Friday, June 11, 2010

Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew's children

Ladies and Gentlemen,

One could describe the political system in the one party state of Singapore this way.

We could describe Lee Kuan Yew, the Singapore strongman as the father, and all Singaporeans his children.

Just as in Asian societies, a child has to obey his father, Singaporeans are required to obey Lee Kuan Yew and his laws, in return for which, he, as the father, would provide and care for his children.

He will provide you jobs by attracting foreign companies, he will give you safety through his police force, and he will build the schools to educate your children; the education doubling as a brainwashing.

So far so good, if you like to live this way, but not so good if you are a thinking questioning sort of person.

There are many things glaringly wrong with Father Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. To take a few examples, he pays himself and each of his family and friends several millions of dollars which he claims as a salary, but in truth it is theft; he refuses to allow anyone else to govern Singapore by jailing his opponents and rigging the elections; he controls all the newspapers and brainwashes school children by feeding them daily with propaganda, thereby distorting history to make himself look good. This tends to ruin the minds of the citizens, turning them into unquestioning robots who obey his every command.

Lee Kuan Yew expects his citizens or rather his children, to accept all this without question, however objectionable, without complaint, in return for which, he gives you and your children a sort of livelihood, which means you won't starve, but neither can you expect to be rich either. On the other hand, if you happen to be one of the few in Singapore who refuses to accept this abuse of power, you would have no place in Singapore.

If you were stupid enough to openly criticize the Father, you will suffer greatly, such as loss of jobs, demotion in your career, even prosecution, defamation actions, impoverishment and even imprisonment.

For survival in Singapore, the trick likes in deliberately closing your mind to any of this misuse of power; and if you can do that and if you are an otherwise law abiding quiet unobtrusive, unassuming person, you can live out you life in Singapore protected and provided by the father of the people, none other than Lee Kuan Yew.

In other words, if you are like the standard Lee Kuan Yew model, the quiet obedient unopinionated unquestioning Singaporean, you are best suited for life in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore. On the other hand if you are an opinionated questioning troublesome individual, always demanding his rights and refusing to be Lee Kuan Yew's yes-sir man, life can become very miserable.

And this robot-like existence which Lee Kuan Yew has managed to slowly and successfully cultivate in his children, the Singaporeans, naturally turns away the best in society forcing them to either emigrate to other countries or simply withdraw from participation in Lee Kuan Yew's social plan altogether.

Those who stay are either those, lacking confidence and courage, who do not think themselves capable of survival without Lee Kuan Yew's patronage and protection, or those who are purely opportunists who see a profit in supporting Lee Kuan Yew and those who have no eduction or the capacity to understand that Lee Kuan Yew is taking their minds to the laundry.

This unquestioning obedience cuts across the entire spectrum of the population in the island, regardless of social standing. Every lawyer that you come across refuses to have any discussion on issues such as the denial of human rights such as free speech or expression and the other violations of the Constitution, involving themselves only in what they are working on at any moment of time.

A business lawyer would only concern himself with his work and nothing else. A criminal lawyer would only be dealing with the issues of guilt or innocence, but nothing about the lack of a jury, the cruelty of the punishments, and the lack of legal representation at interrogations, or anything else whcih may offend Lee Kuan Yew.

If you came across a medical doctor, he would claim to know nothing about human rights at all, or give you some other excuse to avoid the question. An accountant would know nothing about anything else other than his accounting, a government clerk would claim that he is disallowed by law from talking politics, and a taxi driver would claim that he has a government directive not to talk to passengers about these things.

Many people would calim never to have heard of Dr. Chee Soon Juan, a Singapore opposition politician, although he is almost daily defamed in Lee Kuan Yew's state controlled newspapers, and others who would admit to know him would parrot the government line that he is a thief, a confrontational person or any other abuse that Lee Kuan Yew would care to throw at him. Running down Dr. Chee Soon Juan is of course the safest course of action for the majority of Singaporeans because that is the government line, and it is always safest to tow that line.

What you have in the end in Singapore, is an entire population, regardless of their maturity sophistication or education, who have managed either deliberately or through Lee Kuan Yew's brainwashing to have only one opinion, that is to have no opinion at all about anything, except an opinion approved by Lee Kuan Yew's government.

Contrary to what the government puts out daily in it's state controlled press, the vast majority of Singaporeans live hand to mouth since government taxes, housing rent and levies takes away most of what they earn, forcing them never to be able to retire.

There are of course a few at the top, just as what you have in Cuba, North Korea and China who earn millions. This is why, although the government regularly claims that their GDP has gone up, for the average Singaporean, it is a life of poverty or just hovering above it.

