Ladies and Gentlemen,
Most people, when in a rut, would try to save themselves. Not make it worse! Yet this is what Lee Kuan Yew appears determined to do!
Education, especially an English one and willingness to live under a dictatorship always work as opposites. They are not complementary. The more the education, the more the yearning for freedom. As more and more Singaporeans receive tertiary education, more and more do they find living under a dictatorship unacceptable.
Freedom gives one the ability to decide his own destiny. It gives him self respect and dignity as a man capable of making his own decisions. He dislikes being told how to live his life, what he should say and when he should speak. Unlike the illiterates, he thinks highly of himself and believes he knows as much if not more than anyone else even if that happens to be Lee Kuan Yew.
In Singapore’s history, it is always those who have had an education, who felt the need to question Lee Kuan Yew's authority, who were sued, sent to jail or exiled from the island. I am referring to men such as Dr. Chee Soon Juan, Francis Seow, JB Jeyaretnam, Tang Liang Hong, Jufrie Mohammed, Gandhi Ambalam, John Tan and many others. Gopalan Nair myself included.
The common element in all of us was that we all have had an education. We were all unwilling to live under a dictatorship. We all felt we knew as much if not more than the next man, Lee Kuan Yew included. There was no need for any of us to live under a dictator. So we objected to our subjugation. And we were all punished in one way or another, branded as criminals and outlaws. Our ideas were ignored; we were either sacked from our jobs or bankrupted and completely forgotten.
It is not just us that feel this way. As more and more students in Singapore get a tertiary education; as more go abroad to other freer countries, every one of them will begin to think just like we do. You see, it is impossible for anyone not to demand freedom if he knows it. That is how attractive freedom is.
Today Lee Kuan Yew is permitting more and young men and women to receive a tertiary education. Many are sent to free European countries and North America hoping they will return to Singapore and serve his dictatorship. But surely he must know that this cannot be. Why should they, with unlimited opportunities which come with a higher education want to work in Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew's orders like an obedient dog? Why should they?
It is these educated people, like myself, Dr. Chee soon Juan and others who could have contributed immensely to the future of Singapore. But criminalizing us and shutting us away, he is effectively losing the very talent that Singapore needs as a small country with no natural resources.
Dr. Chee's wisdom and experience is effectively denied Singapore just because Lee Kuan Yew doesn't like him. So is Francis Seow's talents wasted. So are the talents of a great many other very capable men and women who are effectively silenced because they are unwilling to play second fiddle to Lee Kuan Yew.
I can assure you one thing. As more and more Singaporeans become educated, more and more will refuse to live lives as slaves in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. Since their choice is either to fight Lee Kuan Yew's tyranny and become martyrs or to leave the country permanently, they will continue doing either of this in increasing numbers.
We know now that massive numbers leave Singapore every year for settlement abroad. We also know that 2 out of 3 students abroad do not return. We know that insufficient number of children are being born and the population is aging.
There are a few highly educated individuals who join the Lee Kuan Yew bandwagon and serve him. These men and women have effectively sold themselves to the devil for money. Men like Lee Kuan Yew's defamation lawyer Davinder Singh who would be prepared to say anything in court as long as it pleases his master. Judges like Belinda Ang Saw Ean who will do anything to punish Lee Kuan Yew's opponents by abusing the law. Men like K Shanmugam, Lee Kuan Yew's minister for law who will completely deny even a single human right to Singaporeans by tightening the law even further. These men and women are there for money. They are not motivated by altruism.
If matters go on like this, even more and more of the educated will leave the country, leaving those in Singapore who have no desire or knowledge of what freedom means. As long as the they are fed and clothed they will sing any tune whenever called upon. But they are not the ones capable of advancing Singapore’s future.
In order to continue in business, Singapore can emulate Dubai. Dubai's natives are the rich and powerful, who don't do any work. All the work is done by human imports, like Filipinos, Indians Pakistanis Afghans, the Arabs from the poorer countries like Egypt or Jordon and the high managerial and executives jobs by West Europeans and Americans. It is OK for Dubai to be this way because the native Arabs are very well taken care of. They don't have to work. As for Singapore, if massive emigration of the educated continue, there is going to be an ever increasing number of Singaporeans abroad who have not only forgotten their former country, they would have nothing good to say about it. And with an ever shrinking number of native Singaporeans in Singapore, the entire island which we knew would have changed its character entirely.
But the stark reality is that if the present high rate of emigration of the educated continues from Singapore, it would have no choice but to import increasing numbers of foreign talent to get the work done. Which means the original character of Singapore would be changed forever with foreigners as well as locals only interested to make as quick a buck as possible and get out whenever it becomes necessary. In other words, a transient population and transient government.
If Lee Kuan Yew were Nero, playing the fiddle while Rome burnt, someone should tell him to stop it now.
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