It is both a boon and a curse, but in the end, a serious impediment to advancement.
Lee Kuan Yew in his 52 years of one party rule has successfully managed to fine tune the
An outsider would find it unbelievable that a Singaporean will not dare question Lee Kuan Yew or his son on their astronomical and illegal $3.7 million dollar salary paid out of taxpayers money which is outright corruption. Again unbelievably taboo subjects are, matters relating the lack of human rights such as freedom of speech, expression, or the rule of law, which to an outsider would seem outrageous. If you openly dared utter any criticism openly in Lee Kuan Yew’s
How has Lee Kuan Yew managed to create such a dog obedient society? It is by the simple expedient of the carrot and the stick. Since
JB Jeyaretnam, a former staunch Lee Kuan Yew critic, has been repeatedly used as a punching bag for this purpose. Each time he criticizes the government, a defamation of character lawsuit follows. He is then brought before a Kangaroo judge who predictably punishes him with debilitating damages awards of several hundred thousands of dollars after which he is bankrupted and denied the right to practice his law profession.
In fact, by a strange reasoning, the government appreciates such critics like Jeyartnam, Chee Soon Juan, myself and many others as they need a constant supply of victims whom they can periodically use to keep their Singaporean population in check. They rely on the old Chinese adage that you kill a few chickens to frighten the monkeys.
The message clearly is that for a peaceful life in
One cannot deny that having such a subservient population has some advantages. One such advantage is that you don’t see disruption to daily life as you see in other democracies. There are no strikes or work stoppages. Singaporeans, out of fear, simply do as they are told like obedience trained dogs. The machines run as programmed, the trains run, the buses run and everyone knows his place and his job. The island functions like clockwork.
But the down side of this monotonous efficiency, which is disastrous to the island’s future, is its boredom, its lack of divergent thinking or innovation. You end up with an entire island population who do not have any strong views about anything. For a modern society such as
Society advances through new ideas and thinking outside the box, which for the successfully brainwashed Singaporean is not possible. If all you have is a society of German Shepherds or Cocker Spaniels who know how high to jump when told, you are only going to have a stagnant society, a society incapable of blazing new trials and new directions. A society of rigidity and boredom.
The educated of the island can see what has happened and flee to the West. The numbers leaving are huge, sustained and mounting. The government finding themselves helpless to stop it, simply go into a denial mode and merely prohibits their state controlled newspapers from reporting such news. But whether they report it or not, the fact is,
You really don’t need a discerning society if all you had were low level, low skilled and low wage assembly line workers. But unfortunately, this is no longer the case. The island has progressed into more of a middle class society, many having tertiary qualifications. Such a society unfortunately requires thinking people, not a bunch of obedience trained poodles.
Such mind control by Lee Kuan Yew turning the island people into obedient poodles, while at the same time demanding a society that relies on international commerce banking and insurance is like trying to match a round plug into a square hole. It simply does not match.
Lee Kuan Yew’s problem is this. If he decides to loosen his control, he would be toppled. On the other hand, if he continues in his dogged determination out of insecurity, to keep his people as obedience trained poodles, the educated will continue to leave and his island will continue to stagnate without any vibrancy whatsoever.
I am sure Lee Kuan Yew too sees this, but it appears he has no answer.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Tel: 510 491 4375