, devoid of any pride, any personal principles of right and wrong, but that of a dumb chameleon willing to change his position on matters that count every minute, in tandem with the latest policies of Lee Kuan Yew.
No one with any self respect, any real ambition to live the life that he wants, to achieve great success though honest hard work and principles, would find it comfortable in Singapore. In short, if you believe in liberty, Singapore is a very unpleasant place to live despite the beautiful buildings, despite the garden city. For those who leave Singapore, tall buildings and modern amenities are not enough. They demand self respect, the most fundamental of human needs, which Lee Kuan Yew denies them.
The most basic rights that anyone in a free society takes for granted are denied in Singapore. The citizen is not given the right to choose the government of his choice. The elections are corrupt and rigged. People who have ability and passion are denied the right to even contest elections, through defamation actions, trumped up criminal charges and vilification in the state controlled press, ordered by Lee Kuan Yew, leaving only those whom he approves eligible to stand for office. Lee Kuan Yew and his government, plainly put, does not represent the people, because they are not the people's choice. Examples of this are many including JB Jeyaretnam, not to be confused with his son Philip Jeyaretnam, Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Tang Liang Hong, Francis Seow and the list goes on; men whom the people, had they a choice, would have chosen as their leaders.
Singapore does not have a free press, no freedom of speech or assembly, no way in which independent thinking can see the light of day. What you read is what Lee Kuan Yew wants you to read. You cannot publish a letter which is critical of Lee Kuan Yew or his policies for fear of defamation actions and trumped up criminal charges.
There is of course, the avenue for the citizen to voice his problems to Members of Parliament at the weekly meet the people sessions. But it usually does no good, since Lee Kuan Yew's politician cannot fearlessly defend your cause, as doing so will undoubtedly result in his own downfall. So, in these sessions, Lee Kuan Yew goes through the pretence of advancing the citizen's interest when in actual fact, there is really nothing that happens; and week after week this charade of meet the people goes on, and the people's wants continue being ignored.
Take employment. There are no laws that guarantee fair employment practices. A man can be fired for no reason at all, at the whim of the employer. There are no labor laws to protect against unfair dismissal. Today you may have a job, and tomorrow you are on the street.
There is no social security, that is worth mentioning. Lee Kuan Yew takes pride in Singapore not being a welfare state, or rather relishes the fact that a citizen and his children are left to their fate; a cruel, diabolical and sadistic philosophy of life. A man, a sole breadwinner in the family, with a wife and three young children stand to be thrown into poverty the next minute through job loss, and Lee Kuan Yew does not see any need to protect them. Malay and Indian Singaporeans are heard to complain that they have been thrown out of their jobs, or not even hired because preference is given to Chinese Singaporeans by their Chinese employers. If such discrimination exists, these people have no recourse against their employers. The courts will not hear such cases. They have no choice but to make do as best they can. Any other country worth it's salt, will have laws to prevent such injustice, they will have state welfare benefits to ensure a reasonable living standard for the unemployed. It is not correct to say there is no help from the government at all. The unemployed are paid a few hundred dollars but how does anyone with a wife and three young children survive on $300.00 a month?
The people have completely lost faith in the administration of justice. The courts, with judges like Belinda Ang Saw Ean, about whom I had written earlier in this blog are seen as Lee Kuan Yew's tools to eliminate Lee Kuan Yew's political opponents, as she had shamelessly shown, through her bias in the May 2008 case of Lee Kuan Yew verses Dr. Chee Soon Juan. Every Singaporean full well knows that criticism of Lee Kuan Yew and his government or his unjust courts will inevitably result in his arrest, conviction and imprisonment or his impecuniosity through a defamation of character lawsuit.
In any other society, where you are denied the right to complain against injustice, where the law courts are unwilling to hear your plight, where you are summoned to the courts and sent to jail or impoverished through false cases, where you cannot voice your dissatisfaction to the newspapers, may want to take his grievances to the street, through public protest, as a last resort. But even that is denied in Singapore because even peaceful protest is illegal.
In the end, the Singaporean finds himself trapped in a vice from which there is no escape. He has to submit and accept Lee Kuan Yew's plans for him through his handpicked ministers, who do not represent anyone but Lee Kuan Yew.
This is not a life that a proud upstanding young man or woman would want. That is why, as was reported in the state controlled newspapers, you see the growing phenomenon of citizens punching their members of Parliament, sending death threats to them and even dousing them with gasoline and setting them ablaze, as was the fate of Lee Kuan Yew's Member of Parliament for Yio Chu Kang recently. And that is why increasing numbers of young men and women are joining the growing ranks of activists and publicly protesting knowing that they are breaking the law, an unjust law. And that is why the Australian Embassy and the Canadian Embassy are receiving increasing numbers wanting to settle in their countries. And that is why shops selling suitcases are showing increasing sales.
Let me make one thing clear. The only reason why I can write the way I do is because I live in the United States. Lee Kuan Yew knows he is powerless to act against me here in the US. Had I written this this way in Singapore, I would have long ago been sued charged convicted, impoverished and imprisoned. That is why being outside Singapore enables me to say what I want to say, without having to wake up the next morning in mortal fear of my fate. That is why I am happy and content with my life.
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