Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Singapore today, a fractured segregated society

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore of my youth was not what it is today. We were Singaporeans, it did not matter whether Chinese Indian or Malay. A country just like it's people, over the years develops a character unique to itself. It is hard to explain but it was Singaporean. Just like it is hard to explain what it is for any other nation, but people there know what it is.

True, unlike the established countries like France or Britain, Singapore is young, but still in 50 years or so, it had a character, which Lee Kuan Yew destroyed. Were it not for him, Singapore would be very different in character today, I can assure you that. It would be a place with a soul, a place where people cared for each other and a government which put the people's interest first, not their own pockets.

Unfortunately today that character unique to Singapore is gone, thanks to Lee Kuan Yew and his immigration policies. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese peasants from Communist China with little education in anything, with no knowledge of any other language, let alone any knowledge of Singapore their host country are brought in. Many others from other neighbouring countries also pour into the small island.

These immigrants know nothing of the country they now call home. And unlike the USA or other Western Countries, there are no set of laws that define their rights within society. If there is a Constitution, they know nothing about it. Their only concern is to fend for themselves and their profit. Nothing more.

And knowing nothing of what a Malay or Indian is or what they look like, for the first time, they are asked to live among them. Fear and insecurity overcomes them and for a safety net they withdraw into their own communities. They are not aware of their Constitution, and therefore their rights in relation to others. It is like asking me to live in Kazakhstan tomorrow. Insecurity fear and trepidation overcomes them.

For the first time, they hear the Malays speaking a strange language, and the Indians speaking even stranger ones. And they look totally different from anyone they have seen, the Malays with strong built and brown skin with the Indians dark and hairy. Keep in mind, most Chinese coming from Mainland China are from it's remote areas because they are not accepted anywhere else, lacking qualifications. In most cases before coming to Singapore they probably never left their villages.

Their children go to school in Singapore not knowing what their rights are because their teachers like them are terrified by the minute of the same man, Lee Kuan Yew. They can be sacked the moment they utter any dissatisfaction towards the King (sort of a King), Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew or his son. No teacher would teach their child rights such as free speech and expression, a normal thing in any other part of the world, even though it is in the Constitution. To do so would be the doom of the teacher as well as the child, as we all would know sooner or later that demanding human rights in the island is hazardous to your life.

As a result, these Chinese human imports from China stick to their own community. If ever they cross over to others, it is only to the Singapore native Chinese community. As such over time, not only the recent foreign Chinese human imports but also the local Chinese become increasingly distant from the other races.

In this situation, the Indians themselves, not having any Chinese connections stick among themselves and so do the Malays. Today, as opposed to 50 years back, there is no "One Singapore" to speak of. You have the Mainland Chinese Singapore, the local Chinese Singapore, the Burmese Singapore, the Vietnamese prostitution ridden Singapore and you have the imported Indian Singapore and the local Indian Singapore. Each member of each group stay among themselves. They don't cross the lines.

It is not to say that other countries do not have immigrants, they do. But a new migrant to Australia is immediately told his rights, his duties and his responsibilities under the Constitution of the country. For instance the new migrant knows that Australia has a free press, the rule of law, independent judges, that he can criticize if he wants and if he is discriminated there is the Equal Opportunities Commission and Racial Discrimination laws. In this case, the new migrant steps into Australia, not insecure and terrified of what to expect but fully confident of what he is, a human being with all his rights under the proud nation of Australia.

He breathes freedom from the moment he steps off the aircraft in Sydney. He can go out an yell, "Down with you Kevin Rudd or who ever other is now the Prime Minister" but he will not be arrested and he knows it. In Singapore if you said it about Lee Kuan Yew or his son, you will be first arrested, taken to the Mental Hospital near Bishan a suburb of Singapore for various tests. After a few days there, you will be taken to Changi Jail, given food and lodging for a couple of days and then brought to court charged with "Insulting a Public Official" for which you will spend another few months in custody. That in a nutshell is the difference between Australia and Singapore and that is why Australia is a first world country and Singapore is Third, even if Lee Kuan Yew the Singapore King thinks so.

Other than the fact that you, a recent Chinese immigrant, are told that you could make a little more money than you can in impoverished Harbin, Communist China, you know nothing else. Zilch. Nada.

Even though outwardly they are told a lie by Singapore that you have courts and law and such like, within no time, you will know the truth. Which is, keep your mouth shut, obey, be quiet, go home and watch television and let Lee Kuan Yew do whatever he wants with your taxpayer money. And what is more, praise him whenever you are in public lest Lee's dreaded Tonton Macoute or the ISD catch you complaining.

And while this murder of a once great island goes on by the day, local capable Singaporeans leave the island in the thousands. At the same time, there are insufficient babies being born and if that is not enough, you have flooding every other day.

A racially fractured incongruous island such as this, will not have more than a year before you see visible signs of collapse.

