Ladies and Gentlemen,
The state controlled Singapore newspaper the Straits Times online edition of May 19, 2009 has an article written by an Intelligence Officer, Singapore Internal Security Department, who doubles as a journalist, Chua Mui Hoong, with this heading "New Strategies ahead. Basic approach sound, but some policies will be refined, says President". It talks about a speech by president SR Nathan of Singapore.
I needn’t say that you cannot rely on state controlled newspapers to tell you the truth because these governments use it as a political weapon to propagate propaganda, like Pravda or Izvestia of the former Soviet Union. Like Singapore’s state controlled newspapers.
I need to introduce this President, that is the President of Singapore, the 89 year old S.R. Nathan. The office of President in Singapore is entirely ceremonial. In other words, the man runs around as every other minister or minion in the country taking orders from the Supremo, the Magnificent, Lee Kuan Yew. It is well known that during the Japanese Military occupation of Singapore from 1942 to 1945, he served in the dreaded Japanese Military Police, the Kempetai allegedly as a translator/ interpreter from English to Japanese. It is rumored that he collaborated in the arrest and brutal torture, perhaps even murder of innocent Chinese, the longstanding enemies of the Japanese. Many Singaporeans of Chinese descent suffered greatly at the hands of the Japanese as they did in other parts of Asia, such as in Nanking. I will not be surprised that the Chinese of Singapore who suffered so much under the Japanese find SR Nathan being their president, a case of rubbing salt into their wounds.
After the war, he joined Lee Kuan Yew's police force, and to please him, he dutifully arrested and tortured innocent Singaporeans, every single person, who opposed Lee Kuan Yew's tyranny. Many innocent people have been tortured and imprisoned by him, merely for opposing his master, Lee Kuan Yew. His efforts were rewarded by the Supremo, by his being appointed the President at a salary or rather theft of Singapore’s assets of $4 million a year.
You must know, from his career of serving Lee Kuan Yew of eliminating and arresting Lee’s opponents, he has hardly any independent mind of his own. All he can do, as he has done throughout his entire career is to parrot anything that his master wants.
And this is what he is doing now. The Singapore intelligence officer who also works as a Singapore journalist Chua Mui Hoong reports of what this man had said in the opening of Singapore’s Parliament on May 18, 2009. Of course, all that he has said is a speech written out for him by Lee Kuan Yew's staff. He has nothing to say of his own of course.
The speech is intended to motivate and uplift Singaporeans, to encourage them and not lose hope in the present recession of unprecedented magnitude. He says his government will come up with new ideas and strategies but does not say what they are. He says he will seek new markets and develop new capabilities but does not say how or what these are. He says the political system will evolve but does not say how. And then he carries in the same vein, nothing but rhetoric and grandiose plans without explaining how when or where.
Remember Hitler? In Berlin before the final defeat with the Russians advancing to the gates, Hitler was deploying Goebbels to go around what was left of the Third Reich to make grandiose stirring speeches, that somehow the great German people would ride out the storm, overcome all odds and triumph. He too never gave any details as to how it will be done.
I am no economist, but I did take the subject in high school for 2 years. But you don’t need to be one to see the gloom before your eyes. I don’t see Singapore coming out of this recession. Singapore may go on, but with a weaker economy. I have many reasons for this.
For one, the people have lost all confidence with this administration. It must be obvious, for a nation to succeed; you need the people behind it. But in Singapore, the vast majority has no respect for Lee Kuan Yew and his colleagues and for the institutions of government. How does one have any respect for a government when Lee Kuan Yew pays himself and his friends, millions of dollars, which he calls salaries and no one is allowed to question it! If you do, you will be sued for defamation or sent to jail. The legal system has completely lost all respect when corrupt judges such as Belinda Ang Saw Ean abuses the law by ordering damages of over $400,000.00 against Dr. Chee Soon Juan merely for legitimate criticism? In my case, my passport was confiscated and I was forced to remain in Singapore for 6 months and then sent to jail for 3 months by Judge Kang Ting Chiu in September 17, 2008 for criticizing her in the Dr. Chee case. In the recent past, the Singapore courts have permitted themselves to be used by Lee Kuan Yew in the series of false law suits against JB Jeyaretnam to keep him out of political office. No country can aspire for success as a nation if the people of the country despise its government.
Another weakness of the system is its unique style. In it, the principle is this, either you are with them or you are against them. Lee Kuan Yew's government is only prepared to hear what is pleasing for them. Otherwise you are destined to oblivion. Young children are selected for having done well in school. They are then given scholarships to study overseas with a requirement they serve the government for a decade or two upon return. These students, although good in book learning are not honest decent human beings, whom the country needs the most. These are opportunists. They know Lee Kuan Yew is a dictator. They know Singaporeans basic rights are trampled upon. But these things do not bother them. They are in it for the money and the job security. So they use their education to further their careers while they entrench their master's (Lee Kuan Yew's) position by doing unconscionable acts to help him remain in office.
