Ladies and Gentlemen,
Attached is a letter from Shermaine Chan. Her Email is hidden.
Saturday, January 16, 2010 12:43 PM
From: Shermaine Chan
Dear Mr Nair,
Thank you for your commitment to keep Singapore Dissent alive, even under persecution from the Singapore government.
I am writing to you because I feel encouraged by your courage and that I am not the only one feeling unhappy with the Singapore government.
My biggest gripe would be something close to my heart: How LKY continually clamps down on a person's culture and heritage.
I am a Chinese and I am proud of being a Chinese. My father is a Cantonese and my mother is a Hainanese. Sadly, I don't understand a single word of Hainanese because LKY made it so. He discouraged the learning of dialects and pushed for Singaporeans to only learn English and Mandarin/Malay/Tamil. Thankfully, I speak some Cantonese, which I picked up in Hong Kong during my childhood days. A language/dialect is one of the most important link that connects a person to his or her roots, and I do not understand which idiot told LKY that by knowing how to speak more than 2 languages, our command of the English and Chinese/Malay/Tamil languages would be inferior. Look at how it is now: Many Singaporeans speak broken English and we have become a laughingstock to the rest of the English-speaking world. The young Chinese here very often do not know how to speak their dialects at all and while Singapore continually boasts of being a place of racial harmony, it is often merely racial tolerance.
We have been brainwashed from young about how great and mighty Singapore is. What a lie! We are neither great nor mighty, only LKY and his croonies are rich, powerful and great. The average Singaporean feels like a third class citizen and foreigners from India and China are flocking to this land. Where is our identity? What are we? We should be a country, but we are run akin to a business corporation! When someone asks me where do I come from, I reply in a small voice with eyes downcast: "I am from Singapore."
Recently, I was extremely appalled when I saw on national television how LKY "mentored" President Obama on why America should stay involved in China - to serve as a balance for the rest of Asia. Yes, we all know Singapore is just a tiny dot on the world map. LKY knows that too. While he openly courts the government of China, he is at the same time telling the USA to keep China on track. By him doing this, he smacks of being disrespectful and highly self-centered! What on earth does he really want? He wants to be the best of friends with Communist China and he wants to be on rosy terms with the USA. He wants the whole cake and he even wants to eat it! He wants to roll with the big boys and he thinks that he is the most perfect person to dish out advice to the President of the United States.
Singaporeans are an apathetic bunch because we've been beaten down by the government all our lives - and do not think that we deserve to fight for what we want. I am also guilty of being apathetic. I know that inaction is also action, but what can we do? What can I do? I've thought long and hard about it and have decided that education will be my ticket out of this unhappy place. I have no intention of staying on once the opportunity for me to leave comes.
Until then, I think I would remain one of the apathetic Singaporean and continue plugging along day-by-day.
Thank you for reading this,