Sunday, September 9, 2012

Singapore threatens to create a frightful brave new world

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore has already come a long way from its intended status as a democracy. Although the Constitution guaranteed a free press, right to free association and assembly and the rule of law, today nothing remains of these guarantees. In fact Singaporeans simply do not have any guarantees of human rights.

Instead of a free press, the entire press is state controlled. Instead of the right to free association and assembly, all protests, even if peaceful are illegal. Instead of the rule of law, Lee Kuan Yew crony judges misuse the law to destroy political opponents.

Today, the entire mindset of the citizens has had a paradigm shift. No longer is the independent thinking man respected. If the thinking went against that of the Lee Ruling Family, he is treated as a criminal.

A good man in the Singaporean sense today is one who parrots the government line which is; Lee paying himself millions is not corruption, it is a salary; Lee's PAP government is the best and every other system is wrong; joining and supporting opposition parties such as Chee Soon Juan's SDP is engaging in confrontational politics which is bad, joining Lee's party is consensus politics, therefore good; and so on and so forth.

In today's Singapore, the passport to success in career and life lies in joining and supporting Lee Kuan Yew's policies which prevail at any one time, keeping in mind that they change with time. For instance it was good to say that families should have no more than 2 children (Lee's policy some years ago) but now it is necessary to say that families should have as many children as possible (Lee's policy now).

The problem with life in Singapore, which you can well see, is that any right thinking human being has to shut out his own views about things and be required to articulate those of Lee's, which can be found at any point of time in his state controlled press.

If you thought this was bad enough, be warned; there is worse to come. Lee's son who runs the country now has said that he is determined to look at how Singapore is run continuously and will make the changes as and when he decides.

This means your views will have to change in tandem with his, whatever they may be. Please see the article in Singapore state controlled newspaper the Straits Times of Sept 9, 2012 headed "Let's improve prudently: PM Lee"

He has made clear his threat in the following in this article, "So each time we come back, some problems are revisited, some issues which we did not alter before, we may come to conclusion we need to make changes. We have to take it in that perspective. We can't say that we have had a discussion before, so there is nothing new to discuss. That is not the way the world is." In other words, Singapore will not be run as other democracies around the world on a set of principles laid down in the Constitution, but on the thinking of the Lee Ruling Family and his minions at any one point of time. Today it might be this way and tomorrow the other, and you better conform or else!

I worry what next are Singaporeans required to do? Will the numbers of government spies be increased at all work places to report on troublemakers? Will workers be required to pledge their allegiance to Lee's ruling party and if not be fired? Will all unpatriotic (meaning people not supporting his party) employees be fired from their jobs? Will sons be required to report on their father's disloyalty? Will Singaporeans be required to attend mass sessions to sing praises to the Lee Ruling Family? Will Singaporeans be required to attend mass sessions to condemn Chee Soon Juan on his criminal (Lee's proclamation) activities?

How far will Lee go in changing the island to suit his thinking? And how far will Singaporeans go in accepting these demands of the Singapore strongman? All very worrying questions.

Although one may say that such things happening are highly unlikely, I would urge him to think again.

Anyone visiting Singapore today will find the mindset of the people altered to an extent almost beyond belief. For instance which human being would not be up in arms to be told that their elected leader pays himself 5 times the salary of Obama? Which human being would be prepared to accept the fact that even a single peaceful one man protest is illegal? Which human being would accept the fact that his entire mass media is state controlled? Which human being would accept the fact that their courts have been reduced to nothing better than Kangaroo Courts delivering judgments to please the Lee Ruling Family?

Today Singaporeans surprisingly accept these policies without complaint, the reason being that they have been subjected to Lee's rule for so long so much so that they have almost forgotten what it is to be a free human being.

Although Lee thinks that Singaporeans would accept whatever he throws at them, today, he is completely out of touch with how his people think. No longer are people willing to accept anything he says. And by strutting around like a prize rooster in his tiny island, bullying everyone in his way, he is not having the results he expects to have. For instance increasing numbers of Singaporeans simply look at him as an insane fool, laugh at him instead of fearing him, pack up their bags and emigrate to the West.

The brain drain has become so large and increasing that the civil service is finding it difficult to function without manpower. Retired employees who are even over 65 are asked to return to work due to the manpower shortage. All the other services are facing the same fate. To replace those leaving, new Chinese immigrants are brought in from Communist China who do not know English and unsuitable for the jobs left vacant.

Lee and his son, collectively known as the Lee Ruling Family should realize that they can no longer demand loyalty through force and intimidation like this, as people do have a choice whether to live this way under a dictator. Singapore is not George Orwell’s fictional country. A few unprincipled opportunists, like K Shanmugam and Tharman Shanmugaretnam, may stay for the money because they are incapable of making it on their own, but many others have more pride than this. They will leave in even greater numbers.

Forcing people to think the way the Lee Ruling Family demands is simply not going to work in the 21st century. The island would simply empty out of its own people, as is already happening now. Those left behind would be the simple hawkers and the likes of my friend the security guard in Veerasamy Road who thinks the police should have the right to stop, question and search anyone anytime because it makes the island safe! He wants a police state, which is what Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore is today.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
Fremont, California
Tel: 510 657 6107 or 510 491 4375

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your article is extremely biased and its points are unsubstantial.