Ladies and Gentlemen,
If Lee Kuan Yew has succeeded in something, it is the total mind control over the citizens. This has led to second rate citizens and second rate professionals. The result is a people consumed with an all embracing fear making them less than the best in anything they do. I was born and lived in Singapore. I give you examples from personal knowledge. To keep the identity confidential, let me call him X.
X is a teacher in English in the Management University of Singapore. He teaches English and Poetry.
I understand X was born in Malaysia but grew up in Singapore since he was a toddler. X and myself were in high school in Singapore together. He went to the University of Singapore and studied English. I went to Europe and studied law. In the last 5 years or so, since I was coming to Singapore, by chance I met X again. He was then as now a teacher of English in the Management University.
I tried to discourse with X on opposition politics. I was surprised why a man like him remained in Singapore. Did he not see the lack of freedom in Singapore, the lack of human rights? Did he not see the people live as slaves? Did he not see Lee Kuan Yew and his son strut around the island as if it belongs to them? Did he not see the lack of a free press, the lack of freedom of speech and expression? Why does he continue to live as a slave? Why does he not stand up to his rights? Join a political party and challenge this tyrant? And why not?
Initially he visited me quite often. He came to my Singapore hotel in Serangoon Road. We had a couple of drinks. He was candid then. He had no desire to challenge Lee Kuan Yew. He felt it was impossible. It will only lead to misery. He was not prepared to lose everything by this. He knew that if he openly challenged Lee Kuan Yew, he might lose his job, and this would mean misery. Understandably, he was not prepared for that.
He told me he hates the Singapore political system and hates living here. He likes democracy and would give anything to live in a free society. But he says he has no choice but to remain silent and accept it. He does not want to go to Australia and to have to compete and struggle for an existence. He already has a job here. In Australia he has no guarantee that he will get a job. He is not prepared to take the challenge.
He told me he is divorced and his wife is in Australia. He told me that he has not sold his conscience to the devil as others had done by joining the PAP. He says it would have been easy for him to be much richer had he joined the PAP and sang praises to Lee Kuan Yew. But on principle he has refused to do it. As proof of his conviction, he tells me that he is poor and lives in a HDB flat; meaning that a man like him would be living in a bungalow by crawling before Lee Kuan Yew.
He told me he is afraid to challenge Lee Kuan Yew and his PAP head on. I asked him how he reconciles his being an English teacher with this fear. I pointed out that teachers of English are usually people with courage and conviction for the good of their people. That is why history's greatest men who stood up to tyrants were men who were writers and men of literature. You can say, the men of letters. Such Vaslav Havel of Czech Republic, the Russian Boris Pasternak and others throughout history. They were men of letters and poetry who stood up for truth and justice. Great men. Why is X claiming to write poetry and yet is so afraid of even his shadow?
What can his students expect from such a teacher who is so afraid to stand up to tyranny? Surely he would be a second rate teacher if he is so afraid. How does he explain Dickens and other great English writers who wrote about the injustices of the Industrial Revolution? Is he going to say to his students something like this "Dickens was a brave man who wrote about the injustices of England of his time, but not me. I am teacher of English and I can tell you about Dickens. But I have no courage to stand up to the tyranny that happens here in Singapore"!
A teacher like him is surely second rate. And so are his lessons he teaches, because a man so afraid for his life cannot be expected to tell the whole truth about many things. What is worse, I am sure X himself really does not, after so many years of living a life of fear and servitude, know what he believes and what he does not.
In the case of X, just as in the case of countless Singaporeans, they know what is right and wrong. They know they live in a dictatorship. They know they live as slaves. But there is nothing they can do. They can if they want emigrate, as so many have done. But for others like X, for reasons which he cannot surmount, he is forced to live in Singapore. And do whatever work he does, like X the teacher, who tries his best to keep a low profile, say as little as possible and live out the rest of his days.
X has lost the fire of life which should be in him. He lives with the pay he gets from his teaching job, tries not to ruffle any feathers about politics and lives an uneventful life in his HDB flat. No longer has X any dreams. He hopes Lee Kuan Yew will continue to give him a job.
Lately X has stopped speaking to me. This has been so since I was arrested for criticizing a Singapore judge and being thrown in jail. I am sure he stays away not because he thinks I am unworthy of his friendship. He is probably afraid that Lee Kuan Yew would find out that he associates with me.
X leads a pathetic life. A life of hypocrisy. A life of fear. As a man like this, he cannot possibly be a good English teacher. That is why I say, Singapore has second rate people and second rate professionals. If I was a student of English and poetry, surely I would prefer to be taught by a man who is not afraid of life. An Australian teacher perhaps.
During the times I had met X, he had begun to invoke God. He used to end his conversations invariably with "God Bless you". X has become a broken man, both in spirit and conviction. No longer has he any dreams. Nor any great challenges. Life under Lee Kuan Yew has broken his spirit. He was not so when I was his classmate in Raffles Institution. This is what life under Lee Kuan Yew does to Singaporeans. X is one good example. And this is the sort of teachers you get in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.
This is what is meant by mind control.
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