Ladies and Gentlemen,
How does one judge a country as "first world"?. I suppose, a country that upholds the rule of law, a country with free and fair elections, a country that upholds human rights of free speech and expression, a country that has a free press, a country that does not discriminate against any section of it's people, a government that is accountable to the people, a government that does not engage in corruption by calling the money a salary; these are some of signs of a civilized first world country.
Not forgetting of course the foremost of signs of a free country, a country with a free press; Singapore being ranked one of the countries with the least free press in the world. All the newspapers there are both owned and controlled by Lee Kuan Yew and his family. The internationally respected free press monitor, Reporters Sans Frontieres of France has placed the island so far down the list, next to Sudan and Eritrea!
Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore Island's strongman had not too far back written a book claiming in it that the country is first world. It is true that he has managed to build a number of skyscrapers along the waterfront like in Hong Kong, an excellent infra structure of roads and supplied clean water and electricity to households. In addition he has managed to make it free of litter by imposing harsh laws for the slightest indiscretion and criminalized the chewing of gum, which the outside world erroneously thinks is punishable with caning! But are these any indication it is a developed 'first world" country? hardly.
You have to have lived in Singapore to know what it is like I do. It is a country with no rule of law, where it is routinely abused to punish the government's critics. A country without free and fair elections where Lee Kuan Yew and his party has been continuously returned to power at every single election without interruption for the last 50 years since 1959! Same as Cuba! Any potential parliamentary candidate critical of the government or Lee Kuan Yew is sent to jail through willing judges. It is a country where the judges, all of them, have no shame at all; shamelessly using their position to please Lee by punishing his opponents.
Singapore is a country not run by rule of law but by law. That is, whenever the government feels the slightest threatened by their people, they pass a law to criminalize it, like what they have done recently under the Public Order Act where all protests, even peaceful ones are criminalized. Singapore's recently appointed Tamil Minister of Law, K Shanmugam and Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs, Lee Kuan Yew's cousin, willingly abuse the law to please him.
It is a country that has no laws against racial discrimination, which means the Chinese majority in the country blatantly discriminate the Malays and Indians in jobs, benefits and every other way possible. Even the government itself openly discriminates them by denying jobs in the public sector, positions in the armed forces and security sensitive occupations.
It is a country, despite having only 4.5 million people, with a land area of less than one third the size of New York City but yet pays their leaders salaries that are, believe it or not, five times the salary of the US President. They do it openly and shamelessly. In any other country, it would be called by it's correct name, "corruption"; but in Singapore, an island that is in essence owned by Lee Kuan Yew and his family, it is called "salaries".
And none of these grievances can be openly challenged by the people, because, as you correctly guessed it, Lee Kuan Yew will punish you if you did!
Tell me, what sort of a country is that? First world?
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