It suffers from a mounting large emigration rate to the West, mainly of its educated professionals and the numbers of old age people continue to grow. And no matter how generous the incentives, Singaporeans simply refuse to reverse the trend.
This pattern of life is ordinarily alien to Asian culture. In the past, Asian families traditionally always hoped for large families with many children looking after the parents in old age and the idea of a network of brothers and sisters and relatives all supporting and caring for each other in times of need.
Any traditional photo of a Chinese family gathering at New Year will show this, a huge family picture replete with many children, uncles aunties, grandparents and great grandparents all lined up in rows happily smiling. In
The underlying reason for Singaporeans today not to have children, in fact the lowest birth rate in the world, and to emigrate abroad in droves, is mainly due to the lack of respect Singaporeans have for this government, due to it discrediting itself by its clearly repressive, unjust, unlawful, arbitrary policies and its abuse of the legal system.
JB Jeyaretnam was an opposition politician who stood up to this government. In order to discredit him and destroy his political career, Lee Kuan Yew government embarked on a campaign of repeated defamation lawsuits, none of which had any merit whatsoever. These were not lawsuits, they were political hatchet jobs. He was also sent to prison, although totally innocent of any crime.
Chee Soon Juan is another opposition politician. He too has suffered repeated defamation lawsuits and made to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars and bankrupted. He too was sent to jail for having committed no wrong.
I wrote a letter to the Attorney General in the 1980s when I was in
Singaporeans also realize that had JB Jeyaretnam now been alive in Singapore, or in the case of Chee Soon Juan or had I now been living in Singapore, every single right or benefit given to any Singaporean would always be denied us, applications to government offices would be denied to us, jobs would be denied to us and any law suits and law cases brought by any of us would be forthwith dismissed, we would be harshly dealt with, and all this just because we are who we are.
The life’s lesson learnt from all this by Singaporeans is the importance of making sure that whatever you do make sure the Lee Kuan Yew government is not displeased. Which means, do not openly oppose the system, do not openly challenge the Lee Kuan Yew family, keep your personal feelings to yourself, and outwardly either join the bandwagon or if you rather, just keep your mouth shut.
As seen from the recent elections, it is perfectly all right to make speeches about the high cost of living, the high rates of immigration or the lack of housing. But it is not permissible to call Lee Kuan Yew a thief for paying himself $3.7 million a year for doing nothing although he is one, it is not permissible to ask the Malays to demonstrate to stop the racial discrimination against them (although they are indeed discriminated) and although it is a fundamental right, it is not permitted to protest in front of Lee Kuan Yew’s son’s palace. You would be forthwith sent to jail and henceforth be treated like how JB Jeyaretnam, Chee Soon Juan or Gopalan Nair was treated.
Of course you know what this does to human beings. It makes you a chameleon. It dampens your spirit. You live in fear of the government. You don't want to be a JB Jeyaretnam, a Chee Soon Juan or a Gopalan Nair. You realize that a quiet life is better than being a hero.
Which explains why Singaporeans have been judged by an international survey to be the most miserable people on earth, the most emotionless people of earth. A people who lack spontaneity. A people who would have to pause a few seconds even to answer a simple question, lest it be politically incorrect.
While this miserable condition exists in the island, the quality of its people continues to decline. First, people capable of leaving such as the educated and skilled leave the island. Most have already left. At the same time, the population of native born Singaporeans shrinks due to abysmally low birth rates, the lowest in the world.
To replace them, the government brings in uneducated coolies from
This is the problem that
In a society such as this, where no one has the guts to stand up for anything to be counted, you end up with an enfeebled people; a people weak in mind body and spirit. A people who are incapable of being passionate about anything, a people who lack spontaneity, a people without strong views about anything and who have to go about their lives adjusting their minds to stay on the right side of the fence to live another day in peace in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.
Such a people never achieved any greatness. They never have and they never will. You simply cannot make a lion out of a goat. Singaporeans will simply continue to be no more than how and what Lee Kuan Yew makes of them, a submissive subjugated people ever willing to please.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile