Ladies and Gentlemen,
Singapore island is tiny. It has no more than about 2.5 million local citizens and another 2.5 million recently arrived immigrants, mostly Chinese nationals.
It's judges are actually Lee Kuan Yew's politicians who masquerade as judges. Their principle function is to destroy any political opposition to him or his government, which they shamelessly do. Lee Kuan Yew and his friends pay themselves the highest salaries in the world, no less than $3.7 million a year each! In fact this is outright corruption.
The newspapers are all state controlled. Not a single human right exists. There is no freedom of speech, expression or assembly. Any attempt by anyone to engage in any of this risks defamation lawsuits, bankruptcy or prison.
In a sentence, Singapore is a very unpleasant place to live compared to almost any other country in the world.
I know this. I don't live there anymore. And just like me, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people and Singaporeans also know this. As a result almost every single person capable of leaving and working elsewhere has left the island for Australia and the west.
Owing to the almost non existent birth rate and massive emigration, Singapore has been trying to attract immigrants for some time. But this bad reputation that the island has of being no more than a fiefdom run by Lee Kuan Yew, his family and friends naturally is an impediment. Who in their right mind would want to come and live in Singapore island where they are literally living as slaves at the mercy of this government who control everything and anything in their island.
As a result the quality of immigrants and those of Singaporeans staying behind continues to decline. One obvious example is the very poor quality of journalism in the island. The extent of English language proficiency in their state controlled Straits Times is atrocious. I recall the quality of writing was much better in 1970 or before than it is now. In earlier days people had some respect for the newspaper. Today, the paper is no better than the sort you find in Somalia or North Korea, according to respected international surveys.
The same goes for every other government sector in the island. The police force has high ranking officers whose understanding of their jobs and what policing should be is simply zero. Many of them are Malays, the least successful among the 3 races in the island. It appears probable that because the police force is so discredited as being nothing more than a bunch of thugs who run around taking orders from the Lee family, the other races who have more choice over their careers simply stay away. I remember when I was arrested for writing a blog in Singapore in 2008, my arresting officer was a Malay Deputy Superintendent of Police. He did not think his job involved anything else, other than being a hit man for the government; simply doing anything he was told.
It is the same with a civil service and every other branch of the government. The quality of the people there are simply poor and getting worse. It is one thing for a large populous country to suffer a dearth of qualified and dedicated people, it is quite another for a place which has no more than a mere 2.5 million!
This is not uprising, since how does one convince anyone with any brains or any self respect to serve an organization such as this. Why would anyone who has been living for instance in Australia, where they live in a hardly fought and won democracy, move to an island where Lee Kuan Yew thinks he owns it? Or he will arrest you if you question him?
There are only a few types of people who would willingly live in a place like that. One type is the thoroughly despicable sort who have no scruples whatsoever and would like anybody's ass as long as the price is right, such as Lee Kuan Yew's Tamil minister for law Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam or K Shanmugam as he prefers to call himself; to avoid tongue twisting. For large sums of money he stays and serves his master. He is quite prepared to argue anytime that even one sole peaceful protestor is a criminal and should be arrested unless he has a permit from his master!
The other type is the recent immigrant arrivals. Many of them are Chinese nationals who come here because the money is better. So also are the Filipinos or Bangladeshis. The only consideration for them, and understandably so, is the better wages they get than in their native countries. They understand that they should stay away from interfering in the way the island is run. For them it does not matter if the dictator happens to be an Arab oil sheikh in Abu Dhabi or a Chinese gangster in Singapore. For the better wages, they mind their own business. After all Singapore island is not their country.
And then you have the locals. Many of them are what the former President of the island, Devan Nair, no relation of mine, called "department store dummies". They have no idea about their rights, they are not concerned whether their prime minister was a donkey, and they just go about their daily lives eating at hawker food centers, doing their daily jobs to work another day. Such things as their rights which an average American would be very concerned about does not even cross their minds. Such things as human rights does not register very high in their simple heads.
I honestly don't think with a bunch of people such as this, the island can get very far. There are no dedicated thinking intelligent Singaporeans left in the island. All of them who considered such things as human rights have all left. And they are being replaced by totally ignorant immigrants on the one hand, and mere foreign workers who are there temporarily for a buck on the other. Thinking intelligent and confident people would not want to live in a place like this.
Lee Kuan Yew obviously misjudged the extent that mass communication, information and technology would have on his island. This sort of stupidity on his part suppressing human rights and a repressive political system is not going to go down well with an educated independent thinking population. It may have worked in the past in lesser developed times and societies but today, it is impossible to succeed.
Even a single blog like this, writing about what is going on in the tiny island tends to hurt it very much. I have no doubt in my mind as each day passes, even more people with an opportunity to leave are going to do so, which would mean even greater reliance on temporary guest workers to fill the void. On the whole you are not going to get the best human beings from these temporary guest workers. One reason is that the island cannot pay as much and for as long as can a place such as Abu Dhabi with their oil. So what you are going to get, as time progresses, is going to go from second rate to third rate and to the fourth.
Singapore's bad name internationally as the place which canes people for chewing gum, even though this is not entirely true, will be it's nemesis.
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California, USA
Tel: 510 491 4375