Ladies and Gentlemen,
If I was asked to write on Lee Kuan Yew's model citizen, this is what he would be.
For one, he would have passed his exams and perhaps works in Singapore Civil Service as a clerk. He would work hard, obey his orders and carry them out obediently. His job is only to consider what his orders are, not whether they are right or wrong.
His interests are limited. He would know his work duties but other than that his knowledge otherwise would be elementary. He is unlikely to have read much history, philosophy or anything much else.
He will dress conventionally with the usual haircut for men, clothes pressed and cleaned. He is unlikely to wear outlandish clothes or dye his hair green and sport dreadlocks.
He is a person of limited courage as to his abilities. He is unlikely to think himself capable of winning the Tour de France or circumnavigate the globe in a Westerly 35 sailboat. He believes that being Singaporean, such things are beyond him, more suitable for an Australian or Englishman.
In other words he is incapable of dreaming. Reaching for the stars is simply beyond him. Lee Kuan Yew's model citizen is a member of a pack and is unable to live outside it, conforming his actions and thoughts to the accepted norm of obedience and submission.
He cannot believe that like Gandhi he can single handedly topple Lee Kuan Yew. Dr. Chee Soon Juan may believe it, but Dr. Chee is not the conventional Singaporean and that is why he is not Lee's model citizen.
Lee's model citizen has in other words, a sense of limited ability. Before he even tries, he is resigned to the belief that he cannot possibly become a Usain Bolt or an Edmund Hilary.
He considers being unobtrusive a virtue. In other words, he would say what everyone else expects of him to say. For instance, if asked why are Singaporeans not demanding their political rights, his reply would probably be that it is impossible in Singapore. In fact almost every other Singapore model citizen will have the same answer.
If by chance he met Dr. Chee Soon Juan selling his books beside the street, his response would be that Dr. Chee is out of his mind, stupid or something to that effect. He would think Dr. Chee is not behaving as expected of the good people of Singapore, as criticizing the government is not seen as something acceptable in the island.
Among his friends, he would openly criticize Dr. Chee, Gopalan Nair or anyone else who behaved in an unconventional Singaporean sense, and such criticism would tend to bolster his credit as being one of the boys.
If by chance he was to meet any Singaporean minister or Lee Kuan Yew himself, his reaction would be that of respect. It would never occur to him to throw rotten eggs or even insults at them. For one, he would be arrested and two, his peers would look upon him badly. If asked why he would probably say that such behaviour is more appropriate in the West.
He may have heard that Singapore has no free press or right to free speech and expression, but since these rights do not impinge upon his daily life he is totally unconcerned about these things.
He is not concerned that Lee Kuan Yew pays himself $3.7 million a year and this is daylight robbery. Since criticizing Lee Kuan Yew can land him in trouble, he shuts off his mind from such questions.
Since he does not question these fundamentals such as the lack of free speech, free press, freedom to organize or freedom to criticize, his life becomes very simple and comfortable. He goes to work, works hard, gets promoted, has more food on the table, brings up his children in peaceful surroundings and hopes things carry on as they pleasantly and comfortably are.
His happiness and contentment is fortified by reading the state controlled newspapers that tell him about the poverty in Africa, the war in Afghanistan and trouble in Chechnya. He therefore reassures himself that his life is good the way it is in peaceful Singapore, with Lee Kuan Yew feeding him, taking care of him and loving him.
He considers people like Gopalan Nair who criticize Lee Kuan Yew who provides all these goodies as a bad person, out to make trouble and upset his present happy and peaceful existence.
Lee Kuan Yew's model citizen is an obedient hardworking law abiding quiet sober individual who does not concern himself with intangible things such as human rights since they do not directly impact upon his daily routine peaceful existence.
Such men achieve a high station in life in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, whereas those who question authority suffer a lifetime of harassment and victimization. This knowledge itself tends to keep the others in line and perpetuate the status quo of Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.
Lee Kuan yew's model citizen hopes that Gopalan Nair would simply go away and leave him and his Singaporean paradise alone.
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