Sunday, September 27, 2009

Singapore. Something very wrong about the whole place.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On a daily basis, Singapore's state controlled media comes up with various bright plans, new industries and other good news, as if Singapore is inexorably advancing. So good on paper, since you own it anyway. But is it really?

What Singapore's self appointed dictators do not realize is this. Blind acceptance of authority on the one hand and education on the other, are opposites and work against each other. They are not composites but opposites. You cannot expect any advancement while you dampen their spirit. As long as you instill fear into people demanding they behave in the way you want; not speak things you don't like and say things pleasing to you; you will never achieve greatness. And whatever outward success you see, will rapidly unravel and you will fall.

Singapore children continue to receive an education. The Internet is universal and everywhere. Information is available at the fingertip and instant. With this background, take one glaring issue, minister's salaries. Singapore ministers are paid no less than several millions every year far surpassing what several European and American presidents put together!

The normal reaction to this by any normal person would be to question the legality of these payments. Are they legitimate or are they illegal? Are they salaries or is this corruption? Should they be made to return these moneys or should they be allowed to keep them? Should they be put on trial for theft or should they be pardoned? Should there be a commission of enquiry or should there be naught?

Had this been happening in Europe or America, these questions would have been raised a long time ago, these ministers would have been held to account, the newspapers would have reported this on a daily basis and the Attorney Generals of these countries would have been considering whether charges would be brought. But you see, in Singapore nothing like this is happening. No one is questioning any of this, the newspapers have not reported anything and there have been no mass protests decrying this injustice.

You see, the Singapore citizen is required to behave in a very unusual way. Although he knows this is injustice, through fear, he does not question this openly; through fear the newspaper reporter does not say anything and through large monetary payments or bribes, the Singapore Attorney General does not question any of this.

This strained forced behavior of the Singapore citizen makes life very unpleasant. On the one hand, he knows something is wrong, but he cannot question it like the person in any other free country in the world. Since there is no free press, he is unable to raise the multitudinous other complaints he has, because the state owned press will not publish them. He lives in a world where his grievances will not see the light of day, living in a state of perpetual denial. The laws have been tightened so much that he cannot publicly protest to make his grievance heard, because he will be arrested. He cannot even commence a lawsuit because Judges like Belinda Ang Saw Ean, just like every other judge in Singapore, will deny him any justice if it is Lee Kuan Yew's pleasure.

I do not believe that the normal human being is satisfied with just room and board. Unlike animals, he is a living breathing human being, with a mind of his own, and with a sense of right and wrong. But what Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore expects is for him to completely forget his own beliefs and completely surrender to those of Lee Kuan Yew and his minions. In other words, for a happy life in Singapore, one has to believe that $5 million is a normal and justified salary for Lee Kuan Yew; a state controlled and owned press is a good thing for Singapore; that Singapore judges are all independent and upholding of the rule of law and that Dr. Chee Soon Juan and myself and Tang Liang Hong are all serial criminals, and lastly Singapore is the greatest country in the world.

It is not only difficult for me to accept this, but it is difficult for every normal human being in Singapore who can think.

So what happens is this. Many who have no integrity and self respect, that is those who are prepared to act unconscionably in exchange for large amounts of money (bribes) like Lee Kuan Yew's judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean, join the establishment. That is to say, they support Lee Kuan Yew's unjust laws and policies in return for money. That is why this judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean in blatant violation of the laws, denied Dr. Chee Soon Juan a fair trial in the law suit brought by Lee Kuan Yew and went on not only to order him to pay $400,000.00 but send him to jail as well.

Just as this judge, every one of his ministers, his civil servants and anyone associated with this government has to behave in such a manner. They have to act unconscionably. They have to abuse the rights of the citizens. They have to bend the law. They have to instill fear in their fellow citizens to make them conform under the will of the dictator. In sum total, the entire government is made up of men and women who have compromised their principles in order for money, a career and security.

And that leaves the rest of the population. There is the uneducated or the unthinking who are quite satisfied as long as they have a job and food on the table. They stay in Singapore and carry on with life as usual. But mostly these people are not educated and are incapable of assuming positions of leadership. You find people like these in the Singapore police force in junior positions and the several other uniformed government organizations. You also find them working in the government and large companies as junior clerks. Singapore will not change because of them and they try to live lives with as little excitement as possible.

That leaves the group who is able to think and is troubled by Lee Kuan Yew and his friends dampening their spirit and turning them into slaves. They do not like it one bit. Life in Singapore becomes miserable for them.

If there ever comes a moment in the life of a Singaporean when he feels he has to act regardless of the consequences, then life from that moment becomes very exciting. Take the case where he decides to join an opposition political party, by which I mean Dr. Chee's party, not the watered down version of the Workers Party or that of Chiam See Tong. Immediately he loses his job. His career prospects are terminated. He finds himself in all kinds of trouble and if he persists, like Dr. Chee Soon Juan, he too will be sued imprisoned and bankrupted. It should be quite obvious as to what happens to him. He will be destroyed.

Unfortunately there are not many who are prepared to suffer punishment of that magnitude. So what they do is to emigrate. They leave with their families to Australia, Canada or New Zealand. USA if they can.