Lee Kuan Yew does not appear to believe in the idea that the principle asset of any country is it's people.

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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ed said...

I have to agree with you about singapore in the 70s. I saw what multiculturalism could do, and, i am, in part, a product of it.

Chinese culture wasn't held up as the 'cool' thing at that time. In fact, everyone was trying to be 'western', but in attempting to be so, they came together and ended up fusing and taking on the best of each other's cultural traits. The chinese tended to gain from this as they became more witty, vibrant, and didn't ignore contradiction as they do now. You could say that the Malays, Indians, and Eurasians led the way as they had the advantage of a more vibrant cultural background as opposed to the subservience-inducing and traditionalism of the chinese. Eurasians were sort of the 'western ambassador', the malays had the cultural vibrance, and the indians had the critical intelligence and wit.

Now, my mother says, singapore is like a little china - and she's not talking about the PRCs. She's talking about the overarching chinese cultural climate and self-absorption in singapore - and that's saying much since 90% of all her friends are chinese and she's actually more biased toward the chinese than the indians. But even she could sense that multiculturalism had died the death and singapore had become just another perspectival province of china.

But you have to ask yourself one thing bro, your statements, with regards to the PRCs, would that not be applicable to the forefathers of the 'native-borns'? And is that really that different from the 'native-born' chinese view of the non-chinese. The only difference between both is that the 'native borns' have learnt to ignore their interests and cultures, whilst the PRCs might wonder after it.

The reality you are describing, actually, is the repetition of what already transpired between the locals. Fusion between all races was beginning to happen in the 70s and 80s through the multicultural catholic sector. But that was cut short with the pro-chinese/confucian policies of the government. Pair this with the HDB quota system, chinese culture, through the chinese whom were trained to identify with it by the government, basically saturated the local experience whilst the ethnic minorities truly became minorities with said HDB quota system throughout singapore.

In a nutshell, the PRCs, be they the ones i encountered in singapore, or the ones i encounter, tend to hesitate believing that i'm a singaporean. They all have the impression that singapore=chinese. Whilst one refuses to believe that the Indians are singaporeans, the local chinese behave as if the indians/malays don't exist given the cultural/racial bias in the media, education policies, economic consequences, and so on.

Not much of a divide between either don't you think?

ed said...

(not for publishing: here's a personal to you Gopalan. Have you ever wondered how 'singaporean of the past' you still are? The hallmark of present 'singapore' is that everyone is insulated in their own clique. They don't consider each other's views and just seek similar company. Isn't that what you're doing. See if you can be honest about it. I, for instance, make it a point to go to anyone's site, consider their views, and comment- Especially if such views contradict mine. It's a rule that i've followed for a few decades in order to constantly add more perspectives to my mind.

You don't do that. Rarely do any singaporeans of today. That is a sharp contrast to the singaporeans of the 70s whom i knew, and the brits i associated with in the uk in the 90s. That, actually, is a typical chinese trait. I have to wonder after people of all races now in singapore as they are distinguishable in sight but not sound. I would expect a person of your age and vast experience to at least attain this level of objectivity. Can you do it? I've not encountered any singaporean, blogger, activist, etc, who can do it. (except a few indians) Think about it mate.)

vin said...

Mental hospital near bishan? I stay near Bishan and do not recall seeing one. Please enlighten me if there is one in which I do not know. Tks.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Vin,
I am sorry about the location. I thought it was in Bishan. I did go there to visit one of Lee Kuan Yew's critics in 2008. But you know where it is. I don't live in Singapore anymore as you know.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gopalan;

How can these scholars in the govt got it so wrong? All these knee jerk reactions from “scholars”.

LKY stifles dissent. Sues them dry and locks them up to create fear.
Singaporeans now fearful keep quiet.
Singaporeans who can, leave…averaging “1000 a year”.
Local Chinese not reproducing enough due to high cost of housing and babies. PAP gives breadcrumbs to encourage the Chinese to procreate, but this breadcrumbs did not work
Local Chinese numbers in the population fall
PAP fearful of an erosion of its electorate, imports Communist Chinese and gives citizenship indiscriminately.
PAP institute racial discrimination to the local Malays and Indians who cannot get decent small time jobs
Local Malays and Indians who can, leave…”averaging 1000 a year”
HDB Housing is leased (not owned). HDB flats escalate in prices due to immigrants. Local leasee sells for a profit and leaves Singapore. Money put back into CPF.
Imported Chinese crowding out locals for jobs and schools
Wages are depressed severely equaling rates in late eighties
Locals who get jobs overseas leave…averaging “1000 a year”
Emigrated Singaporeans stay overseas qualifies for citizenship, and renounces their Singapore Citizenship. Withdraws CPF.
Locals send their kids overseas to escape NS and renounces citizenship overseas
Overseas kids with overseas education not coming back because of NS jail threat
PAP imports more Communist Chinese to counter the brain drain
Even more locals become disenchanted and leave…averaging “1000 a year”.
Singapore is not Singapore anymore, but Chinapore
NS soldiers question who are they really defending and feel a loss of ownership of their country
These young men after NS find ways to leave Singapore…averaging “1000 a year”
The result is that local Singaporean numbers fall and Communist Chinese numbers dominate.
CPF funds fall, but salaries for the PAP still increase.
The Singapore national anthem and pledge is changed to an allegiance for China. Now Chinapore, is boycotted by its neighbours driving up prices of food
More locals leave because of less daily necessities available…averaging “1000 a year”
In an effort to stem the outflow, Chinapore institutes dual citizenship, but still people leave. This includes the new Communist citizens who want to withdraw their CPF…averaging “1000 a year”
The PAP now abolishes NS and institutes a paid army devout of Malays and Indians. These soldiers have no sense of belonging to Chinapore and will leave at the slightest conflict…averaging “1000 a year”

