Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lee Kuan Yew's model citizen

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.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914
Email: nair.gopalan@yahoo.com
Blog: http://singaporedissident.blogspot.com/

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Anonymous said...

Children since young are taught to self-censor their cognition to respect the PAP government.

Anonymous said...

you are actually very scarily right. my mother who is 60 thinks exactly that way.

she doesn't understand democracy or the fact that the government is to serve the people.

she was brought up in a third world environment and has been thoroughly brainwashed with propaganda put out by the 144th ranked press here.

very scary

but the younger ones, like myself, <40,<45 know what is going on. just that we do not have the courage to do anything about it. besidies i like many others harbour no hope for singapore. it would be foolish to expect singapore to change. we just migrate out of singapore.

i have pr in australia. my family and kids are there now. my mother is still in singapore, she complains the my house is too big in australia and that she doesn't like it there.

frankly my mother scares me, why complain the house is too big? but i realise she is the product of her third world upbringing and ignorance so i intend to send money to her in singapore and visit her whenever i can. she lives with her brother in a small hdb flat currently and she is happy that way so be it.

i don't think i will remain singaporean when i qualify for australia citizenship.

Anonymous said...

First-class, GN!
May I recommend every reader here to get hold of the 90s movie "Pleasantville" and watch the Hollywood version of what an LKY paradise looks like......
Don't miss it......pleasantville is Singapore!

Anonymous said...

I remember an interesting conversation I had with two adults and one teenager. We were talking about Mdm Ho Ching. The teenager mentioned that she lost money for Singapore. Then the two adults suddenly and quickly jumped: Shhhhhhhh.....!
Guess what kind of education we are giving to our young.

Anonymous said...

In other words, LKY's model citizen cannot see beyond his/her rice bowl.
44 years of systemic brainwashing.

Anonymous said...

to anon above who said "sshhsssh"

that is actually extremely common in singapore, all over the country. all singaporeans think that way.

my uncle didn't dare to vote against the pap because he is afraid the police will lock him up, so he voted for the PAP.

Anonymous said...

The perfect slaves so Singapore's model citizen could become a very good personal butler, servants, maid and waitresses . . .of course with education to top the competition.


Anonymous said...

Check out this load of bull from the man himself:


Anonymous said...

Old Fart had build his own system of governing that his PAP will find it hard to continue his legacy.

Anonymous said...

don't forget that a good male singaporean serf is expected to die for the country, and the good female singaporean serf shall bear more children for the motherland.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nair,

Nice to know that LKY has an enemy from his profession (legal) taking him on.

Anonymous said...

I don't think we have progressed very far from the time of the British rule. We are still slaves.

Anonymous said...

Mr.GN you are a typical Keralite(from your name I assume that you have roots in Kerala), taking a contrarian view point to be popular.

Most opposition members just criticise LKY without recognising his achievment. You don't have to be a slave or a LKY model citizen to know that. You just need to have your brain in the right place and most importantly, should have lived in a corrupt place for a significant period of your life.

I lived in Kerala for 25 years with all the glorious "human rights" and "freedom of expression" at anybody and his dog's disposal. What good has come out of it? NOTHING!!! Atleast, there is no corruption in Singapore at a common man's point of view. That is good enough to be a citizen of Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Yes, these comments are lopsided, and LKY's achievements cannot be doubted. He brought up a nation almost single-handedly and brought Singapore to the forefront of the global scene.

However, in the 21st century, a century where stirrings of change have begun, a century where Conservative Parties all over the world have begun to shift to being liberal, Singapore's democracy should change alittle.

Not by much.


Enough so that the PAP still controls a majority in government, but with enough opposition MPs to have a say and challenge some changes put forth; challenge conventions and spur changes within the system.

Change is not the best, but it is better.

Anonymous said...

LKY didn't "single-handed" bring Singapore to the global scene. He was just a spokesman, or a poster boy for his party. Life just turns out that he lives long enough to bullshit his way through and discredit all the dead politicians who laid the way for him.

Anonymous said...

Democracy...never had a chance to vote and coming to my mid-life
Anticorruption...which government got paid the highest salaries in the world and who runs Temasek and subsidiaries