Saturday, June 27, 2009

Singapore's Goh Chock Tong visibly disappointed with brain drain

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's state controlled newspaper the Straits Times online edition of June 28, 2009 has the article "Strong Wings Deep Roots. SM Goh urges schools to retain their emotional bonds to Singapore".

It shows a picture of him, looking down, clearly dejected, disppaointed. You have to look at his face.

He was speaking to 1000 guests at the 70th Anniversary of Chung Cheng High School where he said one out of three top students’ of the school who went overseas for an education never returned. What he said was true except for the fact that the figures were wrong. Very probably 2 out of every 3 students never returned.

One of them was I, Gopalan Nair. I had gone abroad for an education but did return only to be charged in court for contempt of court and being suspended from practicing law for 2 years. In 1991 I left for good and have never returned except for pleasure visits which eventually ended in my imprisonment for 3 months last year and a permanent prohibition from entering Singapore.

I have written about this many times in this blog. Emigration of the educated and skilled has progressively increased over the years that it is now an unstoppable flood with as many as 1000 a month taking up overseas permanent residence and 1000 a year giving up their citizenships. These émigrés not including the students who do not return is so large and continues unabated that it is now seriously affecting the ability of this country to survive. They have been trying to bring in replacements to cover the loss from Communist China and India but any right minded person can tell immediately that it will not work. These human imports are second rate for 2 reasons, first they would have preferred to go to Australia and failing that choice Singapore, and secondly, they have no intention of ever making Singapore home. No loyalty at all, only financial gain matters. Their other failures are a lack of English and ignorance of the British system of government that Singapore is supposedly based on. No European, American or Australian would want to make their home here, if they had any decency about them.

Goh Chock Tong deliberately feigns ignorance as to why this is happening when the reasons are staring him in his face. Why should any capable young man or woman with a good education or skills and with a bit of decency and principles about him want to stay in a country which:

1. Has no freedom of speech or expression?
2. Has no independent press?
3. Has a Lee Kuan Yew who pays himself $3 million a year and gives similar amounts to his son, after making him Prime Minister and pays the same obscene sum to every one of his good friends.
4. Where he abuses the law and shamelessly orders his judges such as Belinda Ang Saw Ean to order his political opponents to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to Lee Kuan Yew for doing nothing but criticize?
5. A country which has turned entirely into robots unable to think or speak openly for fear of defamation actions brought on by Lee Kuan Yew through corrupt dishonest lawyers such as Davinder Singh?
6. A country which the International Bar Association has said has no rule of law or any independent judges?

There are a few dishonest men and women who would be prepared to stay but which mother of her son, or which young man or woman, if he had any decency would want to live the shameful lives that opportunists such as Lee Kuan Yew's defamation lawyer Davinder Singh lives, or like his corrupt judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean?

Almost every suggestion that Goh chock Tong makes in the article is downright ridiculous, as if he has no care whatsoever that Singaporeans too have a mind of their own. Let me give you the examples.

For instance, he says they should sink roots here even if they leave for good! Isn't that the height of incredulity! What, leave for good and yet sink roots in Singapore! How is that possible, Mr. Goh Chock Tong? Then he goes on to utter more gibberish and drivel, such as saying that Singaporeans should be like geese that migrate in winter but return in summer. Yes, Mr. Goh, that is what geese do. But we are not talking about geese. Human beings can’t live in 2 places. If they have gone, they live elsewhere. Not in Singapore.

And then he tries to appeal to their good nature, urging them to remember where they got their education and therefore they should be grateful to Singapore. But is Mr. Goh not forgetting something? Is it not the duty of the government, just as the duty of any other government, to provide an education? And if so, why should any student be grateful for what they are entitled to anyway? And besides, is he going to say that Singaporeans had a good education? Hardly. I went through Singapore education. It is bad. It instills fear in children, not courage and curiosity for learning. It dwarfs a child's development and turns children into young robots. It is good to know that many children from Singapore do manage to go abroad despite the poor education they get. Education is not just book learning; it also includes the development of character, which Singapore students’ lack. Australian, New Zealand, British and American children get much better education than the mediocre Singapore system.

I have personally contributed to the brain drain by what had happened to me. In the 1980s I was punished as a lawyer in Singapore for no other reason but being a critic of the dictatorship in Singapore. I was charged for contempt of court for making an election rally speech at the 1991 Bukit Merah elections for suggesting that the Subordinate Court judiciary should be free of control by the Legal Service Commission, so as to give the impression of impartiality. Nothing wrong in what I said, but Judge Sinnuthuray at the behest of Lee Kuan Yew fined me $8,000.00 and costs. Next, when I questioned the Attorney General Tan Boon Teik about his statement over the late JB Jeyaretnam which were false, I was subjected to disciplinary proceedings and suspended from practicing law for 2 years. Both these cases were given extensive coverage in Singapore’s state controlled press so as to frighten similarly minded lawyers from ever challenging Lee and company.

