Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is hoped that visitors to Singapore read this message.
On arrival at Singapore, you will see skyscrapers on the waterfront, manicured lawns, streets lined with flowers and shrubbery and clean and efficient transportation system and infra structure.
You will also be given various literature on the socio political and governmental system in Singapore, claiming it to be a Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy not dissimilar to a Western Country. This is where you are being fooled.
If you took the trouble to speak to the average citizen of the country you will quickly discover the truth. For instance, any attempt to enquire on fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, taken for granted in other western democracies, will draw a blank. You will find people only interested in going about the daily work with interest in nothing else.
The Government's claim to be a constitutional democracy is completely false. The handful of government critics who dare to speak against the government are repeatedly jailed and bankrupted. The fear of criticizing the government is so real and so rampant that the Singapore individual is almost incapable of questioning authority. The long years of psychological control over the people has made sure of this.
There is no rule of law in the courts. A trip either to the Supreme Court (what a name in a country that denies it's people their basic rights), in High Street or the Subordinate Court in Havelock Road will give you the impression that Singapore has a respected legal system. There are numerous items of free literature distributed, and the walls are draped with long histories of the courts and the great judges and luminaries that graced those buildings. But again, this is another very cleverly thought out gimmick. There is no impartiality in the judgements of the men and women there who claim to be judges. They work at the behest of Singapore's strongman Lee Kuan Yew and his son. They are there to punish criminals and to persecute and silence government critics by imprisoning them and bankrupting them. A reading of the International Bar Association's report on Singapore as well as that of the New York Bar Association and other respected organizations will make this clear.
There are no free and independent newspapers in the island. They are all owned and controlled by the government through a company called Singapore Press Holdings. Similarly the radio and TV is also owned and controlled by the Singapore government.
The government literature would also claim another untruth, that there is racial equality in the island. Today, Malays and Indians are not only discriminated in jobs and housing in Government provided apartment units called the HDB, disproportionately large numbers of people from mainland China who neither speak English, Malay or Tamil are brought in so as to turn it into an even more pronounced Chinese island. This was not the plan of the early founders of Singapore in 1955.
Malays and Indians, the minorities, are denied the right to freedom to live anywhere they chose in the island, in the government owned HDB flats. Muslims are particularly discriminated against due to a fear that they may be sympathetic to Malaysia and Indonesia, both Muslim countries, Singapore's traditional adversaries. Malays who are predominately Muslims suffer most under this discrimination. They are for instance prohibited from being fighter pilots in the Singapore Air Force due to fear that instead of bombing either Malaysia or Indonesia in the event of hostilities, they may instead bomb Singapore's Chinatown or Lee Kuan Yew's residence instead! This might appear facetious on my part but truly, this is a genuine fear that disallows them from flying fighter aircraft. As confirmation, a quick survey by any visitor in Singapore will confirm this.
The government can imprison anyone without trial on the pretext that they are a threat to national security, under Singapore's dreaded Internal Security Act. In fact, over the years, vast majority of those imprisoned under this Act, some for decades, were people who have done nothing worse than criticizing the Singapore government.
Without rule of law, and without fundamental human rights, Singapore is nothing more than a dictatorship. As a result thousands of native born educated Singaporeans leave Singapore to settle in western democracies abroad. This is something the government has been unable to prevent.
A word of warning to intending visitors to Singapore. In your visiting Singapore you would be indirectly helping the government to continue repressing it's citizens. The Singapore government relies heavily on tourism to continue their repressive regime in the island.
Through fear, the citizens are unable to resist. There has been a popular and growing effort among many visitors who are aware of the abuses of other dictatorial regimes in the region, like Burma, to make a deliberate effort to stay away from them, as a sign of their protest against the human rights abuses in these countries.
I would ask readers of this blog as well as travel writers such as Lonely Planet and other publications to take note of the repression that goes on in Singapore and to warn intending visitors of the unintended consequence of their buttressing the Singapore regime.
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