There are undeniably, highly educated, capable individuals in Singapore who would have been able to contribute greatly. But because of whom they are, they are ostracized, demonized and their views are not given the light of day. I am talking of men such as Dr. Chee Soon Juan. From reading his blog, the Singapore Democrat, there can be no doubt of his abilities. But because he dared to question Lee Kuan Yew, not only his ideas are blanked out from the mainstream state controlled media, Lee Kuan Yew has called him repeatedly a lair, a cheat and a man who stole $18.00 from the National University of Singapore, all lies of course.
And it is not just Dr. Chee who is being shut out. A sizable swath of the Singapore population, men and women who have human decency, self respect and at least of modicum of integrity have completely shut themselves out of this government. They want nothing to do with it. They are not prepared to sour their souls for money, such as this judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean is prepared to do. They refuse to co-operate with this government. They work quietly in private organizations, unseen and unheard. And when it becomes intolerable, they leave Singapore, taking their talents, their education, their skills and their money elsewhere. They leave Singapore for good.
You have to realize that this is a body of people, this government can least afford to lose, the educated skilled and articulate. But because the government cannot tolerate any ideas unless it comports with theirs, these citizens are lost to Singapore. And when only the few who sing praises to Lee Kuan Yew have the right to voice their ideas, there are insufficient people engaged in policy making and government. The numbers with ideas are not enough for any country to achieve success.
The Singapore economy is completely dependant on investment and ideas from abroad. Local grown companies or entrepreneurs are almost non existent. And with Singapore being what it is now, they have nothing to offer foreigners. If it is cheap labor, this is long gone to countries such as Indonesia. If it is legal hub, this too was long gone with the legal profession progressively shrinking with its strength now below 2,500.00 for an island with 4.5 million people! With the report of the International bar Association recently that categorically said Singapore does not have the rule of law; foreign companies are avoiding Singapore courts in their contracts by mutually agreeing to litigate in Australia and Britain, even though the contract relates to Singapore! And the Singapore legal system has been thoroughly discredited for having the world's highest number of crooks. Among the various crooked lawyers who had ran away with their client’s moneys, only yesterday Uthayasurian Sidambaram, a Singapore lawyer cheated his client of $100,000.00 for which he was found out and suspended for a year. The number of crooks in the Singapore legal profession of only 2500 is so great in proportion that Singapore lawyers are in fact the most dishonest in the world. Almost 200 to 300 lawyers every year are disciplined for dishonesty that is running away with their client’s money. I believe the profession has no choice but be lenient to these crooks since if they were disbarred, there won't be any lawyers left. That is why, for a serious crime such as this, cheating a client of $100,000, this lawyer is only punished with a suspension of 1 year from practice. In any other jurisdiction, he would have been disbarred.
The word has got out to foreigners intending to do business in Singapore not to trust Singapore lawyers that they are using foreign lawyers from their countries as far as possible to avoid being victims of the lawyer crooks of Singapore.
And on top of all this, you have the unrelenting emigration. I understand it is as many as 1,000 per year who give up their citizenship for overseas countries, and as many as 1,000 every month take foreign permanent residence. These men and women are the very cream of their society and the loss to the nation together with their families and children is too great to bear. To replace these talented citizens, Lee is forced to take second rate immigrants from China and India, many with insufficient English language skills or talent. People from the west do not come since they are aware that it is a dictatorship and they want no part of it. With a lack of talent and relentless brain drain from a small country such as this, it is difficult to think of survival let alone success. And these second rate immigrants with little English or any true understanding of Singapore, who are there merely for the ride, does not instill confidence.
And then you have relentless persecution of Dr. Chee Soon Juan, throughout the year for merely having spoken in public or for taking part in peaceful protests. This non stop persecution of Dr. Chee is a double edged sword. On the one hand, Lee Kuan Yew succeeds in intimidating and cowing his population through fear; fear of what would happen if like Dr. Chee they criticized. On the other hand, it alienates every right thinking member of society in Singapore as well as the world, which see a bully brow beating a helpless victim through corrupt judges like Belinda Ang Saw Ean. The people are intimidated but at the same time, they withdraw from having anything to do with this ruthless dictatorship, the honest ones that is.
From all this you can see why it is difficult for Singapore to thrive. Singapore really has nothing to offer the world, and the world now knows what Singapore really is. At the same time, Singaporeans have lost their ability for independent thinking or at least the courage to express it.
And that is why all this entirely titular president, SR Nathan, former Japanese Military Police (Kempetai) employee, perhaps responsible during the military occupation for the tortures and murders of innocent Singaporean Chinese, now Lee Kuan Yew's side kick, can do is to make grandiose and stirring speeches. You see Mr. Nathan, this is not enough.
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