Ladies and Gentlemen,
For the last 50 years Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew has justified his dictatorial and repressive rule, without fundamental human rights, without a free press and without basic human decency, by misusing the law and jailing and bankrupting his opponents, by claiming that such a regime is necessary for economic growth, without which the island will disintegrate.
Now it appears it is all a lie. And it is the similarly placed small Indian ocean island republic of Mauritius that has shown the world that, it can still achieve success without the need to descend to such depths of depravity as Lee Kuan Yew does in crushing dissent.
And what better example than Mauritius, a similarly small island with an even smaller population of just 1.3 million people off the coast of Madagascar.
Let me give you the astonishing achievements of Mauritius, an island without any natural resources, even worse off than Singapore geographically being far off the trade routes and sea lanes in the southern Indian ocean, which makes it's success even more admirable.
Mauritius provides free education from elementary school to university for all it's people. Singapore not only does not, it squeezes every penny out of it's citizens leaving many without any college education, because they cannot afford it, a terrible waste of human resources.
Mauritius provides free transportation for all its schoolchildren. Singapore does not and never will.
Mauritius provides free health care including heart surgery for all it's people. Singapore squeezes every penny out of you for health care and quite often elderly Singaporeans just die for lack of medical treatment.
Mauritius has a diverse economy, a democratic political system with a free press and where each and every fundamental right of human beings are jealously protected, where the right to public assembly and peaceful protest is both respected and encouraged, and where there is a multi party system in free and fair elections without the political harassment, victimization of political opponents that you see in Singapore.
In Mauritius the people are loyal and respect their government. In Singapore the people have only contempt for their leaders and their discredited judiciary and legal system.
In Mauritius 87% of people own their own homes freehold, while almost 90% of Singaporeans can only rent their apartments from the government under 100 year leases where the lease agreements permit the government to re-possess the apartment anytime and throw you out to the streets without having to give any reasons at all.
This fear of being thrown out to the streets, locked out of your apartment and you and your family becoming homeless, is one of the principle reasons why Singaporeans are never seen complaining publicly about their government.
Since independence the economy of Mauritius has grown at 5% every year even though they don't have any natural resources. From the time of independence their per capita income has grown from $400 to $6,700 today.
True, in per capita terms Singapore's is several times higher but those figures are obtained through grossly unequal wealth. If you include the money of the Burmese drug lords of several billions stacked in the island and combine it with the million dollar salaries of Lee Kuan Yew and his family, you will get large per capita incomes even if the poor were to starve, which explains these grossly distorted Singaporean figures.
And don't forget, Mauritius ministers do not pay themselves $3.7 million a year as Lee Kuan Yew and his family does. They have more decency than that.
Mauritius spends almost nothing in military spending because they know that in today's geopolitical scene, military spending is just a waste. Instead they use that money for useful purposes, such as education, health care and a sound social security net. Singapore on the other hand spends millions in military expenditure while negligible amount goes to social security or education.
The main difference in the political attitudes between Mauritius and Singapore is the realization by them that without natural resources, their only asset is their people and therefore the need to take good care of them, which explains why they go to great lengths to provide free education, health, respect human rights and the provision of generous social security. In other words, Mauritius treats their citizens with dignity. Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew on the other hand treats you like a coolie.
With such good care, the birth rate in Mauritius is about 5 times that of Singapore. In Singapore almost anyone capable of leaving the island is getting out for good.
There are hardly any suicides in Mauritius not because you don't have the high rise apartments as in Singapore but because the people are happy, whereas on average 2 people take their lives either by jumping off high rise buildings or throwing themselves onto oncoming trains. There is hardly any crime there and no one wants to leave the island.
Another reason why the 2 countries are vastly dissimilar, even though geographically similar, Mauritius a proud respectable island republic fiercely respecting human rights and Singapore a pariah republic whose judges collaborate with Lee Kuan Yew to abuse the law for silencing dissent is the man responsible for their countries.
In Mauritius, the first prime Minister was Seewoosagor Ramgoolam, a doctor of Indian descent who was influenced by Fabian values while in England for his education. Ramgoolam was a quiet man who believed that there has to be development but not without human dignity. Singapore on the other hand started off with Lee Kuan Yew whose famous words were that he had a hatchet in his bag which he would use to corner his political opponents in a cul de sac and disembowel them with it or some other nonsense like that.
Which is why Singapore developed the way it did, without human dignity or respect, into that ruthless unchristian uncharitable society where money was God and it did not matter that you hosted Burmese criminal thugs and Indonesian thieves as long as they had money, and where money laundering and prostitution is big business.
That is why Singapore is bound to fall, no question about it. Too many Singaporeans are refusing to live there and opting instead for the West. There are insufficient babies being born and the population is aging.
An economy the size of Singapore cannot last with 3rd rate imported labor as it is trying to do, while anyone who has any self respect or decency are all getting out.
I think the lesson to be learnt from Mauritius is that you can still achieve success with a little human kindness. Repression is not necessary for success.
The source of this blog is the article "The Greatest Country on Earth" in www.slate.com
Attorney at Law
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