Most Singaporeans, understandably in these conditions, where they have no say whatsoever on the running of their country, unless it is in praise of the rulers, switch their minds completely from thinking of anything except their daily livelihood; they don't appear to have any sense of deep loyalty to their country or any desire to excel in their professions.

Singaporeans are on the whole a boring uninteresting people who go about their lives in an uninteresting manner careful every minute that they have not said or done anything outside the government line.

With more and more people realising what the government is doing to their minds and that of their children, increasing numbers continue to emigrate. To replace them, the government brings in large numbers of Chinese from Communist China who are particularly suited to his unquestioning lifestyle.

With a second rate people such as this, it can only mean a progressive decline in Singapore's competitiveness and the island being eventually an island complete with a robot like yes-sir men who are capable only of blindly doing Lee Kuan Yew's bidding, at any moment of time.

It is not a country for parents who desire to bring up children with independent minds, capable of thinking outside the Lee Kuan Yew box, pushing their capabilities and ideas to the limit, without fear of the self assumed father of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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Anonymous said...

The atheists in Singapore could question the infallible God why can't they question the fallible Harry Lee?!!


Roaring Forties said...

Singapore has reached a point in "advancement" that it needs more independent minds and thinkers to bring itself into the REAL FIRST WORLD.

But with the official FOUNDER of Singapore still alive, he will not have such thing, because of that SOCIAL CONTRACT with the islanders. Thus, retarding Singapore's future growth.

I expect RETARDED Singapore will now need to reduce itself to a CASINO of CHINA to survive as China move up the technology ladder to do Singaporeans' jobs.

Have you heard of the new record attempt to put a 16yo Singaporean girl in a boat to sail solo around the world? Well, I have not. They are still headhunting for a suitable candidate from America. Ha Ha (Humour)

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Nair,
Many thanks for your posting. Hope you are all well.

A quote by a Greek Historian:
"The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage."

For those singaporeans who left their country for the pursue of happiness and a better life, I salute to all of you for having the courage. I too have left my birth place. Singapore is no longer my home.

mycroft said...

It has been half a century of one-party government now and today a tiny fraction of Singaporean society has all the champagne and oysters for itself in our very own meritocratic Animal Farm. Isn't it nice that Orwell proved correct? Years have passed, and the pigs have learned to walk upright, carry whips, and wear clothes. Indeed, "All animals are equal, but some animals are far, far, more equal than others."

As you eloquently point out the rest of Lee's children have lost their rights as human beings without quite realising the extent of their loss, bedazzled and blinded by the flashy concrete and glass facade and always the promise of jam tomorrow. They act like beggars marvelling at their good fortune at living in a futuristic city (paid for with their own money) ruled by a benevolent leader - whilst grovelling in the dustbins for sustenance.

Today the elderly and infirm must be smiling with weary bitterness as they man toilets, clear tables, scavenge the streets for scrap..... enjoying what Lee's lawyer, Davinder Singh, smugly called 'the dignity of labour' in the twilight of their years, thanks to the excellent governance of the People's Action Party. Even that meagre survival lifeline has been snatched away from them and increasingly now, middle class professionals, by the Cheaper! Better! Faster! dogma that floods the labour market with hungry foreign mercenaries willing to slave for less. There, but for the grace of God, go you and I.

And what of the hapless citizen's final line of defence - the supposedly supreme law of the Singapore Constitution? In the words of an acerbic French critic, "I am sitting in the smallest room in my house. I have your document before me. Now it is behind me". Battered and violated by the Cambridge-trained lawyer and his servile disgrace of a judiciary, it is hardly recognisable any longer as a Pledge of any sort against the wanton abuse of power, as the SDP has learned to its cost. It serves as a useful figleaf to cover the hypocritical shouts of the country being a first world democracy. We allowed it to come to this?

In the face of such untrammelled power, what can people do? Really, the choices boil down to only two: fight or flee. Apart from the brave few (you know who you are), it appears that Singaporeans have tacitly chosen the latter.

In his preface Orwell also described what gave him the idea of setting the book on a farm:

...I saw a little boy, perhaps ten years old, driving a huge carthorse along a narrow path, whipping it whenever it tried to turn. It struck me that if only such animals became aware of their strength we should have no power over them, and that men exploit animals in much the same way as the rich exploit the proletariat.

He concluded, "How easily totalitarian propaganda can control the opinion of enlightened people in democratic countries."

George Orwell, the children of Lee Kuan Yew salute your prescience.