The shocking announcement of the Lee Kuan Yew administration’s intent to increase the tiny island's population from its already overcrowded count of 5.3 million to nothing short of a staggering 6.9 million has drawn overwhelming disapproval with a rare protest held in opposition yesterday.
Why they even have to threaten to do this in an already sardine packed island of 5.3 million is clear from their misguided policies in that one party dictatorship.
Dictatorships everywhere usually get things wrong because they have no one to criticize them in whatever they do. Lee Kuan Yew's
It appears that the dictator failed to realize one thing; that if you do this, you are going to antagonize anyone with a head on his shoulders and some pride in it. And once living in
Even today, there is a large segment of the
Such people do not give their best in anything they do, they don't perform well in their jobs, and they are always unhappy and on the whole have low productivity. This is not the building block which Lee needs to build upon his dream city of
Instead of realizing that it is a small island with a tiny population and therefore it takes time to grow and adapt, he transforms the island overnight into what it is not simply by importing large populations from abroad to work in newly created industries such as casinos, banking and money laundering.
And to fuel this sudden burgeoning of business, he allows unrestricted numbers of foreigners and foreign businesses to set up shop in
Naturally foreigners who wanted to make a buck jumped at the opportunity and came in not only with their businesses but began employing foreigners to run them as well. As these foreign businesses burgeoned with foreign labor, it became necessary to continually allow even larger and larger number of foreigners to work these growing foreign businesses because without them, locals are insufficient and not available since these jobs by and large are paid salaries below the poverty line. At the same time with increasing numbers of foreigners are employed, larger and larger numbers of Singaporeans are displaced, made redundant and unemployed.
Now that Singaporeans have come out and clearly said they want no more of these foreigners, the government is in a bind. They are the victims of a policy they themselves created. If they stopped further immigration, it would result in thousands of businesses closing, with far reaching consequences; less income would be created, less tax would be paid and together with foreigners being repatriated, many locals would also lose their jobs resulting in a path to a economic deflation and depression. On the other hand if they carried out their threat to in fact increase immigration, the island will be overwhelmed with foreigners and its Singaporean character would be lost entirely. Singaporeans would for the first time become strangers in their own island.
I don't think there is a clear answer to this one way or the other. And the lesson to be learnt clearly is this; anyone who thinks he knows best on how to run a country and shuts up everyone else, always gets it wrong, and makes a fool of himself, just as Lee Kuan Yew has done in this case.
The answer has to be is to allow the island to be a democracy and allow everyone to be part of the national debate without having to fear arrest, defamation lawsuits and bankruptcy. But of course, Lee cannot do that. If he did, he would lose his seat. So whether he likes it or not, he has no choice but to keep moving from one failed policy to the next as he has done for the last 52 years of his dictatorship.
Form the outside
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Tel: 510 491 4375