Ladies and Gentlemen,
A few days ago, there was a report in Singapore's state Controlled press the Straits Times where Lee's son, the Prime Minister was calling on Singapore islanders to look for niches; industries where the island can profit from. Traditionally the niches were the sea port, the airport, tourism and more recently biotechnology; all areas where the island economy has taken a tailspin. Singapore Airlines, the other niche has posted losses of millions and laid off half of their aircraft.
But what is surprising in this tiny island state of Singapore where chewing gum is banned, where the Ministers pay themselves several million of dollars a year as salary with no complaint whatsoever from their people and where you can be jailed for peaceful protests is this; why should the Prime Minster be urging them to come up with niches! Could they not think for themselves?
If you have lived in Singapore as long as I have, you will know the answer. For over 50 years the people have been told the government would do all the thinking for them, they will build flats for them, they will provide jobs, they will build hospitals and all the locals have to do is just accept their lives, jobs, the apartments, everything the government provides, and more importantly, submit to their rulers as obedient children.
With this long standing obedience, the people have literally lost their independence of thought. Lee provides the houses, jobs and ever possible thing you can think of. Well, this was in the past, where the world order was different. Where the small island could sell itself as a cheap assembly line workforce for foreign multi nationals. Those days have gone, the money laundering business has been exposed, the world now knows the judges are used as as Lee's political tool, foreign airlines have shown they are both better and cheaper than the Singapore carrier and worst of all, Singapore has outpriced itself from competition. The small island's niche has gone and the ministers who are paid 5 times the salary of the US President have run out of ideas.
And now finally they have no choice but to ask their citizens to think, but sadly for them, they have lost that ability a long time ago.
Asking them to find niches for Singapore is not going to work. Singaporeans now, believe it or not, are unable to think for themselves. 50 years of fear and obedience to this government has finally killed it.
And that I think is the greatest reason this island will fail. The people, even though they are by and large literate in the English language, are not part of the equation in government.
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