Now Chinapore have a population of Communist peasants that no country in the world respects, including its original diaspora citizentry.

Anonymous said...

"Which is, keep your mouth shut, obey, be quiet, go home and watch television"

It's a vicious cycle — I'm sure mediacorp television is designed to melt the citizens brains. The rubbish they show is horrendously dire.

Hokkien said...

Ref to Ed. Just some stuff I would like to add

There are some distinct differences between our pre-ww2 and post war forefathers that came to Sinapore and the current PRC migrates.

Our forefathers
- they came to singapore to escape wars and famines.
- they were never promise any citizenships as it was colonial.
- after the WWII they fought for independence. LKY could never had done it alone.
- imagine all the Chinese Malay and Indians decided to cross over to Malaysia when tunku throw Singapore out of the federation. It was a difficult time, but it was their faith in Singapore and the trust in the leadership of PAP, they stayed, pay their taxes and supported the country. They wanted to build their country, it may be small and poor but it was theirs.
-those little money they had to give was the capital that grew this nation.

The new migrants
- they are promised citizenships from day 1. No need to fight/work for it. Just need to be Chinese.
- can they ever appreciate the Singapore we sworn to serve and defend with our live? Probably not.
- would they stay if a better offer came along? I bet most of them would run off if there is a war or a better offer comes along. But our forefathers stayed, They stayed cos they believed in LKY and the party. Sadly, my Grandparents will turn in their grave to see Singapore today.

Under the British colonial system it was simply to rule by racial division. Chinese , Malay and Indians are divided to keep the Empire safe. In Singapore today,the PAP replaced the colonial masters our forefather fought to free us from. The chinese imported from PRC are like the Chinese and Indian labourers imported by the British to work the plantations of the Empire. No need to talk politicics just work. NB. A population that stay out or have no say in the country's politics will have no sense of ownership. Anyhow, these new arrivals are not taught to integrate or respect other races, As racial harmony is not needed for the new wave, just like the colonial days... divide and rule.

Over a hundred years of British rule and 2 world wars, the colonial Singaporean decide to get together and found their own state. United as one people not by race or religion but by their love for Singapore. Post independence era they created a generation of us 70's and 80's kids that was lucky enough to grow up in a truly multi-cultural environment with a PAP government (old school) that was there for the people (not for the multi million dollar pay) and not corrupted by power, wealth and their elitist culture.


Hokkien said...


A Singaporean Leaving with great sadness
I migranted to Western Europe in the late 90s for the following reasons:
1. My wife a European can't stand living in Singapore. Despite the fact that people are very socialable, friendly to her at work or at public places , she couldn't stand the fact that her husband is treated like 2nd class compared to

other "Non" Singaporean of western origin.
2. As a Chinese but non PAP member or Scholar, you are 2nd class citizen at best, so for all you non Chinese Singaporean, don't think the grass is greener on our side. In singapore we are all second class citizens.
3. Scholars and foreign "white" talents are the real bosses. Unable to fight for the good jobs against my white classmate from uk in my own country, I move back and guess what, I got a job and now a great life.
4. I remember I cried when I left Singapore cos I knew I will always be a guest in my own country.

My advise to those that consider leaving:
PAP propaganda will tell you that if you immigrant you will only be second class citizen when you get there. My answer to that is: I would rather be a second class citizen in a European country which I choose to live than to be

discriminated in my own country forced to live as a serf.
Futhermore, over here in the EU the law is to protect it's citizen - White, Black,brown or Yellow.

Personally, I agree with Nair here - we are a dying breed.


Anonymous said...

agree with eurobeng. respect for all that you've done. leaving this country might actually be the best that could ever happen.

i am looking forward to a day where people would stop dictating me as to what i should do and give me their real opinions. and not some rubbish that was fed to them by the govt.

2 years more.. and i'll be free
until then.. =)


side note - my boyfriend migrated and never want to come back. lucky lucky me ^^