So with the effluxion of time, more and more of the educated leave Singapore. At the same time, more and more Chinese nationals and others are brought in. These people have no loyalty or any reasonability for Singapore. They will be prepared to vote for a monkey if that is what it takes. Many of them are seconded to work for the Lee Kuan Yew administration to sing praises to him, as we have the others. Maybe they will stay, maybe they will not, only God knows.

I do not think this is a workable plan that Lee Kuan Yew has. Educating people and at the same time demanding that they accept the unacceptable is simply a wrong plan. Methinks it simply will not work. And as each day passes the island’s prospects for success are diminished, despite the Singapore state controlled press painting an ever glorious picture.

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

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JamesTan said...

"This strained forced behavior of the Singapore citizen makes life very unpleasant. On the one hand, he knows something is wrong, but he cannot question it like the person in any other free country in the world. "

Dear Gopalan,

Singaporeans know something is wrong, but they do not know how to deal with it. Many have no idea that it is OK to question things.

Why do I have this heart pounding experience when I approach (the late) JBJ to buy his Hammer publication. It felt like many PAP eyes looking at me ready to excommunicate me.

But spending time in a free country liberate me.

This is the very reason why I feel the unease everytime I step into my birth country for a visit.

It is the same with the police. They do not know how to behave properly and treat people nicely.

Every word they utter is a command to be obeyed, and every excuse is a parroting of phrases from LKY's red bible.

Anonymous said...

Lucky for you, you had the honour of meeting the late JBJ in person and buying his Hammer newsletter.

I was a student then in the late 90s when he was an oppostition MP. I always though that I would would want to concentrate on my studies 1st.

However, with his passing now. I guess I would never have the chance to buy a copy from him personally.

Even getting it now from the present WP during their meeting the ground do not feel the same inspiration and courage you can feel from the late JBJ.

Somehow, the present WP is a disservice to the late JBJ who noted that WP is now a PAP mouth piece and not willing to fight the system.

Especially when confronted by the PM in Parliament on whether the Home Affairs Minister should resign after he 1st mentioned that they shold step down in view of mistakes given the same remmuneration and responsilbilty as the corporate sector.

Yet he choose to back out in silence. I do not see the WP going forward with its leaders going just 1/2 way and not fully down the battle.

Anonymous said...

Gopalan's short writeup here brought back some not so pleasant memories.

I used to work as a litigation lawyer and was faced with this scenario almost every day.

The atmosphere in the courts was almost choking and I was especially saddened to see those unfortunate souls who could not afford bail sitting in those cages (like animals) waiting for their cases to be mentioned.

It was clear that in Singapore, a person is guilty until proven innocent.

One day (back in 1998), as I was sitting in the Lawyers Rest Area (the Bar Room - though mind you, they only served hot or cold beverages and no alcohol!!!) I pictured myself 20 years down the road doing the same ol' thing and coming into this almost faceless and inhospitable environment and that broke the camel's back.

I left practice at the end of 1998 and have no regrets whatsoever.

I now live in a foreign land and am saddened that ten years on, things seemed to have gotten worse in S'pore.

In their attempt to clear up the so called backlog of cases, justice has been sacrificed. THe human element seemed to have been completely evaporated. Judges seem to be waiting for instructions 'above' rather than using their own intellect and judgment. (I have experienced such cases myself.)

A change is needed and it should happen soon before it is too late!

Anonymous said...

The regime is irrational.
Run by blind proud corrupt people.

It has finally gone past its peak. Now on to the downhill journey. . .
Let the name LKY and his corrupt family be buried with it.
Get out of the country if you still think yourself mankind because the regime expects to treat you as mere slaves.

Anonymous said...

Is it surprising then, that a few brave Singaporeans, who seek to be treated like humans, decided to leave everything behind and move to a "higher cost" western country.

I read somewhere in this blog comments' section, about how a Singapore judge mocked at a homeless person to chain himself in case he got himself lost.

Such comments reflect on the "quality" of the person, whom society hope, has capacity to make an inpartial decision. Where is the human compassion?

At the end of the day, we are a civilised society. I have to remember that in the rat race, paperchase or dog-fight, we should lend a hand to the loser to help him out, and not subject him to further humiliation.

Bill Gates donated millions.

By helping the loser, the winner win twice (in the contest and in the heart of people)

Bill Gates is honoured in India for his work.

In LKY and his stooges case, they may have won power, but they lost the 'hearts' of their supporters.

No matter how many oppositions they bankrupt, how many GRCs they redraw and how many flat upgrades to bribe the voters, Lee Kuan Yew still talk about a fleak election outcome in the near future. Does he wonder why is it so?

Anonymous said...

A European tourist was visiting a temple in Singapore when he noticed a
statue, with two faces, a man and a woman, back to back, by the altar.

He asked the monk what was the significance of the two.

The monk explained that in the Chinese belief of yin and yang,
positives must always be balanced by negatives, and having the statue
with two sides ensures that the universal balance is maintained.

"This statue of the woman is the Goddess of Mercy, Kuan-Yin."

"What about the other one?" asked the tourist.

"The one with the man's face is the God of No Mercy, Kuan-Yew."