Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore state controlled newspaper the Straits Times online edition of Feb 28, 2012 has the story "1200 Singaporeans renounce citizenship every year". This was what Teo Chee Hean, Lee Kuan Yew's Minister said in Parliament a few days ago. Of this figure he said "300 are naturalized citizens". He also said about the reasons for such a huge number from such a small population leaving the island "the reasons for emigration vary. Some emigrants leave for family reasons.... while others leave for different living environment".
"Different living environment!". Wait a minute. Are you trying to say they are leaving because of the weather? I tell you why they leave. They leave because once they have heard of living free and independent lives in Australia and the rest of the world, they hurry to leave Lee Kuan Yew's paradise.
The numbers are worse than you think. The figure that he quotes, 1300 a year, is only that of the head of the household. If you include the wife and children, the numbers increase to about 3,000 if not more a year. These 3,000 are the very people Singapore needs the most, engineers doctors lawyers, scientists, mechanics, electricians, tradesmen of all sorts with all kinds of skills. And don't forget, the entire island only consists of about 2.5 native born Singaporeans. The rest are recent arrivals. These are intolerable figures for a small island state with a tiny population.
If given a chance nobody wants to live in an island where the rulers threaten anyone who criticizes with defamation lawsuits decided by corrupt compliant judges, bankrupted and impoverished merely for criticism; nobody wants to live in an island where there is no rule of law where judges carry out political duties to destroy opposition; nobody wants to live in a country where the entire media is under the control of the state; nobody wants to live in a country where even if you peacefully protested you will be sent to jail and finally nobody wants to live in a North Korea under the guise of being Singapore.
From the figures given you notice that as many as 300 are recently arrived immigrants turned citizens. What this means is this. Singapore is so unsatisfactory a place to live that even recently naturalized citizens give up their citizenship's the moment they find out what Singapore really is.
Singapore is still an attractive place for the Vietnamese rice farmer, the Chinese peasant from Hubei, the Bengali villager from the slums of Calcutta and the Tamil growing rice in Trichinapolli Tamil Nadu India. For them, regardless of how little human rights there are, at least it is a little better than the poverty of their countries.
In fact, with the human rights situation as dire as it is, they are the only ones who would come and be prepared to stay in Lee Kuan Yew's island. But how much the Chinese peasant from Hubei can contribute to Singapore’s image of an international city, it is quite another matter. You can't possibly have rice fields in down town Orchard Road.
I think Lee Kuan Yew and his Singapore are in a fix. They are on a descent from which they cannot recover. Imagine a Singaporean Chinese family who have recently settled in Melbourne Australia. When their children go to Australian schools they would for the first time in their life experience freedom. Their Australian teachers, who by the way are not afraid of the Australian government to be politically correct as in Singapore, respect their students and give their independence to think and form their own opinions. Unlike Singaporeans, they are neither Confucian nor confused. It is such a pleasant transformation that no Singapore student who has ever experienced life in Australia or the West would ever want to step into Singapore again.
What happens next? They tell their friends in Singapore as to how happy they are. They encourage their friends to join them in Australia, Canada, US, New Zealand and the rest of the free world.
You never know what they might end up as. As adventurers, athletes, mountaineers and men and women capable of telling Lee Kuan Yew and his son a thing or 2.
They might even turn out to be Gopalan Nairs and eternal pain in the neck for the Lee Kuan Yew family.
Attorney at Law
Disbarred from practicing law in Lee's Singapore, imprisoned and refused entry to the island for criticizing Singapore's judiciary in this blog (see blogpost May 29, 2008 Singapore. Judge Belinda Ang's Kangaroo Court)
Actively practicing law in California and in good standing at the California Bar.
Member in good standing as a lawyer in England and Wales (Barrister).
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