Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sorry, no comment. We are Singaporeans

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Yesterday I wrote of the huge exodus of Singaporeans rushing to give up their citizenship for a life abroad, as reported in the Lee ruling family's state controlled press, an intolerable situation for a small island with a tiny population of no more than 2.5 million native born. To qualify for emigration requires skills and qualifications, which the tiny island with it's minuscule population is losing at a rapid rate, the very ones they need the most.

According to the island's state controlled Straits Times, about 1,300 people leave the island every year for settlement abroad, primarily to the English speaking west, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and UK. Of this number about 300 are recently naturalized citizens. This is relatively a very large number since considering the island’s tiny size, the numbers who were naturalized were relatively small to begin with.

As alarming as these figures already are, they reflect only the heads of the households. If you included wives, and children the number is multiplied by five, making it not one thousand but 5,000, a number an island with only 2.5 million native born population simply cannot withstand.

In other words, Singapore’s lawyers, doctors, engineers, mechanics, aircraft technicians, and you name it, every manner of skilled artisan and professionals are heading to the airport for their one way ticket out.

The only ones remaining are either those who are the friends and relatives of the Lee ruling family who enrich themselves through lofty salaries and benefits (corruption) and those in the middle level who earn similarly large incomes.

Just as in all other fascist and dictatorial countries in the world, they trumpet the Lee ruling family for the good life they receive. The other ones who remain are those at the bottom, the coolies and laborers who have no skills or education which disqualifies them from leaving. Then there are the very old who have no choice but to stay.

From my having born, lived in Singapore for over 33 years and been involved in the daily life of Singaporeans in opposition politics, I can tell you the reason for this dissatisfaction, driving their own people away, is because they are not allowed to live their lives as ordinary human beings as they would be anywhere else in the world.

A few obvious examples would make this clear.

For instance Singaporeans can watch on television the protests that go on in Greece over their economic problems, the Occupy Wall Street protests over the economy, global warming protests in the major capitals of the world. But for some reason, there is not a single Singaporean doing any of this. Is it because Singaporeans are so happy that they have absolutely nothing to complain about, or is it because through training and conditioning over the years, they have shut out this possibility completely.

Singaporeans are not all dummies. Many are aware that there is such a thing as a Constitution which gives them rights of free speech and expression. They also know that the entire press is controlled by the Lee ruling family which requires large security deposits for any independent newspaper to circulate in the island, the only other ones being the state controlled press. Not an acceptable information communication system. Singaporeans know these things are not right. Yet there is not a single Singaporean individual who cares enough to protest these injustices.

It is almost a case of island wide schizophrenia where one side of the Singaporean head is shut off from the other. It is as if he is able to discuss history, science, geometry, astronomy and all the sciences in the world, including the state of the parking lots in the Orchard Road area, but when it comes to his inalienable right of freedom of speech, expression, assembly, it immediately draws a blank.

What the Lee ruling family in Singapore has done is effectively train Singaporeans, like you train a dog, into realizing that there are some things that they can think about and do, while some things are disallowed. Like you train a dog to jump when you wave your hand but lie flat when you bring it down.

Lee, the Singapore strongman had decided a long time ago that he and his family will rule Singapore, in perpetuity, and none other. But the Constitution and English law upon which the island was founded became an obstacle to his aim. So there was a need to train Singaporean behavior into believing that some things are allowed and some things are not, just as you train a dog.

Lee does this mind training by example. For instance JB Jeyaretnam who had in the past challenged him was repeatedly sued, repeatedly bankrupted and sent to jail. Similarly Chee Soon Juan, the Singapore Democratic Party Chief was also bankrupted, jailed and impoverished for criticizing him. In 2008, when I was in Singapore, I had written a blog post here critical of his judge Belinda Ang Saw Ean. For that I was jailed for 3 months.

Lee is not punishing Jeyaretnam, Chee and I for nothing. It is for a purpose. It is a lesson. He is training Singaporeans as one trains a dog. The lesson is, don't question the Lee ruling family of Singapore or their judges. If you do you will be punished as was Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan or Gopalan Nair.

And from observation, Lee has succeeded in training his Singaporeans very well indeed. Today Singaporeans will engage you in discussing the theory of quantum physics, the way cancer cells spread or a multitude of other luminous subjects. You can even have a lively discussion on the state of football in the English First Division.

On the other hand, if you were to ask the ordinary Singaporean what he thought of Lee paying himself $3.7 million a year and whether he considered this corruption, you are either going to get a blank or a polite "Sorry, no comment. We are Singaporeans". If you were to ask him whether he thought the law was being used as a tool to silence dissent which it obviously is, you are going to get the same blank stare. In fact you are going to get the same lame answer for every question that most seriously affects a human being's life.

Lee is fooling himself into thinking that in this day and age, you can actually change human thought and behavior of Singaporeans into thinking and acting the way he wants them. True, those who are still remaining in the island do behave in this strange sort of schizophrenia, behaving one way about some things and completely unresponsive of others, but increasingly, because of the massive information movement between countries, many understand that there is no need to live this way.

And once they realize it is not necessary to jump and roll over as Lee Kuan Yew demands, they are in a hurry to get out of Singapore to places they don't have to live this way.

The main overwhelming reason why such increasing numbers wish to leave for settlement aboard is the realization that Lee Kuan Yew is trying to turn Singaporeans into idiots, voluntarily performing for his wishes. And they are no longer prepared to co-operate.

With such huge numbers leaving the island, Lee Kuan Yew better understand that unless he realizes human beings would prefer not to live as sheep if they can avoid it, he would be left with nobody but his cronies and Chinese peasants who are brought in by the planeloads. It is not going to do him or his island any good.

You are already seeing the catastrophy unfolding before your very eyes. No less than 5,000 (my estimate) of highly desirable highly qualified Singaporeans leaving for settlement in the West every single year, year after year, when you only have 2.5 million native born Singaporeans to start with in that tiny place. They take with them their luggage, their skills and their bank accounts with a final Adios.

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

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The emigration problem facing Singapore is much worst considering that the majority of its youth desire to migrate overseas when they grow up.