What do you think the effect of these cases had on the Singapore population, and especially on the legal profession? Immediately after the publicity of my cases in the Singapore press, I personally know that more and more Singapore lawyers began leaving the profession, mainly to Australia. Can anyone blame them? The Singapore legal system's reputation had sunk rock bottom. Lee Kuan Yew wanted to make it known that it was he who was master, not the law. Did you expect any honest lawyer to remain after this in Singapore?

Then there were the series of cases against the late JB Jeyaretnam and the ongoing never ending cases against Dr. Chee Soon Juan; the arrest of the "Marxist Conspirators", as Lee calls them; the series of cases against the foreign press; then my imprisonment? You see the people including young men and women are not blind or shielded from this injustice that goes on there on a daily basis. An educated man would want to be able to engage in an intelligent debate and not fear imprisonment for it. Singapore is no place for an honest decent educated person. Neither is it for their families and their children. It is no place to bring up children, period.

It may be fine for the likes of people such as Davinder Singh who does it for money, but how many good parents would want their children to end up like him?

My concern and interest lies with the people of Singapore, not with this one party dictatorship. My advice to parents and young men and women in schools is this. If you have the chance to emigrate, do it. In Singapore, you will never be able to achieve your full potential. It is a one party state dictatorship with Lee Kuan Yew running the show together with his son placed there by him. If you want to succeed in it, you have to do whatever the father and son say. If you are prepared to live like that, fine. If not, get out now. And my best wishes to you. You would have made the right decision by leaving.

Singapore is s silly country. With a silly government. You would be wasting your time with it.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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Anonymous said...

Yeah leave the island.

The rulers of Singapore are utterly corrupt! There's no other way than to become corrupted to please them.

If you a man who follows your conscience. LEAVE the island for good!


ps: Beware of clikjacking while psoting comment!

jamestan said...

Wooden Goh is just an employee of Lee Kuan Yew Proprietary, trading as Singapore.

Ever wonder why the ministers need to be paid millions. It is only fair. Everyone of them are employees of the FAMILEE and they need to be paid political risk for a public sector job. That is why private companies should not take over public works, it actually cost more.

These people are selected for their jobs by the FAMILEE, rubber stamped by the people in the highly unusual process of GRC demo.crac.see.

If Wooden Goh is geniunely passionate about public duties, I think he is working for the wrong organisation. He should be working in a REAL government and earning REALISTIC pay.

mycroft said...

Well, what a difference a few years makes. The sanctimonious Goh executes a humiliating U-turn, from mocking the 'quitters' to begging these very same ingrates to return, hoping they'll not be rolling on the floor laughing at his facile rhetoric. Fat chance.

He pretends to be unaware of why the Singapore-born are abandoning the land in droves; he hems, haws and beats about the bush; he takes great care not to look the gorilla in the room in the eye. But nobody is fooled. We all know the thoughful ones got out because he and his political party poisoned the well of civil society so thoroughly that to stay would be to perish both in mind and in spirit, just as in North Korea. Only the opportunists and the shallow linger.

You are right that despite his academic excellence, the average Singapore grad is no match for his first world foreign counterpart in social skills, street-smarts and the sheer joi de vivre expected of youth. That's why we end up with the Philip Yeos of this world and not the kind of entrepreneurs who found companies like AirAsia. The system produces a socially awkward, perpetually stressed creature with few interests, no depth and deadly boring to talk to if you have the misfortune to be sat next to one. Only cash can animate him because he knows the price of everything.

Our poor Singapore was doomed the day it allowed the Collaborator to sweet-talk his way to absolute power. Parents would be wise to get their brood out fast before they too become mindless digits slaving for Napoleon and the pigs.

Forget Goh's self-serving drivel. Show your strong wings by living abroad, show your deep roots by supporting the brave Singaporean opposition voices. That way, maybe some day soon there will be a new dawn.

Anonymous said...

I am now studying in a good university in Australia.
I will never return to Singapore.
Well I may but as an Australian citizen.

Gopalan Nair said...

To anonymous June 28, 11:18pm,

Good one brother. Give it to them, a bunch of tin pot tyrants! Hey, Goh, take that you bully!

Anonymous said...

Why must WE leave, it should be THEM leaving. This is OUR country, not THEIRS.

mycroft said...

"Power comes from the barrel of a gun" - Chairman Mao

They have all the guns.

Anonymous said...

Here are some reasons I left Singapore years ago

- Education system is unnecessarily stressful.

- Society is too conformant, leaves little/no room for individualism.

- Too many people. Too little space.

- National service.

- Life in general is too stressful.

- Want a better environment to raise my children.

Of course some people return for the following reasons:

- Familiar education system that they believe is best

- Other countries are too disorderly.

- Families, relatives, friends.

- Feel safe.

- Enjoy living in a big and modern city.

- Food.

So depending on individual preference and priority, you may like or dislike Singapore way of life. I chose to leave and have never regretted. Perhaps more are choosing to leave now because information (internet) is now widely accessible for them to make informed decision.